(This week’s installment features an anecdote from my high
school days, but mostly it’s me comin’ at ya with music and fun…and if you’re
not careful, you may learn something before it’s done—so let’s get ready,
Hey hey hey…)
In the Mayberry R.F.D.
bakery doyenne Millie Swanson (Arlene Golonka) is asked by
the wise old men (snicker) of the town council to assume the responsibility of
directing a production whose box office proceeds will benefit the local
(Don’t ask which church—I
believe Mayberry just had one
town, and it was most assuredly the only proper
This decision causes some friction
between Millicent and the former play director, town busybody and black belt
Wiccan Clara Edwards (Hope Summers), who learns that Millie was—before moving
to America’s favorite television town—a chorus girl living a shamelessly libertine
existence in Raleigh.
(Okay, I may have
gotten a few details here wrong…only because I’m too lazy to go back and
By the way—the DVD release of the
first season of R.F.D.
reveals that the footage snipped for “Church Play’s”
syndication contains only additional dialogue between Millie and the kids
auditioning for parts…so we really didn’t miss too much.)
I couldn’t help but think of this episode after watching
this week’s Doris Day(s) installment, “The Musical”—there are enough
differences to allow the writer of “Musical,” story editor Sid Morse, plausible
denialbility (“I don’t even watch R.F.D.!”)…but
the borrowed concept of a simple children’s play stirring up a hornet’s nest
o’controversy is still pretty much intact.
Plus, Morse used the exact same
idea in a script he wrote for R.F.D.’s pa, The Andy Griffith Show in
1966—“The Senior Play,” with schoolteacher/Sheriff Taylor squeeze Helen Crump
(Aneta Corsaut) in the unenviable position of having to deal with a fuddy-duddy
principal (played in the TAGS episode by Leon Ames).
But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
“The Musical” begins at night, as we watch
laird and master of Webb Farms, Buckley Webb (Denver Pyle), pulling up outside
the homestead in the family station wagon.
Nelson the Stolen Sheepdog (Lord Nelson) greets Buck by clawing at the
driver’s side winder (“Take me home to Ridgemont, you wanker!”) and we can see
a light on in yonder widder’s bedroom winder.
Doris pokes her head out and asks her father what he’s carrying.
“Stopped by Heiner Hoops and picked up some
Rocky Road,” is his reply.
in last week’s episode, “The
that Rocky Road is Dor’s favorite.)
“Groovy,” is Doris’ reaction. (Far out.)
And so let’s hie ourselves to the kitchen to dish up a little, shall we?
DORIS: Hey, that was a great
idea! I didn’t have much for dinner, I’m
BUCK: Well, you usually are where ice cream’s concerned…
With the metric tonnage of sweets consumed in that household
I’m stunned to learn they didn’t have it for dinner.
DORIS: How was the school board
BUCK: Oh, pretty good…we voted to
have the brakes realigned on the school bus…
Sounds like a practical decision. Buck interrupts this conversation to ask
Doris if she can “eat two,” and she responds “I can eat four.” (Ice cream scoops, they’re talking about.) “Start with two,” Buck tells her.
BUCK: And instead of a raise, we
agreed to have Elmo Jensen’s title changed from janitor to custodial engineer…
DORIS: How’d he feel about that?
BUCK: He quit…
Way to stick it to The Man, Elmo! (This is a little premature—Buck explains
that “He’ll be back—he always is.”)
elementary school kids are going to put on a stage show…
DORIS: Oh yeah?
BUCK: Big musical…
BUCK: All the proceeds are going
for the traveling library…
DORIS: And that’s a good cause…
BUCK: Sure is…
DORIS: I wish I could help out…
*Ping!* And so you
shall! Doris finds out her wish has been
granted when Buck lets her know he “volunteered” her to oversee the production.
DORIS: Now what did you do that
for? I don’t know anything about
producing and directing a musical!
Oh, come on, Dodo—surely you must have learned something during Romance on the High Seas. Or
My Dream is Yours. Or It’s
a Great Feeling. Buck argues that
the PTA loved the way Doris took charge of the Christmas pageant, which produces
So Buck tells Doris to stick a sock in it and just eat her
ice cream, prompting her to observe “No wonder you brought it home.”
“You didn’t raise a dummy for a father,” he brags. And the scene shifts to the hallowed halls of
Cotina Elementary and the office of Eric Ekstrom, school principal…played by
this week’s special guest…
Give it up for Ray Teal!
One of radio and television’s busy character thesps, Teal is best known
on the small screen as Sheriff Roy Coffee on the long-running Bonanza
but his guest appearances and recurring roles also number TV classics as Alfred
, Wagon Train
, 77 Sunset Strip
Members of the TDOY
faithful might remember that Ray played a henchman in Don Winslow of the Navy
attempt to take over in
the last chapter
soon set sail on The Great Lake of Fail; he also had a
teensy role as Joe Burke in Raiders of Ghost City
His movie appearances include The Black Arrow
(1948), Ace in the Hole
(1951), The Wild One
(1953), The Desperate Hours
(1955), Decision at Sundown
(1957), Gunman’s Walk
(1958), Inherit the Wind
(1960), Judgment at Nuremberg
(1961) and Chisum
EKSTROM: Doris, I’ve known your dad
for more than forty years…
“…and to be completely honest, I never liked that son of a bitch.”
EKSTROM: …and when he tells me that
you’re just a little better than Oscar Hammerstein…
I’m better than Oscar Levant!”
EKSTROM: Well, I’ve got to assume
that…uh…you can give an adequate performance of ‘Chopsticks’ on the piano…
DORIS (laughing): That’s about it,
EKSTROM: But the important thing is
that with you at the helm…I’ll know that the show is in good hands and that it will
be done in good taste…
DORIS (getting to her feet and
shaking Ekstrom’s hand): Thank you—I’ll do my best…
EKSTROM: I’ll be looking forward to
seeing the show…
“You’ll love it—it’s called Oh! Calcutta!” And with
that, it’s back to the ranch as Dor and her loyal domestic Juanita (Naomi
Stevens) hunt through a trunk in the attic for costumes and props to use in the
production. I’ll skip over most of this,
owing to the fact that Juanita’s role—as always—is underwritten and unfunny;
there is, however, an interesting exchange between the two women after Juanita
locates this cardboard stand-up…
JUANITA: Remember when your father
DORIS: Hawaiian night at the
Rotary! He looked like Hilo Hattie,
…would appear to be a subtle way to suggest that Juanita has
always been a fixture around the Webb household—and we know this is simply not
true. Let’s get to the real reason for
this attic scene, shall we?
DORIS: …I want to ask you a very
DORIS: Do you think that two
hundred dollars for the sets for our musical is too much?
BUCK: Two hundred dollars?!!
DORIS: Two hundred dollars…
BUCK: That’s ridiculous!
DORIS (to Juanita): Isn’t that what
BUCK: Who gave you that estimate?
DORIS: Oh…you know…
BUCK (muttering): Two hundred
DORIS: I think they’re raking me
over the coals…look, if you made
it—what would it cost?
BUCK: Well, no more than a couple
of dollars’ worth of lumber and a little elbow grease…
*Ping!* Your wish has
been granted, Buck Webb! Yes, the man
who stated earlier “You didn’t raise a dummy for a father” has found himself
roped into designing the sets for this extravaganza, and Doris asks him if he
and ranch hand Leroy B.
Semple Simpson (James Hampton) can get started
right away. I’m sort of ashamed that I
laughed at this, only because I’m amused by the revelation that Doris is so
all-powerful it takes very little effort to manipulate a pliable mind like her
So after Doris and Juanita high-five Dor’s cleverness, we
venture out to the barn where Buck is mixing up some paint and Leroy entertains
the audience by doing this visual comedy bit:
That’s Leroy’s impression of Victor Mature in Samson and Delilah
, in case you were
Leroy then begins a soliloquy
on his hobby of collecting movie magazines, and schools his employer on the
lingo of the movie biz:
BUCK: Don’t get carried away…this
ain’t Hollywood, you know…
LEROY: Movie Town…
LEROY: Movie Town, U.S.A…that’s
what the folks who work out there
BUCK: They do?
LEROY: Uh-huh…I read about it in
one of my movie magazines…
LEROY: They give you a lot of
inside facts, you know…
LEROY: Like…uh…you know how Granite
Quarry got started?
BUCK: Like who?
LEROY: Granite Quarry…he’s been in
lots of pictures…like…uh…”The Friendly Germ from Outer Space”…and…uh…”Lost in
the Bottomless Pit Under the Ocean”…
“The Monster That Devoured Cleveland”—you remember Gran.
I transcribed this dialogue because it has an
unmistakable Mayberryian rhythm about it; in the TAGS
version, “The Senior
Play,” it’s Andy and Goober (George Lindsey) who are dragooned into building
and decorating the sets, and the two men have a similar movie conversation…only
it gives Goob an opportunity to do his patented bad impressions, including Cary
Grant (“Judy Judy Judy…”).
exchange is also necessary because of an amusing callback joke by Doris which
will become apparent in a sec.
BUCK: I don’t guess I saw those…
LEROY: Well, he was a small town
boy, too…he wanted to see the world, so he took a lot of hard jobs like…uh…a merchant seaman…and…uh…truck driver…and…dress designer…well, anyways, he’s out in Hollywood…
BUCK: Dress designer?
Leroy goes on further to explain that Mr. Quarry was
discovered seated in a drugstore by a talent scout and that’s, as Paul Harvey
always said, “the rest of the story.”
“Well, that’s the way things happen out in Magic Town,” he says
“I thought you said it was Movie Town,” returns Buck. “Oh, well—sometimes we call it Magic Town,”
his sidekick offers stupidly.
The scene soon shifts to Buck and Leroy in the hallowed
halls of Cotina Elementary, clumsily carrying in the sets that they laboriously
worked on when they meet up with Doris.
DORIS: Oh! You finished the sets! Hey, that’s great—you didn’t have to bring
them down…I could have sent the boys…
BUCK: Well, I had to bring Leroy in
for the movie anyway…
DORIS: Oh, yeah? Well, put ‘em right here—what are you going
to see, Leroy?
LEROY: Oh, it’s a cowboy picture…
BUCK: With Granite Quarry…
DORIS: Oh, I dig him—he’s a good dress designer…
Hey…on this show, you take laughs wherever you can find
them. “Well, as long as I’m here,” Buck
starts as he heads for the auditorium, “I might as well take a look-see…”
DORIS (blocking the entrance): No,
you don’t! Oh no, you don’t—you can’t go
in there…it’s a closed rehearsal…
BUCK: But I’m family…and I built the
DORIS: Well, I know that…and I thank you for it…but you can’t go
Doris opens and closes the door quickly, then admonishes
Leroy “no peeking!”
for ya,” Buck grumbles as the two men walk back down the hall.
On the way, they meet up with Principal Ekstrom,
who asks them both “Well, what are you two doing in school?”
(Eric, for all you know Leroy may still
be attending Cotina Elem.)
As Leroy exits, so as not to be late for his moon pitcher, Buck
and Ekstrom discuss the show and how it’s coming along. When Buck informs his pal that he’s persona au gratin as far as watching the
rehearsal goes, Ekstrom decides to exercise his principatorial prerogative and
supervise the production…so Buck follows him into the auditorium.
The curtain is closed when the two men enter the auditorium,
and we can hear a bit of hubbub back stage—Doris acknowledges this when she
emerges front and center (“Would you please be quiet—you’re making so much
noise!”). She then notices that Buck and
Ekstrom have made themselves to home in a row of seats.
DORIS: What are you two doing here?
BUCK (as he removes his hat): Tell
EKSTROM: Well, we didn’t think…that
is…Buck didn’t think that you’d mind
if we…well, we just watched…
And Principal Ekstrom throws Buck under the bus! (Good thing they’re at school, where there
are buses a-plenty.)
DORIS: Can’t wait, huh?
DORIS (as she joins Ekstrom
laughing): Boy…you two are worse than
Billy and Toby!
“Now hold on there, daughter…we know how to eat with a knife and fork, for one thing…” Doris sits down in a seat in front of Buck
and Ekstrom and calls out to the kids backstage: “Everybody ready?” She then directs a “Mrs. Sheldon” to raise
the curtain and…a little travelin’ music, Mr. Spear!
The kids start out with a badly written number about the
days when couples danced the minuet—writer Morse took the exact same number
“Senior Play” and inserted it
here, allowing two of the kids to stand behind these wooden cut-outs.
(I think the reason why they did this is
because in “Senior Play,” the two performers reveal rock ‘n’ roll duds under
“breakaway” clothing and the tinier tykes in “Musical” may not have been that
coordinated to pull them off, literally speaking.)
Yes, just when you think this is going to be
a nice, pleasant boring musical number…
into an episode of Hullaballoo
, with the kids doing their wild rock ‘n’ roll dances
costumes, as Howard Sprague once memorably pointed out.)
Doris and Buck are enjoying the spectacle, while Principal
Eric looks as if he regrets having the salmon loaf at lunch.
EKSTROM: Stop this, Doris…at once…
DORIS: Stop what?
EKSTROM (pointing at the stage): That…I said stop it…immediately…
He was probably expecting something along the lines of The Pajama Game. Ekstrom is serious—either Doris stops the
show or he will. So Doris tells the kids
to take ten, and after they’ve scattered she asks what’s the dealio.
DORIS (following the principal to
the auditorium door): Mr. Ekstrom, what’s wrong?
EKSTROM: Doris, I’m very disappointed in you…I could never
permit an exhibition like that to go on in any school that I’m principal of…
DORIS: An exhibition like…you mean
“Look, I realize those kids have the coordination of drunken
BUCK: Are you kiddin’, Eric?
EKSTROM: Now you stay out of this, Buck—this is between your daughter and me…you can call it
dancing if you like…I call it disgraceful…with
the dress, movements…
“It’s getting me aroused…and that can’t be good!”
DORIS: All children dress and dance that way, Mr. Ekstrom…
EKSTROM: Not in my school, they don’t…not as long as I’m principal…and if that’s your idea of
the kind of show you want to put on—forget it!
There will be no show!
Poor Doris! Quelle disappointment
Ralston-Purina break, everyone!
Back from commercial, Doris has the unenviable task of
telling the kids in the musical that Principal Boogerface has put the hammer
down on their hotsy-totsy terpsichorean display, and they are quite
A young tyke named Freddie
(Gary Dubin) suggests to Doris that if she talks to Mr. Ekstrom again perhaps
he will change his mind.
playing young Frederick has an interesting (always reliable) IMDb resume—he
began his moppet acting career with recurring roles on Bracken’s World
and The Partridge
…but two of the most recent credits on his CV (sweet baby
carrots, I only wish
I were making
this up) have him essaying the title roles of The Jizzmaster
(2012) and The
Principal Ekstrom knew something we didn’t at the time.)
Anyway, the kids continue to whine and gripe in such loud,
shrill tones that dog owners are wondering why their pets are covering their
ears in pain…so Doris finally agrees to talk to Ekstrom about reinstating the
Cotina Elementary Revue. In the
meantime, we’re back at Rancho Webb and a clearly cheesed-off Juanita is
serving actual food to Buck, Billy
(Philip Brown) and Toby (Tod Starke) while swearing in her native tongue.
BUCK: If you’d talk English we’d
know what’s upsettin’ you…
JUANITA: Your friend—the principal…
(Outside the house, a car horn
BUCK: Oh…there she is…well, if
Ekstrom’s makin’ you mad why take it out on us?
JUANITA: I can’t help it! I’m furious
with that man for stopping the show after Doris and all those kids worked so hard…and you and Leroy, you
built all those sets…besides—who else do I have to take it out on?
Doris enters with a cheery “Yoo-hoo!” and carrying some
packages—hearing Juanita speak Spanish, she asks “What are you so mad
about?” So Juanita explains the reason
for her anger, and Doris can relate—that’s why she went shopping, because she’s
BUCK: Will you stop it—I feel
DORIS: What are you guilty about?
BUCK: This musical…and it’s all my
fault…I never should have got you
DORIS: Oh, that’s silly…
“But on the other hand…this was your idea, you asshole…”
It’s frustrating for Doris, no doubt.
“What bugs me,” Doris declares as she sits down to grub, “that money
would’ve meant so much to the traveling library.” (Not to mention the Traveling Wilburys.)
BUCK: What Ekstrom needs is a…good
boot in the tail…
JUANITA: Well, I wouldn’t go that
DORIS: I would…
TOBY: What’s a boot in the tail?
BUCK (after Doris shoots him a
look): Uh…eat your dinner…
DORIS: Anyway…I just have to have
another chance to talk to that man…I really do, because this is ridiculous…
BILLY: What’s ridiculous?
DORIS: Nothing, honey—eat your
BUCK: The way he feels right now,
he wouldn’t trust you to lead the Pledge of Allegiance…
DORIS: Look—I promised these kids
that I would try…and I’m not just going to let them down…and you have to help
TOBY: Help you do what, Mom?
DORIS: Nothing, honey—eat your
“Let’s don’t talk about it while we’re eatin’,” finishes
Buck, as the scene dissolves to the front yard of Webb Farms—Toby and Billy are
badly shooting hoops while Doris looks on; Buck just happens to ride up in
Ekstrom’s car. Now, keep in mind that
Doris is in for a bit of work here…because her Jedi mind tricks aren’t going to
work as easily on Eric as they do on her idiot father.
BUCK: The pickup quit on me in
town, so Eric offered to drive me home…
DORIS: Oh! That’s nice…thank you…how about a cup of
EKSTROM: No, thanks…I really
have to be getting back to town…
“I’ve got the dreams of a few ambitious seniors to crush,
so…” But you know our Doris—she is a
persistent dame, and she finally lures the principal into her home, where the
three of them sit around the kitchen dining table for a nosh.
DORIS (offering Ekstrom a
cookie): Why don’t you have one?
“Well…isn’t this supposed to be y’all’s dinner?”
EKSTROM (taking one out of the
jar): I’ll do that…
DORIS: Aren’t they good?
EKSTROM (passing the jar): Here,
DORIS (clearing her throat):
Um…Mr. Ekstrom…I know that you didn’t just happen to drop in today…but…um…since
you are here…do you suppose that we…could discuss the show a little more?
EKSTROM: Doris, I really don’t
think there’s anything to discuss…I’m certainly not going to change my values…
“Well…suppose I were to tell you those cookies were laced
with hashish?” No, Dor—your pathetic
baked goods bribe is not going to work on Mr. Ekstrom, who—if my past
experience with school principals is any indication—is not going to quit being
a douchenozzle simply because you plied him with a cup of java. Despite Doris’ insistence that the times,
they are a-changin’, Ekstrom remains resolute.
“I’m a very simple person—I believe in right and wrong,” he
pontificates. He later goes on to say:
“That performance you approved of is highly symptomatic of just about
everything that’s wrong with this generation.”
It’s true. People try to put us d-d-down…just
because we get around.
EKSTROM: A mocking of the old
ideals…a flaunting of their new morality…
DORIS: Mr. Ekstrom, they’re not flaunting a new morality…the kids are
flexing their muscles…they’re trying to find out who they are…and where they’re
EKSTROM: So we just let them run
around loose like savages?
Dude…it’s an elementary school play, not freaking Lord of the Flies.
DORIS: Oh, no…that’s not what I
mean at all—what I’m trying to tell you is that…we have to give them freedom to
grow…and you’ve got to let them learn
to think for themselves…you can’t
force them into…pre-packaged molds!
What better way to teach impressionable minds to “think for
themselves” and not become “pre-packaged molds” but in elementary school?
I ask without a trace of sarcasm.
(Here’s an oldie but goodie: “I pledge
allegiance…to the flag…”)
fought the good fight on this one—but Ekstrom represents The Man, and no one ever
defeats The Man.
(Just ask ex-janitor
“If there are enough
people who think as you do—that I’m stifling their children—they can very
easily have me fired,” explains the mealy-mouthed Eric.
“But until that happens, there will be none
of what you call freedom to experiment in my school!”
Jawohl, Mein Haupt!
As he’s leaving, Ekstrom remarks that they liked to dance in
his generation, too—“but we didn’t feel we had to jump all over the place like
a bunch of fools to enjoy it…we did it with dignity.” (Dignity, always dignity.)
DORIS: He’s a stubborn old goat!
BUCK: You can say that again…and
you’re not about to change his mind…
DORIS (slamming her fist on the
table): No sir! We’ve worked too long and too hard…and
there’s not one thing wrong with that show and you know it!
“He shall bend to
my will—because I’m Doris Freaking Day!” As he observes Doris stewing in her own
juices, Buck makes this offhand comment: “He talks about dignity…he’s forgotten about the time he won the Black Bottom
contest at the Blue Moon.”
magnificent bastard—you have set in motion the most diabolical scheme of Doris
Martin’s to ever hit Cotina!
dissolve to the school auditorium, where it is pandemonium backstage.
A little girl named Gloria complains to Doris
that her dress is torn, and she’s played by moppet actress Michelle Tobin, who
later landed roles on such short-lived series as The Fitzpatricks
Goes to Washington
and California Fever
But you are not going to believe the
serendipitous item on her show bidness resume…
…she plays the Wicked Witch in the Mayberry R.F.D.
“The Church Play!”
TV is magic, my
Another panicky kid is upset because he forgot his lines,
and it’s up to Doris to present an ocean of calm. No, it’s not like this is opening night or
anything—she’s conducting a dress rehearsal in the hopes that Principal Ekstrom
will have that stick up his ass surgically removed.
DORIS: Thanks for coming, Mr.
EKSTROM: Doris, the only reason
I’m here is because of my longtime friendship with your family…
“Did I mention how much I can’t stand your father? And those
kids of yours—‘I like cheese’—do
yourself a favor and enroll them in shop classes as early as possible.” All Doris asks is that Eric sit through the
entire show before making his decision.
Doris calls out to Mrs. Sheldon again, and the woman
dutifully raises the curtain—but you just know she has to be getting tired of
(“I’ll curtain you, you sorry
The musical starts
almost exactly the same as the previous time, but this time instead of
…”Charleston…Charleston…made in Carolina…some dance…some
prance…I say…there’s nothin’ finer…”
Yes, Doris has revamped the material to reflect those halcyon days of
flappers and sheiks…of Model T’s and bootleg whiskey…and of Black Bottom
contests at the Blue Moon.
through a few minutes of this charade, and then he’s got things to do, people
to see, trash to haul, corn to hoe…
EKSTROM: You can stop them now,
DORIS (turning around in her
seat): Mr. Ekstrom—you promised!
EKSTROM: I’ve seen enough…
Another ten-minute break for the dancing tykes, and Doris
takes the intermission to lay into Ekstrom about reneging on his promise to sit
through the entire show before making his decision.
EKSTROM: But I already know what you’re trying to tell me…
DORIS: No, you don’t know what I’m trying to tell
you! And I’m very sorry that you’ve
taken on such an attitude!
Dodo…cool your jets, cupcake! All Ekstrom is trying to say is that he’s had
a Road to Damascus conversion and he now realizes he was being a big silly
about the whole musical. “I insist that you do the show,” he tells
her quietly. “As is.” Hooray for Doris!
So the kids come back out and shake their groove thing again
as those dirty old men watch from their auditorium seats. “Buck…tell me something,” observes
Ekstrom. “Did we really look that
“You can say that again, Buster,” Buck punchlines—though
it’s sort of hard to hear him from the collective rolling of eyeballs out there
Here’s why—this is not
the way it works in real life.
admit they’re wrong unless someone’s threatened a
Let’s step back into the WABAC
machine and set the dials to 1979—it’s December, and I’m a junior at Ravenswood
The Drama and Choral Departments put on some skits/musical
numbers as some sort of Christmas pageantry deal, and one of them was a
horrible sketch in which two people who looked nothing at all like Stan Laurel
and Oliver Hardy feebly decided to imitate the greatest movie comedy team of all
My memory has thankfully forced
out most of the sketch’s content, but I remember the Stan-impersonator
continually scratched his head as if he needed a dandruff shampoo and the
Ollie-impersonator was just horrible.
didn’t even have the decency to wear derby hats, ferchrissake.
(Full disclosure—I did not like “Ollie” much,
because he once tried to shove a match up my nose while I was forced to blow it
out while blindfolded…an incident I describe in this
They performed the sketch one time for the morning class,
but when they were putting on the second show for students in the afternoon the
Laurel & Hardy sketch had gone missing.
Now, I’d like to think our principal was appalled at the besmirching of
these comedy greats, and censored the routine in protest. (“Not only are you two expelled, but I don’t
even want to hear of you sneaking back for the reunion.”) As it turned out, it was pulled because our
principal thought it in bad taste—but only because one of the characters in the
sketch was dressed the same as the kidlets in a previous screen capture, as a
Our principal—fondly referred to by the student body as “Red
Dog” because he was a ginger, and when he became enraged his face matched his
hair perfectly—apparently was not familiar with the pop culture of the 1920s
because he did not realize the girl
was a flapper; he used the other “fl” word, “floozy.” (To be honest—I think if he could have gotten
away with it, he would have used a word that stands for trouble…with a capital
T, and that rhymes with P, and that stands for “prostitute.”) Red Dog had taken it upon himself to see that
our tender psyches were not scarred nor our morals sullied, and he told the
drama teacher the L&H tribute was right
out! Again—no total loss because the
sketch was for shit…but it did amuse the hell out of me because I knew what a
flapper was and the principal didn’t.
(Also, too: I had developed my strong anti-censorship stance by this
time.) If I had to put a happy ending on
this, I’d point out that Red Dog was replaced in my senior year by another
principal who learned my name rather quickly…but those are stories for another
Okay, quick coda wrap-up: the Webb family—even Juanita and
Leroy—have returned from the entertaining musicale; several members of the
family are carrying paper bags and Doris is holding a bouquet of roses that
Principal Ekstrom apparently bought her (and will later have to explain to Mrs.
I know you think I’m making
this up—but in those paper bags are donuts and cookies, and the adults are
going to have them with hot chocolate topped with whipped cream.
(You can’t tell me these people have a normal
Everyone is most complimentary about Doris and the success
of the show, and her father states matter-of-factly: “I bet you wouldn’t mind
doin’ another one, would ya?”
“I don’t know,” replies Doris, “I’d have to think about that
twice.” No time, Ms. Director—Buck has
volunteered you for the annual show at the lodge!
Oh, Doris—will you ever
Next time, on Doris Day(s)…I know, you’re probably
gobsmacked to hear me say this—but “The Baby Sitter” is actually a funny
outing. (Sadly, most of the laughs are
visual—so you won’t get to enjoy them.)
Character actors Peggy Rea and Hal Smith make return appearances (as
different characters, natch) but the main attraction is a young actress who
would later win two Academy Awards…and who we know from previous stints on our
beloved Mayberry Mondays. We
urge you to join us!