Punkin Chunkin

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Comedy/Romance/, USA, 2011, 21 min.

Synopsis Phil (Ty Burrell) sets an extra seat at the Dunphy Thanksgiving dinner table for Kenneth Ploufe. He's like the son Phil always wanted...even though he already had a son. Phil thought Kenneth, who used to live next door to them, was sweet, and Claire (Julie Bowen) thought he was a bit weird. (Given the man-shake Phil and Kenneth share, I'll take Claire's side on it.) Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) hang out at the park with another couple, and Cam has to tell his Punkin Chunkin story. He and his friends once tried to slingshot a pumpkin across a football field. Cam puts a little effort behind the story...too much as far as Mitchell is concerned. Over at Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria's (Sofía Vergara), Manny (Rico Rodriguez) completes the centerpiece he was making for Thanksgiving dinner (or as Jay put it, a horn of ugly). Gloria still says Manny did great, but Jay wants Manny to get a little dose of reality because Gloria builds up his confidence way too much.Back at the Dunphys, Kenneth is talking about how college didn't work out for him, and Claire was happy to point out the cautionary tale to Haley. But it turns out Kenneth started a little investment firm with his roommate, which invested well in tech stocks, then in videogames, then arenas. Yes, he's got money up the wazoo, even though he wore a hoodie and t-shirt everyplace. And Kenneth told Luke (Nolan Gould) he got some great advice long ago to always think what he had to say had value and to follow his heart. "What would Phil Dunphy do?"PHIL: He's me. And he's spectacular!Alex (Ariel Winter) is even more impressed when she reads his bio. Kenneth owns a resort in the Bahamas, a cruise line, and a lingerie company. (HALEY: Oh, my God! I'm wearing one of his bras!) That results in Haley having a fender-bender with Mom's minivan. Haley (Sarah Hyland), of course, wants to cover it up and not tell Claire and Alex is having a case of the guilts.Cam is upset because Mitchell teased him about the punkin chunkin' story, but Mitchell argues Cam has a lot of stories that are far more interesting and he should tell stories that have a bit of truth to them. Now Cam is REALLY upset, because he knew for a fact the pumpkin flew goal post to goal post and landed in the sunroof of the preacher's car. Which was open in Missouri in November. ("It was an unusually warm November.") Manny apparently takes after Mitch because he felt the need to criticize Jay's rice pilaf dish, even though Gloria refused to let him say how ugly Manny's centerpiece was.Phil was inspired by Kenneth's success and tried to let his creative juices fly regarding the table setup (bistro-style wasn't cutting it) and origami napkins (fell a little flat). Claire was getting a little annoyed by his crazy ideas, such as his aspirin gun, his rice pudding franchise, his adult tricycles, and the head scratcher (he even made a commercial with Luke on that one).CLAIRE: (exasperated) Phil, I love you, but...PHIL: Stop! I love your "I love you", but I'm getting awfully tired of your "but." (pause) I heard it.Alex is having severe guilt about the minivan as she drew everybody's attention away from it. Manny started bringing the centerpiece in, but Jay finally admitted to him it wasn't his best effort. He said Manny was talented but he swung and missed on that one. But he said for Manny to keep trying and that being honest is more helpful in the long run. In the short run, not so much. Manny dumps it in the garbage and everybody is furious at Jay. Claire gets some flak from Phil about stunting creativity and finally tells him to get the head scratcher helmet and demonstrate it to everybody to see if she really quashed one of his "trillion dollar ideas." Well, one of the "nogginizers" caught Phil's hair. 60% of the crowd encouraged him to try again, while 40% (Jay, Claire, Mitchell, and Alex) doubted Cam's punkin chunkin' story. It was time to settle it: Dreamers vs. Pritchetts. While Jay, Claire, and Mitchell try to defend their position of not letting everybody else go too far into the stratosphere with their dreams, Cam, Phil, Gloria, and Manny get ready to launch the pumpkin. And...the pumpkin made it about 15 yards. Jay, Mitch, and Claire want to celebrate, but all three of them sort of wish it had succeeded. Perhaps get some more pumpkins, steepen the angle and get a few more people to pull the slingshot, it might work.CAMERON: There are dreamers, and there are realists in this world. You would think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists find the realists, but more often than not, the opposite is true. You see, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And well, without the dreamers, they might never get off the ground.Alex finally breaks down and admits she distracted Haley and dented her minivan...about three seconds before Cam hit it with a pumpkin.

Directed by Michael Spiller  

Starring Jeff Greenberg, Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, more...

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