Bag of Boners Part One: Let’s Get Clickety-Clacking

Jan 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Columns, Eileen: This is Your Brain On...

Bag of Bones is a glorious hodgepodge of scene chewing, nonsensical dialogue and a plot that was sunk into a cavern full of foot cheese. It’s like A&E needed an idea, snorted some paint and stumbled into its hand carved bookcase, knocking Stephen King’s award-winning Bag of Bones right onto its jeweled talons (all television networks are birdmen from space).

Our story begins with a helicopter shot of dangerous and evil Maine foliage interspersed with scenes of drowning little girls, a funeral, a floating cell phone and a bunch of white boys running around. Is this a new Insane Clown Posse music video?

No! It’s Bag of Bones, the horror/mystery thriller of our time! Or, our something. It also means that Pierce Brosnan plays Mike Noonan and he is going to ACT your PANTS OFF. Or at least your mother’s pants. She thinks he’s dreamy.

Hey there, Eileen's mom.

Anyways, Pierce Noonan wakes up his wife Jo (Annabeth Gish) to let her know he has finished his book. He is wearing freshly pressed khakis with a matching freshly showered face. I call bullshit. A writer who has just finished his/her book staggers from the dark quagmire of trashed coffee cups and dried carcasses of lean cuisine boxes to emerge smelling like the unwashed rebels of the French revolution (just as elated, and just as bloody).

But whatever! Annabeth Jo finishes up the last lines of Pierce Noonan’s novel as he dictates something about “chains around her neck” and he gets all frisky up in her space. I love it when a guy makes me type for him and whispers stuff about strangulation. Edmund Kemper me all night long!

Ladies, he's single!

Whatever, they bang off camera I guess. Then it’s book signing time! Jo is totally bored and excuses herself and says she is going to get some lunch. Instead, she heads across the street and finds a pregnancy test right next to the household cleaners. Not a good sign.

Jo decides not to pick up floor wax to give her vagina that all important shine. She’ll buy that at Walgreens.

She runs across the street and BAM, hit by a car and dead. She what happens when you lie to your husband?

Pierce is super sad, but also suspicious because Jo had that pregnancy test in her bag. How could she be pregnant, he’s 150 years old! I mean: “I have  low-sperm count.”—Pierce Noonan

There’s a funeral AND JASON PRIESTLEY. He is so excited to be here, you guys! He is going to give his best Brendan Walsh as a slightly sleazy book agent impression ever! “Mike, your book is selling like hot cakes! It’s your best ever! Is it too skeezy for me talking about book sales at your wife’s funeral? Yes! But she would have wanted it that way because something something money success!”

Would you trust this man with your book?

Pierce joins his brother Sid for a drink and laments on his dead wife and how the hell could she be pregnant because the doctor said Pierce had already gone through man-o-pause. But if they had a girl they would have named her Kya. Did you hear that? Kya. Kya. KYA.

Pierce: Jo must have been cheating, Sid! But what about that lake house in our family you sold your share of to me? Yes, there are going to be a lot of abrupt changes of subject throughout this mini-series, Sid, so get used to it.

Sid: I’m totally used to it so I’m going to switch back to talking about Jo and how she was super faithful to you and you should trust me and not think your wife was a big whore.

Pierce: I just hope she wasn’t too lonely out there on Dark Score Lake.

Sid: What? Okay now I’m confused. Your wife was going to the lake house that I sold my share of to you?

Pierce: Yes. I hope she wasn’t lonely up there and needed someone up there to keep her company in that dump we inherited from our grandfather that I only visited once or twice but she went to suspiciously a lot of the time.

Sid: Why was she always at your lake house alone? Weren’t you happily married and aren’t you a very rich author who can come and go as he pleases? Also isn’t it weird how you have this lofty British Irish accent and I sound like I’m from New Haven?

Pierce has a few nightmares, like finding Jo under his bed, or discovering a coffin in the woods with a ringing phone. How Twin Peaks! He breaks some shit and wakes up. He is very depressed and can’t finish his book tour and breaks some more shit and goes home and stares at screen-savers of his dead wife.

He gets a call from PRIESTLEY who informs him that the spring fiction list is getting a little full: Grisham and Patterson are releasing books too! What?! This is terrible news! We all know the insatiable hunger people have for thrillers and books with snakes stuck up women’s vaginas.

“Pierce,” Priestley says, while caressing his cover of Teen Beat’s 1991 “Adult Men Playing Teenagers in Hit 90s Shows” “some writers stockpile like squirrels, what do you call those books that you write when you were young and hungry and your sperm count was high?”

“Trunk novels,” Pierce replies.

He opens a cabinet and pulls out a stack of aged papers wrapped with rubber bands called “RED SHIRT MAN — FIRST DRAFT.” Instead of saying “Hey I HAVE one of those!” he complains about writing a novel in three months. But…you have the first draft…and you have three months…and writing is your full time job…

“Well you get clickety-clacking!” Brendan Walsh says.

Pierce has another dream in which he’s wearing a jean shirt/jeans combo (lookin’ fly) and is in front of his sound-stage lakehouse at Dark Score. A little girl runs out wearing a red swimsuit and a Red Sox cap (REPRESENT!), a woman screams and the windows explode. He wakes up and gets a call from the lakehouse caretaker and finds out the windows have exploded in REAL LIFE. This happened to me once. I had a dream I got a flat tire and the next morning I got arrested! Dreams reveal so much.

Pierce decides the nightmare is the hint he needs to go stay at the lakehouse. Because the best idea for an alcoholic man with writer’s block who is dealing with his wife’s tragic death should certainly be to go stay at a remote cabin in the woods that he just had a nightmare about! Very smart! Bestselling author!

Pierce arrive at the town of Dark Score, which looks like this:

Behold:

The Town of No One Cares

Dark Score is sparsely populated by three or four actors outsourced from the local community college acting troupe. Oh well, not suspicious at all! Pierce goes to Dark Scorecard Lake and it’s very creepy and his handyman is also creepy and wearing flannel and tells Pierce he looks like his granddad, Harold. Harold, his granddad. It’s important because it’s repeated. Oh and I mean Pierce’s granddad, not the handyman’s granddad. Though, they are in Maine, so it’s entirely possible.

Pierce and the handyman go inside and the house décor is Very Pier 1 Plus a Moosehead Wearing a Bell. They talk about the moosehead with a bell hanging over the fireplace and about how when he and Jo banged on the couch she said they were “ringing his bell” and he and the handyman laugh and are gross. Soon Pierce is alone and cries over a small guitar.

Yup.

The next few scenes involve Pierce feeling up the following inanimate objects:

• His wife’s dress that a possible adulterer would wear
• A painting
• His mousepad
• A tree shaped like a woman

He goes home and holy crap, the alphabet magnets on the fridge are moving and say “Hello Mike!” Why do two grown adults have kid alphabet magnets? Are there KIDS in the house? Oh God, I’m scared!

Pierce soon realizes that his wife’s ghost is with him in the house. Yay, not kids!! He’s drunkenly excited that his wife’s ghost is trapped with him on earth. No “until death do us part” for you, Jo! But that realization is quickly followed by a ghostly female screeching so loudly she breaks Pierce’s favorite drunk glass. “We’re not alone, are we Jo?” Pierce wonders.

Of course not, Pierce, remember the Moosehead you two fucked under?

The housekeeper shows up. She’s all “Sorry to bother you Mr. Noonan, gosh shucks don’t you know….I’m Brenda, your housekeeper! I’m here to clean the place up though it’s pretty much spotless; actually I’m gonna exit this scene and provide much needed back-story in Part Two. Bye!”

Brenda heads back to the TV lot break room to chill with the rest of the acting troupe. Pierce goes a drivin’ and sees the little girl from his dream,  walking down the middle of the road. He saves her from an oncoming car and then meets her mother Mattie. Mattie is very peppy, it’s like the head captain of the pep rally and she murdered that head captain and drank all of her blood.

Mattie tells Pierce her daughter’s name and Pierce thinks she says “Kya.” No, silly, it’s “KYRA,” there’s an “r” in there that stands for “this is a symbol” (I’m bad at spelling).

Pierce goes to Buddy Jellison’s and orders a village burger. How quaint! So is the country music playing on the radio. What is not quaint is some old dude who chats Pierce up and tells him that Mattie can be a “a dear—in the right position.” What? First the moose sex and now the deer joke. Oh Maine, the great state of bestiality.

Then the old guy leaves and Buddy is like “You’d do well to keep your distance from Mattie.” Are these people subscribing to some sort of “Town Skanks 411” new forum?

Don’t Google that.

Whatever, who cares about these weirdos, unless they know about Peirce’s wife cheating on him! “Why are you so interested in who your wife was seeing?” “I don’t know—I just wanted to know what her life was like when I couldn’t make it up here for reasons not explained and really I want to know if she was banging anybody because I’m 150 years old and there is no way I could have gotten her pregnant.”

Buddy is not buying this:

Say what?

And then Buddy does the patented “Let me change the subject without a smooth transition.” He rambles on about Mattie Devore (WHORE) and how she’s trouble but the waitress pipes in that Mattie isn’t trouble she’s IN trouble—with the wrong crowd. Seriously, how does this ever happen that you go to a restaurant and you order something at the restaurant and some old dude at the restaurant mentions a woman you just met and you don’t even ask how the hell he saw you meet the woman because it was around the corner from the restaurant and his view was blocked by a window shade in that restaurant and the owner of the restaurant doesn’t think it’s weird either and he just goes on and on about it and the waitress adds in her opinion and you just want to know if your wife is banging another dude, okay?! OKAY?! Now where is my quaint-ass village burger?!

We learn Mattie is the daughter in law of Max Devore, a multi-millionaire who is suing for custody for KyRA.

Here he is with his assistant for his daily evil window stare:

Very normal behavior.

Pierce returns to his quiet haunted house and grabs a drink. You know what goes well together? Alcoholism and ghosts. He gets a call from Max. Pierce doesn’t seem to be concerned that a man who was staring at him from a window has his phone number. He’s all like “Oh hai, what’s up, yeah I met your daughter-in-law that everyone thinks is trouble. Hey, do you happen to know if my wife was cheating on me?”

The conversation takes a turn for the angry, and Pierce hangs up the phone and Max laughs because he’s evil. Pierce hears a song from his basement and goes downstairs. There’s an old timey record player playing music and an album next to it by a singer named Sara Tidwell. Pierce recognizes the picture as the same portrait his wife was painting.

Suddenly he’s dreaming he’s at a carnival and a lady is on stage singing! It’s Sara Tidwell and she is bringing down the house in her best frock from Dress Barn’s “This is the Past” collection. Everyone is really into the show, like at a Belinda Carlisle concert. Some young guys look like they are into it in a more sexual sense. Thank God for well placed hay bales. Then Pierce has another dream that involves him making out with Sara Tidwell, but she turns into a corpse! Then then his dead wife is next to him and they make out, and she’s a corpse! Then then then he wakes up with Mattie in his bedroom and they make out but she has a gaping wound in her head! Excellent, a little variety.

Pierce wakes up and realizes there is no necrophilia option so he must be awake for real this time. He goes to KyRA’s child custody hearing and is questioned about finding KyRA in the middle of the road. Max, played by an American Stephen Hawking, shows up with Cruella de Vil’s Cousin Beatrice. After the meeting, Mattie reminisces to Pierce about seeing Jo and a man having dinner once and Pierce is all like “DID YOU SEE HER BANGING SOME OTHER DUDE?”

Pierce goes home and there’s a montage of him writing. Zzzzzzz. Then there’s the sound of bathtub running and he goes in and KyRA’s corpse grabs him and screams “HELP!! I’M DROWNING!!! HELP I’M DROWNING!”

Pierce leans in and whispers, “Hey, do you know if my wife was cheating on me?”

Kidding! I wish he did though.

Questions I have:

  • How does Pierce get his hair to look so full and summertime fresh? I bet it smells like lemons.
  • If Pierce thought going to Dark Score Lake House would cure his depression over his wife’s death, does that mean I should sleep over at an abandoned lunatic asylum to cure my eczema?
  • Is feeling up trees a federal offense? It should be.

Next Month: Bag of Boners Part Two: Pierce Breaks More Shit

———-

Ugh, James Patterson.

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