Former NY Times bestseller Mitch Albom is about to release details for a companion story to 'Tuesday's with Morrie', called 'Thursday's with Thurston' about a morbidly obese teenager unable to care for himself.
The story format will follow the same weekly set of interviews between Albom and the bedroom-bound, 737 pound teenager by the name of Thurston Gurgwell. Filming will center around Thurston's insatiable appetite for cabbage and sausages, and how his plight impacts his life and the lives of those around him. Filmed from a reality TV perspective, producers hoped to capture the gritty nature of the bedroom scene and make the natural occurrences there a big part of the story.
With only shards of wallpaper remaining, most of it falling victim to Thurston's volatile colon and methane concentrations that would kill a normal human, the room remains in a constant state of putrid gasification. Thurston survives only by a constant supply of oxygen while the film crew is only allowed in the room for 5 minute intervals. Albom manages the long interview process with a fresh supply of oxygen as well.
"That helps to support life, but does nothing for the smell", says sound technician, Bobby Mixman. "There are times when Thurston rips one, and the carpet spontaneously combusts. Sometimes when he knows its coming, Thurston will grab a CO2 extinguisher and spray the floor as a precaution. Damnit, I need another job."
The eating continues throughout the day and during every interview. Thurston is so heavy that family is unable to change his clothes, creating a makeshift hole in his sweat pants to allow for fecal and urine removal. "That works OK", says Mixman, "unless Thurston attempts a fart but launches a nugget by mistake. Mitch learned the hard way to never sit down wind."
Gurgwell's daily diet consists of 20 pounds of Bratwurst, Knockwurst or Italian sausage with 5 pounds cole slaw or sauerkraut, and 8 Idaho potatoes, with butter, sour cream and bacon.
"Seroiusly", says Mixman, "we could shove a tube up his ass and he could heat the furnaces of the entire neighborhood". That turned out to be a prophetic statement. The crew was approaching Thurston's home on the next Thursday filming segment only to see the house explode in a 90 foot fireball. "I guess the fire extinguisher wasn't enough this time", said Mixman. Gurgwell was found still in his bed, singed but with a blackened Bratwurst in his hand.
"Fellas", Gurgwell called out. "You have to taste these when they're over cooked. Awesome".