Monday, August 23, 2010

Mayberry Mondays #15: “Aunt Bee's Cruise” (01/13/69, prod. no. 0118)

We have a special surprise in store for us on this week’s installment of Mayberry Mondays: every member of the cast is present and accounted for, including Mike Jones (Buddy Foster), the cretinous son of city council head and poor-but-honest dirt farmer Sam Jones (Ken Berry). (I was tempted here to make a joke along the lines of “The Full Mayberry”—but wiser heads prevailed.) Whether Mike the Idiot Boy escaped or has been furloughed from the reform school they apparently stuck him in goes without comment, but as our scene opens he’s tromping down the stairs at Casa del Sam, and he spots Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor (Frances Bavier) thumbing a very impressive wad of bills…suggesting that she’s tallying up last night's receipts from the whorehouse she’s operating in Mayberry on the side…

MIKE: Whatcha doin’, Aunt Bee?
AUNT BEE: Making out a deposit slip…I’m going to put some money in my savings account…
MIKE: You do that a lot, don’tcha?
AUNT BEE: Mmm…ohh…saving is very important…
MIKE: Whatcha saving for?
AUNT BEE: Ohhhh…rainy day, I guess…
MIKE: Don’tcha ever spend anything?
AUNT BEE: Well, of course, Mike…for my clothes and whatever my needs are…


Funny…I don’t think of Aunt Bee as a woman with “needs”…but now that I have thought of it, I feel…icky

MIKE: Well, I know it’s important to save…but isn’t there something you really want? Like when I bought my baseball glove?
AUNT BEE (in a slight reverie): Well…I’ve always dreamed of taking a Caribbean cruise…Jamaica…Trinidad…Puerto Rico… (Sighing) They always sound like such enchanting places…
MIKE: Well, why don’tcha spend some money and go?
AUNT BEE: Oh, Mike…you just don’t…I mean, it’s not possible
MIKE: I think you oughta go…


He seems awfully anxious to get her out of the house—do you suppose this has something to do with the fact that he’s been hiding his bed sheets of late? Aunt Bee saunters out of the house with money and deposit slip, still in a reverie as exotic music plays in the background. Outside, the hero of this sitcom is on a ladder making a repair to the roof…

AUNT BEE (calling up to him): I was going to the bank with the deposit…
SAM: Oh…fine…fine…
AUNT BEE: Saving money for a rainy day is a wonderful thing…
SAM: Oh, yeah…no question about it…
AUNT BEE: You mean I shouldn’t have any fun?
SAM: What?
AUNT BEE: Well, after all…the rainy day may never come—now we can’t always think negatively, can we, Sam?
SAM: Aunt Bee…what are we talking about?
AUNT BEE: The Caribbean cruise…
SAM: Caribbean cruise?
AUNT BEE: Well, it’s what I’ve been saving for all these years…it’s what I’ve really wanted to do…
SAM: Well, it seems to me that…
AUNT BEE: I know, I shouldn’t do it…you’ve made that perfectly clear, and you’re probably right…
SAM: …I think you should go…
AUNT BEE: …but it’s what I’ve always wanted to do…I know, a rainy day could come at any time…
SAM: I said…I think you should go!
AUNT BEE: Sam? You really think I should go?
SAM: Sure! Of course! I say go and have yourself a ball!


Maybe it’s just me, but it would seem that Aunt Bee is one of the most pliable characters in the history of television sitcoms…she starts out the morning by doing a mundane task like preparing to go by the bank and the next thing you know she’s blowing the whole kitty on a pleasure trip. (On a future show, Aunt Bee is programmed to assassinate a presidential candidate in an entry entitled “The Mayberryian Candidate.”) Giddy as a schoolgirl, she’s off to book the cruise, and we dissolve to a close-up of an atlas that’s being perused by village idiot Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) and county clerk Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) in the shop of Mayberry’s resident fix-it savant, Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman)…

HOWARD: …from what she told me, her first stop will be Bermuda—then over here to the Bahamas, then down to Puerto Rico…Trinidad…Barbados…up to Jamaica here, then swing on home…
GOOBER: That sure sounds like a great trip…
HOWARD: Oh, it’s more than just a trip, Goob…it’s an escape from reality
GOOBER: It is?
HOWARD: Oh, yeah…I’ve been there, you know…every island is a tropical paradise…


Howard, of course, is making reference to the events that take place in “Howard’s New Life” (12/18/67), an episode of The Andy Griffith Show in which he leaves his vapid, meaningless existence in Mayberry for a vapid, meaningless existence in the Caribbean. That episode as well as this one was penned by writers Dick Bensfield and Perry Grant, and as eighth-season Griffith episodes go it’s pretty average…though there is a funny dream sequence where Sheriff Andy and Helen (Aneta Corsaut) go to visit their old friend, who’s now become a beachcombing bum who spends his copious free time in a dive run by Harry Dean Stanton.

Aunt Bee enters the shop, and the regulars begin to talk up her trip—which is apparently the biggest news to hit town since they installed the automatic doors at the A&P:

EMMETT: There’ll probably be a lot of interesting fellas on board, Aunt Bee…
AUNT BEE: Oh, Emmett…
HOWARD: Ohhh yes…we know all about those shipboard romances
GOOBER: Maybe you’ll meet one of them millionaire playboys who wears them silk handkerchiefs around their neck and all that…
AUNT BEE: Oh, Goober, please…I’m just going for a little sightseeing and some relaxation…now, I stopped in to invite you all down to a little bon voyage party at the boat…and it’s leaving from Wilmington…


Woo hoo! Aunt Bee’s throwin’ a kegger! She takes her leave of these bozos by announcing that she has a million things to do before the boat sets sail, and as she turns to leave Emmett calls after her: “Try not to break too many hearts!” The three men then laugh themselves silly as if their lives couldn’t possibly be classified as pathetic.

The scene shifts to Sam’s living room; he’s seated on the couch perusing the newspaper while his main squeeze, bakery doyenne Millie Swanson (Arlene Golonka), paws through Aunt Bee’s wardrobe which is prominently draped over the sofa. Remarking that Bee is “taking quite a wardrobe with her,” Sam is admonished by Millie, who responds: “Well, she’s going to be gone for two weeks…”

AUNT BEE (entering the room with clothes on hangers, slightly out of breath): There…this is all pressed…now…I was just wondering…what dress do you think I should wear for the Captain’s ball?
MILLIE: I kind of like this chiffon…well, what do you think, Sam?
SAM: Hmm? Oh, yeah…that’ll kill ‘em…


Sam, of course, is trying to hide the fact that he’s a bit miffed because Bee is packing the dress that he’d planned to wear once she’s on vacation. Aunt Bee sends Sam upstairs for suitcases, and Millie bestows upon Aunt Bee a little gift for the occasion—some cologne that Bee identifies as “Tempestuous.”

MILLIE: All you have to do is just slosh it on and they’ll be hangin’ from the riggings
AUNT BEE: Oh, you…you’re as bad as Emmett and the rest…they seem to think the only reason I’m going on board is for shipboard romance
MILLIE: Well, why not? Don’t knock it!
AUNT BEE: I’m just not interested…


Aunt Bee comes out of the closet…on a very special R.F.D. Millie tries to convince Bee that she’s not going to want to just hang out with a bunch of dames on the boat the entire time: “Men are much more fun…and you know it. Besides, they come in very handy for picking up the check.”

MILLIE: The thing to do is to create an air of mystery…nothing gets a man more than a woman he can’t understand… (Standing up and parading about the living room) Now…the first thing to remember…is always be a little late for dinner…so you can make your entrance…walking slowly…pause…and glance around the room…always catch the men’s eyes, but don’t look at them…look right through them…you’re desirable but…unattainable… (At this point, Sam is making his way downstairs with several of Aunt Bee’s suitcases) Then you slowly flow across the room to your table…and if you see somebody who looks, uh…kind of interesting, you just give him one…fast looking glance over your shoulder, just enough to make him think he’s got the inside track… (Millie stops at the foot of the stairs, where Sam is now standing and staring at her) Hmm…kind of shakes you up, doesn’t it?

I really enjoyed Millie’s physical comedy bit here…of course; I’m in agreement with Stacia that Mill is irresistibly cute. There is then a dissolve to this impressive bit of nautical transport…



Love
Exciting and new
Come aboard
We're expecting you
And love
Life's sweetest reward
Let it flow
It floats back to you


Set a course for adventure, your mind on a new romance…just out of curiosity—and in a blatantly transparent attempt to shamelessly pad these weekly essays—I wondered if anyone from Mayberry R.F.D. ever actually set sail on the classic TV sitcom that ran on ABC from 1977 to 1986. I eliminated Hartman right off the bat because he passed away in 1973, four years before The Love Boat premiered....and Frances Bavier retired in 1974, so that lets her out. (And ever since Freddie Bartholomew and Captains Courageous, I think there’s a federal law that prohibits ocean liners from employing child labor, so we can scratch off Buddy Foster.) Arlene Golonka is the champ, having appeared in the third season episode “Doc, Be Patient/Dance with Me/Going My Way” (09/29/79) and Season Five’s “Good Neighbors/Captain's Portrait/Familiar Faces” (01/09/82). Ken Berry was in one Love Boat outing, “Third Wheel/Grandmother's Day/Second String Mom” (05/12/79) in the second season…but since he was also in the cast of The Love Boat II (1977), the second of the two TV-movies that acted as pilots for the series, he’s tied with Golonka. Neither Jack Dodson nor George Lindsey ever got a free cruise (Lindsey did do a Fantasy Island episode—but close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes) but when you pause to consider it, would you want to be trapped in the middle of the ocean with Howard Sprague prattling on endlessly? (“Those cumulus clouds, with their vertical development and clearly defined edges, are certainly a sight to behold…”)

But back to the ship. On board, Aunt Bee and company are scarfing down hors d’oeurves as Sam comments that she’s certainly going to be traveling in fine company. “Hey, Aunt Bee,” Emmett interjects, “there’s an eligible lookin’ fella!”

That fella is character actor veteran Emory Parnell, who some of you may recognize as one of the actors in the “movie” being projected onscreen during the shootout in the theatre in Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942)…and he’s also the poor sap who brings Moe, Larry and Curly home to his wife (Lelah Tyler), passing them off as orphans, in the Three Stooges two-reeler All the World’s a Stooge (1941). Parnell was in quite a few The Life of Riley episodes as William Bendix’s irascible boss and lately I’ve been running into him in the Lawman repeats being shown on Encore Westerns where he plays the bartender at the Blue Bonnet. (For some odd reason, the first names of the characters in both of these boob tube venues is "Hank." I guess he just looks like a "Hank.") He’s also got a bit part in The Great McGinty (1940)…which allows me to clumsily segueway into the plug that McGinty celebrates its 70th anniversary today and that I have an essay on the film up at Ed Copeland’s.

HOWARD: He looks lonely, too…
GOOBER: No wedding ring…
AUNT BEE: Oh, Goober…


Well, we might want to check back on him in a little bit…he may need a few more drinks…

Then again…I could be wrong…Mike comes running into the lounge at this time, announcing that he’s found the lifeboat “you’re supposed to use if the boat starts sinking.” Ah, kids…you know I love ‘em! Howard then points out another eligible bachelor…


…who’s stewed to the gills. (See, I’m not the only one who’s suggesting that being befogged with alcohol is a prerequisite to bedding Ms. Taylor.) “Sure slim pickin’s on this boat,” is Emmett’s editorial comment, with Howard and Goober both in agreement. A steward then walks by with that nifty xylophone thingy to announce to everyone it’s time to disembark, and the Mayberry contingent bid Aunt Bee bon voyage, pleasant journey, etc. When Sam asks Bee if she’s coming out on deck to wave goodbye with the streamers and the whole shebang, she tells him she wants to check with the steward first about her table reservation…

Hokey smoke, Bullwinkle! It’s Grandpa Walton! Actually, Aunt Bee has committed a serious breach of high-seas etiquette in mistaking the ship’s captain (Will Geer) for a lowly steward, and as such he orders her to be strung up from the highest yardarm. No, I’m kidding—but she is a bit embarrassed by her fox paw:

AUNT BEE: Well, I don’t tip you now, do I?
CAPTAIN: Huh? No…!
AUNT BEE: Oh…well, there’ll be a little envelope for you at the end of the trip…
(Another officer, Mr. Spencer [Bob Kline], enters the lounge)
SPENCER (saluting): Everything in order, Captain…
AUNT BEE: Captain? Oh, I’m so sorry…I didn’t realize
CAPTAIN: That’s quite all right, madam…
AUNT BEE: Oh no, it isn’t…oh, I feel so stupid…I just didn’t recognize the uniform…I mean, it’s a lovely uniform, I just didn’t know about the stripes…oh, I’m so embarrassed…
CAPTAIN: Well, please don’t worry about it, madam…find a steward…forward on B deck…
AUNT BEE: Where?
CAPTAIN: Up front and down one floor…


The Captain delivers this last line in a rather brusque and impatient manner, which sort of makes you think he’s going to be a bit of a hardcase…but as Aunt Bee leaves the lounge, you catch him checking out Aunt Bee’s junk…you old seadog…

Back from the commercial break, Sam rifles through some mail in his office as Howard looks on—we’re barely nine minutes into this episode, and she’s already sending postcards…

SAM (reading): Uh…”Dear Sam and everybody…just a quick note to thank you all for coming down to see me off…”
HOWARD: Hey, she must have sent it in with the pilot boat, huh?
SAM: Yeah, I guess…uh…”I got off to a good start by mistaking the captain for a steward…” (Both men laugh) “I was so embarrassed…” That’s our Aunt Bee…
HOWARD: Oh, yeah… (Laughing)
SAM: “Anyway, looking forward to a wonderful cruise…first stop, San Juan…love, Aunt Bee”…uh, “P.S. Just met my table companions…Blanche Wilkins, Winifred Shea and Amelia Turner…”
HOWARD: Uh-oh…sounds like she’s in for a lot of girl talk, huh…
SAM: Yeah…yeah…uh…”They seem to be taking the cruise for one reason…to snag husbands…here’s wishing them good luck…love, Aunt Bee…”
HOWARD: Hmm…well, even though they aren’t men it sounds like she’s made some friends, anyway…


And in the blink of the eye, she’s already pissed one of them off—because in the next scene, she’s joined by only two of her companions, Blanche (Cecil Elliott) and Amelia (Violet Carlson). (Winifred must be in the back room, seeing what the boys will have—but why mention three women if you were only going to hire two actresses?)


Yeah, I know what you’re thinking—compared to these crones, Aunt Bee is a stone fox

BLANCHE: I don’t know what to wear for the costume ball…it’s so difficult to find something humorous…and yet that’s still attractive
AMELIA: Oh, I wouldn’t bother…there are hardly any men around to attract anyway
AUNT BEE: Well, it’s a beautiful ship…and I’m certainly enjoying myself…
BLANCHE: Uh…that Mr. Hopkins at table seven was…rather a nice-looking man…
AMELIA: Ho…you should have seen him on the deck this morning…holding onto his toupee… (Laughing)
BLANCHE: Have you met the captain yet, Bee?
AUNT BEE: Yes, for a brief moment…
BLANCHE: You know, you’d imagine the captain on a cruise ship…would be charming…and sociable…
AUNT BEE: Well, I guess he’s got his mind on steering the ship and…watching the weather and…that sort of thing…


Aunt Bee and these other two hens are joined by Mr. Hopkins (Owen Cunningham), the toupeed gentleman Amelia was dissing seconds earlier. Now, what I find so funny about this scenario is that both Blanche and Amelia are jockeying for position for his attentions—and yet the entire time he’s chatting it up with the Unholy Three he can’t take his eyes off Aunt Bee…which would seem to suggest that she’s catnip to the men on board…a real tigress in the sack. (Now I wish I hadn’t written that…think unsexy thoughtsthink unsexy thoughtsClara Edwards [Hope Summers] naked on a cold dayClara Edwards naked on a cold day…) Bee excuses herself from the table and Hopkins watches her shake her moneymaker (Clara Edwards naked on a cold day…) out the door—prompting Blanche to remark to him: “They say her husband is a violently jealous man.” (Meowrr!)

Outside on deck, Aunt Bee drinks in the view of the ocean blue…and she receives a visit from the ship’s captain, who’s carrying some violets in his hand…and who positions the flowers on the side of the ship with a small hook…

AUNT BEE: Violets? In the sun?
CAPTAIN: I always see that they get the afternoon sun…
AUNT BEE: But that’s why they’re drooping
CAPTAIN: African violets need all the sun they can get… (Aunt Bee scoffs with a little “Oh ho…”) Are you saying that…violets don’t need sun?
AUNT BEE: Morning sun, yes…but afternoon sun—never…and they are drooping, whether you want to admit it or not…


I could let loose with a really filthy double entendre here…but I’ll save it for later…

CAPTAIN: As a matter of fact, it’s perfectly normal for violets to droop!

Of course…it's nothing to be embarrassed about; it happens to everyone! (So much for later.)

AUNT BEE: Oh ho…
CAPTAIN: And further more…when the sun goes overhead…


The captain is interrupted by Mr. Spencer, who tells him that he’s just thrown his stinkin’ palm tree overboard…and wants to know what all this crud is about no movie tonight. No, hold on—I’ve got that confused with something else…Spencer tells the captain he’s wanted on the bridge, but Captain Droopy waves him off…

CAPTAIN: Just where did you raise African violets?
AUNT BEE: Well, I happen to be the president-elect of Mayberry Garden Club… (She places a hand on the violets) And your soil is a little too damp
CAPTAIN: In my opinion, madam, my soil is not too damp…
AUNT BEE: And in my opinion, Captain, you’ve been at sea too long


And in my opinion…well, you know what they say—it’s not the size of the ship, it’s the motion of the ocean. So Captain Potting Soil decides to take Bee’s advice by eliminating the afternoon sun and cutting back on the dampness. “But if I lose one petal…” he admonishes her, eliminating the part about having her keelhauled. As he heads back up the stairs to the upper deck, he accidentally runs into the railing, prompting Aunt Bee to smile.

There is then a dissolve to the captain’s violets, which are now vibrant and full of life. (And the flowers look swell, too.) By the way, check out the sign above the entrance on the right…

“Playa Room.” That floored me when I saw that. (The Captain’s a playa…)

CAPTAIN: Ah, Miss Taylor…you are a woman of rare talents
AUNT BEE: Oh, not at all…I just like to see beautiful flowers properly treated
(Mr. Spencer enters again from atop the stairs)
SPENCER: Captain, there’s a sixteen-mile wind coming up on the southwest…should we change course?
CAPTAIN: Do whatever you think… (Spencer salutes and exits) Miss Taylor…perhaps a cup of coffee…in the Officer’s Lounge?
AUNT BEE: Oh, I should be delighted


Hey, she’s been around the block a time or two—she knows what “coffee” really means. (The two of them exit through the “Playa Room” doorway, so “Playa Room” must be the nickname for the Officer’s Lounge…the horny old goat…)

Another dissolve and we find ourselves back at Emmett’s, who announces: “It’s from Port of Spain—where the heck is that?”

SAM: Uh…Trinidad, I think…
GOOBER: Wow! Trinidad!


Goober, you dipstick, you wouldn’t know Trinidad if it crawled up your freakin’ coveralls

EMMETT: She says, uh…the captain showed her through the maritime museum…
HOWARD: The captain…hey, that really is first class, eh?
GOOBER: Looks like she snags the head man…read on, Emmett…
EMMETT: “There are so many interesting things to do aboard ship…for one thing, I’ve been helping the captain with his violets…”
(He stops, and the four men look at one another)
SAM: Uh…you want to let us have that one again, Emmett?
EMMETT: “I’ve been helping the captain with his violets…” That’s what it says…
SAM: Huh…I guess she’ll explain all that when she gets back…


We cut to the bridge of the boat, where Captain Horticulture is showing Aunt Bee around, including the gyro compass. I love the look on this crewman’s face—he never cracks a smile the entire time, even when he’s asks to step aside so that Aunt Bee can have a turn at the wheel. Aunt Bee isn’t on board with that suggestion: “I might hit something.” “I don’t think there’s anything to hit within the next hundred miles,” he replies, shortly before Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On starts blasting on the soundtrack. (Okay, I’m joking about that but Aunt Bee’s retort is a beauty: “Well, you haven’t driven with me before…”)

She steers a ship! She flies a plane! Bee Taylor—Renaissance woman…

Back in Mayberry, Sam is sampling some of Millie’s cuisine and pronounces it “mmm…mmm…good!” in the same manner as Andy Griffith used to say “Goooood cracker!” “I’m sure glad you came over, Miss Swanson,” burbles Mike. “We haven’t had anything except weenies and beans.”

SAM: No…no, we had cube steaks on Tuesday…
MILLIE: Oh…go on with the letter…
SAM: Well…anyway, she loved Trinidad and…uh…oh yeah…”One of the highlights of the trip so far was when Charles took me to this little out-of-the-way restaurant…”
MILLIE (interrupting): Oh! It’s Charles now, is it?
SAM: Hmmm…
MILLIE: …I knew that perfume would work…
SAM: Yeah…that must have been it…
(Sam and Millie take their plates over to the table, where Mike is already seated.)
MILLIE: Don’t laugh! She went right to the top, didn’t she? (Sighing) I think it’s beautiful…having a shipboard romance with the captain…I’ll bet they’re holding hands right now…
MIKE: Pa…did they have any lifeboat drills yet?
SAM: Uh…no, she didn’t say, Mike…
MILLIE: I hope she remembers to be nice to the other men, too…so he won’t get overconfident
MIKE: Did she get seasick yet?
SAM: No, Mike—I don’t think so…
MIKE: Boy…I wish she would write about something interesting


Sam…I’ll just leave these military school folders with you…think it over, and let me know what you decide. After Sam and Millie exchange a couple of goofy “Oh-what-a-precocious*-kid-I’ve-got” grins, the scene shifts to…the captain’s cabin, where he and Aunt Bee are enjoying a cup of coffee and he has apparently just finished showing her his etchings. (Bow-chicka-wow-wow…) No, just kidding—the two of them are discussing the various pieces with which he’s decorated his crib…Dresden china, a cherry vase from Taiwan—and a chest that he likes to say came from Hong Kong but which he actually purchased in Brooklyn “with trading stamps.”

AUNT BEE: You know, I always thought captains were supposed to be very stern and very rough…but you’re not that way at all…
CAPTAIN: Well, don’t let that get outside this room…well, we’ve talked enough about me—what about you?
AUNT BEE: Well, as I told you…I take care of Mike and Sam on the farm…and I go to church on Sundays…and, uh…the garden club every second Thursday…oh, it’s a nice life—but not very exciting…


Oh, Aunt Bee…I’m sure there’s some gusto out there somewhere with your name on it. The captain, on the other hand, has a dissenting opinion—he expresses a desire to quit the wharf rat race and retire after forty-six years at sea, settling into the boondocks and living the life of a country squire. And that’s precisely what he tells Bee—this is going to be his last cruise as he settles into dry-dock…

AUNT BEE: I have an idea if you wanted to do something, you could do it…and you’d do it very well
CAPTAIN: You know, I haven’t talked to anyone like this for years


…and we go into a close-up of his hand patting hers…and I’m glad that that’s as steamy as it’s going to get, because the last thing I need is for that chili dog to come back up.

The cruise has come to an end…and Aunt Bee returns home to her Mayberry port, where her family…well, no, her family is no longer in residence on this sitcom…more like her friends await her return with a “Mission Accomplished”-type banner. And because she’s now shacking up with Captain Green Stamps, she’s allowed the luxury of being driven home by Mr. Spencer—who deposits both her and her baggage at the front of Rancho Jones. As he gets back in his car, Aunt Bee tells him: “Now—when you get to the highway, turn hard on starboard and you’ll be right on course…”

HOWARD: Say—it isn’t everybody who gets a special ride home from the ship…
EMMETT: Yeah…sounds like you knew somebody important
MILLIE: Like the captain maybe? (Laughing)
SAM: I think you mean Charles
GOOBER (singsong): Aunt Bee’s got a boyfriend…Aunt Bee’s got a boyfriend…


And that’s not all she’s got, lug wrench boy…take a look at the bling on her hand!



AUNT BEE (clearing her throat): See any difference?
MILLIE: Aunt Bee—a ring!
HOWARD: Wow…
SAM: What? Aunt Bee—really? Really?
AUNT BEE: Charles asked me to marry him…and I’ve said yes
MILLIE (squealing with delight): Oh! How wonderful!
SAM (shaking Aunt Bee’s hands): Oh, congratulations…what a great surprise!
HOWARD: And what a lucky man, huh!
EMMETT: Ah, you can say that again!
GOOBER: He’s just gettin’ Mayberry’s best!


This beautiful moment is, of course, ruined by Mike the Idiot Boy, who asks Aunt Bee if she ever had any lifeboat drills. (There’s never a thresher accident when you need one.)

Coda time!

Aunt Bee and Sam are seated in the breakfast nook, and she shows him pictures of Charles taken during the trip…

AUNT BEE: Oh, it’s all working out so beautifully…he wants to settle on a farm…and I know he’ll just love Mayberry…

Yeah, for about three days. And then he’ll be so out of his ever lovin’ mind with boredom that he’ll sign on to run the boat ride concession at Funland just to be near the water again. Mike the Idiot Boy races into the kitchen with a telegram for Aunt Bee in his hands…it’s from Charles, and he’s letting her know that the steamship company has approved his retirement—“and he’ll be here next week.”

And so will I, when I’ll examine part 2 of this stirring saga, “Aunt Bee and the Captain.” Naturally, if Aunt Bee’s name is in the episode title it stands to reason that she makes an appearance in the episode (well, unless it’s “The Death of Aunt Bee”)…so Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s patented Mayberry R.F.D. Bee-o-Meter™ racks up another showcase for everyone’s favorite housekeeper, bringing the tally to seven sightings for the season. I know you’re as excited as I am to see how this turns out, and I just thought I’d let you know that she’s registered at Weaver’s Department Store…most of the gifts have already been purchased; I’m just trying to decide between the Water-Pik and the fondue set.

*Still on loan from Scott.

Bookmark and Share

4 comments:

Stacia said...

CAPTAIN: As a matter of fact, it’s perfectly normal for violets to droop!

BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *ahem*

Oh man, I am loving these. I really needed a good laugh and I got about a dozen out of your post. Can't wait for the exciting conclusion!

P.S. Always go for the fondue set.

Andrew Leal said...

This is Mayberry. They'll buy her a septic tank.

Tom said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Jack Dodson play a character that worked on the ocean liner the Munsters used to cross the ocean in Munster, Go Home? Wasn't a Love Boat, I'm sure.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

This is Mayberry. They'll buy her a septic tank.

"You're a good son, Barn..." "I try..."