National Lampoon’s Hamptons Vacation

Christie Brinkley,
Christie Brinkley. Photo: Katleen De Monchy

I want to be a Hollywood screen writer. For much of the winter I have been holed up in my Southampton fortress, carefully crafting my first masterpiece. When it was finally completed this spring, I had to figure out how I was going to get it into the hands of someone who could make my vision a reality. And that someone was none other than Hamptons local, Steven Spielberg.

I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea. Each day I would buy a copy of The New York Times, wrap it around a copy of my script and leave it in the driveway of Mr. Spielberg. In the morning, he would retrieve the paper and right there, front and center, would be the Sneiv screenplay. Weeks went by and no response. The cost of the Times was getting expensive so I decided to go with my plan B. That was to simply write about my script in Dan’s Papers. Who doesn’t read Dan’s?

My script is a continuation of the National Lampoon Vacation Series, except this time the Griswolds decide to spend a fun-packed summer in East Hampton. It was my hope that all the original living cast members would want to participate. Heck—Christie Brinkley would only have to walk out her front door for her part. Of course, the Griswold dog that accidentally got tied to the bumper and was subsequently dragged to his death would have to be replaced with a new family dog. I have cast my Flat-Coated Retriever Zeus for that part.

In the opening scene, the Griswolds are playing fetch with Zeus on the beach, but they get ticketed for having the dog off-leash. After arguing with the policeman, the whole family ends up getting arrested. I know it sounds far-fetched.

After getting bailed out of jail, the family decides to put the experience behind them and return for some more fun at the beach. In this scene, Audrey’s son, who is a toddler, is also introduced. However, as toddlers often do, he wanders away from the clan and bites a sunbather. The Griswolds are arrested again, this time in violation of a new town ordinance that requires all teething toddlers to be harnessed while at the beach.

Again, the Griswolds vow to not let the town’s absurd rules ruin their vacation. The next day, Clark and his son Rusty are out on the beach tossing a football. And who happens to walk by in a bikini? That’s right—Christie Brinkley. Clark, while staring at the bikini-clad goddess, throws an errant pass and it hits a tourist in the head. The same policeman who arrested him both times before shows up and this time Clark puts out his hands and, without resistance, follows him to the police cruiser. While in the back of the car, he asks the officer what law he’s broken this time. He’s shocked to find out that the Town Board has also passed an ordinance that only allows nerf footballs on the beach.

After his release, Clark asks if there’s a list of the town ordinances that he could borrow. “Gladly” is the response and he’s given nine books totaling 5,647 pages.

Clark stays awake all night reading the books. He discovers that children who are not potty trained are not allowed in the water, that poopy diapers must be stored in hermetically sealed containers, and that beach towels must be 100% cotton and without dyes or chemical treatments. He also discovers that only classical music is permitted to be played aloud. In despair, and after having now been arrested several times, he concedes that there’s very little his family can do at the beach without getting in trouble.

However, he still has an idea remaining. Early the next morning the family is seen shouldering their canvases, easels and paints and heading toward the beach. At least they couldn’t get in trouble for painting landscapes. What happens next? You guessed it—the whole family, including the toddler who was fingerpainting, gets arrested again, by the same policeman. This time the violation is for not spreading a required 20’ x 20’ tarp under each easel, to prevent paint from splattering on the sand.

After the Griswold family gets bailed out of jail, Clark decides to present himself before East Hampton Town Board and protest all the outrageous ordinances they have implemented. Unfortunately for him, on the night of the meeting, he gets arrested for not adhering to the ordinance that requires wearing a coat and tie when addressing the Board.

In the last scene of the movie, the Griswolds are seen driving out of town, mid-vacation, headed for the Poconos. Clark tells the family that they are more tolerant there. And for the first time in his life, he’s right.

I hope Spielberg will read this article and decide to make my screenplay into a feature film. On the other hand, I do understand that the script may just be too unbelievable. No Town Board would ever pass laws like this!

Wait a minute—maybe they would. I hope this article doesn’t spawn ideas.

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