Monday, September 17, 2012

Mayberry Mondays #58: “Hair” (10/19/70, prod. no. 0302)

From 1961 to 1967, Mayberry’s resident expert in the tonsorial arts was Floyd Lawson, the slightly befuddled town barber played by character great Howard McNear.  McNear’s history with the show is well-known: he suffered a stroke during The Andy Griffith Show’s third season but because his speech suffered no impairment (just paralysis in his left shoulder/arm and both legs) the producers were still able to utilize his services.  Floyd wasn’t as mobile as he was in past episodes; he was usually shown standing beside one of the barber chairs combing customers’ hair with one arm (a special brace was built for him to lean on) or seated in same. After departing TAGS at the end of its seventh season (McNear passed away in January of 1969), however, there was a definite void on the show in terms of character comedy—one that additions like Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman), fix-it savant (referred to by TDOY commenter rockfish as “the anti-Floyd”), never really managed to fill…even if he was renting the same storefront.

The absence of a barber in town means that the male populace of Mayberry risked going permanently shaggy until another person set up shop…and in today’s installment of Mayberry Mondays, “Hair,” we learn that grooming Mayberry males has now become the responsibility of one of TV’s best-known character faces.  And voices, too—he provided the speaking voice of Hanna-Barbera’s Magilla Gorilla, as well as Punkin’ Puss (on one of Magilla’s supporting segments, Mushmouse and Punkin’ Puss), Drooper (of the Banana Splits and Bristle Hound (on the It’s the Wolf segments of The Cattanooga Cats).  Couch potatoes are perhaps more familiar with the actor’s work as Corporal Steve Henshaw on The Phil Silvers Show (his wife later remarked that this was her husband’s favorite of all the shows he did), Sergeant Charley Hacker on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Sam “The Butcher” Franklin on The Brady Bunch, and Barney Hefner on both All in the Family and Archie Bunker’s Place.


Give it up for Allan Melvin, ladies and gentleman!  He answers to “Earl” in this one (a good, solid barber name), and as our episode opens, he is counseling the previously mentioned Mr. Clark about what to do regarding Emmett’s accelerated hair loss.

EMMETT: You sure this bathin’ cap’s doing anything good?
EARL: Keeps in the essential oils…
(He pulls the cap off Emmett’s head with a loud snap)
EMMETT (running his hands through his hair): Earl…I don’t think it’s doin’ any good…I don’t think this treatment’s gonna work…we’ve been at it for three weeks now…
EARL: You know, Emmett, you gotta have patience…growing hair takes time… (He studies Emmett’s cranium) Aha!!!
EMMETT: What?  You see it?  What is it?
EARL: Hold it…hold it right there… (He puts on his glasses for a closer look)
EMMETT: It’s good?  Huh?
EARL: Hah…no…no, I guess not… (He holds up a strand of hair from Emmett’s head) No…that one was there already…nothing new in the critical area…

Missed it by that much.

EARL: Are you sure you’ve been massaging with the olive oil and the bone marrow?
EMMETT: Three minutes…
EARL: Well…guess we’ll just have to try something else…
EMMETT: You’ve been sayin’ that for four years now…
EARL: You’ve got a stubborn case, Emmett…
EMMETT: I hope you ain’t been tellin’ nobody about these treatments…
EARL: Believe me, Emmett…there’s nothing goes beyond these walls…the only thing to do is to let the sides grow and drag it up over the top…
EMMETT: I ain’t that bald…it’s just thinnin’ a little…
EARL: Yeah…well, you’re not seeing it from where I’m seeing it, either…

There are satellites in space that can show you how bald he is.

EARL: Look, Emmett…I’ve been thinking about your problem…and believe me, I’d hate to lose my best customer…but I’m going to make a suggestion…
(Earl turns around and takes a magazine down from a nearby shelf, then opens it up for Emmett)
EMMETT: A toupee?
EARL: Mail order…you get ‘em on a fifteen-day free trial…a lot of the big corporation guys are wearing ‘em…
EMMETT: Well, not me… (He thrusts the magazine back at Earl)
EARL: The time is now, Emmett…before you lose any more hair…then the contrast won’t be so great…look—only a hundred-and-twenty-five dollars…
EMMETT (scoffing): A hundred-and-twenty-five dollars?  Forget it…no thanks…hey—maybe we oughta try the oatmeal pack again…
EARL: But, Emmett…a toupee is nothing to be ashamed of… (Looking at the magazine) Here…Willie Harris…from Piedmont, Kansas says: “It’s like being born all over again…”

Well, there are a lot of born-again folk in that state.  And now we can chalk it up to faux hair.

EMMETT (after staring at the magazine photograph): Looks like a different man, don’t he?
EARL: Honestly, Emmett—it’s the answer…it would look great on you!
EMMETT: Well…I’d have to think about it…
EARL: Yeah… (He goes back to combing Emmett’s lack of hair) Well, I wouldn’t think too long

Poor Emmett.  It’s 1970, and both Minoxidil and the Hair Club for Men haven’t been invented yet.  His all-too-noticeable hair loss is starting to affect his vanity, and while it would be normal for such an individual to discuss with his wife the wisdom of dropping 125 clams on a rug, in Emmett’s case he’s going to run it past Mayberry’s resident sage: poor-but-honest-dirt-farmer-turned-town-council-head Sam “I have a full head of hair, thanks” Jones (Ken Berry).  Interestingly, Emmett enters the council office wearing his trademark cap…which, if my Mom happened to be watching this episode, would prompt her to start a rant about “that’s how you got bald in the first place.”

EMMETT: Hiya, Sam…
SAM: Oh…hi, Emmett…
EMMETT: Busy?
SAM: No…no, not very…why?  What can I do for you?
EMMETT (sitting down on Sam’s desk): Oh, nothin’…I’m just takin’ a breather…

I look at these guys sometimes and wonder where they get all that energy to piss entire mornings and afternoons away.  It must be exhausting.

EMMETT: You know, Sam…today, men use a lot of stuff that they didn’t used to use…when I was a kid, if you used after shave lotion they looked at you kind of funny…

Any time the conversation with Emmett takes a “when I was a kid” turn, the eyes of most Mayberrians start to glaze over.  Sam is one of the more polite people.

EMMETT: …but today they’re usin’ all kinds of stuff…nothin’ wrong with a man sprucin’ up a bit…
SAM: No…no, I didn’t say there was, Emmett…why?  What’s the point?

“And is it looming anywhere over the horizon?”

EMMETT: Well, nobody complains about all the junk women use to fix themselves up…you know…makeup…false eyelashes…why can’t a man do the same thing?
SAM: Wear false eyelashes?

Every episode of Mayberry R.F.D. has at least one laugh-out-loud moment.  They just rarely originate from Sam “Milkshake with two straws” Jones. “Emmett…what are you getting at?” he asks his friend before his head hits the desk in boredom.

Emmett then does an amusing bit of comic business in which he tosses the issue of Toupee Monthly at Sam, then goes over to the council office door and grabs the “Back in five minutes” sign, sticking it on the door knob outside.  He then locks the door and walks back over to Sam’s desk.

SAM: What?  What?  What do you want me to look at?
EMMETT (thumbing through the pages): Oh, look…right here… (He finds the page, and points to it for emphasis) Whaddya think of that?
SAM (after a pause): Oh…so that’s it…you’re going to get a toupee…
EMMETT: I didn’t say it…I just wondered what you thought about it…
SAM: Oh…uh…Emmett, you’ve still got hair…
EMMETT: Yeah…but not for long…according to Earl… (He takes off his cap to show Sam) You see, it’s recedin’ here in the front…and gettin’ very thin in the back…


Kee-rist.  Save yourself some money and just shave it all off already.  Emmett pretty much regurgitates for Sam the sales pitch that Earl made him, stressing that not just “dandies” but “big business tycoons” are all wearing rugs nowadays.

SAM: Hey, listen to this…”Feminine hearts will flutter when you wear one of our toupees…” (Laughs)
EMMETT: Sam…tell me honestly…do you think the guys would laugh at me?
SAM: Oh…uh…nah, I don’t think so, Emmett…
EMMETT: You know, it could be practical, too…good protection from the elements…wind, rain, sun…
SAM: Yeah…I guess…well…uh…look, Emmett—it’s really your decision…
EMMETT: Well…don’t go blabbin’ it around town…I’m still thinkin’ about it…

Sam then repeats practically verbatim what Earl told Emmett in “I wouldn’t think too long.”  The scene shifts to Emmett’s fix-it emporium, as he continues to study the ad in the magazine.  Taking the magazine and a piece of paper with him, he walks over to where a mirror hangs on the wall (why anyone would need a mirror in a fix-it shop?) and taking out a tape measure, he starts to measure his head.  He becomes so transfixed by this process that he’s oblivious to Sam’s arrival in the shop; it’s only when Sam stands behind him and asks “Bigger than a breadbox?” that he is jolted out of his reverie.

EMMETT: I thought I had the door locked…
SAM: You decided to get the toupee, huh?
EMMETT: Yeah…and I’d just as soon you wouldn’t mention it to anybody…especially Martha—you know how crabby she gets when I spend a little money…
SAM: Well, she’s gonna see it when it gets here…
EMMETT: Yeah, I know—but I’m gonna see it first…and if it don’t look good, I can get my money back…I got a fifteen-day free trial offer…
SAM: Oh, good…good…
EMMETT: Sam…I’d like to get your advice… (Looking through the magazine) There’s a lot of different hairstyles in here…movie stars, you know…
SAM: Yeah…
EMMETT: …I kinda lean toward this Glen Campbell one here…

“I am a lineman for the county/And I drive the main roads…”

SAM (puzzled): Glen Campbell doesn’t wear a toupee…
EMMETT: Oh, I know that…it’s just the hairstyles…
SAM: Oh…oh, yeah…well…uh…yeah, that…oughta look good on you…

Emmett needs Sam’s help in measuring his head, and as the two men begin the Great Toupee Experiment, village idiot Goober Pyle (George Lindsey) comes a-strollin’ in at the most inopportune time.

GOOBER: What are y’all doin’?
SAM (trying to hide the tape measure behind his back): Oh…uh…nothing, Goob…nothing…
GOOBER: Now, wait a minute…a feller don’t go measurin’ another feller’s head unless somethin’s goin’ on…
EMMETT: We’re just tryin’ to see how much room I got for brains in case I get any smarter…
GOOBER (after a pause): I don’t believe that…I don’t believe that for a minute!  Besides, the size of your head ain’t got nothin’ to do with the size of your brains…why, I knew this feller they used to call Pinhead…smart as they come!  You put a checkerboard in front of him and there wasn’t a person in the county could beat him…

“Yeah, Dad was a heck of a checker player.  I miss him so.”

EMMETT: Okay, Goob…now will you go away?
GOOBER (smiling) I know what you’re doin’
SAM: You do…?
GOOBER: You’re measurin’ him for a hat
SAM: Oh…well…he’s got us, Emmett…you got us there, Goob…yeah…a hat…we wanted to make sure he got the right size, see…
GOOBER: So you see, you two ain’t as smart as you think
EMMETT: Okay, Goob…we just wanna get the right size, that’s all…
GOOBER: Well, that oughta teach ya a lesson…don’t ever try to put anything over on the ol’ Goob…

Okay, lesson lear…Goober!  Look behind you!  (Heh heh…two for flinching.)  Goober wanders out of the fix-it shop, and sadly not into oncoming traffic.

EMMETT: Now where were we?
SAM: Uh…I was measuring…four fingers…
EMMETT (placing four fingers on his forehead as Sam applies the measuring tape): Four…
SAM: All right…that was…uh…seven and three-eighths inches…
EMMETT (taking a pencil and scratching the size on a slip of paper): Seven and three-eighths…good… (He walks over to his bench, with Sam following) Seven and…seven and three-eighths…
SAM: Yeah…
EMMETT: Now…all I need’s a lock of hair…we gotta know the right color…

Emmett hands Sam a big-assed pair of pinking shears, which kind of made me snicker.  Sam starts to snip a lock but Emmett stops him short, yelling: “Sam!  Not from the top!”


The scene dissolves to the humble abode of the Clarks, where we find the lord and master reclining in his chair reading the paper.  His dutiful wife Martha (Mary Lansing), who would get my vote as Most Unappreciated Spouse in the History of Sitcoms, is seated at a desk in the living room and has just noticed a discrepancy in the household accounts.

MARTHA: There’s only twenty-three dollars left in the checking account…
EMMETT (putting his paper down): Oh…well, I’ll get to the bank on Monday…
MARTHA: Where does the money go…I can’t believe I’ve spent that much…
EMMETT: Uh…well…don’t worry about it…
MARTHA: Well, I try to be so careful…
EMMETT (getting up from his chair): Martha, just forget about it…
MARTHA: No…I must have made a mistake somewhere…

Martha, a woman who suffers from a severe lack of self-esteem, has never entertained the possibility that it’s her idiot husband who may have drained the checking account.  It must be her fault.

EMMETT: Well, here…I’ll check it for ya…
MARTHA: Whoa!  Whoa!  What’s this…?
EMMETT: Huh…?
MARTHA: Did you…write a check for a hundred and twenty-five dollars?

Let me just pass on this word of advice, Emmett.  “Look behind you!” is probably not going to work with Martha.

EMMETT (looking at the stub): Yeah…I guess I did…well…that clears up the mystery…
MARTHA: Wait a minute…you didn’t put down what it’s for…
EMMETT (after an evasive pause): Well, I can’t account for every nickel I spend!
MARTHA: Nickel?  That’s a hundred and twenty-five dollars!  And you can’t remember what it’s for?
EMMETT: Well, it was over a week ago…
MARTHA (sitting back down at her desk): I’m the one who’s knocking myself out to save nickels…and you’re out spending a hundred and twenty-five dollars!
EMMETT: Martha…
MARTHA: That’s more that you spent on our honeymoon!

Having become all-too-familiar with Emmett’s parsimonious ways, I laughed out loud at this, too.  Emmett then asks Martha to “trust me—it’s sort of a secret.”  Martha repeats “A secret?” and eyes her husband suspiciously.


There is then a dissolve to Goober running down the streets of Mayberry (notice Boysinger’s bakery there in the background) and zipping inside the town council office.  Millie, the counter girl at that very bakery, is having a discussion with her boyfriend and when Goober throws open the door, he doesn’t see her at first (the door obscures her when open).

GOOBER: Sam!  Sam, guess what…wait ‘til you hear…
SAM: What?  What?
GOOBER: Oh…hi, Millie…
MILLIE: Hi, Goober…
GOOBER: I didn’t know you was here…
SAM: Well, what is it, Goob?
GOOBER: Well…nothin’…I mean…I don’t think I should…mention it right now…
MILLIE: Oh…um…man talk?
GOOBER: Oh…kind of…
MILLIE: Well, I have to go anyway…I’ll see ya, Sam…

So Millie runs off back to her menial job, and Goober springs the forbidden news on Sam:

GOOBER: Sam!  Guess what?  I was down at the post office and Emmett got a package!
SAM: Well, now why couldn’t Millie hear that?
GOOBER: Well, it happened to be wrapped in a plain brown wrapper

Congratulations, Mayberry!  You’ve just received your first official copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

SAM (he realizes what’s in the package): Oh…
GOOBER: And…it was in a box about this big… (He indicates the size with his hands) And it was postmarked…Hollywood!
SAM: Well, I….I’m sure it’s nothing, Goob…
GOOBER: Nothin’?  Nothin’ you could buy in Mayberry…wait ‘til I tell Howard…I’ll see ya…

Goober runs out the council office door to spread the gossip to Howard…who sadly is MIA from Mayberry for the second week in a row.  Meanwhile, inside the inner sanctum that is his fix-it shop, Emmett hurriedly unwraps his package and puts the toupee on his head…then goes over to the mirror for a look.


It would appear that they sent him the “Bird’s Nest” model instead of the “Glen Campbell.”  Commercial break!


Back from extolling the wonders of General Foods, we observe the outside of Earl’s barber shop and that lovable dimwit known as Goober attempting to enter said establishment.  The door is locked, and having been denied entrance our gas pump jockey mutters: “Something mighty funny goin’ on around here.”  Unfortunately for us, it is nowhere in the vicinity of this sitcom…but the camera moves in for a close up of the barbershop’s window blinds and…


Peek-a-boo!  Inside the shop, Sam and Earl are discussing the mess that is currently on top of Emmett’s cranium.  Emmett is seated in Earl’s barber chair.

SAM (indicating Goober): Well…he’s gone…
EMMETT: Good…now what about this toupee?
EARL: Well, the color’s good…but you sure don’t look much like Glen Campbell… (Laughs)
SAM (chuckling): Except maybe when he wakes up in the morning…
EMMETT (glaring at him): You ain’t funny, Sam… (To Earl) Can’t you trim it, or comb it, or…
SAM: Or put a leash on it?  (Continues laughing along with Earl)

Sam Jones, ladies and gentlemen…the Cultivator of Comedy!  He’s here all week, folks—try the milk-fed veal!

EMMETT: Come on, Sam…this ain’t no laughin’ matter…if Martha sees it lookin’ like this, I’m in big trouble!
EARL: Well, the texture’s nice…
EMMETT: Will you quit feelin’ it and do somethin’ about it?!!
EARL: Well, I don’t know as I can…
EMMETT: Huh?
EARL: Well, you see…dead hair ain’t exactly my bag…

…man.

EARL: …I mean, if I make a mistake on the real stuff—it’ll grow right back in again…
EMMETT: Yet you call yourself a barber
EARL: I ain’t saying nothing’s wrong with it…I’m just saying…I don’t know if I can handle it…
SAM (leafing through a magazine): And after all, Emmett…this is the first toupee in Mayberry…
EARL: Well, I suppose I could take a try at it…you know, just in case these things catch on, I could use the practice, huh… (He starts at Emmett with comb and scissors)
EMMETT (waving him off): Oh, no!  No!  You ain’t gonna practice on my hundred and twenty-five dollar toupee!
EARL: Well, then the only other thing I can do is get you an appointment at the beauty shop…
EMMETT: I ain’t goin’ to no beauty shop
EARL: Now, Emmett…if anybody can help you with it Sally can…she works on them wigs all the time…
EMMETT: I can’t go to no beauty shop!  Sittin’ there with all those women!

“Why, I could become emasculated in their very presence!

EMMETT: There must be some man who can do hair…
SAM (not looking up from his magazine): There’s Clyde Wilkins…
EMMETT: I ain’t goin’ to no mortuary, either!

In the days before unisex salons, men rarely ventured inside beauty shops for fear that they might suddenly become gay.  But apparently there was a loophole in that if you could convince the proprietor of a woman’s establishment to work on you after hours you might be spared the threat of homosexuality—this is Sam’s suggestion, asking Sally to “let you come in early.”

It’s either that or go back to the scalp treatments.  “I got a new one,” brags Earl.  “Peat moss and castor oil!”


“I’ll talk to Sally,” Emmett says resignedly.  The scene then shifts to Mayberry’s own La Petite Beauty Salon, which is French for “The small beauty salon.”  The camera then pulls back to show us this unusual sight…


…Mayberry has a street sweeper!  (Progress!  There’s no stopping it!)  We then watch as Emmett makes his way down the street, clutching a paper bag in his hands (three guesses as to what’s in the bag…and the first two don’t count).  He arrives at the front door of La Petite, and becomes frustrated at not being able to get inside…then, from across the street we see a woman walking hurriedly toward the salon, and she says to our would-be toupeed hero: “Hi, Emmett…sorry I’m late.”  This is Sally, played by actress Joanie Larson…who, according to the always reliable IMDb, had a pretty skimpy resume when it came to TV appearances.  Episodes of Bewitched, The Flying Nun and Nichols are on her resume but nothing beyond a 1973 appearance on The Bold Ones.

Sally asks Emmett if “that’s it”—meaning the toupee in the paper bag, and when he replies in the affirmative, she takes it out to have a look.  But Emmett grabs it from her and stuffs it back in the sack, asking her if they can go inside.

EMMETT (seated in a chair): Is there any hope?
SALLY: Oh, yes…it’s a very fine hairpiece!
EMMETT: Well, you ain’t gonna leave it like this, are ya?
SALLY: No…I just want to see what I have to work with…you want the Glen Campbell look…

“I clean my gun/And dream of Galveston…”

EMMETT: Well, that…or whatever’s fastest!
SALLY: Now, don’t worry…there are no appointments until nine…

There is a knock at the door, and a woman cries out: “Yoo hoo!  Sally!”  The first time I watched this, I was hoping it would be Martha…and she would come in, seeing her husband and Sally together, and blow both of them away with a gun she purchased at Elmo’s.  Needless to say, I was disappointed (though it would have been the best R.F.D. ever) to learn that it’s just an elderly woman identified in the closing credits as “Beauty shop customer”—played by character actress Ruth Thom.  Ruth’s IMDb resume is just as skimpy as Joanie’s (though she did appear in such films as The Ghost and Mr. Chicken and Body Heat) but she made a number of appearances on TAGS as a character named “Ella Carson,” and played the proto-Myrtle (later essayed by Maudie Prickett on R.F.D.) in an episode entitled “A Trip to Mexico” (09/25/67).

In the meantime, Emmett doesn’t want the elderly lady to know he’s in the salon, so he comically pulls a hair dryer over to him and sticks his head under it.


CUSTOMER: Oh, it’s so early but I’m so glad I caught you…I wondered if I could my appointment to ten-thirty Friday…’cause you see Wednesday’s out…Thursday I’m going to be at the church all day…I’m in charge of the bake sale, you know…
SALLY: That’s fine…fine…ten-thirty’s fine… (She starts hustling the customer out the door)
CUSTOMER (noticing Emmett’s man shoes resting on the chair and whispering): Who is that?
SALLY: It’s a new customer…a little offbeat…ten-thirty’s fine…

Sally successfully vacates Old Snoopy Drawers from her shop, and walking back over to Emmett she pulls the dryer off his head…his toupee has slipped down over his eyes, which was good for another chuckle.  In a scene shift, we find Sam and Millie walking down the street hand-in-hand, with Goober walking behind them eating a pastry and drinking coffee from a cup.  “Oh, there ought to be a law against working on a day like this,” chirps Millie and Sam is in agreement.  The three of them walk past La Petite…but Goober stops, staring inside.

GOOBER (rushing to catch up to them): Hey, Sam!  Millie!  Millie…you gotta see this…you gotta see it to believe it!
MILLIE: Oh, what is it?
SAM: What?
GOOBER: Well, there’s a woman in the beauty shop who looks just like Emmett!

Yes, I am ashamed to admit I laughed out loud at this.  Only because it takes Goober a few seconds (after he and Millie have run back over to the shop window and peered inside, despite Sam’s objections) to realize…


GOOBER: That ain’t no woman who looks like Emmett…that is Emmett!

Now that the jig is officially up, the three of them go inside the shop.

GOOBER: Well, where’d you get that hair?
EMMETT: Never mind…
GOOBER: What did it?  The oatmeal pack?
EMMETT: How’d you hear about that?
GOOBER: Well, you cain’t keep a secret in Mayberry…
SAM: Goober…it’s a hairpiece
GOOBER: You mean he’s got somebody else’s hair glued to his head?
EMMETT: Well, what’s wrong with that?
MILLIE: Well, that looks very nice…
SAM: Yeah, sure it does!
SALLY (trying to finish): Hold still, Emmett!
EMMETT (embarrassed): Lots of guys wear toupees!  This is a real good one…cost a hundred and twenty-five dollars!
GOOBER: Huh!  You coulda got a red one at the drugstore for seventy-five cents with a big plastic nose!

Goober!  Look behind you!  (Hmm…I think he’s wising up to that one.)

EMMETT (as Sally sprays his toupee with hairspray): Wha…whaddya doin’?
SALLY: This will hold the style…
GOOBER (with his idiot grin): Wait ‘til I tell the boys at the bowlin’ alley…
EMMETT: How’d you like a poke in the nose?
SALLY (sharply): Boys…
MILLIE: I think it looks pretty good
SAM: Sure!  Sure it does!
EMMETT (getting out of the chair and admiring himself in the mirror): Yeah!  It does look good, don’t it?  You know…this is styled after somebody…you recognize who I look like?
(Goober looks at Sally helplessly, as she tries to encourage Goober toward the right answer.  Both Sam and Millie stare at one another, stumped)
EMMETT (peeved): It’s Glen Campbell!


“Where’s the playground, Susie/You’re the one who supposed to know her way around…”

MILLIE: Oh!  Of course!  That’s who I was thinking of!
SALLY: It’s not going to fall off, Emmett…
SAM: Hey—when are you going to show Martha?
MILLIE: You mean she doesn’t know?
(Sam indicates no with a grunt)
EMMETT: Well, I want it to look its best before I showed it to her…do you think she’ll like it?
MILLIE: Oh…I think so, Emmett…I really do…you look very nice…
EMMETT: Yeah…I guess I do…I certainly wouldn’t call this a foolish thing…it…it…uh…it ain’t an idiot thing to buy…

Not only is Emmett having trouble convincing himself buying the rug wasn’t plain damn stupid, but Millie and Sam aren’t too convincing in convincing Emmett, either.  It’s Goober—blessed with the gift of idiocy—that’s able to cut through all the b.s. by remarking to Emmett: “Now all you gotta do is convince Martha.”

So Emmett arrives home.  He stealthily makes his way into the house, and stopping at the couch, takes off his jacket and throws it along with his cap and newspaper on the couch.  He calls out Martha by name, and she responds that she’s upstairs.  “Dear…I got somethin’ I want to show you,” he hollers up the stairs.

“Be right down,” she says.  This gives him a couple of minutes to primp in front of the mirror…


…and then he positions himself at the bottom of the stairs so that he’s the first person Martha will see when she starts on her way down.  “What is it, dear?” she calls out.


BOINNNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!

MARTHA (stunned by the toupee): Emmett… (She circles around him to make sure she sees what she sees)
EMMETT (smiling): Surprise!
(Martha continues to walk around Emmett in a state of shock, which makes him a little uncomfortable)
MARTHA: Emmett…what on Earth
EMMETT: You like it?
MARTHA: Is that what you spent the hundred and twenty-five dollars on?
EMMETT: Yes, dear…but…now…now…think about it…I…uh…I did it for you!
MARTHA: My goodness!
EMMETT: Earl says it’s a real good one…it’s genuine human hair!  Everybody likes it!  Sam…Millie…Sally…even Goober!
MARTHA: You look so different!
EMMETT: It’s the Glen Campbell look!

“It’s knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk…”

EMMETT: And just think…no more oatmeal packs…and you won’t have to rub that bone marrow into my head every night…
MARTHA: Emmett, you…
EMMETT: Now don’t start blowing up till you hear me out…
MARTHA: You look beautiful
EMMETT: Now I coulda got the…what?
MARTHA: It looks beautiful!
EMMETT: It does…
MARTHA (tearing up slightly) Yes, it…makes you look so handsome


Emmett is completely blown away by Martha’s reaction, and starts to talk about the benefits of his toupee.  But Martha is only half-listening…as Emmett goes on and on, she wordlessly walks over to the same mirror and sadly starts to look at herself through the looking glass…finally Emmett stops chattering when he hears Martha start to weep…he walks over and asks her what’s the matter, and as she bursts into tears, she runs upstairs.


There is then a dissolve to the fix-it shop and a close-up of the toupee in Emmett’s hands.  He takes it over to his workbench and starts to wrap it in paper as Sam and Goober look on.

EMMETT: Well…there it is…
SAM: Hmm…hmm, at least you get your money back…
GOOBER: That’s more than you can say for that dumb houseboat kit

I don’t quite know what Goober is referring to here, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I laughed out loud at it.

SAM: Too bad, Emmett…you…you really looked good in that…
EMMETT: Well…a man has to sacrifice for his marriage…it just made me too handsome, that’s all…
SAM: Yeah…
GOOBER: Well, it wasn’t that great…

Nice of Goober to remind Emmett that even when he does the right thing by his wife he can still be a dick about it.

EMMETT: You know…it’s tough on a woman when her husband starts to look twenty years younger…when I realized what she was gettin’ all shook up about…well, I didn’t wanna hurt her…
SAM: No… (He put the paper-wrapped toupee in a box and starts to wrap it to help Emmett out)
EMMETT: You know…as I look back on it…it was just a crutch I didn’t need anyhow…the mark a man leaves in the world…ain’t his looks…it’s his trail of accomplishments

And this one’s for Chris Vosburg…


You know, having witnessed Emmett blow up a good many appliances in his shop I’ve often wondered if Mayberry isn’t some sort of Hell the principal characters were cast into after Emmett carelessly electrocuted them all one day.

Gonna cut to the quick on the coda this week, because it basically consists of Millie and Sam discussing in the council office how good Emmett’s rug looked…and also Millie tells Sam there’s more people walking around with toupees and wigs in Mayberry than he would believe—oftentimes you have to “get right on top of them” to make sure.  Sam then stares at the top of Millie’s head, and when she toddles off back to the bakery she studies his as well.  Your sides can thank me later.

Alice Ghostley’s Cousin Alice sits this one out this week—along with the previously mentioned Howard and Mike the Idiot Boy (Buddy Foster)—so her R.F.D. appearances stall at two by using Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s carefully calibrated Alice-o-Meter™.  But dry your tears, Howard Sprague fans…Mayberry’s favorite momma’s boy returns next week to Mayberry Mondays in a particularly painful episode that also includes an appearance by the father of one of TV’s best-known soap opera stars…and a character actress also known for her soap opera work, as well as recurring roles in the Paul Henning-produced The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres.  Next week: “Millie, the Best-Dressed Woman” (and yes, it’s as bad as it sounds).  Be there, good people!

6 comments:

basura said...

When Emmett was caught using the check I thought Martha might have thought he was saving up for a hitman ala "Dial M for Murder"

Chris Vosburg said...

OH HELL YEAH. What ever it was (table radio?), it blowed up real good! Strike three, grab some bench, Emmett.

Incidentally, not to be pedantic, but I can't resist pointing out that a large mirror actually has a valuable function in the fix-it biz, if it's a TV being fixed.

Buried in the back of the TV (back in the day, not so much now) are dozens of little variable resistors (AKA potentiometers or pots) that control various aspects of the TV image appearance, like geometry (height, width, position, bow, trap, skew, and so on), focus, chroma and luma presets, and on and on. Dozens of 'em.

Since you need to be behind the TV to get at 'em with a screwdriver, but need to see the resultant change in image on the front as you tweak away, a simple solution is to point the front of the TV into a mirror, and look into the mirror over the top of the TV from the back so you can see what's happening onscreen as you twiddle away.

Pretty sure this never occurred to Emmett, though, so yeah, what's the mirror for, Mister?

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

The esteemed Mr. Vosburg asked:

OH HELL YEAH. What ever it was (table radio?)

It was a table radio. In certain scenes of this episode, Emmett also wields this large mallet whuch I'm sure proves invaluable in his work.

Incidentally, not to be pedantic, but I can't resist pointing out that a large mirror actually has a valuable function in the fix-it biz, if it's a TV being fixed.

An excellent point, so I sit corrected. Though I would be remiss in remarking that bringing in a TV set for Emmett to fix is just asking for trouble ("I'm going to need a bigger mallet.")...

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Rich opined:

When Emmett was caught using the check I thought Martha might have thought he was saving up for a hitman ala "Dial M for Murder"

A lost Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode entitled "To Hair is Human."

Stacia said...

Piedmont Kansas exists! It's unincorporated and a ghost town (and probably had a pop of 8 people back in the early 1970s) but it's there.

The plain brown package bit seems awfully racy for MRFD, but doesn't compare to "Will you quit feelin’ it and do somethin’ about it?!!" My stars.

Oh, I miss Howard, but next week's episode sounds so... yeah.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Oh, I miss Howard, but next week's episode sounds so... yeah.

You are going to hate next Monday's episode. I hate it, and I haven't even written it yet. Seriously...this will give you a major case of Dr. Girlfriend face.