Monday, October 22, 2012

Mayberry Mondays #62: “Millie’s Dream” (11/16/70, prod. no. 0306)

I’d like to be able to say that after the vacation I took from Mayberry Mondays I’m a-rarin’ to get back in the saddle…but that would be a big stinky fib.  This week, the tapioca pudding of TV sitcoms gets in touch with its inner John Newland in presenting an episode that would have been perfect for the 1959-61 anthology One Step Beyond (aka Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond), a series created by Merwin Gerard and produced by one-time Ida Lupino hubby Collier Young.  Just a brief sidebar so I can make this paragraph long enough to accompany the Mondays logo: “Alcoa” was at one time tantamount to profanity in our household, mostly because my father worked at the Kaiser Aluminum plant in Ravenswood, WV during my formative years.  (Well, perhaps it would be more truthful to say he was employed at the plant, since no one I knew actually “worked” there.)  He actually got mad at me one day because he caught me singing the “Alcoa Can’t Wait” commercial (“We can’t wait, we can’t wait/For tomorrow/Alcoa can’t wait”).  In my defense, that jingle was a freakin’ earwig—but his response was to bequeath to me a 45rpm record with the Kaiser commercial on it…and it wasn’t anywhere near as catchy.

But enough about my childhood.  In “Millie’s Dream,” our favorite bakery counter girl, Millicent Swanson (Arlene Golonka), awakens one night in…well, just look at this screen cap:


Millie has a terrified look on her face because in her dream, she was married to poor-but-honest-dirt-farmer-turned-town-council-head Sam Jones (Ken Berry)…but their happy-ever-after existence was doomed to one of oblivion, because no one thought to include them in the 1986 reunion movie Return to Mayberry.  Oh, and she also had to face the fact that Mike the Idiot Boy (Buddy Foster) was now her stepson.  Okay, I am kind of making all this up…though I still think Sam and Millie got a raw deal on the movie thing.

The scene then shifts to the Mayberry city council office, where we find pedantic county clerk Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson) testing out a rod and reel.  Millie bursts into the office, anxiously looking for Sam.

MILLIE: Where’s Sam?
HOWARD: He stepped over to Elmo’s for a minute to get a new reel…he’ll be back any second…

Maybe I’ve mentioned this before but…shouldn’t this be the sort of thing Sam does on his lunch hour?  If I were a taxpayer in that town I’d start demanding accountability.

MILLIE (distressed): Oh…
HOWARD: Something the matter?
MILLIE: Yes!  (After a pause) Howard, do you believe in dreams?

“I work as a county government drone in a job I despise with no hope of advancement.  I pretty much have to.”

HOWARD: Well…what kind of dreams do you mean?
MILLIE: Well, when…somebody dreams something about something that’s gonna happen…
HOWARD: Oh…you mean dreams…dreams that foretell the future

The word is “premonition,” Mr. Vocabulary.  As Howard finishes his sentence, Sam enters the council office carrying his newly purchased reel.

SAM: Well, Howard, this…oh!  Hi, Millie…
MILLIE: Hi, Sam…
HOWARD: So you got one, huh?
SAM (showing him the reel): Yeah…yeah…this one oughta pull ‘em in…
HOWARD: Yeah…anyway, to answer your question… (To Sam) Millie was just asking about dreams…no, I don’t think dreams can foretell the future…what do you think, Sam?
SAM: No…I’m with you…
HOWARD (To Millie): You have some kind of dream that’s bothering you?
MILLIE: Yes…I dreamed that something terrible was going to happen to you and Sam on the fishing trip…

Dun-dun-DUN!!!

HOWARD: Oh?
SAM: Something terrible?  Like maybe we didn’t catch any fish, you mean?
(Both he and Howard chuckle at his cleverness)
MILLIE: Sam, I’m serious…and I just wish you two would call off the trip…I-I’d feel better…
SAM: Oh, now Millie…
HOWARD: Exactly what did you dream?

“Were you naked?  And was I there?”

MILLIE: Well…i-i-it was all muddled…but I remember that…that you were on this fishing trip, and…and that you were driving and that you went into the woods…and there was this tall tree with a fork in it…and…and you were camping and fishing…and then something terrible happened…it was all mixed up…I-I-I don’t know whether you got hurt or had an accident or robbed or what…but…well, it was all so vague…oh!  It was awful!

Not nearly as awful as your explanation of it.

SAM: Millie, you don’t expect us to call off our trip just because of a dream you had?
MILLIE: Huh…I knew you wouldn’t listen to me…Sam—if you had the dream I had…it was so vivid
SAM: I thought you said it was vague…
MILLIE: But didn’t you ever have a vivid dream that was vague?

Howard asks Millie if she remembers anything else about the dream other than “the tall tree with the fork in it”…but she’s still sketchy on the details.  Sam, the voice of reason and rationality, realizes that his best gal is acting a little too kooky and says there will be no cancellation of the fishing trip.

“Okay…okay,” responds a miffed Millie.  “I’ve done my best.  Go on your fishing trip…have fun…but just remember one thing: if anything happens to you guys I won’t be the least bit interested.”  And with that, she makes an exit fit for a drama queen.  Sam and Howard just kind of look at one another and remark that Millie is “crazy”…but if the standards and practices had been a bit more lax at the time it would be more like “Bitches be crazy.”

There is a scene shift to Howard’s office, where Mayberry’s resident village idiot Goober “Wind” Pyle (George Lindsey) is seated on the counter.  He has some additional background to fill in regarding the strange premonitions of Millie Swanson.

GOOBER: You know, I was over at Millie’s house before she had that dream last night…
HOWARD: You were?
GOOBER: Yeah…I had four bags of potato chips…I eat six one time but that was because I was hungry…

If you’re wondering what purpose is served by having Goober in this episode, it’s because he’s pretty much going to provide what little laughs are in it.  There’s an amusing bit of business in which Howard, who’s jotting down figures in a ledger, breaks the point of the pencil he’s using and he reaches up and grabs one out of Goober’s ever-present pocket protector while replacing it with his broken one.  Goober then shoots him a look, and grabbing the broken pencil, pulls a knife out of his pocket to whittle a new point.  Every episode…one laugh-out-loud moment.

HOWARD: Yeah…well…Sam and I aren’t concerned…we think it’s kind of funny…

That makes two of you.

GOOBER: Well…I sure wouldn’t be goin’ on no fishin’ trip if somebody dreamed somethin’ bad was gonna happen to me…
HOWARD (moving Goober’s feet to get at one of his clipboards): Well, what can happen on a fishing trip?
GOOBER: Well, you could have an accident…a tree could fall on ya…you could drown…a snake could bite ya…or a rogue bear might get loose and chew you to pieces…gotta be one of them things…you got any ideer how much you want for your car?

Millie then rushes into the office, and after exchanging hellos she confides to Howard that “this thing’s really been bothering me” so she checked out a book on the subject from the Mayberry Public Library (now with Highlights!)”

MILLIE: …and do you know—there is such a thing as dreams foretelling the future!

Dun-dun-DUN!!!

GOOBER: I knew it!
MILLIE (opening the book): It’s all in here…it’s written by a psychiatrist…he gives cases…starting with the classic one of Caesar…do you remember that Caesar’s wife had a dream?  It warned her that Caesar shouldn’t go out of the house that day…
HOWARD: Yeah…I remember that…

All I ever remember is that Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.

MILLIE: But he went out anyway…and you know what happened!
GOOBER: He met Cleopatra!
MILLIE: He got stabbed in the back!
GOOBER: Oh, yeah…that thing about Brutus…

Millie is simply wore to a frazzle—wore to a fraz…zle!—about this premonition, and she tries to persuade Howard to talk Sam out of going on the fishing trip.

MILLIE: Howard, the reason I came to you is because Sam won’t listen to me!  He’s such a big he-man…he’s so stubborn!  But you, Howard…
HOWARD: What about me?

Do we really need to draw you a picture?

GOOBER: She’s just sayin’ you ain’t the he-man Sam is…
MILLIE: Oh, I am not
HOWARD: But Millie…this whole thing is so vague
MILLIE: Well, you can keep the book, Howard…I-I-I think you’ll see what I mean…

And so Millie beats a hasty retreat, content in knowing that the power of suggestion (as witnessed in the previously discussed episode “The Health Plan”) will work its magic on Howard…and with Goober around, she’s sure to hit pay dirt.

GOOBER: You’re scared…ain’tcha, Howard?
HOWARD (indignant): I’m not scared!
GOOBER: You are, too…I seen your lip quiverin’
HOWARD: My lip wasn’t quivering!
GOOBER: Did to!  Did to!  I seen it right through your moustache!  I wouldn’t go on that fishin’ trip for a million dollars!  Two million!

Now we’re talking Mitt Romney money!  Goober hops off the counter and off to…well, wherever it is he goes at that time of day (but not before exchanging Howard’s pencil with the one Mistah Sprague took from him).  There is a scene dissolve, and we find Howard reading Millie’s book at his desk when he’s being paid a visit by George Felton (Norman Leavitt), Mayberry’s up-at-the-butt-crack-of-dawn postman.  It has been quite a while since we’ve seen Mr. F (his last appearance was in “Mike’s Birthday Party”) and with this episode, we won’t see him delivering the mail in Mayberry again any time soon.  I should point out, though, that actor Leavitt does make one more appearance (as a different character) on R.F.D., in the series finale “Emmett’s Invention.”  Oh, and during Felton’s visit we hear eerie music on the soundtrack to drive home the point that something super freaky is about to happen to Howard.

FELTON: Oh!  Readin’ up on dreams, eh?  I’ve heard about that…
HOWARD: Yeah…yeah…heh…well, it’s just…scientific curiosity, you know…but one very interesting thing that this book brings out—did you know there are actually certain people who can foretell the future in their dreams?
FELTON: Oh?
HOWARD: Yep!  It’s a fact!  (Pointing to Felton’s stack of mail) Got anything interesting in there for me?
FELTON: Oh… (He sorts through the mail) Occupant…occupant…occupant…

“…Sex Toys Warehouse catalog…”

FELTON: Oh!  Here’s one…letter from the Treasury Department…
HOWARD: Oh!  Hey!  I’ve been waiting for that!  Hey hey hey!  (He rips open the letter) Huh!  A check for $58.33!  How about that!  That’s wonderful!  Hey hey!  I’m gonna get right down to the bank and deposit that…


And so Postman Felton continues on his rounds as Howard leaves his office—the above screen cap, by the way, shows you that he has his office in the same building as Lawyer Smedley and Doctor Brock.  (Little trivia for you Mayberry fans.)  As he starts toward the bank, he runs into Millie again.

HOWARD: Anything new?
MILLIE: Well, like I told you—I didn’t dream anything about the trip last night…
HOWARD: Well, I guess that’s the way those things are…sometimes they come, sometimes they don’t—huh?
MILLIE: I don’t think I fell asleep until about four o’clock…and then I had a nutty dream about you
HOWARD: Oh?  What was it?

“Was I naked?  And were you there?”

MILLIE: Well, I dreamt you were coming into some money…it was just silly…


Dun-dun-DUN!!!  As Howard realizes that Millie has phenomenal powers beyond any mere mortal’s comprehension, that spooky music reappears on the soundtrack.

HOWARD: Wait a minute!  I just got a check from the Internal Revenue Service for $58.33!
MILLIE: Oh…see, Howard!  See!  These things really do come true!  Oh…I-I-I must be a fortuneteller or a witch or something


I’m going to go with “witch” as my final answer, Regis.  I think it’s prolonged exposure to both town enchantress Clara Edwards (Hope Summers) and the newest member of the R.F.D. cast, Alice “Esmeralda” Cooper (Alice Ghostley).  Fortunately for fans of this regular feature, Millie doesn’t wind up being burned at the stake by episode’s end…because this would make it the worst episode of R.F.D. ever.

So Millie once again tries to convince Howard to persuade Sam to lay off the fishing trip, but Howard is still waffling.  He takes his leave of her, and then walks down the main thoroughfare, not even noticing that Sam is trying to get his attention.

SAM: You’re walking around in a daze…looks like you’ve been working too hard

Oh…someone is going to have to help me re-stitch my sides.

HOWARD: Hmm…
SAM: This fishing trip ought to be just what the doctor ordered, huh?

Well, yeah…if your general practitioner is Doctor Death!  Howard smiles weakly, and continues walking while Sam starts off in the opposite direction.  But he hears the brakes squealing of a car coming to a sudden stop and turns back around to see that Howard almost got his fool ass run over.

SAM: You walked right out in front of that car…are you sure you’re all right?
HOWARD: Yeah…I-I-I’m fine…I just…just had my mind on business matters, Sam…that’s all…
SAM: You’re sure now?
HOWARD: Yeah…I’m…I’m fine…fine…

Howard then turns around to go into the bank (he and Sam were standing right outside of it) and is followed by the eerie music…as the episode goes to a commercial break.

Back from selling General Foods, Howard has just pulled up to the humble home of Sam Jones, Pretend Gentleman Farmer.  Mistah Jones is busy packing for their fishing trip.

HOWARD: Say, uh… (Clearing throat) About this morning…I…uh…
SAM: Yeah, you were acting real funny this morning…nothing wrong, is there?
HOWARD: Oh, no…no…it’s just that…well, I had a lot of…complicated business matters on my mind…
SAM: Oh…yeah…you know, for a minute there…I thought you might be a little upset about Millie’s dream
HOWARD: Oh, ho…no…no…I don’t believe that stuff anymore than you do!  Heh heh…no…
SAM: Really?
HOWARD: I…uh…I’ve really been looking forward to this trip!  Yeah…getting up there on old…Devil Mountain, and…great outdoors, you know…heh heh… (He starts to sniff slightly) Rub shoulders with Mother Nature…  (He chuckles)
SAM: Yeah, I’ve really been looking forward to it, too…
(Howard continues to sniff)
HOWARD: Have you noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of sniffing?
SAM: Yeah…yeah, I did notice that…

“It started with the rubber cement in the county clerk’s office…but I gradually had to work my way up to the harder stuff…”

HOWARD: I wonder if I have a cold coming on?

If there’s anything cold, Howard, it’s your feet.

SAM: Nah…it’s probably just a little allergy…
HOWARD (massaging his nose): Well, it’s way up here in my upper nasal passages… (Sniffs) That’s where most of my colds originate…
SAM: Uh…are you trying to tell me something, Howard?
HOWARD: Well…I was wondering…just…just wondering, mind you…if it would be such a good idea if I went way up into that high altitude with my nasal condition…I might run into thin air
SAM: Well…as a matter of fact, I’ve always heard that thin air is the best thing for congestion…
HOWARD: You did?
SAM: Yeah!  Just might clear it up…
HOWARD: Yeah, but what about the dampness?  I mean, being outdoors and all…it’s my understanding that dampness has a very undermining effect on the membranes

It’s understandable that Howard has himself convinced that he can manipulate Sam out of going on this trip…after all, most of his day-to-day conversations are with people like Goober and resident fix-it savant Emmett Clark (Paul Hartman), who punctuate their arguments with hooting and feces throwing.  But Sam is on to Howard, and he challenges him by saying that if he doesn’t want to go on the fishing trip because of Millie’s silly nocturnal visions, just say so.  Howard can’t admit that he’s a slave to superstition, and so Sam will pick him up the next morning at his house.  Howard then gets into his car with a worried look on his face…or it could be because he’s hearing that spooky music again.

The scene dissolves to a shot of Sam putting a few more items in his car trunk, said auto is parked outside of Howard’s.  Millie and Goober are standing on the sidewalk nearby, and as you can see from this screen cap…


…their body language is that of a defensive attitude.  (My Mom is always going off about that when she sees people do that on TV, notably Joe Scarborough on Morning Joke, er, Joe.)

SAM: Well…Millie…I’ll be back around five tomorrow…and, uh…look…stop worrying, will ya?
GOOBER: You know, I figgered Howard’d back out at the last minute…but I guess he’s got more spunk than I thought…

I hate spunk.

SAM: Huh…
HOWARD (as he’s leaving the house): All set!  We’re off and running… (He walks down the steps carrying a rolled up blanket under his arm)
SAM: Yeah?
HOWARD (noticing that everyone is staring at his blanket): Well, I thought I’d take along this heavy Afghan…Mother made it, you know…gets mighty cold up there nights…heh heh…

Howard has a blanky.

SAM: Good idea…
MILLIE: Well…at least I hope you two will be careful
GOOBER: Yeah, you know hospitals ain’t cheap and the lodge is gonna to have to foot the bill…

A situation that occurred in the previously referenced “The Health Fund.”  So goodbyes are said, and as Howard and Sam get into Sam’s car, Howard buckles his seat belt…I realize this isn’t anything out of the ordinary since people do it all the time on TV nowadays, but it’s interesting to note that Sam does not.  He is, however, interested in knowing what Howard has concealed in the Afghan…and Howard removes the article to reveal…a hard hat.


HOWARD: Well, it’s…uh…I thought I’d need something to protect me from the sun…this is the…first thing I grabbed…heh heh…
SAM: Huh…
HOWARD: You know…pinecones and stuff…

“Tell me about the pinecones, George…”  (Little in-joke for the people with whom I correspond via e-mail on a regular basis.  I can explain it in the comments section upon request.)

SAM: Well, why don’t you…put it on…then we…you won’t have to hold it…
HOWARD: Oh yeah!  Good idea!  It would be kind of uncomfortable riding up there with it in my lap, you know…heh heh…

As I resist the urge to do a Jack Benny deadpan to the camera, the scene shifts to Sam’s car pulling into the spot where he and Howard will camp and fish and fart like he-men…with a “lake right at our doorstep,” as Sam comments, and a tall tree with a fork in it…


Dun-dun-DUN!!!  Cue the eerie dreamlike music!  Howard then hears Goober’s words ringing in his ears: “You could have an accident…a tree could fall on ya…you could drown…a snake could bite ya…or a rogue bear might get loose and chew you to pieces…

Sam interrupts Howard’s reverie to ask him for a little help in getting the rest of the gear out of the car, and Howard helps him with the task.  Sam then suggests that they get a little fishing in, and while Howard is initially enthusiastic about this proposal he then stops to think out loud: “Snakes…”


Cut to a shot of Sam and Howard doing a little angling—Sam is in the lake with his hip waders, while Howard fishes from the safety of the bank.

SAM: Hey, Howard…if you’re looking for fish you’ll find ‘em out here!
HOWARD: Well…I thought you were working that part of the lake…you know…I didn’t want to bother you…heh heh…
SAM: Well, believe me…if you want to catch anything, you want to come out in the water…
HOWARD: Well…if you say so…


Howard gingerly steps out into the lake…and then upon taking a few more steps, he disappears into a sink hole.  Convinced that he’s done for, he is instructed by Sam to stand up…which he does, sheepishly admitting that “that undertow dragged me…right into a hole.”

Later that evening, Sam and Howard finish a hearty fish dinner with campfire coffee…and Sam suggests the two of them hit the hay so they can get in even more fishing tomorrow.  As the two men lay out their bedrolls, Sam can’t help but notice that Howard appears to have concealed what W.C. Fields would have colorfully called an “assegai” in his:


SAM: What’s that for?
HOWARD: Uh…w-w-w-well, I thought we might want something to… (He makes a cutting motion) You know…cut down the brush?  You know…
SAM: I got an axe
HOWARD: Oh…good!

So Sam and Howard are ready to toddle off to Dreamland.  “Wanna talk for a while?” asks Howard.

Sam demurs.  “No…no…Howard…let’s go to sleep, huh?”  And so it goes.


Now…you’re probably thinking: “What is the point of this stupid episode?”  Well, you’ll remember that in the beginning Millie said: “I dreamed that something terrible was going to happen to you and Sam on the fishing trip…”


…and as you can tell by the above screen cap…something did.  (Oh, stop it—you can’t tell me you didn’t foresee the eventuality of this scenario.)


Okay, I’m just jinkin’ ya…nothing happened (at least I’m wishing it didn’t), but when Sam decides to start some coffee, Howard reaches over to where Sam was sleeping and then awakens with the sword at the ready, concerned that something happened to him.  So I’ll let you judge whether or not the woods witnessed the love that dare not speak its name.  (Note from the management: Please do not e-mail me any slash fanfic about Sam and Howard's weekend getaway.  I don’t think I could deal with it at this time.)

HOWARD: I didn’t sleep too well last night…
SAM: Oh?
(He pours Howard a cup of coffee)
HOWARD: Guess it must be this mountain air…heh heh…
SAM: Yeah…
HOWARD (noticing his sleeping bag is a little too close to Sam’s): Well…we must have rolled over during our sleep…heh…
SAM: Yeah, uh. I guess we did…
HOWARD: Yeah…


The town of Awkward…population two.

SAM: Uh…hey, you know, Howard—I was just thinking…we had, uh, we had a lot of good fishing yesterday, and…
HOWARD: Yeah…
SAM: …a pleasant night out here in the open, and a good night’s sleep and everything…uh…why don’t we just hang around here for a while and have some breakfast and then start for home…maybe beat that Sunday traffic, huh?

“And of course…we must never—ever—mention this to Goober or Emmett.”  Howard is visibly relieved that the trip is going to be cut short (though he does try to put on a slight show of “Well, if you really want to it’s all right with me”), and the next scene finds Goober and Millie anxiously waiting for Sam to return.

GOOBER (sitting down next to Millie on the porch steps): I don’t know why we had to come over here so early…had to close the fillin’ station…and I’m hungry…ain’t no pop or nothin’…
MILLIE: Goober, I told you…Sam stopped on the road, called, and said they were coming home early…
GOOBER: Well…so far, so good, I guess…

Goob, if you’re hungry…why not pick some fruit from Sam’s lush orchar…bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…I knew I’d never be able to say that with a straight face.  There’s a quick shift of scene to Sam and Howard pulling up at Howard’s house, and Sam empties the trunk of Howard’s gear: “Here’s your Afghan…here’s your knapsack…here…your sleeping bag…and your saber.”  The two men start laughing about how nothing inconsequential happened to them on the trip…but Howard warns Sam that he’s still got “two more miles to go.”

Okay, I’m going to race to the punchline on this one because after the scene with the gay subtext the narrative quickly rolls downhill.  Sam arrives home, and tells Millie that she was just being a big silly in thinking that dreams mean anything.  As he maneuvers the car toward the garage, he looks back at her and tells her nothing bad happened, that they didn’t even get a scratch…when suddenly…


Well, you can always buff that out.

So Millie gets to do the “told you so” dance.  “Well…I didn’t dream where it was going to happen.  Or when.  I mean I just dreamt…well…you see?”

“Yeah…yeah,” replies Sam, looking quite the picture of the country jackass.  Coda time!

Sam pulls up to the front of the council office in his truck, and Millie conveniently meets him outside.  Going into the building, he grouses about how the repairs to the car are going to run him a hundred-and-eighty dollars.

MILLIE: Well, I don’t really think it was my fault…
SAM: Millie, if you hadn’t have made so much out of that dream, I wouldn’t have been yelling out of the car window…I’d have been looking where I was going and I wouldn’t have run into the barn
MILLIE: Well, I didn’t tell you not to look where you were going…
SAM: Well… (After a pause) You’re right…I’m sorry…

He pats her hand reassuringly, and you know what that means: hot monkey makeup sex!

MILLIE: You know…I had another dream last night…
SAM: No no no, Millie…don’t tell me…
MILLIE: I want to tell you!
SAM: No, Millie—I don’t want to hear about it…just put it out of your mind!
MILLIE: Oh, but Sam…
SAM: Millie, I don’t want to hear about it!
MILLIE: Sam, it was nothing scary!  I just dreamed that you and I were going to get married…
SAM: Nothing scary?  Whoa!

And then Millie punches Sam in the arm.  Oh, the hilarity.

In the short scene where Goober is complaining about how hungry he is…where the hell is Aunt Bee replacement Cousin Alice?  Surely she should be on hand to provide food and drink for a growing young doofus.  (And Goober, too!)  Alas, she was not in this episode (this makes four in a row)…and so Thrilling Days of Yesteryear’s patented Alice-o-Meter™ remains stationary at two appearances for the season.  Well, you can all stop worrying…Cousin Alice will return for next week’s installment of Mayberry Mondays—one of my favorite episodes that allows Goober, Howard and Emmett to get in touch with their inner Moe, Larry and Curly in a little playlet entitled “Community Spirit.”  Don’t miss it!

4 comments:

Stacia said...

WARNING: LIVE PINECONE INSIDE

So, this was the Halloween episode, but they were behind on production and realized it wasn't all that scary (except for hearing Goober's words ringing through your head) so they just saved it for the week before Thanksgiving when everyone is too busy to pay attention? I don't know this for a fact, but I'm guessing.

Also, Sam isn't good enough for Howard.

P.S. I like tapioca.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Also, Sam isn't good enough for Howard.

Which only makes sense, since he isn't good enough for Millie, either.

P.S. I like tapioca.

Mental note: substitute future references to "tapioca" with "vanilla pudding."

WARNING: LIVE PINECONE INSIDE

Best Buy Technician: "Just how much iced tea were you drinking when it splashed onto the monitor?

Chris Vosburg said...

All right, chowderheads, knock it off. I'll bite, Ivan, what's the pinecone gag about?

Also, hmm, a rare Emmett-free episode. Maybe he finally did himself in-- electrocution can stop a heart, I'm here ta tellya, and although I do most of my repair work on video equipment, and have been "bitten" from time to time by voltages therein, it was a ham radio enthusiast's power amp that nearly did me in.

Safety interlocks up the wazoo to prevent accidental death-- which of course had to be disabled to troubleshoot the thing-- and having replaced the bad power transistor and verified that all was well, it was when I was buttoning the thing up that I happened to brush a finger on power output-- while resting the other hand on the chassis (ground) and the result threw me across the room.

I tell people to this day that my heart stopped and I hit myself in the chest a few times to make it go, and nobody believes me, but I swear, true story.

Off topic, yes [laughing], but true, and bringing it deftly back on topic, I suspect that Emmett would have succumbed to this early on in his repair career. A danger to himself and others, as they say, is Emmett, and I think he presents a serious challenge to Goober's reign as village idiot.

And lastly, as always, thanks for the Mayberry Monday, and especially for your imagined Howard Sprague response to Millie's "Do you believe in dreams, Howard?":

"I work as a county government drone in a job I despise with no hope of advancement. I pretty much have to."

That's just gorgeous, Ivan, and I'm still laughing.

Stacia, I cheered elsewhere your claim to "Body Snatcher" for the Val Lewton blogapaloozathon, and I'll do it here too. It's one of my favorite Karloff roles (he's almost human!), and I'm glad it's in your very capable hands. Looking forward to it on Halloween, or as it's known here, ChrisVmas eve.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

All right, chowderheads, knock it off. I'll bite, Ivan, what's the pinecone gag about?

My father, looking out the kitchen window: "There's a rabbit out there in the backyard."

My mother, looking out the same window: "That's a pine cone, you idiot."

And thus, a running gag around our house was born: it started at the dinner table that same night when I said in my best Lon Chaney, Jr. voice: "Tell me about the pinecones, George." It will culminate when either my mother or Stacia (she has threatened to mail this) arranges to have my father open up a box to find a pine cone with cotton balls for ears and pipe cleaners for whiskers (my mother can't find the pipe cleaners in the house).