DON & LOIS IN “TRADITIONS”
An original screenplay by
EXT. STREET – EARLY EVENING
Snow floats down through the glow of the street lights landing on neighborhood built for the parents of the baby boomer generation.
Homes are decorated with large colorful traditional Christmas lights stretched across the gutters, assorted yard displays including a plastic snowman, a manger scene, and the house on the corner has a flood light that slowly changes from green to blue to red as the round plastic filter turns.
Attention is drawn to a house in the center with large window framed in clear lights. Through that window the family tree draped with silver tinsel and colored lights.
INT. HOME – EARLY EVENING
A small child closely examining a wrapped present in front of the tinseled tree.
He looks towards his mother standing in the hall and she smiles and gently shakes her head back and forth.
A 1962 calendar with all the days crossed off up until December twenty-fifth hangs next to the side window. The window is decorated with stencil art created from a can of artificial snow.
Through the window the boy watches a man walk across the room stop in front of a record player. The man picks up an album and removes the disc.
INT. DON & LOIS’S HOME – LIVING ROOM – EARLY EVENING
Looking down at a record player, an album is placed on the spindle. DON flicks his wrist turning the dial to “Play”. The arm of the player moves over the beginning of the album, the needle drops and we hear Doris Day singing the first track of her latest holiday release.
Don reaches for the album jacket.
INT. DON & LOIS’S HOME – BATHROOM – EARLY EVENING
Don is sitting on the toilet with his pants and underwear down to his knees. We can see his left hand holding the album jacket with Doris Day’s picture jerking little up and down. Don is masturbating.
A loud BANG on the bathroom door.
Come on, let’s go.
Jesus H. Christ.
Don drops the album cover to the floor, get’s up pulling up his pants and underwear along the way. He looks at the sink, trying to decide if he should wash his hands.
Don’s wife LOIS; dressed in her best heads towards the front door. Their son JOHNNY(5) is several steps behind carrying a tray of Christmas sugar cookies. His hand slips scattering the cookies across the hardwood floor, a few casualties.
Lois is out the door and doesn’t notice.
Don following his son; jumps into action and together they start the salvage process.
Take only the ones that are not broken.
Johnny is pulling off a hair from a cookie.
Just blow on it.
Don takes the two cookies from the tray that didn’t fall.
I’ll save these for Santa.
He puts them in his coat pocket.
Johnny takes a cookie from the floor, gives it a hard blow before placing it back onto the tray. Then picks up another.
The family dog rounds the corner. Don takes a broken cookie and throws it towards the dog. Don takes the remaining broken pieces and stuffs them under a coach cushion.
Lois approaches the door just as father and son complete the project; both are standing up with guilty smiles.
We’re always late, it’s like you do this on purpose.
EXT. DON & LOIS’S HOME – EARLY EVENING
As they close the door behind them you can see the dog sniffing the coach cushion where the broken piece were stashed.
A few steps off the front porch Johnny has a nasty sneeze, snot comes out. Lois stops, takes a handkerchief from her purse, and wipes her son’s nose.
I’ll be glad when your cold is over.
INT. CAR – EARLY EVENING
The family is driving down the road. Don is whistling Que-Sara-Sara.
It will be fun when we get there.
Taking bets? Remember last year your mother lifted up her dress exposing her panties to everyone?
That was my grandmother.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
What does that mean? She turned into a kook, what can I say.
She lifts up her dress and she has underwear that says, “Tuesday”.
I was there Don.
Now I think about that at least once a week, it kind of gives me the creeps.
I don’t think it even was Tuesday!
Like your grandmother is perfect.
She’s a saint.
Is that neighbor Goldberg going to be there? She’s not even a Christian.
Mrs. Goldberg is a nice lady, she’s almost family.
She doesn’t believe in Christmas?
She’s Jewish, she believes in a different kind of Christmas.
She’ll leave when we get there, she always does. She doesn’t like me.
She doesn’t like you because she thinks your German.
The car is stopped at a stoplight; a familiar car is slowing down to turn left.
There’s Peterson coming home late.
Most likely drunk.
Probably had to give his secretary a special present.
I thought Mr. Peterson’s name was Jack?
As Peterson slows down and turns everyone in both cars give big smiles and waves.
Still stopped at the light, a family pulls up next to them, happy and singing Jingle Bells.
Don looks at them.
The light changes and they’re off.
Johnny sees a man dressed in a Santa suit with his beard pulled down, leaning against a building. The man is drinking from a bottle with the bag still wrapped around it.
I think Santa is a buddy of your uncle Bert.
EXT. LOIS’S PARENTS HOME – EVENING
Don, Lois, and Johnny are on the front porch about to open the door. The door has a window. Everyone inside is within view.
An older woman sees them, stands up, pulls her sleeve down covering a number inked her left forearm.
I told you she was going to leave.
Mrs. Goldberg passes between them as she leaves.
Merry Christmas Lois. Hello Johnny.
Mrs. Goldberg doesn’t say anything to Don, she is down the steps and starts her way across the yard towards her home.
Good night Fraulein.
Mrs. Goldberg mumbles something in German.
(under his breath)
I thought only sailors had tattoos.
Don turns and sees Lois giving him a dirty look.
Uncle Bert, dad says you know Santa.
INT. DON & LOIS’S HOME/LIVING ROOM – EVENING
White stuffing from the coach is scattered around the room like clumps of snow. The family dog is chomping on a Christmas cookie shaped like Santa.