This is a story that I’m hesitant to share. It has owned a special place in my heart for five years. A select few people know it. It’s one of those “you had to be there” stories. My brother, Andy, was there. My friend/brother, Tyson, was also there.
In 2013 we decided that starting deer camp on Friday before opening day wasn’t enough. If you want to stay up late, have a few drinks, and play some cards, it’s difficult to get up at 4:30 the next morning to sit in the woods for 11 hours. That year a few of us decided we’d make the trip across Wisconsin to deer camp on Thursday before hunting so we could have our fun night, then get to bed early on Friday so we’d be well rested for the hunt. Andy flew to Green Bay from Seattle on that Thursday afternoon. Tyson drove up from Grafton. We picked up Andy at the airport and immediately took our minivan west to enjoy a night of cribbage and scotch at the Blacksmith Shop.
Midway through our drive we decided to stop for dinner. Kwik Trips weren’t as abundant at that time, and fast food wasn’t going to cut it. We wanted a sit down meal. We chose the Thorpedo Restaurant in a small town called Thorp on Highway 29 in northcentral Wisconsin.
We ordered our food and a few things jumped out at us immediately. First, it was quiet. What does one expect on a cold November Thursday night? Second, the few people who were there were old. The next youngest person dining there after the three of us was born no later than 1940. A few other minor details I recall: They had some terrible country music playing quietly in the background. We were convinced that Andy could write and perform something at least equal to that music within minutes. Also, the waitress was easy on the eyes.
As we enjoyed that night’s special – I believe it was meat loaf and mashed potatoes – a heavier, older man walked in. He struggled to walk and had a cane in each hand. He was wearing an old, 80’s style black nylon jacket. It had orange trim, and in all-caps on the back it just said DEMONS in orange. All three of us immediately took interest in the jacket. Why DEMONS? Was this old man in a gang? What kind of gangs are there in Thorp, and what was his initiation? We had to know more. We also had to have that jacket.
After a few moments of thought, I said to Andy, “Just go take it from him. What is he gonna do?” We all laughed. Then we contemplated our next move. If we steal the old man’s jacket, who in that restaurant was equipped to stop us? We figured, at most, one person might try to stop us. I scoped the restaurant and spotted a pot of what I assumed to be hot coffee. I said, “If anyone steps to us I’ll throw hot coffee in their face.” As we laughed the attractive waitress came to ask us if we wanted pie for dessert. We declined and returned to the minivan.
Now the creative juices were flowing. This had the makings of an amazing short film. For the next several hours we planned in great detail. We were also disappointed to discover that the DEMONS jacket we yearned for was from Burlington High School, home of NFL great Tony Romo…NOT a northern Wisconsin gang. Damn.
After years of talk, I have finally taken the first step toward immortality. Tonight I present to you the first draft of the script for our soon-to-be-Oscar-winning film “Devil’s Pie”. It’s a cautionary tale about what can happen when a handful of people ignore societal norms and break bad. Click this link and enjoy my first script! I see it as a cross between Pulp Fiction and the video for “Thriller” only far superior and more influential.
There’s one other piece of information critical to this story. You should probably read this before clicking the link. A few years prior to the Thorpedo dinner Andy and I stopped at the same exit on our way home from deer camp. Andy needed a bathroom and the Thorp BP was the first one we saw. As I perused the snack selection Andy came out of the bathroom in an unusual hurry. He blew past me and said, “Let’s go.” I remarked about how I wanted something to eat and he said, “We’ll get it somewhere else. Let’s get out of here.” As we sped away from the gas station Andy explained that he had clogged the toilet and it was currently spilling on to the floor. We imagine he’s been wanted in that town ever since.
So, that’s the story. As long as we get the rights to use the music, I think this script is ready. Let’s cast this thing and start shooting!