Other Vegetables (2006)

This is the script for a short animated film that I wrote and didn’t make yet. Martin, an eight year old boy, skateboards across town to visit his friend. On the way he recalls a series of dramatic events, which we hear in voice over. The emotional flow of his monologue is reflected in the speed and style of his skateboarding. And then he crashes.

(Scroll down for Martin’s Monologue)


Other Vegetables (Martin’s Monologue)

Abby Conner lives with her dad in the Sierra Vista apartments, next to the Jack In The Box on Oakwood. I’ve been there and I’ve seen it. It’s true.

Anything else she tells you, you should check.

For example – if you are playing Monopoly with Abby Conner, and she rolls a seven and lands on Chance and takes a Chance card and reads out loud “You have won second prize in a beauty contest. Collect ten dollars from each player” when she puts the card back you should check it, and it will probably be “Go to jail.”

And she will say, “That wasn’t my card. Mine must have slipped between the others.” But if you check you’ll find that the beauty contest card is not a Chance card at all, it’s Community Chest.

You should also check that she did roll a seven, because it was probably more like an eight, which is Park Place with two houses. Which is five hundred dollars.

Abby Conner’s dad is called Doug, or Dougie. But not Douglas, and not Mr. Conner. If you call him Mr. Conner he says, “Mr. Conner? Wouldn’t know him from a bag of assholes.” And then he laughs like crazy, even though he must have said it a million times.

Mr. Conner works at Safeway with the vegetables. Or as my dad says, with the other vegetables.

He brings us all the old stuff that no one would ever buy.

And Abby has to come too, because her mom is dead, which is her own fault because she killed herself when Abby was three, but you’re not allowed to say anything to Abby about it – even if she’s really bugging you, like when you’re in the back yard with a magnifying glass trying to melt the head off an army man and Abby wants to wrestle, and when you tell her no thanks because the grass is wet she wrestles you from behind, which is completely taking an unfair advantage, and she pins you, and the wet is coming through your shirt and making your back feel gross and you just want her to go away and take her stupid dad with her – even then you can’t say anything about her mom being dead.

And definitely not when the family room window is open.

My dad is not dead. He just moved to Boston. He visits for my birthday. And he still does this thing where he pretends he’s lost my birthday present and we search for it.

And last year Mr Conner was there, because he’s always there, and my dad said “Where’s that birthday present gone?” And Mr Conner said, “If it was up your ass you’d know” and he laughed like crazy. And mom laughed like she was trying not to, but I don’t think she was trying not to very hard.

My dad didn’t laugh, and neither did I. My dad says Mr Conner is an opportunist. He would say worse things, I bet, but he never swears.

These days I’m the only one in our house who doesn’t swear.
When Abby’s tooth fell out she said “I’m rich, bitch!” because she gets a dollar from the toothfairy.

Although I’m pretty sure she knows the toothfairy is her dad.

She said it is her lucky tooth, because it fell out when she was rolling and she got a double six and passed Go and landed on Baltic Avenue, which isn’t that great really.

I have a lucky Kermit the Frog button that has “Just Say No” written on it to stop you taking drugs, and when we play I’m the Kermit button because Abby is the race car and I don’t want to be the boot or the scottie dog and all the other ones are lost.

Or not lost, but not in the box anymore because the lid is broken. And also because Abby always starts talking about stuff and forgets that it’s her go, and you have to keep saying “It’s your go!” And sometimes you have to throw things.

And last time I had just got a hotel on New York Avenue, when she says “If my dad marries your mum, I’ll be your sister.”

So I say “They’re not getting married and it’s your go.” And she says, “That means if we get married our babies will be retards.”

And I say, “That’s very interesting,” because sometimes saying “that’s very interesting” works better than saying “It’s your go,” even though it is more interesting to wrap the rubber band we use to hold the broken monopoly box together round and round your thumb until it turns purple.

And then she tells me something that sounds like a lie. And I feel very strange, like when they give Superman the Kryptonite. And I think about mom and dad, and Mr. Conner dressed up like the tooth fairy. And I fire the rubber band and get a direct hit on Abby’s leg, which I’m hoping will remind her that it’s her go. But it doesn’t, and I see that look in her eye that means she’s about to start wrestling any minute, and it’s time to take evasive action.

So I throw all the houses and hotels at her. And then the boot and the scottie dog and the dice and the chance and community chest cards and some Legos and the lucky Just Say No button with the pin bent back that goes straight into Abby’s eye. And stays there. In her eye. It makes me want to laugh and throw up at the same time.

And I keep waiting for it to come out, and for the blood to start, which means I have to tell mom, and I’m in trouble like you wouldn’t believe. But it stays in.

On the way to the hospital they ask how could this have happened and Abby says the button was in her hand and she bent the pin back and it flipped up into her face. And they believe her. Even my mom who never believes lies. Even really good ones that you’ve practiced in the mirror.

Abby Conner is the best liar ever.