Monday, December 9, 2013

Doris Day(s) #10: “The Camping Trip” (12/10/68, prod. no #8515)


This week on Doris Day(s): a nostalgic look back at the first time that certain someone—be it father, grandfather or other male role model in the immediate fambly—took us on our first trek into the Great Outdoors.  Sadly, in this episode, young William (Philip Brown) and Tobias Martin (Tod Starke) are allowed to come back from their outing without having been devoured by coyotes…but life is full of these disappointments, so we deal with them and move on.


As our episode unfurls, we find the Widow Martin (Doris) and her loyal housekeeper, Aggie Thompson (Fran Ryan), packing a box with foodstuffs.  Although this is a situation comedy (well, the jury may still be out on that) this opening scene is a rather somber occasion…because this episode marks actress Fran Ryan’s swan song.  There has been much speculation as to why the Aggie character was dismissed without fanfare: numerous accounts on the web suggest that Ryan left the series because she was replacing the ailing Barbara Pepper as Doris Ziffel on Green Acres…which doesn’t make much sense when you stop to consider that Mrs. Ziffel was only a minor character on that bucolic sitcom (why would leave a show you’re on every week as opposed to a series where you appear less regularly?) and that Ryan’s first Ziffel outing wasn’t until the fall of 1969, when the Day show was already in its second season.  Author Paul Brogan has stated that there was an animosity between the two women (apparently involving things said in the press)…and while I don’t question this, I just kind of have to wonder why Ryan didn’t hold a grudge in later years…unless she was planning revenge in a life after this one:

SUPREME BEING: Doris Day, you may enter the Kingdom of Heaven because you are a truly good person—you displayed love and kindness to all four-legged creatures, and you convinced many a moviegoer that Rock Hudson was straight.  You may sit here at my right hand…
(Doris gingerly sits down, and a loud fart noise from a whoopee cushion rings out)
RYAN: Suck it, Doris!  Fire my ass, will you?!!

I have read other accounts on the Internets (and people…I don’t care what that insurance commercial tells you—folks put untrue stuff on the Net all the time) that address the issue of Day and Ryan simply having no chemistry together.  I will let you decide the veracity of that when I cover “The Job,” the premiere installment with Aggie replacement Juanita (Naomi Stevens), who, in the first of many indignities, didn’t even get a last name.  But let’s look on the bright side: Ryan soldiered on in show bidness, playing not only Doris Ziffel but also Miss Hannah on Gunsmoke (replacing Amanda Blake’s Miss Kitty).  In other words, the replaced became the replacer.  (Irony can be awfully ironic sometimes.)  And now…back to the show.

AGGIE (handing Doris the last can): Okay, that’s it…
DORIS (as she shakes it up): There’s no label on there…
AGGIE: It’s left over from the last camping trip…
DORIS: Shakes like soup…
AGGIE: Funny…when I put it up there it shook like corn
DORIS (as she and Aggie cross over to the kitchen table): Well, they’ll find out soon enough on their big adventure…
AGGIE: It’s more like a big war with Joe and Buck…
DORIS: Oh, there’s not going to be a war this time…

“Joe and Buck have decided to pursue a tactical nuclear strategy…”

DORIS: …not with the boys along…
AGGIE: Honey, you’re such a dreamer
DORIS: Look…he promised he wasn’t going to lose his temper…he wants to set a good example for the boys…


Doris is interrupted by the barking of the family’s sheepdog, Nelson…who is coming down the back stairs along with the Laird and Master of the Double Bar W, Buckley Webb (Denver Pyle) himself.  Nelson, having been stolen from the Nash family of Please Don’t Eat the Daisies fame, has a rather annoying habit of goosing individuals (though it makes me laugh like a hyena), and in doing this to Buck, his Lairdship stumbles down the stairs…which wouldn’t be so bad, except Buck’s arms are filled to capacity with camping equipment.  Fortunately, we can’t hear Buck’s reaction to this because a) he has a sleeping bag in his mouth, and b) this is a family show.  “Do you know,” offers Aggie dryly, “I think I liked it better when he lost his temper.”  Doris is in hysterics at the thought of her father falling down a flight of stairs and breaking a hip; Aggie suggests to Buck that he come over and have some coffee in his gi-normous cup.  As Buck takes on enough caffeine for four people, his grandson Billy appears at the top of the stairs…


BILLY: Grandpa…did Joe White Cloud get here yet?
BUCK: Not yet, Billy…
BILLY: Shouldn’t we call him or somethin’?
BUCK: Just be patient…he’ll be along directly…
DORIS: Come on down and have your breakfast…
BUCK (picking up the can with no label): What’s this?
AGGIE: Corn…
DORIS: Soup…
(They both laugh)
BUCK: Shakes like pineapple

As Billy prepares to sit down to a hearty breakfast of Florentines and snicker doodles, his mother asks about the whereabouts of his younger brother:

BILLY: He’s upstairs trying to get his sleeping bag unzipped…
DORIS: Well…tell him to come on down here and I’ll do it…
BILLY: He can’t bring it down…he’s in it…


Yes, I did laugh at this because…ha ha, Toby’s a moron.  Doris, after making the face in the above screen cap, starts towards the stairs but is stopped by her father: “Now let him figure it out…this week I want ‘em to do things on their own.”  (No one ever learned the reason why Toby Martin graduated wearing a sleeping bag, by the way.)

AGGIE: Oh, yeah…and you’re gonna have lots more time to train ‘em now that you have control of your temper and won’t be fightin’ with Joe White Cloud?
BUCK: Aggie, what’re you gonna do when I’m not here to pick on?
AGGIE (ladling sugar on Billy’s cereal) I am going to be thinking of these boys shivering in those sleeping bags and eating cold beans while they sit around listening to your beard grow…

Buck protests the mention of “cold beans,” pointing out to his domestic nemesis that there are such things as campfires.  This is where Billy volunteers the greatness that is “Joe White Cloud,” pointing out that Buck’s faithful Indian companion (whom we’ll meet here in a moment) is able to “start a fire anytime with anything.”

BUCK: So can I…
BILLY: With anything, Grandpa?
BUCK: Anything!
BILLY: Can you start a fire with broken glass and light from the moon?
BUCK: Well, sure… (After thinking for a second) Well, of course not!  Nobody can do that!
BILLY: Indians can!
BUCK: Now who’s been feeding you that hogwash?
BILLY: Joe White Cloud told me yesterday…

Ah, the gullibility of kids.  “Well, for your information, son,” Buck begins, “that stuff that Joe White Cloud has been handing you is nothing but a big bunch of…”  Buck does not get to finish his sentence, however, because he receives a disapproving throat clearing from Doris.  So Buck hies himself to the front yard, where his loyal if stupid farmhand Leroy B. Semple Simpson (James Hampton) is assisting him in putting gasoline in his jeep.  The Webb family spread has an interesting pumping apparatus that’s more like turning a crank.  And speaking of cranks…

LEROY: You and Joe White Cloud been goin’ campin’ together for a long time now, ain’t ya, Mr. Webb?
BUCK (staring off into nowhere): About forty years…
LEROY: It must be some kinda record…I mean, you have to get along with a fella to do that…
BUCK: Sure do…
LEROY: Boy, you sure are lucky
BUCK: What do you mean, lucky?
LEROY: Havin’ somebody like him to teach you about campin’
BUCK (angrily): For your information, I…

As Buck turns toward Leroy, he pulls the hose out of the tank and gasoline starts to spill out onto the ground…and Leroy’s too much of a dunce to realize he’s still pumping until Buck yells at him to stop.  And speaking of dunces…


…yeah, Idiot Boy is still trapped in his sleeping bag.  (I see a short bus in this kid’s future.  Perhaps he’ll make friends with young Mike Jones.)  Buck agrees to help the kid unzip his bag this one time, and in doing so discovers that the kid is smuggling a cache of stuffed animals inside.

BUCK: You plan to take all this with you on this camping trip?
TOBY: I sure would like to, Grandpa…
BUCK: Well…all right, I guess…
LEROY: Why’d ya wanna take toys on the camping trip for?
TOBY: They’re not toys…they’re my friends

“But they keep telling me in the middle of the night to kill you and Mommy—why is that?”

TOBY: …they sleep with me…
BUCK: Sure…if he was to leave ‘em here they’d get lonesome
TOBY: Right!
LEROY: My cousin lost his teddy bear on a campin’ trip once…then he got lost tryin’ to find it…
BUCK: You shouldn’t let a kid wander off by himself…
LEROY: Well, my cousin was twenty-six

An obvious joke…but a good one.  There’s more hi-larious Leroy hi-jinks to come, because in a scene shift we find Leroy dragging a fully-packed trailer across the yard of Rancho Webb as Buck observes…


LEROY: I thought I’d hitch the trailer up to the jeep so you’d be all set to go…
BUCK: Uh-huh…well…thanks very much…but wouldn’t it have been smarter to back the Jeep over to the trailer?  Instead of trying to drag the trailer up to the jeep?

Buck seems to have mistaken his farmhand for a much brighter lackey…like Eb Dawson, for instance.  Proclaiming it to be a great idea (“Why didn’t I think of it?”), Leroy heads for the jeep…and in letting loose of the trailer, it falls backward and strews a few odd pots and pans into the yard.


BUCK: You nincompoop!
LEROY: Gee…it looks like your idea didn’t work so good, Mr. Webb…

Leroy then manages to dump more items from trailer onto the ground.  (“I’m warning you, Dobbs!”)  An enraged Buck yells at him: “Just keep your hands off of my equipment and go over there and sit down!”  (I’ll be needing your subtext essays by the end of the week, by the way.)  Buck starts to put items back into the trailer as Leroy watches…but his employee just doesn’t know when to quit.

LEROY: Mr. Webb…don’t you think you oughta wait until Joe White Cloud gets here?
BUCK: Why should I wait for Joe White Cloud?
LEROY: To make sure you’re packin’ it right!
BUCK: And what’s the matter with the way I’m packin’ it?
LEROY: Oh, nothin’…it’s just that you can’t beat an Injun for packin’ stuff for a campin’ trip…

And if anyone would know, it’s Dobbs Leroy.  Oh, if only Buck had taken the opportunity to cleave Leroy’s thick head in two with the shovel that fell off the trailer…we would be spared any future misery in these write-ups.  As you may have already surmised, Buck has some issues with the suggestion that Joe White Cloud (a once-proud warrior with the Procter & Gamble tribe) is a superior specimen of human being than he.  This prickly subject comes up again in a subsequent scene, where we find Buck finishing loading the trailer with the help of his grandsons.

BUCK: I gotta find a place to put this where it won’t bounce off…
TOBY: Leave room for us, Grandpa…

“Don’t worry, boy…your only concern is whether or not I allow you to ride back…”

BUCK: I will…we can’t risk losin’ our food, you know…
TOBY: Yeah…we don’t wanna starve
BILLY: We won’t starve as long as Joe White Cloud is along…Indians know how to live off the land…
BUCK: Now, just a minute…Indians aren’t the only ones that know how to live off the land…why…I recall a time…I lived up on a mountain for…two months, eatin’ nothin’ but roots and berries…

“They all thought I was mad…’Mad Jack’ is what they called me…”

BILLY: Nothin’ but roots and berries?
BUCK: That’s right…
TOBY: Wow…and nobody can do better than that!
(Buck nods his head)
BILLY: Except Indians…Indians know how to live off the land just by thinking about food…
BUCK: Thinkin’ about food?
BILLY: Whole meals!

I kind of feel sorry for Buck in that the kid’s hero worship has sort of been re-directed to Mr. White Cloud…plus I applaud him for not going off on the little mook.  (“Oh, yeah?  If Indians are such a B.F.D. how come we own the land and they don’t?!!”)  So he decides to take his grandsons aside and engage in a little chat…leaving out the parts about the genocide and disease-infested blankets and the like.


BUCK: I think it’s time we had us a little talk about all these tales that Joe White Cloud has been laying on you…
BILLY: What do you mean, Grandpa?
BUCK: Well, I mean that nobody makes a fire or follows a trail or lives off the land any better just ‘cause he’s an Indian
TOBY: Wouldn’t it help a little bit?
BUCK: Not one bit!
BILLY: What about on TV?
BUCK: What about TV?
BILLY: Last night on the show we were watching, John Wayne was friends with this Indian…
TOBY: Indian scout
BILLY: …and he got in a fight with some bad guys…
TOBY: They shot him!
BILLY: I’ll tell it…

“You can describe the plot of The Quiet Man when we’re at the campsite…”

BILLY: …and John Wayne was hurt and lost…when the Indian scout came along, and then he put him on his horse…and he got him found again, and saved his life…
BUCK: John Wayne never needed no help from an Indian in his life

Okay, I did laugh out loud at this because it brought back memories of Repo Man.  (“John Wayne was a fag…I installed two-way mirrors in his pad in Brentwood, and he come to the door in a dress.”)  Well, there’s been such a huge build-up about Joe White Cloud—you probably have been picturing him as a ten-foot tall Native American who wouldn’t cry if you tossed out trash from your car window…he’d just make you pick that sh*t up!  Well, I shall leave you in suspense no longer…


…it’s character actor and voice artist Henry Corden!  (The above screen cap is from a later moment in this episode—which is as near as he gets to a close-up.)  You’ve probably seen Henry in small roles in various films like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) and The Ten Commandments (1956)…and he did oodles of guest spots on TV series like Perry Mason and Dragnet.  (He also appeared quite a bit on Jerry Lewis’ variety show from 1967 to 1969, and had a semi-regular role on The Monkees as the landlord, Mr. Babbitt.)  But he cemented his fame in 1977 when he replaced Alan Reed (who passed away that year) as the voice of Fred Flintstone—first doing his best to imitate the actor, and then as years went by putting his own interpretive spin on the character as sort of a cartoon version of Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramden (uncredited, Corden re-dubbed a lot of The Great One’s profane dialogue as Sheriff Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit when that movie was shown on TV.)

One of my favorite Corden appearances is in a Dragnet episode where he plays a furrier who helps Friday (Jack Webb) and Gannon (Harry Morgan) foil a ring of thieves by teaching Bill how to be an expert on furs.  ("Mmmm...stagey!")
Corden also voiced Paw Rugg of The Hillbilly Bears fame, and did voice work on animated series like The Adventures of Jonny Quest, Arabian Knights (on The Banana Splits Adventure Hour), The Barkleys (an animated All in the Family rip-off), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, Yogi’s Gang, Return to the Planet of the Apes…and a show called Buford and The Galloping Ghost, which was made up of two segments that had originally appeared on Yogi’s Space Race.  (Hal Peary voiced a character on Ghost, which is why I remember it so well.)  Hiring Henry to replace Reed as Flintstone was really a no-brainer; Corden did Fred’s singing voice previously in The Man Called Flintstone and a Hanna-Barbera Alice in Wonderland special.  Corden must have been a favorite of The Doris Day Show folks because he appears in a total of six episodes—two in the series’ final season, in which he plays one of Doris’ neighbors.  (Because of his dark complexion, Henry played a lot of Middle Eastern and Latino characters—he’s a king in the Day episode “The Sheik of Araby” and a maharajah in “The Sorrow of Sangapur.”  We will be seeing him again.)

So the famous Joe White Cloud greets the kids with a “yata hey” and acknowledges Buck’s presence rather succinctly.


JOE: Well, boys—the big day’s here…ready to go?
BOTH: Yes sir!
JOE: Good!  (He hands Billy his duffel) Take care of this, will ya?  (To Buck) Well, Buck…how ya feelin’?
BUCK: Fine, Joe…just fine…you?
JOE: I’m rarin’ to go—just as soon as we get everything loaded!  (Looking at the jeep) Oh…I see you’ve already…packed without me, huh?
BUCK: Well…why shouldn’t I have packed without you?
JOE: Well, you know how I like to check everything…
BUCK: Well…I…I checked everything that needed to be checked!
JOE: Well, what if you forgot somethin’?
BUCK: I didn’t forget nothin’!
JOE: That’s what you said last year—remember the salt?
BUCK: So whose fault was that?  You’re supposed to bring the salt!
JOE: I brought the pepper!

Fighting over condiments.  This is going to be a memorable trip.

BILLY: Is that a real Indian shirt?
JOE: Oh…yeah!  It is!  Sure!  Why, this is the very same shirt my Grandpa wore the day he became a chief!
BILLY: Boy!
BUCK (muttering): I saw one just like it on sale last week at Helcher’s store

“Well, if you could see as far as your nose you’d know it was a fake!” Joe retorts, and that brings on Doris and Aggie to break up the fight because Buck’s developing a cut over one eye.

DORIS (handing something to Buck): You forgot the salt…
JOE: Well, I brought the pepper!
DORIS: Hey, that’s a pretty shirt…
JOE: Oh…thank you, Doris!
DORIS: I like it…
BILLY: It was his grandfather’s!
TOBY: He was a chief!

At that point in the conversation, Buck announces that they have to be skedaddling, and with kisses and tearful goodbyes Doris sends her little men off with Mad Jack and Tonto.  A scene dissolve finds Buck’s jeep pulling into the area where the four of them will be campin’ and fishin’ and peein’ on every tree in sight.  They disembark from the jeep.


BUCK (to the kids): You boys bring out the fishin’ tackle…Joe and I will set up camp…everybody pitches in!
JOE: Well, boys…I’m gonna teach you the real way to camp out…the Indian way!
TOBY: Wow!
BUCK: How about givin’ me a hand with this trailer?
JOE: Yeah, I’ll be with you in a minute…first, I’m gonna show you how to build a fire…
BILLY: Oh, boy!
BUCK: You gonna give me a hand or stand there and talk all day?
JOE: Will you hold your horses?  I’m comin’…now I’m gonna show you how to blaze a trail so as you don’t get lost…
BILLY: Like in the John Wayne movie?
JOE: John Wayne…will you forget about John Wayne?  I’m gonna show you things John Wayne never heard of
BUCK: Sure, Geronimo…why don’t you tell them what a bum John Wayne is?  You told ‘em everything else!


Buck wants a few words with his Native American pal, and those words are: “I’m sick of all this malarkey you been handing those kids about Indians!”  (You know what “malarkey” is—it’s Biden-ese for bullsh*t.)  He continues: “I’m sick and tired of you tearin’ me down in front of those kids there! 

JOE: I never did!
BUCK: You did worse
JOE: What?
BUCK: You dirtied the good name of John Wayne!
JOE: I think as much of John Wayne as Sittin’ Bull thought of General Custer!
BUCK: Well, that tears it!

Oh no, he di’int!  Buck declares that “This trip is over!”  He runs back to the driver’s seat in the Jeep, and guns her to start back for home while Joe loudly labels him an “old coot” and “a stubborn old man.”  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone turn a car around “and go right straight home” other than my father.  (I’m not making this up, by the way.  He did it one time—mostly because he wasn’t wild about spending his vacation with us bratty kids—but we were worse when we got home than we would have been on the trip.


Back from commercial, Doris and Aggie watch from the kitchen window as Billy and Toby sit dejectedly on the stairs of the front porch, upset because their big camping trip has been cancelled.  (What’s worse—Toby’s stuffed animals will no longer speak to him.)

DORIS: Boy…talk about a couple of sad sacks…look at them…

“Please, Do…I just ate…”

AGGIE: What a shame…those two old goats doing this to them…
DORIS (sighing): Well, I’m gonna have to think of something
AGGIE: You got any ideas?
DORIS: No…but I’ll come up with one…

“Because I’m Doris %$@!& Day!”  Doris goes outside carrying a couple of apples, and as she tosses one to Billy she does a little baseball chatter to try and lift the boys’ spirits…but the kids are too wrapped up in their own misery to give a flying frog’s ass.  She attempts to explain to them that it’s not that Buck doesn’t want to take them camping…it’s just that he and his Indian friend are behaving like a pair of drama queens.

DORIS: You see sometimes things happen with people that are very hard to understand…like yesterday with Grandpa and Joe…now you know that they love each other just like brothers…

That would be Cain and Abel, I’m guessing.

DORIS: Like you and Billy…and…but they got into this big thing…just like you and Billy…and they didn’t mean it…
TOBY: You mean the fight?
DORIS: No, I wouldn’t…and let’s not call it a fight, Toby…let’s just say that it was a…I…uh…a disagreement
BILLY: Whenever me and Toby disagree like that you call it a fight

Check and mate, Widow Martin!  To change the subject, Doris suggests going to the movies…there’s a John Wayne picture playing at the Rialto, a Western!  (Which, at the time this episode aired, would be Hellfighters—not a Western.)


TOBY: That’s why we came back…
DORIS: What’s why?
TOBY: Because Joe dirtied the good name of John Wayne…
DORIS (to Billy): What’s he saying?
TOBY: Joe dirtied the good name of John Wayne…
DORIS: Joe?  Oh, I don’t believe that…Joe dirtied the name of…he wouldn’t do a thing like that…he likes John Wayne!

Billy starts mewling about why can’t he and Toby go camping by themselves…and Doris, though sorely tempted (particularly if there’s a gingerbread house in the vicinity), explains that they’re just too young to undertake such a venture by themselves.

TOBY: Why can’t you take us?
DORIS: Me?  If I could take you we’d be there…but it’s just…it’s just not intelligent, Toby, for us to go on a camping trip…without somebody like Grandpa or Joe along…it’s just too dangerous…or I would do it…

It’s Kismet that Doris references “just not intelligent”—because just when she assures the kids that they will get to go on the trip…Fate moves its huge hand, in the form of pushing dumbass Leroy out of the haymow…


 …there’s even a “Brrrrrring!” on the soundtrack to signify that Dodo has developed a scheme so diabolical Mayberry R.F.D.’s Beatrice “Aunt Bee” Taylor would award her twisted stamp of approval.  And with that…she’s off to Casa Del White Cloud!

DORIS: Say, Joe—I hate to bother you…but could I borrow that big fry pan of yours…you know, the one that you always take on the camping trips?  That is, if you’re not using it…
JOE: I thought the trip was off?
DORIS: It was…I mean, it is…your trip’s off…but this is another trip that’s on…

After establishing that Buck is not taking the kids and leaving Joe behind, Doris does a funny facial reaction during the following discussion—she climbs into the front seat of the antique car on which he’s working…and because it’s been established that it’s a rather hot day…


…yowsah!  “Well, it’s been out in the sun for quite a while,” Joe explains.

JOE: You’re not gonna let them go out there alone, are you?
DORIS: Of course not!  I wouldn’t do a thing like that…
JOE: Well, I should hope not…who’d you have in mind to take them?
DORIS (honking the horn for emphasis): Leroy…

Buh-what now?

JOE: Leroy?!!

No, Joe…put a little more Gildersleeve into it, like this: “Leeeeeroyyyy…”

DORIS: Isn’t that nice of him?  He was so sweet to offer…oooh! (She has scooted over on the hot car seat)
JOE: Doris, you can’t do a thing like that!  Leroy will get the kids into trouble if they was out campin’ in your own backyard!

On the other hand…they’ll learn to blow a bugle.  (Comme ci comme ça.)

DORIS: Oh, he would not…you know, you just don’t give Leroy credit for having brains…
JOE: And for good reason…he doesn’t have any!

Ha ha, ‘cause Leroy’s a doofus.  “Listen, Doris,” Joe interjects, “I want to tell you…just tell you something.”

“What’s that, Joe?” she asks.

“Last week, Leroy was here to give me a hand…and in one hour he stepped into a hornet’s nest, fell into the water trough, and backed the tractor right over my nice new suit!”

“How did he do that?” asks Doris.  “It was hangin’ in the closet as he came through my bedroom!” Joe finishes.


Oh, Doris…you’re so cute when you laugh.  As you’ve already figured out by now, Doris is not planning to let Leroy take her kids camping because she would soon be getting a visit from DFCS.  While Doris is scaring the sh*t out of Dirties Wayne’s Name, Aggie is performing similar deviltry on Buck, who is getting in a little me time fishing.  She asks him where the tent pegs are, and in the course of the conversation manages to convey the news that Leroy will be supervising Buck’s only grandsons’ camping initiation, and that innocent lives are at stake.

BUCK: Does Doris know about this?
AGGIE: It was her idea…
BUCK: Her idea?
AGGIE: That’s right…are you going to repeat everything I say?
BUCK: Well, she can’t do that!
AGGIE: Well, why not?
BUCK: Well…she’ll have ‘em lost before they get out of the front yard!

Similar to Joe’s earlier sentiments, n'est-ce pas?  The scene shifts to Leroy and Doris as they pack the trailer with camping gear…and they look around surreptitiously to see if either Buck or Joe is watching.  Leroy spots Buck a-peekin’ from some nearby bushes, and goes into his spaz act by getting up on top of the trailer, jumping up and down, and causing the vehicle to tip.


BUCK: You gonna let the likes of that take your boys camping?
DORIS: Why, it was just an accident…I mean, it could happen to anybody
BUCK: No, it couldn’t…it just happens to him
LEROY: Well, I thought I had it hitched up!
BUCK: You haven’t thought since you’ve been on the place!

Leroy gets ready to deal with his mess, and Buck stops him short.  “Just stay right where you are, son.”  As Buck goes over and re-hitches the trailer to the jeep, Joe pulls up in his antique car and strikes an Indian pose.


Doris suggests to Leroy that he cover the trailer with a tarpaulin, and there’s a bit of physical comedy with Leroy trying to work the tarp the way you would make a bed.  Finally Buck and Joe pull him off the truck and out of the way so the two of them can make the necessary adjustments…


 …awwww…everybody’s friends again!  I love it when a plan comes together.  As Doris exits the house with the kids, Buck and Joe each grab a young’un and put them into the jeep.

BILLY: Grandpa, where’s Leroy?  Aren’t you coming, Leroy?
TOBY: Come on, Leroy!


LEROY: No, fellas…I gotta…stay here and look after the ranch…
BUCK: Not my ranch you don’t!  Get in!  Now!

And that’s the story of how Buck, Joe and Leroy took the kids on their first camping trip…and how Doris and Aggie spent the rest of the time guzzling peach Schnapps and eating cheesecake like the Golden Girls.  Oh, and here’s Doris channeling Dinah Shore:


The end.

Let’s slap a coda on this bad boy.  Toby and Billy have returned from camping, and are full of stories to tell Doris.

BILLY: …and then we heard this noise in the middle of the night…right on the other side of the campfire…
TOBY: And it growled!  (Makes growling noise)
DORIS: Oh!
BILLY: Then it howled! (Howls)
DORIS: Oh, it sounds ferocious!  What was it?
TOBY: Joe White Cloud…
DORIS: Joe White Cloud?
TOBY: He makes funny noises when he sleeps…

Doris thinks sleep apnea is positively hysterical—but look at the screen cap of these kids…


…what the hell did they do the entire time they were out there?  Fight forest fires?  Doris addresses their untidiness by suggesting they need a bath (“You smell like smoke,” she tells them—which suggests I wasn’t too far off with the “forest fire” joke) and Billy tells her one more story about how Toby got lost…

DORIS: You got lost?
BILLY: He got in the boat and the boat got loose and went all the way across the lake!
TOBY: A big lake!

“I like cheese!”

BILLY: Nobody saw him so nobody knew where he was…but Grandpa noticed the boat was missing and trailed him…
TOBY: Right across the lake!
BILLY: Just like an Indian
BUCK: Not like an Indian, Billy…like John Wayne

I like to think the Duke would have watched that little cheese-eater’s boat go over the falls.  “I’m not gonna let him drown…the hell I’m not!”

Next time on Doris Day(s): a brand spanking new housekeeper in an installment called “The Job.”  But it’s not the housekeeper’s…it concerns Doris’ former occupation in New York, and you will need to take notes because the narrative conflicts with the changes eventually made in Season Two.  As Dodo herself would say: “Toodle-oo!”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Oh, Doris…you’re so cute when you laugh."
And I just love your Taco Bell haircut!


Barry

Stacia said...

The only thing I found on Fran Ryan was that someone remembered a story where she made fun of Doris Day wearing a muumuu, but that sounds really silly. Caftans were in back then as loungewear.

Barbara Pepper was married to Craig Reynolds, once an almost big-name star at WB, who had no career when he came back from the war and was probably not going to have a huge career anyway; he always looked mean and he had a penchant for practical jokes that upset a lot of fellow actors. But Pepper wasn't much better, and spent so much time talking to Hedda about her marriage troubles with Reynolds that he felt he had to respond, and his last response was sad -- he was working as a cab driver and hoping Barbara would take him back. He died shortly after in a motorcycle accident.

But back to the show: Everyone forgets that Doris Day STOLE A DOG.

Also, is it me, or did the kids watch THE BIG TRAIL on TV? Eh, Wayne probably got help from an "Indian scout" in more than one movie.

Guido Bos said...

What episode whas that when Ryan put a whoopee cushion on doris gingerly her seat?