My cousin Jim is the perfect foil to my cousin Glen. They grew up going to school together and are probably as close as Ray and I are. When they’re around, they remind me of old school comedy teams like Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Coestello. Jim is the straight man, and Glen is the one getting the two of them into shenanigans.
I don’t know how many times I recall the two of them hanging out together, Jim rolling his eyes at something hilarious Glen said. It was usually followed by something like “Oh my gosh, Glen.” Classic.
Jim and a couple friends were renting my grandmother’s house and I spent a lot of time there in my late 20s. More than a few times I wrangled them into appearing in little short films and videos. Jim worked nights, so he would often miss out on the fun. On one particular evening we were talking about the fact that he always seemed to be gone when we would make these amazing videos, so we decided to do one of our own. Up to this point, our “Cousins Productions” were slapstick comedy, but this particular evening was the classic “dark and stormy night” and we decided to try our hand at drama.
We were big fans of movies like The Breakfast Club where the main characters connected and had that moment where they poured out their hearts and bared their souls, so that’s what we went for. A classic mood piece.
We came up with this story about a guy whose car breaks down in the rain in the middle of nowhere and he finds an old barn to seek shelter. There, he meets a homeless man, and eventually they become friends.
Other than that the whole thing was ad libbed, and Jim and I spent an hour or so playing these two guys, fake pretending to cry and really stretching our acting chops. We were out in this old barn, sobbing, crying, yelling, really soap opera-acting it up. The final run time was around 15-minutes, pretty epic for our standards, and I don’t think anyone else ever watched it all the way through. I can’t say I blame them. It was basically just two guys talking without the added bonus of our words being written by someone like John Hughes. Glen, of course, would never watch it and referred to it as “the one where you guys cried” (which, in turn, would drive Jim nuts, because fake crying isn’t easy).
So somewhere out there (I don’t have a copy anymore) is a VHS tape with Jim and I acting like strangers, bearing our souls with fictional stories and, yes, lots of pretend crying. If you find it, you’re welcome.