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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Heard the one about the dog, the rug and the suitcase? NE Campus student turns story into movie pitch

By Shelly Williams/managing editor

NE Campus student Kristen McMeen is having a movie written about her dogsitting experience over the summer when she was 16.  Photo by Brian Koenig/The Collegian
NE Campus student Kristen McMeen is having a movie written about her dogsitting experience over the summer when she was 16. Photo by Brian Koenig/The Collegian

With dirt in her mouth and the voice of the “gorgeous guy” calling her name still stuck between her ears, she didn’t know the antics of a day six years ago would have the possibility of becoming a movie.

But in 2008, when NE student Kristen McMeen posted a blog of her events online, it caught the attention of two writers. Andy Greco and Marcos Gallegos contacted McMeen about her “slightly embellished, but true” story and threw her into the world of moviemaking.

Originally an autobiographical short story for an English class, her story starts when she was 16 and getting paid to housesit for her mother’s boss. In the house lived McMeen’s rival, a teacup Yorkshire terrier by the name of Muffin.

“Day one wasn’t so bad. I just fed the little devil, took her outside and then was off to the pool to lay out with my friend,” McMeen said in her blog. “I wasn’t aware that a dog could be a snob, until I met Muffin. Her bed was softer than mine. There were pictures of Muffin as far as the eye could see.

“I couldn’t decide if I hated this dog, or if I wanted to be her. Feeding, watering and taking her for a walk was a song I was willing to sing — as long as it was to the tune of 500 big ones.”

However, McMeen’s jealousy turned into fear the day she arrived at the house without Muffin’s usual greeting at the door. As she searched for her furball enemy, she soon discovered Muffin stiff on a Persian rug.

“I didn’t want to touch her, so I nudged her with my foot hoping to revive her,” McMeen said in her essay. “I assumed this was what any self-respecting person would do — continue to kick the dead dog.”

She then called the owners but said they surprisingly consoled her. Her mother’s boss seemed understanding about the situation. However, the woman asked for one favor from McMeen — to dispose of the body — before they returned from their month-and-a-half long vacation.

“I felt ill,” McMeen said in the blog. “I hated touching that thing when it was alive. I didn’t want to usher their four-legged friend into the next life.”

She rolled Muffin in the rug and placed her in one of the residents’ suitcases, then chose to head to the nearest Dumpster with Muffin in the trunk.

As she climbed out of the car, she said she bumped into an “angel” and was swept off her feet by his smile and flirtatiousness.

“When he asked me what was in the suitcase, I panicked,” McMeen said in her story. “I couldn’t tell my new future husband that I regularly toted around dead dogs. Back then, I met a new soulmate almost daily.

“For some reason, the first explanation that came to my mind was that it was gaming equipment. I had already told him I worked for Game Stop, and it made sense.”

They went their separate ways, and McMeen approached a trash bin for Muffin’s funeral ceremony. But just as she started to heave Muffin over, her angel hollered her name and knocked McMeen to the ground as he ran off with the suitcase.

She never found out what happened to the guy or Muffin’s coffin but said she does often wonder where Muffin is resting for eternity.

“Well, you know how young love goes. I forgot about that guy about 10 minutes later,” she said. “I assume he was completely horrified when he opened the suitcase.”

When the writers asked to produce McMeen’s story, she said they sat her down to discuss the script and found her “stupid moments fairly entertaining.”

As the writers adapt the story, McMeen said that they are adding a few more conflicts for the main character to go through before being able to dispose of Muffin.

Some of the conflicts that may be put in the movie come from other events or areas in McMeen’s life, such as her and her friends attending midget wrestling on a regular basis. 

She said she is getting paid for her story, though she won’t say how much.

McMeen thinks the producers will buy the rights for the screenplay, but it’s still debatable if they will actually make the movie.

“Production companies are notorious for putting projects on the back burner,” she said. “I’m working on the copyrights so that if it does end up being produced, I can make a lot.”

After she gave the writers permission to write a screenplay for a movie, she said she was happy someone thought she was funny other than her mother but said her mom and friends weren’t shocked when McMeen told them the news.

McMeen’s English teacher said she loved that one of her students was selected to have a movie produced about her.

“I loved her story because it was very well-written and had lots of humor in it. She had such great details in the story,” English instructor Shewanda Riley said. “I think it’s awesome. What a great way to inspire more creativity — not just in her but also in others.

“Kristen said that the producers found the story by reading her blog. My best piece of advice [for others who want to have their works noticed] would be to establish a Web presence in addition to MySpace and Facebook. Create a blog or some other place where people can find your stories, poems, etc.”

Though McMeen said she never expected her “stupid antic at the age of 16” to be considered interesting, she said she is glad the writers think otherwise.

“I’m an incredibly shy person, so my writing sometimes surprises people,” she said.

“I love it, but I don’t think I could ever make a career out of it. I just got lucky that a couple of writers stumbled upon my page.”

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