Mr. Boogedy is Totally Misunderstood

If you were a child of the 80s, then you likely know the tale of the silly and harassed Davis family who bought a haunted house in Lucifer Falls and then battled an evil ghost with a magic cloak. You watched Kristy Swanson (the worst actress ever) pout on a picnic blanket with cheese curls, and a robe-clad Bud Bundy get pulled kicking into the air by an inflated fireplace shovel. The kid from ALF even bickered with a little kid ghost over a snot-soaked teddy bear, and all the spirits glowed in neon. It was the spooky and mesmerizing children’s tale called Mr. Boogedy, which originally aired as a Disney made-for-TV movie in 1986.

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I’ve been watching and rewatching this movie every October for many years now, and it has come to my attention that there is, in fact, something very haunting about this tale. But it isn’t the house or how the Davis family was plagued by ghosts. It was the treatment of a misunderstood man named William Hanover that lasted for hundreds of years. You see a hamburger-faced demon zapping lightning at a wisecracking family, whereas I see a trod-upon and anguished soul.

To see my point, let us all go back to the beginning. Boogedy’s beginning.

The Origin Story

Here is the story of Mr. Boogedy–as he is known pejoratively known–in the words of crackpot historian, Neil Witherspoon:

300 years ago, long before any of us were alive, a small group of pilgrims lived on this very spot. They were a hard-working, decent group of people. Once in a while of course, they would enjoy a good laugh. Most of them, that is.

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It’s Thankstivus! The Much Better Alternative to Thanksgiving

I’m declaring a brand-new holiday from this year forward: THANKSTIVUS!

It will be observed on the traditional Thanksgiving day. The holiday does not require decoration, but should you choose to, the thematic colors are blue and black, to symbolize the bruising of our souls by Thanksgivings of years past.

Thankstivus Traditions

The celebration of Thankstivus should be observed as follows: First, all parties must sleep in until a very late hour, for family is exhausting. Then all participants gather at one home in the mid to late afternoon. Children should be immediately evacuated to an insulated room elsewhere in the house with nourishment and entertainment to last hours.

Wine and Cheese Reception

The holiday commences with a pregame wine and cheese reception, that will last exactly 15 minutes, during which no one may speak. This is a time of reflection, relaxation, intimidation of other parties, and–above all else–drinking.

The Airing of the Grievances

Borrowing from the magical holiday of Festivus, it is more appropriate than ever at the beginning of the holiday season to air the grievances. Once the wine and cheese reception is complete, the most eager and loudest person may begin telling everybody how they have disappointed them in the past year. Physical contact (especially hugging) is prohibited, and crying will not stop the proceedings (nice try, Mom). Heavy drinking is permitted, and encouraged.

This will last until everyone has aired their grievances, or one hour maximum, hence why it is important to make your grievances heard loudly and first above all other voices.

The Feast

The grievances are to be set aside, as if purged and cleansed, and everyone is to dine. Each person will bring their own food of choice, since not everyone likes turkey or conforming. Hot dogs, chicken wings, lasagna. There is no wrong meal at Thankstivus. This is a time to feed the stomach and the soul in preparation for the holiday season ahead. You will need your fortitude for gift shopping, light hanging, tree tinseling, and cookie baking. Now is the time for nourishment. And more alcohol.

Nap Intermission

All parties are at liberty to nap on any couches, beds, or armchairs available with no malice toward the sleeping. This nap is to last at most one hour, so as not to skunk the entire damn holiday. Parties not interested in napping may watch mindless television and movies, but no one shall clean or perform other chores. This is a time of mindful rest and meditation.

The Feats of Brilliance

The final ritual of the holiday is the Feats of Brilliance. All members are required to participate, with no exceptions or excuses. The group shall sit down and compete in a tabletop board game, or several, as deemed necessary to declare a Thankstivus Champion. The prize for the Thankstivus Champion is unlimited rights to leftovers from any participant, taking none that she or he does not want, free of guilt or obligation. The Champion may not participate in the cleaning of the dishes or other insipid post-holiday chores (moving tables and chairs, finding Tupperware lids, taking out garbage, etc.). Further, the Thankstivus Champion may drink from any other person’s cup for the rest of the night, as all alcohol becomes spoils of the Champion. The Champion shall reign superior until a new Thankstivus Champion is declared one year later.

I think we will all find that this will be a holiday of cleansing, preparation, and arming ourselves for the jollity ahead. I say to you that autumn is not a time of thanks, but a time to be royally pissed off at the cold and darkness, and the pressure of the oncoming holidays and bleak winter. Rue on, good November people. And Jolly Thankstivus to you and yours.

Best Thanksgiving Movies & TV Episodes to Feast On

Thanksgiving is a pretty ugly time of year. Lots of turkey carnage. And the whole guilt over what was done to the Indians. It’s a slaughtering holiday. The weather is hideous–all brown and cold, with no excuses to get some fresh air and go for a walk. There’s some kind of ludicrous law that most people have to watch football or they’ll die. And I’m supposed to get up early the next day and go shopping?

Plus there’s the annual scene of my dad hacking away at a turkey carcass in the kitchen yelling at everyone not to eat any appetizers–the ones I was asked to bring, mind you–while I am horribly drunk on boxed wine because my empty stomach always thinks dinner will come sooner than it does. Hey, Dad gets what he gets when he tells me to stay away from my own plate of cheese and crackers! Well, after I slur my way through dinner conversations about tired family memories, and I’ve crammed plenty of stuffing and potatoes in my face, the whole time trying not to embarrass my mom or make her cry (as has happened multiple years in the past), it’s time for my dad to pass out in a turkey coma in the recliner.

And that means it’s TV time! We can put on the best movies and TV shows that Thanksgiving has to offer…which decidedly isn’t much. For such ripe material about family and autumn and conflict and booze, there is shockingly little material out there, especially compared to Christmas. Maybe it’s slaughter shame. Christmas is all magical, and Thanksgiving is all carnage.

Well, fret not; the ol’ cornucopia is still full of television and movie treats, and here are the best ones, my fellow slaughterers. Don’t be fooled by other lists that load up any crap movies or TV shows that make me want to wretch over the pumpkin pie. I promise you, below are only truly worthy watches. And for all of them, I am truly thankless. Because I’m an irreverent asshole.

Best Thanksgiving Movies

  1. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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    The Braidwood Inn, Del’s trunk, the beer cans exploding on the vibrating bed. The burned-up car, the frozen dog, the impossibly broken car seat, and the two pillows between which Del snuggles his hand.

    Side note: John Candy and Steven Martin perform brilliantly as 1980s male representations of what my marriage is like (I’m Neil Page, and my poor husband is Del Griffith). Rude, sweet, and just damn funny. 

  2. Home For the Holidays

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    A hidden gem of a dark comedy from 1995. Turkey grease, puffy coats, Robert Downey, Jr., and floor lamps. Anne Bancroft smoking. Charles Durning dancing. Aunt Glady’s Fruit Loops necklace and admiring her “horse in a uniform”. And Steve-fucking-Guttenberg.

  3. “This is America Charlie Brown”: Mayflower Voyagers

    CBMayflowerPilgrims Snoopy, Woodstock, and Charlie Brown. The simple, varnished version of Thanksgiving as taught to schoolchildren of yore. Blissfully adorable animation. A little bit of actual history. Charlie Brown yacking over the side of the boat. Linus rolling through a pumpkin patch at the new settlement.

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Remaking Groundhog Day

I cannot explain it. I have been obsessed lately with the idea that the movie Groundhog Day needs to be remade. With Bill Murray.

There, let’s get that first detail out of the way right now before too many of you roll your eyes about 80s and 90s classics being remade with peppy new soundtracks and overloaded jokes about texting a Twitter to make it au courant. I in no way advocate for a remake starring Mark Wahlberg or Melissa McCarthy. No, we need the man back. The funniest goddamn man on this planet: Bill Murray.

With that in mind, just consider all the ways in which we could elevate a cute, schlocky early-90s comedy into one of the greatest films of all time. The plot is already there–it’s a classic tale of magic, human nature, and redemption. We just need to strip away some of the varnish, the bouncy 90s soundtrack, and all of Andie MacDowell’s vests. And Andie MacDowell, who seriously is just a terrible actress.

People, I have a vision. A grand vision about how this could be brilliant. But there are rules. And none of these rules can be broken, or my adolescence will be retroactively ruined (more than it already was).

Rule #1: It Must Star Bill Murray

The excellent news is that the plot is not reliant at all on him being middle age. As of this posting, he is 66 years old, and the story will still work just perfectly. No reason he can’t have late-in-life new love, right?

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He is still pitch-perfect, devilishly handsome, and the only man who can pull of this role properly. I don’t even know why I need to lay out this argument.

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