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unknowndate saveddraftblogpost video

[updated 08/15/21]

[Note: This transcript is based on footage that appears to come from Tyler’s phone with some additional edits. There is no date assigned to this draft blog post. Based on context, it was likely recorded on September 2nd, 2019. I am not able verify the date. Personal visual details are omitted for the sake of anonymity. Additional tonal details are included to compensate.]

(START OF FOOTAGE. Indistinct chatter. FINN’s face and shoulder in view, facing the camera, setting down the camera. He exits camera right, revealing an empty plastic plate on top of a cooler of drinks at center, surrounded by a semicircle of young men. Left to right: SAM, BRANDON, TYLER, an empty chair. The lid of the cooler is open, partially obscuring BRANDON and almost entirely obscuring TYLER.)

(FINN enters camera right and sits. BRANDON opens up a box of crackers. FINN nudges TYLER, points to BRANDON.)

FINN: Just don’t let him make potato salad.
BRANDON: (sighing at the accusation) “That rat was living behind the stove before I even got here.”
FINN: (feigning) Uh, excuse you. The lemon tree out there gave me fewer scrapes, and trees don’t have rabies.
BRANDON: (tearing at a bag of marshmallows) Neither did you. We had a good meal that night.
FINN: You didn’t warn me about the rat.
BRANDON: (playing, pretending indignance): Like you need warnings about anything.
FINN: I still think it was the vinegar.
BRANDON: Why is this still coming back at me? We got that stain out.
(SAM and TYLER glance at each other in familiarity.)
TYLER: Tell us all about it.

(An identical view. The camera has not moved.)

(SAM fidgets and sighs. The conversation may have gone off-topic.)
SAM: (interrupting the conversation) Really, I mean it. Who are you guys?
(FINN grabs a s’more and takes a bite.)
BRANDON: (grins) Can I tell you a story?
(Sam groans. Brandon grins wider.)
[Note: The original story Brandon tells is an information hazard. A modified version is below.]
BRANDON: There are two rat traps behind the couch, next to each other. If a rat falls into one of the traps, and later a second rat falls into the second trap, which of them is cursed? The first rat, who knows nothing until he’s trapped and can’t warn the second rat? Or the second rat, who sees the first rat in the trap and still gets too close?
(A beat.)
BRANDON: (gently spreading his hands and forearms, a “ta-da” demonstration) They’re both cursed. The [urban hunting animal] that eats them doesn’t care how his meal gets trapped, just as long as the meal stays put.

(An identical view. The camera has not moved. SAM is hunched forward, telling a story, holding a s’more. BRANDON and FINN are leaned back. TYLER is not visible.)

SAM: (excited) I’m trick-or-treating, maybe ten years old. Love to write. Love making up my own original characters. So I have a character in mind, and get the costume ready…
FINN: (breathless and in awe, the same way a person is in awe at a car accident in the lane next to them): Wow…
SAM: (curtly nodding with emphasis on the words): And I’m disappointed that nobody knows what I’m dressed up as.
(A chorus of sympathy groans.)
SAM: So I’m happy this isn’t pity chocolate.
(SAM takes a bite of the s’more. BRANDON’s chest rises, preparing to speak.)
BRANDON: Holy fuck, that’s embarrassing. But is it a handmade newspaper on printer paper you sell like a lemonade stand, but it’s during a heat wave?
TYLER: (holding in a laugh) Anything good in that paper?
BRANDON: Sure. There was… (A beat, reconsidering.) You know, I actually don’t remember, so I think we’ll just move on.
(A beat. FINN collects his thoughts, then bursts into laughter. Everyone else joins in.]
FINN: (through the laughter) I’m sorry. I need a minute.

(The camera has revolved around the cooler counter-clockwise relative to its previous position. TYLER and FINN are in view. BRANDON and SAM are obscured camera left.)

FINN: (referring to BRANDON) I didn’t realize this at first, but we had met before you moved in.
BRANDON: You told me this story already.
FINN: I did. But we’re ahead of the game, remember?
BRANDON: The football game.
FINN: I was up until three that morning trying to get homework done.
SAM: This was in high school?
FINN: Yeah. I was so tired. I took off my sweatshirt and laid down on the bleachers and took a nap.
TYLER: Wasn’t everyone yelling and cheering?
FINN: Yep. You think I cared?
(BRANDON rolls his eyes.)
BRANDON: The only way you woke up was when the team was shaking the chain-link fence because we won.
FINN: And I barely woke up to that.
FINN: (turning to TYLER) Your turn.
TYLER: Oh. No thanks.
BRANDON: (clears his throat) You know how well that works.
[Tyler takes a deep breath.]
TYLER: For the longest time, I didn’t think I had ever been to this place. But I knew when I went out to the bridge.
[SAM says nothing. His posture tenses.]
TYLER: It was a field trip. Fourth grade? Fifth grade? Not sure. We were coming from Phoenix. We did this “conservation project”, which I’m pretty sure was just a hike and planting some seeds from a greenhouse. But we went out to the bank of the river, under the bridge. We went fishing. I remember because I didn’t know how to cast the line and got a hook in my pinky. But once I got bandaged up, I still really wanted to catch a fish. Everyone else had their turn already, so I was the hold-up. But I cast the line and waited.
[Silence. Waiting.]
TYLER, cont.: I waited and waited and then there was a tug on the line. My heart started racing, which probably didn’t help the injury on my finger. I reeled the line back and pulled on the fishing pole as hard as I could. Looking up, caught by its lip, a herring. Small fish. Beautiful red color.
[TYLER can no longer hold back a wide grin. The room fills with a louder chorus of exasperated groans.]
TYLER: You’re right. It was a trout.
SAM: (whispering to TYLER) “You won’t put this up anywhere, will you?”
[End of video.]

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