37-06-04 Sade's Trip to Dwight

STARRING: ART VAN HARVEY, BERNARDINE FLYNN AND BILL IDELSON
Mis' Appelrot
It's Friday and Sade is going to make a car trip with Mis' Appelrot to Dwight on Saturday, which we learn is 37 miles away. Mis' Appelrot must physically hand over a house deed to "some man.". [We know from later episodes, Miss Appelrot is probably the person Sade likes the least in the world of Vic and Sade.]

doodle?
Sade is obviously excited about the car trip.  She tells Vic that she must get up at 5 a.m. in order for Miss Appelrot to be back by noon.

Sade asks Rush to get some pencils and both he and Vic are to write down "1001 things" that need to be done while she is away.  Neither Vic nor Rush can seem to keep their minds on the task at hand; Vic actually draws a hybrid kangaroo and corkscrew with his pencil and paper while waiting for Sade to divvy up the instructions to the two male Gooks.

Sade decides maybe she should get up at 4 a.m. so she can decide what to wear.  She thinks out loud:  "My blue with the pink" (sound distorts here) "looks kind of automobilish."  Later she decides 4:30 a.m.

After a short, needless list is compiled, Vic and Rush let Sade know that if she leaves at 5:00 a.m. she is likely to get back by 8:00 a.m. or so.  Sade doesn't seem to believe them.
MIS' CROWE SAYS:
Sade tells Vic and Rush about her upcoming car trip to Dwight with Mis’ Appelrot and it becomes evident that she may be overpreparing a little.

There are a few interesting historical details in this episode. Particularly telling to me is just how much responsibility Sade feels for managing the house and how much she feels she has to prepare just to be absent for one morning. Vic and Rush can’t even prepare their own hot cereal? (I’m sure they could if they had to, but the expectation is that Sade should handle almost everything for them.) Being a homemaker in Sade’s time truly was a full-time job. How different from today, when some parents are barely able to spend a few hours at home, and children are expected to be much more self-sufficient. Heck, I was making most of my own meals by the time I was 12.

Also interesting is that Vic evidently works on Saturdays, which is something I didn’t realize until I listened to this closely in order to transcribe it. Is this a little error, or was it normal for office workers to have work on Saturdays in the 1930s? Of course, in the Depression, I suppose you’d want to work as much as you could.

One recurring theme/joke in Vic & Sade is Sade’s relative shelteredness and lack of education (she has said that she never graduated high school), and much of the humor here rests on this. While Sade’s poor understanding of some aspects of the world is often played for laughs, the humor never feels especially cruel towards her, and Rush and Vic’s attempts to enlighten her are usually gentle and good-natured, as they are here. When Sade grew up, before the rise of the automobile, a trip to Dwight and back probably WOULD take all day. She has, like any adult in any time period, simply been left behind by the rapid currents of progress.

Finally, we see two of Vic’s tendencies that become running jokes in the show exhibited here. One is unsuccessfully fixing alarm clocks (the first reference to this hobby in the available recorded episodes). The other is waxing rhapsodic about American geography, which he is allowed to do only for a short time before getting cut off by Sade:

VIC: One of the geographical showplaces in the United States, Dwight.  Dwight is a priceless jewel set in a silver necklace in wooded —
We’ll see this in its full-blown glory later on in "Vic’s Geographical Trip"…
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
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Certainly not the best show in the series. The poor sound takes away a lot of the fun as it can be a trial just listening to this one. The whole point of the episode is about Sade not realizing how fast a 37/74 mile journey is by car in the early hours of a Saturday. Harmless, but not that much fun.

Trivia:

+ This is the first audio episode in which we hear that Vic has a fascination with working on clocks.

+ Never knew this: a door-to-door coffee man would deliver coffee to your house.  He makes his delivery at the Gook household on Saturdays.

+ Mis' Donahue is mentioned for the first time as living next door.

+ Vic informs Sade that he has 8 pencils in his pocket.

+ Kelsey Street is mentioned for the first time in the surviving audio. It's the street before the alley, seemingly behind the street the Gooks live on.

+ Vic suggests that Greeley, the nightwatchman at his work (which is not mentioned by name) give Sade a wake-up call. Sade quickly poo-poos this idea.
VIC'S 8 POCKET PENCILS ARE JUXTAPOSED AGAINST SADE'S BAD MATH...
Vic (who's an accountant) uses a pencil as his tool of trade and has an abundance on hand in case of emergencies. On the other hand, Sade is not the most up-to-date person in the world of technology. Those newfangled automobiles and the breakneck speeds that they travel just confound her. In the horse and buggy days, it could have easily taken a whole day just to get there and another day back. Sade is just preparing for the worst, and in the most low tech way. - Keith @ Retro Radio Podcast
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5 comments:

  1. Great site Jimbo!!

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  2. Thank you for your comments!

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  3. Oh, it's a combination kangaroo and CORKSCREW! I had it as [unintelligible] in my script; I kept hearing "horse" in the first syllable and couldn't get past it. Sometimes all it takes is a second set of ears...

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  4. Freddie The LoaderApril 26, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Just an addendum on Mis' Crowe's commentary about Vic working on Saturdays. I believe up to the end of World War II, most people generally worked the five regular work days, Monday through Friday, and a half day on Saturday. I wasn't alive then, of course, but you see constant references to this in movies, novels, short stories, etc., of the time. A remnant of this custom is the continuation of mail deliveries on Saturdays to this day. Of course, since Saturday was a work day, businesses expected mail deliveries. When the customary half workday on Saturday was phased out, though, Saturday mail deliveries continued on because, well, that's how government works. I believe it was Ronald Reagan who said, 'the closest thing in this world to eternal life is a government project." Though Saturday mail delivery is no longer required for business, and there has been talk, periodically over the years, of ending Saturday deliveries, both the postal workers unions (trying to protect jobs) and the public (who are accustomed to Saturday mail) have protested against such talk and it has been politically expedient to continue postal services on Saturday.

    The 40 hour work week only became general at the end of the war, as it was a thing that was pushed hard for by labor unions and was more or less promised to them when the war was over. (During the war, of course, workers, especially in war plants, were expected to work longer hours and the payment of time & a half wages for OT was a concession to unions during the war.) These union benefits eventually became a custom even to many in non-union jobs.

    In those days it would have been a surprise if Vic didn't work the customary half-day on Saturdays.

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  5. Many thanks for your valuable comment! Feel free at any time to comment more.

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