It is my great honor to invite you over for Thanksgiving this year. For those of you plugged into the Periscope scene, you might be aware that my son, Joshua, has returned home from Hollywood to have us all be a part of his piece de resistance: a short film about us!

Joshua tells me he’s about to become a household name—his latest work, Crybaby Soldier, will have a limited release just as soon as he’s made the film—and that participating in this project might be our last chance to interact with him before he’s a famous film star!

In order to best help Joshua, below are pertinent notes for the Thanksgiving shoot:

  • Joshua’s project, Joy Is Dead And The Nuclear Family Killed It, seeks to expose the “superficiality of family that infects the holidays like a malignant black mold.” Billed as “slice-of-life meets Hacksaw Ridge,” Joshua’s film will place our family under the cinematic microscope and observe the ways we betray the true meaning of love. In Joshua’s words: just be yourselves!
  • All family members (henceforth referred to as “The Talent”) will be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and waiver upon entering our home (henceforth referred to as “The Set”). Joshua (who will only answer to “Scorsese's Successor”) will film the piece on his Sony HandyCam (henceforth referred to as “The Goods”).
  • The Talent will never look directly at Scorsese's Successor or The Goods while on The Set. Like everything else to follow, this is non-negotiable.
  • Joshua’s recently become fascinated by “Gonzo-style filmmaking,” and is planning a number of “spontaneous confrontations” on the big day. These include:
    • Confronting Uncle Steve during his third hour in the La-Z-Boy and asking if napping while football is on is what he actually hoped his life would become;
    • Revealing that he’s the only person who’s ever bought anything from Aunt Jeanie’s “highly successful” Etsy page, “My Beautiful Bangles,” and did so under multiple aliases;
    • Wondering aloud to Aunt Trish if she’s constantly bringing up her “thriving real estate career” because she’s insecure about not having gone to college;
    • showing everyone a video of a then-37-year-old Uncle Kevin selling cocaine to a then-16-year-old Cousin Ben at a LMFAO concert in 2011;
    • asking Grandma Eunice why she still refers to Cousin Megan’s wife of 15 years as Megan’s “roommate” even though we all went to the wedding, attended their daughter’s baptism, etc.
  • Aunt Carol will not be invited. (This is my call, not Joshua’s.)
  • To symbolize the risks one takes when they pledge loyalty to someone based only on shared blood, one small razor blade will be hidden in the macaroni scramble. (More to come on that at the shoot.)
  • If Joshua senses that anyone is holding back in front of the camera, damning audio clips from past gatherings will be played over our new (!) Sonos speakers. Incriminating recordings have been prepared for each family member; Joshua informed me that my “shit clip” features me telling a then-14-year-old Cousin Ben that I believed Uncle Steve deserved to get cheated on. Oh, to think I assumed Joshua was watching porn on his computer all those years…
  • At the film’s climax, Joshua will ask The Talent to separate into two groups: “Believers In The Nuclear Family” and “Believers In Reality.” Once divided, “a brawl of sticks and swords” will take place. There will be fight choreography involved. Uncle Kevin will coordinate. (Kevin—PM me.) Uncle Rich will provide sticks, swords. (Rich—can you tell your wife, Carol, that she is not invited?)
  • Filming is expected to last between six and eight hours, but may go on as long as “the creative tides are in motion,” which Joshua has informed me can last up to sixty hours. In the spirit of a true film set, Joshua has prepared “swag bags” for all family members as a parting gift for their participation. (Fun side note: one of the “swag bags” contains Aunt Jeanie’s sex tape!)

I realize this isn’t our typical Thanksgiving gathering, but I am excited for us to learn and grow in the realm of Joshua’s artistic endeavor. I, for one, am excited to see Joshua’s creative energy channeled into something that’ll bring us closer, as opposed to his earlier foray into “conceptual equine erotica.” Also, Joshua has agreed to sell the film to Netflix for forty million dollars.

The Hollywood lights are calling for us. I know I’m ready to answer. Are you?

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