Almost Plausible

Ep. 11

Jelly Beans

12 April 2022

Runtime: 00:50:05

Easter is a few days away, so to celebrate we're putting our own spin on a classic English fairy tale. It's a tale of magical candy, giants, talking mice, and the return of the reluctantly benevolent government. You might say we have our heads in the clouds, but give it a listen and remember what the dormouse said!

References

Transcript

[Intro music begins]

[Emily]
You find out it’s made of people.

[Thomas]
The giant did want to grind your bones and bake his bread.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
That’s all adds up.

[Emily]
That was the quickest episode we’ve ever had.

[Shep]
And done!

[Thomas]
Yeah, I guess. Let’s pick another one to do.

[Intro music]

[Thomas]
Hey there, story fans. Welcome to Almost Plausible, the podcast where we take ordinary ideas and turn them into stories. With Easter just around the corner, we’re all excited to finally have an excuse to eat jelly beans again. And that got us thinking. Could we come up with a movie about jelly beans? My name is Thomas J. Brown, and on this week’s Easter episode, I’ll be egging on my co-hosts, Emily-

[Emily]
Hey, guys.

[Thomas]
And F. Paul Shepherd.

[Shep]
And I don’t need an excuse to eat jelly beans.

[Thomas]
Now on this show, we don’t just put all our eggs in one basket. We start with a pitch session to hear everyone’s story ideas before choosing one to work on. So let’s hop to it.

[Shep]
Ugh, he keeps going.

[Thomas]
I’ll spill the beans first.

[Shep]
(cries of pain)

[Emily]
They’re so good.

[Thomas]
So most people hate black jelly beans.

[Shep]
That’s racist.

[Thomas]
So maybe something with that. Maybe the black ones give you a special power. So only, like, 10% of people in the world get that power. Maybe like a one-time batch.

[Shep]
So the Finns take over the world.

[Thomas]
Yeah, exactly.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
We all knew it was coming.

[Thomas]
Yeah. After what they did in World War II with Russia, clearly they were a force to be reckoned with.

[Emily]
Makes sense.

[Thomas]
One of my other ideas, where do jelly beans even come from? And why are they associated with the Easter Bunny? Does the Easter Bunny poop them out or something? Or maybe the Easter Bunny is in cahoots with the Tooth Fairy, and jelly beans are teeth that have been converted? The green ones are people.

[Shep]
So the Easter Bunny pooping jelly beans was in the movie Hop.

[Thomas]
I haven’t seen that.

[Shep]
Because the super sweet candy rots your teeth so that they fall out. And then the Tooth Fairy takes them up and then converts them to jelly beans somehow, and then they go back- It’s the circle of life.

[Emily]
I like that.

[Thomas]
And step three profit.

[Shep]
Yeah, well, that’s why the Tooth Fairy’s paying for them. They have value. This all adds up.

[Emily]
Yeah, it makes sense. And that’s why she pays so little.

[Thomas]
So jelly beans always come in like a bag, or if you get those ones from Costco, like a giant seven-pound tub or whatever. So that got me thinking about the idea of just one jelly bean. So maybe something like that Wu-Tang album, it’s just, one single special jelly bean is being made, and it’s going to be sold for an absurd amount of money. It comes on like a little stand inside of a fancy box.

[Shep]
So it’s a small jelly bean?

[Thomas]
It’s like a normal size jelly bean.

[Shep]
Oh, I was picturing like, the bean in Chicago.

[Emily]
The big silver bean.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
The whole point is the exclusivity of it. One person gets to have this one jelly bean.

[Emily]
How do you convert that to an NFT?

[Thomas]
The last of my good ideas. I have a ton of other ideas, but the last of my good ideas. So it’s jelly beans that when you eat them, they trigger vivid memories or perhaps literally transport you somewhere.

[Emily]
I like, if they transport you. But I do not like the idea that they trigger vivid memories. Let’s not go down certain memory holes.

[Shep]
I mean, flavor can trigger memories, which we talked about in our episode on Chicken Noodle Soup, which you can find where good podcasts are-

[Thomas]
Well, they have to carry ours, so maybe not where good podcasts are.

[Emily]
Where podcasts exist.

[Shep]
Yes.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Jelly beans that transport you somewhere could be interesting. Do the different flavors go to different places? Do you have to eat a different jelly bean to go back home? And how does that one taste?

[Thomas]
Maybe it’s more like sliders where you never know where you’re going to end up next. You just got to keep eating those jelly beans until you get home.

[Shep]
Then, no thanks. I know how that show ended, so, hard pass.

[Emily]
I surprisingly do not know how that show ended.

[Shep]
They didn’t get home.

[Emily]
Neither did he in Quantum Leap.

[Shep]
Yup.

[Thomas]
I’ll just kind of rattle off some of the other ideas real quick. Something like a Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans except in a non-magical world. And the company prides themselves in releasing new flavors all the time. They have like thousands or maybe millions of flavors out there. But then they run out of ideas for flavors. A country fair with a giant jar of jelly beans. It’s one of those guessing games. Who wins? Are the people running the contest corrupt? Is it like a kid heist film to steal the jelly beans?

[Shep]
It’s not just a jar, it’s a Scrooge McDuck-style vault.

[Thomas]
Right. Well, so my next idea is a literal hill of beans. Maybe the Easter Bunny steals the jelly beans from little Doozer-like creatures and that’s how he gets them.

[Emily]
I don’t want to make the Easter Bunny mean. That would make him evil and exploitive of the proletariat.

[Thomas]
That’s pretty much it. I don’t know.

[Emily]
Well, you have more ideas than I came up with this week. This was a struggle for sure. I’ve got Jack and the Beanstalk, but with jelly beans. That’s it.

[Shep]
I like it.

[Thomas]
Yeah, I like that, too.

[Shep]
So when he plants the jelly beans, the magical jelly beans is it a jelly beanstalk that grows up? And when he climbs it up, is it a jelly giant? Is it a candy kingdom that he goes to?

[Thomas]
Maybe it’s not a jelly beanstalk. Maybe it’s like a nerds rope or like red vines or something. Red vines. That makes the most sense.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
I like that.

[Thomas]
He goes to Candy Land. This is the Candy Land movie.

[Emily]
The Candy Land movie.

[Shep]
Let’s knock two of these out.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
Yup, that’s what I got, guys.

[Thomas]
See, Emily, I had breadth, but you had depth.

[Emily]
There you go.

[Shep]
I had a very similar one where it was a jelly bean farm where they plant jelly beans and grow jelly bean pods for harvest. I don’t have much more than that, except I grew up on a farm. So it’s like where my mind goes.

[Thomas]
Is that what the elves are doing during the year? They, opening the pods and getting the jelly beans out.

[Shep]
The elves?

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
That’s how they spend their summer months.

[Shep]
When they’re not working on Christmas stuff. So I guess all the holiday mascots that have elves as servants, is that..?

[Thomas]
They’re all slave drivers. I mean, they can’t pay the elves and buy all the supplies. Come on.

[Emily]
Maybe there are just different elves. Maybe it’s a case of where one of Santa’s elves decides to go and check out the jelly bean farm.

[Thomas]
It’s Fred Claus and he sets up a jelly bean farm.

[Emily]
Yeah, something like that.

[Shep]
Or it’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Except it’s an elf who’s discovering Easter.

[Emily]
They have a holiday exchange program where they trade elves for a semester.

[Shep]
The point is that they all have elves.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
Yes. The whole point is they all have elves.

[Shep]
My other idea was that kids get a bag of magic beans, which I guess is kind of like Jack and the Beanstalk. But the beans are jelly beans. Except each flavor gives you a different superpower temporarily. Like, if you guys remember the meme that went around for a while where it’s like a bunch of different colored pills and each one gives you- this one makes you super smart and this one makes you super strong and whatever. So it’d be like that. Except they’re just temporary powers. And what if there are different powers for different, for example, different greens. There’s several greens. Here’s lime and here’s green apple and here’s sour watermelon or whatever. And they give you a different power. So you’re trying to get a specific power, but you can’t. I though maybe one of the kids could be colorblind. You need the power of flight. But you don’t have just grab a handful of beans.

[Emily]
Hope for the best.

[Shep]
You’re flying, but you’re also on fire. I guess that’s the human torch. That’s it for me.

[Thomas]
Okay, what do we like the best?

[Emily]
Do we like the best?

[Thomas]
I mean, I like the Jack and the Beanstalk one that sounds interesting.

[Emily]
I’m up for exploring the Jack and the Beanstalk. I like the kids, each bean is a different temporary power.

[Shep]
You want to combine these.

[Emily]
We could totally combine those.

[Thomas]
So it’s a Jack and the Beanstalk. And when he gets up there, that’s where all the candy elves are working.

[Shep]
Got to keep those elves enslaved. That’s the important propaganda.

[Thomas]
And it’s a heist film. A kid heist film. There we go. See? Merging all our ideas together again.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah, it’s a heist because Jack and the Beanstalk is kind of like a heist.

[Emily]
Yeah, it is a heist.

[Shep]
So what does the giant have that the kids need?

[Thomas]
A giant jelly bean. Bringing back that idea that you there’s one giant jelly bean to feed the whole town.

[Shep]
And it has a new unique flavor.

[Thomas]
We can do this.

[Emily]
You find out it’s made of people.

[Thomas]
The giant did want to grind your bones and bake his bread.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
That’s all adds up.

[Emily]
That was the quickest episode we’ve ever had.

[Shep]
And done!

[Thomas]
Yeah, I guess. Let’s pick another one to do.

[Shep]
Okay, so kid Jack gets a bag of magic beans. Does he trade the cow? Does it start with normal Jack and the Beanstalk or is it modern kids?

[Emily]
I think modern kids would be-

[Thomas]
Okay, so clearly the kid doesn’t get to have candy or sugar like his parents are anti sugar. Or he only gets it on super special occasions.

[Shep]
Oh, they’re poor. They can’t afford candy.

[Thomas]
Yeah. There you go.

[Shep]
They can barely afford potatoes. So, yeah, he trades his bike for a bag of magic beans that he thinks will bring his family fortune.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
And it turns out to just be jelly beans.

[Shep]
Turns out to be jelly beans.

[Emily]
And he’s like, “Well, I got jelly beans. I’m going to eat them.” And his parents are like, “No!” And toss them out the window.

[Thomas]
So where does he live? Because he can’t live in the city. Because then everyone’s going to be climbing the beanstalk. Right?

[Shep]
Well, how do you get other kids involved if they don’t all live near each other?

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
They can. It can be just like a rural community.

[Emily]
Small town America.

[Shep]
Okay. Small town. They got a house by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of the small town.

[Emily]
They are the bad part of the town.

[Thomas]
And he’s like the outcast type of kid. He doesn’t have close friends.

[Emily]
Do kids still have paper routes? Because that could be like, he needs the bike for his paper route because he helps contribute to the household income.

[Thomas]
It’s a good idea.

[Shep]
Well, then why would he trade the bike for beans?

[Emily]
Because the beans are going to bring fortune to his family, and then he’s not going to have to have the stupid paper route and get up early every morning.

[Thomas]
It’s like the beginning of Bicycle Thieves where they’re trading their good linens and things like that to get the bicycle so that he can get the job and earn money for the family. So same sort of thing. Like, yeah, okay, the bicycle is an important thing to him, but these beans will solve those problems. Once they’re rich, he’ll buy a new bike. It’s an investment.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah, he’s got a crappy bike. That’s why the other kids were teasing him, because his family is poor, even poorer than they are. They’re all poor, but he’s the poorest. They’re the ones that have the one house on the other side of the railroad tracks. So he already doesn’t like the bike. He doesn’t like the bike. He doesn’t like having a paper route. If he could trade it, this thing that he doesn’t like that he gets teased over-

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
For possibly a way out of this, the family’s situation. I could see that.

[Thomas]
Yeah. That’s totally believable.

[Shep]
Yeah. So normal Jack and the Beanstalk situation, he gets it. They are jelly beans. Does he try the jelly beans? Do they have powers? Does he eat one? And then-

[Thomas]
No, I don’t think they have powers other than like, it grows this thing. But I think, yeah, he brings them home. He’s like, “They’re magic beans!” And his parents just like, “What the fuck are you talking about?” They’re like, “Oh, they’re just jelly beans, see?” And he eats one. He’s like, “Oh, they are just jelly beans.” And he’s disappointed.

[Shep]
No, I think they have to be magic and that they do give powers. And so he eats one and he can run real fast or something. He’s like, “Oh, now you don’t even need the bike. If I still have the paper route, I could just take this.” And so he’s excited. He’s all hyper. He goes home, he tells his mom about them. She takes them away from him. She doesn’t eat one. For him the power has worn off.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
And he’s trying to convince her that they are magic. He really believes they’re magic. She just takes them and throws them out the window. So when he goes out to get them because they’re magic, they’re not there anymore. They’ve already sunk into the ground.

[Emily]
Okay.

[Thomas]
Yeah. And I think that helps add to the plausibility of him giving up his bike. He gets a demonstration that they genuinely are magic. He’s like, “Oh my gosh, this isn’t a scam. This is the real deal.”

[Shep]
Oh, he’s got to go and lord it over the other kids.

[Thomas]
Oh yeah.

[Shep]
Before he goes home, he goes to the other kids and goes, “Look what I got.” And is really rubbing in their faces and using powers and then takes off and they can’t do anything about it. This is to set up later-

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
…when he goes up the beanstalk and doesn’t come back. And so the other kids go up after him because they kind of want more jelly beans. They kind of are jealous. They go from feeling superior to Jack’s family to being jealous of Jack’s family.

[Emily]
So maybe they’re coming over after he goes up.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
They’re coming over to get him.

[Shep]
It’s got to go up in the middle of the night.

[Emily and Thomas]
Yeah, of course.

[Shep]
He stayed up because he knew that it was magic. And he doesn’t know what’s going to happen because for him, it was a bag of jelly beans, a bag of powers that he could use. But instead, this red vine grows up out of his backyard, or out of the empty lot next door, and goes up into the sky. So he immediately climbs it in the middle of the night when everyone’s sleeping.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
And then he’s gone. He’s gone. And now there’s a big giant red vine growing into the sky.

[Emily]
What do the parents think of it? Like the kids come. I imagine the kids are coming because they’re going to steal the jelly beans. They’re like, “We’re bigger and meaner than Jack. We could beat the crap out of them and take those jelly beans.” And then they get there and they’re like, “Oh, shit, what’s this?” And they climb it.

[Thomas]
I think everybody in the town would be, “Oh shit. What’s this?” Because everybody in the town will see this giant red spire going up into the sky.

[Emily]
But the kids already know there’s magic. So they’re all like, “We’re going,” and the grownups are all, “What the fuck? We should be afraid.”

[Thomas]
Oh, I wonder if they don’t climb it because they think that there’s a candy kingdom on the other side. Jack starts climbing it because the kids are going to beat him up. He climbs it to escape them, and they climb it to chase him. And then once they all get up there, they’re like, let’s all work together to steal all this candy.

[Shep]
So in my mind, I was picturing that he would have been stuck up there. The giant would have captured him. He’d be in a cage somewhere.

[Thomas]
How do people know he’s up there if he does it in the middle of the night when no one else is around?

[Shep]
Well, I don’t know if the kids went up there to get him. They went up there because it’s magic.

[Emily]
That’s what I was thinking. That’s what, the kids show up at the house to get him. He’s not there. But there’s this big red stalk and they’re like, “Hey, let’s climb up it because those are more magic.”

[Shep]
So them rescuing him in the end and becoming friends or whatever, that’s not their intention.

[Emily]
Yeah. They’re strictly in it for selfish reasons to get powers from magic candy.

[Thomas]
Does Jack kind of get mad at his mom for throwing them out the window? And he, like, storms out to the barn or something like that? We’ve already talked about how sleeping in a barn sucks. So maybe he probably wasn’t doing that.

[Shep]
I could imagine him being mad at his mom, though. They’re both mad at each other.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
Because from the mom’s perspective, they can’t afford another bike. And he gave their one bike away. And from his perspective, his mom threw away the thing that was going to get them out of their poverty.

[Thomas]
I’m just trying to think, like, how to reasonably get people to climb the stalk if every once in a while, like, a couple of jelly beans fall down, then people would go, “Oh, there are jelly beans up there.” All the kids know they’re magic jelly beans. All the kids want the magic jelly beans. So Jack would go up there to get more beans to show his mom.

[Shep]
Okay, so there are pods, bean pods growing out of the red vine?

[Thomas]
Or something. I don’t know.

[Emily]
Yeah. I was thinking more fairy tale logic where it was just kids are dumb and curious and will just go because they don’t have the forethought to make decisions, to not go.

[Shep]
Oh, they’re not climbing up into the clouds because that would be bonkers. No rational kid would do that. But there are little jelly bean pods growing out of the red vine, and they know that the jellybeans have power. So they don’t care about Jack or anything. And maybe no one even knows that Jack is missing yet. But they climb up to get the pods. They’re not intending to climb up very high. While they’re on the vine, the vine is pulled out of the ground and pulled into the sky. The giant is harvesting that vine, basically.

[Emily]
Yeah. Because it’s a weed in his garden, essentially. So he’s just yanking it. And that takes care of the parents and adults not being able to access them or go up there or even knowing.

[Shep]
Yeah. Now the kids have to work together to get home, and it’s not as simple as just climbing down the vine.

[Emily]
That is good problem solving.

[Thomas]
Okay, so we got everybody, all the kids up in the clouds.

[Shep]
How many kids are there?

[Thomas]
Are there like four bullies, maybe three or four bullies? And Jack.

[Emily]
Yes. Five is always a good number.

[Shep]
They’re not really bullies.

[Thomas]
Well, I mean-

[Shep]
They pick on Jack, but they’re not-

[Thomas]
That’s what I mean, like bullies to our main character.

[Shep]
Is he the main character? If he is, then okay. When the giant pulls the red vine up, he’s got to catch one of the kids.

[Emily and Thomas]
Yes.

[Shep]
And talk about, he’s going to bake that kid into his bread, and he takes them and puts him in the same cage that Jack is in. So Jack is now back in the movie because he’s with the head bully, the biggest kid that picked on him the most. And the other kids that are just along for the ride basically are also stuck up there. But the giant hasn’t noticed them yet.

[Emily]
Okay, that works. And they’re in a place of fear and confusion as far as “We can’t go down that way is gone. The giant took Steve and Jack.”

[Shep]
It’s always Steve.

[Emily]
Yeah, it’s always Steve.

[Shep]
But see, Steve is like the leader. So they think “If we get to Steve, he’ll have an idea. So we need to go get Steve and figure out how to get home.”

[Thomas]
So the information that they have is there’s no way down. Jack doesn’t know that. And maybe Steve hasn’t really realized that yet. So they have important information.

[Emily]
Those three know they’re stuck.

[Thomas]
Right. And Jack and Steve just know they need to get out of there.

[Emily]
Yeah. Jack has no clue what’s happening. I think the giant plucked Jack off of the vine before pulling it up, like an aphid, almost. And like, “Oh, yeah. You’ll be good in my bread.”

[Shep]
Is that what people say to aphids?

[Emily]
Yes.

[Shep]
“Mm, protein.”

[Emily]
“Aphid bread. Mm mm good.”

[Thomas]
Is it a candy kingdom or is it just a normal giant world?

[Emily]
Candy kingdom.

[Shep]
It’s gotta be a candy kingdom. Then you get I mean, think of the sponsorship opportunities there.

[Thomas]
He’s not making bread. He’s making peanut brittle. And so he’s going to make some people brittle.

[Emily]
Yes!

[Shep]
This is where your puns start to pay off.

[Thomas]
See, you mock me.

[Shep]
Not if it pays!

[Thomas]
What container does he store them in? I mean, a little cage seems really weird.

[Emily]
A flour jar.

[Thomas]
Yeah. Like a cookie jar or something. That’s what I was thinking.

[Emily]
Yeah. Empty cookie jar. Big glass thing with a tight lid and they’re too small to get to the top. You even see them struggling.

[Thomas]
Maybe there’s not even a lid. Maybe it’s just glass and it’s sheer, like 90 degree walls.

[Emily]
Yeah. And you see them, like, stack on each other and they’re just not there’s not enough height.

[Shep]
The big kids like, “Lift me up.”

[Emily]
Right. Exactly.

[Shep]
“I’m going to get on your shoulders.”

[Thomas]
What does the giant do? Oh, the giant’s going to the store or something. He’s going to collect the ingredients he needs for the dish. That way there’s a time limit. They’ve got to get out of there before he gets to the point where he’s ready to prep them and put them in the dish, right?

[Shep]
How do they know what the time limit is?

[Thomas]
They don’t.

[Shep]
How does the audience know?

[Thomas]
Because he says something about getting ingredients. Or maybe he pulls out the recipe and he’s like, “Oh, I don’t have that” or whatever.

[Emily]
It’s all an unknown amount of time.

[Shep]
Oh. So, yeah, I think he pulls out the ingredients and is like, “Oh, it’s your lucky day. I have to run to the store to get whatever you’re going to live an extra 30 minutes” or whatever.

[Thomas]
Right. So then he leaves, which lets the three kids, basically, they can take a direct beeline across the room. They don’t have to worry about hiding anymore, until late they discover there’s a cat. There has to be a cat.

[Emily]
Of course.

[Shep]
There’s always a cat, that’s necessary.

[Thomas]
Right. But that comes later.

[Shep]
Is there a cat-based pun with candy that you can-

[Thomas]
Kit Kat.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
It seems so obvious in retrospect.

[Emily]
Cat’s name is Kit. All right, moving on.

[Thomas]
Yeah. There we go. So they get across the room to where Steve and Jack are. How do they get out of there?

[Shep]
How do they even get to the, they have to get to the giant’s house first. If they’re teeny tiny it’s a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. They have to get across the lawn.

[Thomas]
I just assumed that they were clinging onto the red vine, which he brought into the house, and then put down and noticed-

[Shep]
I thought it was a weed.

[Thomas]
It doesn’t have to be a weed. It could be a snack. If everything is candy, then everything is edible.

[Shep]
Did we see the giant harvesting Cadbury eggs, like, from the Peeps?

[Emily]
Yes.

[Thomas]
Oh, my God. Yes. Obviously. We do now.

[Emily]
100% yes.

[Thomas]
Oh, man. The Peeps should be just, like, brainless giant sugar birds. Like, they’re a threat in their own right.

[Emily]
Because they’re clumsy and stupid.

[Thomas]
And hungry.

[Emily]
Do they eat jelly beans? Is that where the jelly beans come from?

[Thomas]
Oh, the jelly beans should totally be, like, rabbit poop or something.

[Shep]
No, stop making them rabbit poop.

[Emily]
We’ve already established they’re on the vine, so I think they should be the food for the Peeps.

[Shep]
Oh, that’s why the giant was harvesting them. It was for the Peeps.

[Emily]
Yeah. He was harvesting that vine so he could get the jelly beans to feed the Peeps and the kids end up over with the Peeps.

[Thomas]
It’s two parallel stories. The group doesn’t get back together until, like, the beginning of the third act.

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
That gives Steve and Jack lots of time together, have to rely on each other. There’s literally no one else coming to save them as far as they know. So they have to rely on each other, which helps them kind of get over whatever issues they have. So that when the group all comes back together, Steve’s like, “No, he’s cool now.” And they’re all just like, “Whatever you say, man. You’re the leader.”

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
So the Peeps are some sort of a threat to the kids, those three kids. And then the first thought that came into my head was they somehow tame the Peeps or sort of tame the Peeps. And they’re, like, riding on the backs of the Peeps, and they’re using them to get-

[Shep]
Like Chocobos.

[Thomas]
Across the lawn. We go away from them for a while, and then when we come back, they’ve figured out how to saddle up the Peeps or whatever.

[Shep]
I figured that they would have started to use the jelly beans since they have powers.

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Shep]
If one gives you the power of flight or the power of speed or whatever, then they figure out which ones, because they’re coming to rescue the other two kids. So they need to know what the powers are. And we in the audience also needs to know what the powers are.

[Thomas]
One of them should definitely make you gigantic.

[Shep]
Which in this world just makes you normal sized. One of them, if there’s one that makes you gigantic, there should be one that makes you tiny as well.

[Thomas]
Yeah. Down to their size or smaller than their size?

[Shep]
Oh, it’s smaller than their size.

[Thomas]
So one jelly bean makes you larger and one jelly bean makes you small. Do the ones that mother give you do anything at all?

[Emily]
How did Jack and Steve get out of the jar?

[Shep]
Well, earlier, I thought that the kids would rescue them with the jelly bean powers, but I like Thomas’s idea that Jack and Steve are on their own for two thirds of the movie.

[Emily]
I like that, too. I think that’s a stronger storyline.

[Thomas]
When the giant brings Steve in, one of the things we see is the cat keeps trying to jump up on the counter, and the giant keeps shooshing the cat off. So as soon as the giant leaves now the cat has free rein and jumps up on the counter. And then maybe the cat ends up knocking over the jar to try to get at them. And so that’s how they get out of the jar. And then they escape from the cat somehow, and then we bring the cat back later as a threat again.

[Emily]
And he saves them by eating the Peeps.

[Shep]
Or they cleverly used the Peeps as a distraction from the cat.

[Thomas]
All right, well, this seems like a good time to take a break, so let’s go grab some jelly beans and snack on those, and we’ll be back in just a moment.

[Break]

[Thomas]
All right, well, we’ve eaten all of our jelly beans except for the black ones (because, ew), but we’re back. What are we coming up with next? So when we last left off, Steve and Jack just barely escaped from the cat, maybe even not quite working together.

[Emily]
Just accidentally, more or less. They’re in survival mode, so they’re in flight mode and they end up deeper in the house. So they have a bigger problem trying to get back outside because they are still under the impression that they can climb down the vine.

[Thomas]
Is there, like, a mousehole they run into?

[Shep]
Yeah, of course there has to be. That’s why the farmer has a cat. Because it’s a farm. There’s mice.

[Thomas]
Yeah, makes sense.

[Shep]
So they’re in the walls like The Borrowers?

[Emily and Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
Are there remnants of something else having been in the walls? Do we have-

[Shep]
Previous humans that have gone up the vines and escaped the cat and left a diary in the wall.

[Thomas]
Maybe there’s a cache of jelly beans or something in the walls.

[Emily]
What’s eating the jelly beans that there’s- it’s hoarding them in the walls?

[Thomas]
That’s the scary thought for them, isn’t there?

[Emily]
It should be cockroaches. I mean, I know I hate them, but-

[Thomas]
Okay, there are cockroaches, and they don’t tame and ride the Peeps. They tame and ride the cockroaches.

[Shep]
Gross, but fine.

[Emily]
Yes.

[Shep]
How do you tame a cockroach?

[Emily]
I don’t know. People keep them as pets. I have no idea.

[Thomas]
Grab its antennas.

[Shep]
Didn’t they tame and ride ants in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?

[Emily]
Yes, they did. One ant. This is true. Okay.

[Thomas]
Okay, well, maybe we won’t do that then. I mean, mice makes the most sense.

[Emily]
Mice do make the most sense. Maybe the mouse- Does the mouse speak?

[Shep]
It’s Rats of NIMH. They wear clothes and can talk.

[Emily]
No. I was just thinking it was a talking mouse, and then it could bitch about the Easter Bunny getting credit for things that he didn’t do because really it’s the mouse that does all the work. I don’t know where I’m going with that.

[Thomas]
It could just be the implication of mice.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Maybe there aren’t mice, or maybe later there are mice, but not right now. It’s this looming threat of like, “Well, we escaped from the cat, but clearly something lives here, and I don’t think I want to run into it. And where is what lives here?”

[Emily]
Right. “Well, we came in through a mousehole.”

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
“Where there’s a mousehole…”

[Shep]
“There’s mice.” I like that there are mice that can talk. So first it’s just a vague threat. There’s something in this hole. “We escaped from the cat, but we’re not safe yet.” And they find a cache of jelly beans or whatever, and it turns out one of the powers makes you smarter. And so the mice have been eating those because it’s their favorite flavor, and that’s why they wear clothes and can talk and are smart because that’s the power that they’ve gotten from the jelly beans. Maybe the power lasts longer for them.

[Thomas]
Right. So it’s like a Flowers for Algernon situation.

[Shep]
Yeah, they have to keep eating the jelly beans to stay smart, but they’re smart enough to know that.

[Thomas]
Exactly. Yeah. We’ve already established that the jelly bean powers wear off over time, and you could set it up to where they finally do run into the mice. And it’s this tense moment of like, “Uh oh, there’s this other creature,” and they’re like, the mice are like, “What are those things?” Although if the mice are supposed to be super smart, then I guess maybe the mice have never seen humans, though. Like, human-sized humans. They’re like tiny giants. They assume they’re giants, maybe, who’ve eaten shrinking jelly beans.

[Shep]
It’s a tiny giant.

[Thomas]
A shrunken giant.

[Emily]
And they’re all worried about getting them out of the walls because they’re going to expand at any- the first question is, “How long ago did you eat the jelly bean?”

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
And they’re like, “What are you talking about?” And they’re like, “The jelly bean that shrunk you, so you could be in the walls with us. How long ago did you eat it?”

[Thomas]
It was an interrogation because they assumed they’re giants.

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
So they’ve gotten them, like, tied to a chair or whatever.

[Shep]
If they’re shrunken Giants, that will expand soon, why would you keep them in the wall if you can tie them up?

[Thomas]
That’s a good point.

[Emily]
Maybe one of them says that maybe one of them is like, “Well, let’s tie them up.” The other one’s like, “They’re going to get bigger soon.” And then the kids reveal that, “No, we’re kids. We’re not getting bigger.”

[Shep]
Or the mice are smart. And so they get the shrinking jelly bean to feed them, to keep them small, but it just makes them small enough that they get out of their ropes.

[Emily]
Okay.

[Shep]
Which is the thing that should not happen, because taking the same jelly bean over and over again shouldn’t duplicate the effects.

[Thomas]
Right? It just maintains.

[Shep]
Yeah, it should just maintain.

[Thomas]
Okay, so they’re in the walls. What are the other kids doing? They’re out in the yard. They’ve tamed some Peeps. They rode them up to the house. Now they got to get in the house. Is that where we are with them?

[Emily]
Yeah, I think so.

[Thomas]
So what candy themed way did they get into the house? Do they go in through the door? A window? A crack? Are they also in the mouse realm?

[Shep]
I mean, there’s probably a cat door.

[Emily]
Yeah. I imagine there’s a little cat flap.

[Thomas]
Is there a pie on a window sill that they can waft toward?

[Shep]
Well, if they’ve taken the jelly bean that makes you float.

[Thomas]
I mean, maybe that’s it. Maybe they take flying jelly beans and that’s enough to get them in the window.

[Emily]
Maybe they climb up the steps and get up, but they can’t get in. Even if there is a cat flap, they can’t push it. They don’t have the strength to push it. It’s too heavy for them. So then, we’ve established them testing the jelly beans. Right. They’re trying to remember which one is the super strength one. And instead of getting super strength one, one gets the one that flies, and then they fly into the opening.

[Shep]
Oh, this is where you have two green ones where they’re trying to take the strength one, which is lime, and then they take one and it’s like, “Oh, that wasn’t lime. Oh, no, I’m floating!”

[Emily]
That’ll work, too. Yeah.

[Thomas]
Yeah. So once they’re in the house, they have to find Steve and Jack. They have no idea where to look.

[Shep]
One of the kids took off his jacket. Like, Jack went up at night and it was cold. So you had a warm jacket on, but it’s daytime now and it’s hot up there. So he took it off and it’s in the jar. Or maybe the cat got it out and is playing with it and has it in its mouth.

[Thomas]
Either way, the kids assume they’re dead.

[Shep]
I guess. You know, in a kids movie.

[Emily]
Well, I mean, do they look at and know instantly it’s Jack’s, or do they not remember Steve not having one?

[Shep]
Oh, they’ll know that it’s Jack’s because it’s a cheap jacket that they’ve teased him about before.

[Thomas]
Maybe it’s like when they were teasing him, maybe the arm got torn a little bit or something. There’s some aspects to it.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah, that’s really good. Because the kid that was bullying him didn’t mean to tear the jacket. He didn’t realize how shabby it was. And so when he’s, like, grabbing him and shaking him or whatever, and the sleeve tears, he looks guilty. But then he’s like, I have to double down. It’s like, “Well, it’s your fault for having such a cheap jacket. You poor kid,” or whatever. But he’s actually remorseful.

[Thomas]
Okay. One kid gets a flying jelly bean. They all eat green jelly beans. Two of them get strength jelly beans. One of them gets a flying jelly bean.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah. The last kid gets a flying one.

[Thomas]
Yeah. So the other two just push the cat flap open and climb in that way. The other kid flies in through the window. And then they ask him like, “What do you see?” And he kind of like, flies around the room and he sees the jacket and he goes over and maybe he goes and gets it and brings it down to them and they’re like, “Look, this is Jack’s jacket.” Do they know Jack is there?

[Emily]
I don’t think they knew he was there, but now they do.

[Thomas]
So now they do. So Jack and Steve are missing. Are they kind of okay with Jack? And it’s just Steve who’s got a problem with him?

[Shep]
Yeah, that’s how I kind of figured it, because Steve is the leader.

[Thomas]
Okay.

[Emily]
They just go along with him.

[Thomas]
Do they all know that, though, or is this a moment where they all sort of find out? “Oh, actually, we don’t hate Jack.” Somebody has to realize it’s not just saving Steve, it’s saving Steve and Jack.

[Emily]
Yeah. I think maybe one of them goes, “Oh, crap, this is Jack’s jacket. He must be up here, too.”

[Thomas]
So what is their plan? They found the jacket, but they don’t know where to look yet. What other clue?

[Emily]
The cat could be pacing in front of the mousehole.

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
And so maybe they have an idea that it’s, they’re in there. Did the kids bring more jelly beans with- oh the mice have jelly beans in the wall. They have access to jelly beans.

[Shep]
They brought jelly beans with them. They stocked up at the Peeps.

[Thomas]
So maybe it was like a flour jar or something. A jar with something in it. That would get on there.

[Shep]
Oh, flour. That left flour footprints. Good thinking.

[Thomas]
Exactly. Something that leaves footprints. Or Fun Dip or Pixie Stix.

[Emily]
Oh, the sugar, Pixie Stix powder.

[Thomas]
So there’s, like, a trail of footprints into the wall, and they’re like, “Well, we found the jacket up there. The footprints go down there. Let’s head in there.”

[Shep]
Where’s the cat during this?

[Emily]
Is the cat now lazing in the sunspot nearby, but not right- They could sneak past it.

[Thomas]
Or maybe the cat’s just not-

[Emily]
Cats over it now, and-

[Thomas]
Maybe these three don’t know about the cat yet.

[Shep]
Well, there was a cat flap in the door. They have to suspect that a cat exists.

[Thomas]
That’s true. Yeah. But it could also just not be there.

[Emily]
It could just be somewhere else. It could be sleeping on a bed upstairs and we’re just not aware of it.

[Thomas]
Or can be sleeping on the counter.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Or it could be perched by the mousehole. Like, “We have to get into that hole because that’s where Jack and Steve went. But there’s a cat there.” So, they’re like, “Okay, what do we have?” They go through the jelly beans to find the super speed one. “Let’s all take a super speed one and run past the cat.”

[Thomas]
Is there an invisibility jelly bean?

[Shep]
That would have been a good one. I was thinking that the kid that it, was floating, he takes it, but he’s still too light to run. So he takes the super speed one, but-

[Emily]
And he’s just kind of floating.

[Shep]
Just running in place. That’s if you want to keep two stories going on at the same time, the other two kids could get to Jack and Steve, and then you still have Wally on his own.

[Thomas]
We do want to make sure that the jelly beans aren’t overpowered.

[Shep]
I mean, you might want to make sure the jelly beans aren’t overpowered.

[Thomas]
Because otherwise it’s like, just eat a bunch of strength and speed and invisibility ones and flying ones just shove a handful in your face and then done. Problem solved.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah, you’re right. The next time you take one, it’s got to counteract the previous one.

[Emily]
Yeah, it has to stop the other one.

[Shep]
Otherwise, you’re right. Good catch. So what happens? Where are we in the story?

[Emily]
They’re approaching the mousehole. Can we go back to Jack and Steve with the mice?

[Thomas]
I like the idea of the speed jelly beans. And so they’re sneaking and the cat hasn’t noticed them, and they’re going to sneak as far as they can and then book it. And so it works, but only just and the cat is reaching into the hole, pawing around trying to catch them, so they just barely make it in there. They’re all out of breath and freaked out. But then maybe they see something that indicates go that way and you get the two sets of footprints so they know they’re together. There’s a big sign: “This way to the mouse kingdom.”

[Shep]
Or there’s just a light on inside the wall, like a little mouse light down the hallway or something, and maybe they hear voices. How deep into it are Jack and Steve?

[Emily]
Well, they’ve already been abducted by the mice.

[Thomas]
Yeah, let’s go back to them, because I think that will inform how long it takes for the other kids to get there.

[Shep]
So we’re going back to them after the kids are in the mousehole?

[Thomas]
Yeah. They need to figure out which direction to go. And then it’s like, “Okay, we’ll go that way,” and then cut back to Jack and Steve. So now we know the kids are on their way to the mouse kingdom. So now we’re back there with Jack and Steve where we left off. We shrunk them down so they could escape their ropes.

[Emily]
So are they running away from the mice at this point? Because everybody is freaked out about everything. And the mice are like, “Why did they shrink? They shouldn’t have shrunk. What’s going on?” Everyone’s confused.

[Thomas]
Is this when the mice give them the shrinking ones and they shrink right in front of the mice? And the mice are like, “Oh, maybe they aren’t gi- Maybe they were telling the truth about not having eaten shrinking jelly beans.” Do we want the mice to be allies or not?

[Emily]
I was just going to ask, what do we want the mice to do for them? Do we want them to be another antagonizing force or an ally?

[Thomas]
Is there, like, one mouse that believes them? Who sneaks them some jelly beans that do something and he’s the ally or she’s?

[Emily]
I think the mice can just come to the realization that these aren’t the actual giants. They’re willing to sit down and listen to them, and they hear this fantastical story of them coming from a place from beneath their world.

[Shep]
I think that they should be more antagonists. I think nothing should go right. That’s why they’re trying to escape and get home. For us, the audience, it’s a magical realm of candy. But for the kids, it’s terrifying, and everyone’s an enemy. So the mice discovered that they’re not shrunken giants, but they still hate giants because they’re trying to always get rid of the mice. And these kids look like giants.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
They’re not technically, but they sure look like they are.

[Emily]
And they’re going to take their jelly beans and mess up their plans of world domination.

[Shep]
Or they’re just going to mess up their routine, their mouse kingdom.

[Emily]
They’re going to sacrifice them to the cat so they can go do something else.

[Shep]
There you go.

[Emily]
They’re like, “You know what we can do with them? We can solve two problems at once. We can get rid of these little tiny giants and we can distract the cat so we can go do that thing we’ve always been thinking about doing.”

[Thomas]
I want a line when the mice first catch them where they’re trying to figure out what’s going on. And the mice are like, “They’re giants.” “But they’re too small to be giants.” Like, “Well, maybe they eat shrinking jelly beans.” And one of the mice is like, “They might be giants.”

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Now I’m going to have They Might Be Giants songs stuck in my head. Like-

[Thomas]
It could be worse.

[Shep]
What puns could we put in here? There’s a blue Peep in an outlet by the light switch.

[Thomas]
In those three kids is one of them, like, a Chunk character, and he keeps grabbing candy and eating it while they’re walking. And he’s like, “What?”

[Shep]
So it’s just The Goonies kids.

[Thomas]
Yeah. There’s the one, like, super racist Asian kid, and who’s coming back. He’s in that new movie that I want to see that I can’t remember the name of. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once or whatever it’s called.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
Oh, okay.

[Thomas]
That movie looks crazy good.

[Emily and Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
I’m excited for that one. So the mice are antagonists.

[Emily]
Yeah. And they’re going to sacrifice the kids to the cat.

[Shep]
Right. Even if they know that the kids are not giants, they don’t care.

[Thomas]
They’re still invaders. They caught them stealing jelly beans or something. They must be punished. So do they escape by shrinking? They go in, like, a fleahole.

[Shep]
They go to the flea kingdom. They get caught by the fleas.

[Thomas]
Or maybe because they get shrunk down to the size of fleas. The mice are like, where are they? Where are they? And they grab onto the fur of one of the mice, and they get taken out of the cell that way.

[Shep]
I think they got to get back to the other kids while they’re small.

[Emily]
Yes. That’s what I was thinking. That they would run they would converge on each other.

[Shep]
So I think to go back to a previous Thomas suggestion, there’s got to be one mouse that’s kind of on their side.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
So when they are shrunk down, they jump onto her and she just leaves because they don’t see the mini kids.

[Thomas]
Does she know that they’re on her?

[Shep]
Yes.

[Emily]
She maybe, like, waves them to her.

[Thomas]
Well, maybe she’s bringing them the shrinking jelly beans so that they stay small and don’t destroy the mouse kingdom by going back to giant size.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah. She’s the one that suggests it.

[Thomas]
Right. So she brings in the jelly beans like, you guys have to eat these. And so they do, but then they shrink right in front of her so she knows they’re not giants. That would never happen. So she feels bad because they’re being accused of being something that they’re not. It’s like with the Fraggles and then the giant people. It’s like that sort of an antagonistic relationship.

[Shep]
Oh, I bet she’s the one that found them. So when they first get into the tunnels inside the walls, she’s the mouse that they encounter, and they tell her what’s going on and she believes them. She’s also a kid. And so she goes to her mom, who doesn’t believe her. It’s the thing that happened to Jack over again.

[Emily]
You’re right.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
And they get captured and tied up, but she knows that they’re not mini giants. So she suggests, “Oh, we have to give them shrinking jelly beans. Otherwise they might grow and destroy everything, and we want to use them later to distract the cat.” So then she gives them the jelly beans. They must know what’s going to happen because they know that they aren’t giants. So they eat the jelly beans or they take them in the mouth but don’t swallow and they’re ready. And then together both shrink. Their ropes come off.

[Emily]
Well, yeah, they overhear the conversation. So they know what they’re supposed to do.

[Shep]
Well, they’re smart. They’re smart kids. So there’s a big argument with the mice. “What jelly bean did you give them? Did you give the invisibility of jelly bean?” “No, because they’d still be tied up. It doesn’t make you intangible.”

[Thomas]
Are there guards checking to make sure they’re still there? Or does she leave with them and it’s not noticed that they’re missing until later? Does she run away at this point?

[Shep]
Oh, they screw her out because they’re like, “Get out of here. We got to find those tiny giants.” And she already has them in her pocket.

[Thomas]
They all kind of run into the other kids at some point around here and it becomes the five kids and this mouse.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Sure.

[Emily]
Okay, so we got five kids in a mouse running through some walls.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
What was that movie? Despereaux or whatever? The mouse that is super brave. So is she like, brave, like, what is her goal?

[Emily]
Maybe she wants to get out of the walls. Maybe these might stay inside because that’s where their jelly bean horde is so they can keep their intelligence. And she wants to be part of the outside world. She’s Ariel.

[Shep]
Oh, she can’t go with them, though, because she wouldn’t have access to the jelly beans that keep you smart.

[Thomas]
Or going back to Flowers for Algernon, maybe she recognizes that she’ll be more happy by being just a normal mouse out in the world.

[Shep]
But she’ll still be giant, though, if she comes down.

[Thomas]
That’s true.

[Emily]
No, she’s going to go live with the Peeps.

[Shep]
The Peeps will eat her.

[Emily]
Isn’t she roughly the size of the Peeps?

[Shep]
She’s the same size as the kids.

[Emily]
Okay.

[Thomas]
The Peeps are like, chicken sized.

[Shep]
So, yeah, what is her goal? Unless you want to be Flowers for Algernon where she’s leaving, knowing that she’ll be a big dumb mouse.

[Thomas]
The one benefit of that is that she makes a sacrifice to help the kids.

[Shep]
Yeah, it’s kind of dumb, though.

[Thomas]
Yeah, I agree. So the mice never leave the walls unless they have to. They have this enormous cache of jelly beans, so they don’t have to. She’s not allowed to leave. The cat is too big of a threat, so says everybody, but she doesn’t believe that. She thinks the cat’s not as big of a threat, but she’s never allowed out. Or maybe she’s just a rebellious teenager.

[Emily]
I’m telling you, she’s Ariel. She’s a rebellious teenager. She wants to go. She has a little cache of jelly beans. Where do the jelly beans come from? They come from the outside. She can find more jelly beans when she gets out there. This is her thinking. This is her train of thought. Is this true? We don’t know.

[Shep]
So she’s not going to come down to Earth.

[Emily]
No, she’s not going to the human world.

[Shep]
She’s staying in the cloud candyland.

[Emily]
Yeah, she’s staying in cloud candyland, which is why it was like she’d live with the Peeps. But-

[Thomas]
Maybe they’re backyard mice, wild mice, not domestic mice.

[Shep]
Or maybe she knows that she’s not going to go down to Earth, but one of the kids has bonded with her and thinks that’s what’s going to happen. So when they get to the edge of the cloud and she’s like, “Well, this is where we have to say goodbye.” And he’s like, “No, come-“

[Emily]
“With us.”

[Shep]
Yeah. She’s like, “Uh, no, I just met you. So, no.”

[Thomas]
That brings up a good point. How do they get back to Earth?

[Shep]
They take the floating ones and they float down, if you want to keep the jelly beans central to the story.

[Emily]
That makes sense. And the reason they didn’t do before is because they have to go get the other two first.

[Thomas]
Well, yeah, they know they have to get Steve, and then they find out Jack is there, too. Do they bring jelly beans back with them?

[Shep]
I mean, I don’t know why they wouldn’t.

[Emily]
Yeah. They try to take a bunch with them. Does something happen and they lose them? What happens if they bring them back?

[Shep]
Well, so in Jack and the Beanstalk, he gets wealthy at the end and kills the giant, and is just the worst house guest. So what is the ending of this one? What is the finale? How does Jack’s life improve?

[Thomas]
He has friends now.

[Emily]
Yeah, I was going to say he gets friends.

[Shep]
That’s better. His family is still poor, though, and he no longer has a bike to do his paper route.

[Thomas]
Well, he needs to get a bike. So one of the other kids, maybe even Steve, is like, “Yeah, you can have my-” Oh maybe Steve gives him his bike because his parents bought him a new one or something. And he’s like, “I don’t need this one anymore.”

[Shep]
So what did they gain from the candyland?

[Emily and Thomas]
Friendship!

[Shep]
You can’t take that to the bank.

[Emily]
Okay, so do they come back with the jelly beans and then mass market it and now people have powers?

[Thomas]
Well, but it’s a limited thing. They have a finite number of these jelly beans.

[Shep]
Well, last time they planted them, they grew a big red vine that grew more.

[Emily]
Yeah. They sell them to the US government and the government sets up a Beanstalk Program. Where they go and explore and conquer the giant candyland world.

[Shep]
Oh, the government would already know all about this stuff. The government comes in to shut it down. And is like, “Hand over the beans.”

[Thomas]
So it’s Sneakers.

[Shep]
It’s Sneakers. There we go. Classic Sneakers ending again. Haven’t we had, like, two of those already?

[Thomas]
I think so. Yeah.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
That’s the fantasy world where the government is reluctantly benevolent.

[Thomas]
Yes, that’s right. The reluctantly benevolent government. Maybe Jack’s dad gets a cushy government job and they get government benefits and a steady paycheck. Or maybe they just all get a stipend. Or maybe the government just buys the jelly beans off of them.

[Emily]
Maybe this all takes place in Springfield, Missouri, and they somehow gain access to the cheese horde.

[Shep]
We don’t talk about the cheese horde.

[Thomas]
That feels like a different movie.

[Shep]
Yeah. When are we doing cheese? We already have a setting.

[Emily and Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Where it’s a mouse heist, spoilers. Anyway. I’d like it if the department is just, like, looking for recruits, like, “Hey, when you graduate high school, give us a call.”

[Thomas]
How old are these kids? Are they high school aged?

[Shep]
I figured that it would be, if you’re going by Goonies rules.

[Thomas]
So they’re at that middle school/high school cusp.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Bearing in mind that it’s a kids movie, so it doesn’t have to be as tidy, do they get an immediate benefit? Does the government buy the jelly beans? Why does the government not just arrest them, take the jelly beans, lock them up, and debrief them for the rest of their lives?

[Emily]
Because it’s a kid’s movie and we don’t want them to be afraid of the government yet.

[Thomas]
Police are friends. All cops are buddies, right?

[Shep]
Oh, it’s that how that-

[Thomas]
I’m pretty sure that’s what it stands for. I could definitely see that the government’s there because they know the giant red vine was there. They’re investigating, their scientists, like, rooting around in the field, trying to figure out what happened. Where did this come from? People are inspecting up in the sky, and then all of a sudden, the kids come floating down.

[Emily]
They debrief them. Confiscate. Confiscate their jelly beans.

[Thomas]
They’re all lined up. All five of them are lined up in folding chairs in a military tent or something. And they’re like, “How did-” the general is there. “How did you do this?” And they’re like, “These magic jelly beans.” And it’s like, “Well, obviously we can’t let you keep them.”

[Shep]
Well, I’m saying the government would already know about, this wouldn’t be the first incident. If this is a thing that happens, this is the government Department of Candyland Activities. So when they come down, they see there’s just black vans and helicopters everywhere, and they land in the midst of that, and they get swooped up by the government guys.

[Thomas]
Is it Candy Intelligence Agency?

[Shep]
Yes, the CIA.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
The lesser known, but more budgeted. And so the agents aren’t asking them what happened because they have an idea of what happened. They’re asking, “Okay, which one did you connect to? What was the candyland like? Describe it.”

[Emily]
Yeah. “Who did you see? Who did you interact with? What did you bring back with you?”

[Shep]
Right. And so the agents are talking to each other.

[Thomas]
And maybe the kids are tripping all over themselves to tell the story. They’re super excited. “Oh, we did this-!” That’s Goonies again.

[Shep]
That’s. Yeah. “Pirate ship!” “There was a giant octopus!”

[Emily]
Well, no, they’re small town kids. They’re clearly skeptical of the cops. So they’re like, “I’m telling you nothing.”

[Shep]
If it were the Goonies ending, then at the end, it’s revealed that they still had jelly beans in their pocket.

[Emily]
That’s what I was going to do that. I was totally going to do the Goonies ending.

[Shep]
I like that ending.

[Emily]
Where he was like, “Don’t worry, I still have a few.”

[Shep]
They don’t realize it at the time, but when they’re going home and saying their goodbyes he realizes when he puts his torn jacket back on, he puts his hand in his pocket and he pulls out and it’s just a handful of jelly beans and then roll credits.

[Emily]
Yes, that’s exactly what I thought was going to happen.

[Shep]
I think we got it. Did we get it?

[Emily]
We did.

[Thomas]
I think so.

[Thomas]
Guys, it is up to me to play the role of bean counter and say that time is up. We’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s episode. Was it cool beans or full of beans? You can let us know via email or social media. Links to those can be found on our website AlmostPlausible.com And we hope you’ll take a moment this week to tell someone about the show. If you can help us get the word out we’d really appreciate it. Have a fun Easter and try not to eat so many jelly beans that you end up with a stomachache. Thanks for listening. Emily, Shep, and I will see you next week for another episode of Almost Plausible.

[Shep]
Bye bye.

[Emily]
Bye.

[Outro music]

[Shep]
So basically, Goonies. We haven’t had a Goonies movie in like five years. I don’t know how time works. When was Goonies? 1985. So 15 years ago, right?

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