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38-11-30 Sade Wants to Buy Vic a Hat

Sade makes elaborate plans with her husband Vic for him to get off work two hours early the following day so that the two can meet downtown for the purpose of buying Vic a new hat.

Sade doesn't seem to trust Vic to buy his own lid, mainly  because Vic likes the popular wide-brim variety (see article at right.)  Sade won't allow Vic to go around and "look like a cowboy from Pennsylvania" - whatever that means; Sade even quips, "Goodness, why don't you buy a lassoo?"  Plus, Vic is prone to get a hat that looks like "the inside of a gunny sack."

Click to enlarge
Vic doesn't like to go hat shopping with Sade at all as she is prone to make him "look a sap."  Apparently, she is so bossy in the store that the "half-wit" clerks think Vic is "a little on the loony side." In turn, Vic gets "sulky and sour" and Sade doesn't like this. Sounds like they make a cute couple in the department store.

Intermingled in the hat conversation is Rush trying to tell a story that shows a lot of promise: Smelly Clark's Uncle Strap escorted a woman to Peoria for purposes of enjoying a fish dinner... but due to the many household interruptions, we sadly never hear the conclusion.
This is a momentous episode with a lot of firsts in the surviving recorded episodes. It is the first detailing Vic’s long, hard-fought battle to acquire a broad-brimmed hat. It is the first mention of Smelly Clark’s Uncle Strap, and the first episode in which Rush attempts to tell the story of Smelly Clark’s Uncle Strap and his lady friend going to Peoria for purposes of enjoying fish dinner. He will attempt this story many, many times in the future, and I don’t think he ever succeeds in finishing it. And it’s the first mention of Mr. Buller, Vic’s eccentric and blustery superior at the kitchenware plant. 

Vic’s life-and-death struggle with Sade over the matter of the hat is already funny, but Rush’s need for attention and his complete lack of social graces add even more humor to today’s brief interlude. One can sympathize with Rush when his stories are steamrolled over by his parents, but the way he doggedly attempts to finish his story even in the face of outside interruptions like the telephone and doorbell show his complete lack of realism about this matter. Like most teenagers, Rush can be extremely self-centered, and even interruption by inanimate objects is something he takes very personally.

If only Vic and Sade would just listen to him for a couple of measly minutes! Their lack of attention to him may seem a little on the mean side today. But “children are seen and not heard” was probably the dominant philosophy when Vic and Sade were growing up, and for them, Rush’s talkativeness seems rather brazen.

How did that fish dinner in Peoria end up? It’s a mystery for the ages.

SEE THE SCRIPT (transcription done by Lydia Crowe)
This show ranks right up there with the very best in the entire run of Vic and Sade. The wide-brimmed hat issue will rear it's ugly head in future episodes and is a one of the funniest running jokes in the series.

Rush's never-completed story - and apparently in another episode that is unfortunately unavailable - he tried to tell the same story without much luck) is funny even without the punchline. All of Rush's stories are exciting even when they are duds. Though I haven't figured out exactly where writer Paul Rhymer was going with this story, the flair that actor Billy Idelson puts behind it, even when constantly interrupted, is one for the Vic and Sade Hall of Fame.


+ Kleeburger's, Silver's and Yamilton's department stores are all mentioned for the first time in the surviving shows.  Washrags are also mentioned for the first time.

+ This is the first time in the surviving episodes that Ruthie Stembottom calls about playing "500", a card game the two families enjoy often.  Her husband, Fred is mentioned but their last name is not mentioned in this episode.

+ Sade jokingly refers to Ruthie and her husband as "Mr. and Mrs. Dumptydoodle."

+ Smelly Clark and his Uncle Strap are mentioned for the first time in the surviving shows.

+ Mr. Buller is mentioned by Vic; when he buys a hat, he simply calls the store and makes them deliver it to him and will pay anywhere from $5-$7; He's not worried about the color or style.  He apparently lives on the edge.

+ Sade suggests that they buy Vic the "Baltimore Banker" style hat.
Sade never graduated from high school, and is very proud of her husband's prestigious position as chief accountant for a local plant of a national company. That is, she has social prestige because of Vic's position. She wants him to look the dignified, respectable part. The trouble is, Vic is, by nature, flamboyant, and will not look that part without coercion. If he could, Vic would wear a cowboy hat to work. So, in order to protect her social status, Sade picks Vic's public costume: respectable, narrow-brimmed hats. And I bet she picks his ties, too! - Sarah Cole
{{{HEAR}}} Rush tries to tell a story about Smelly Clark's Uncle Strap (all of the story is edited together.)

Bill Idelson talks about the famous Uncle Strap story (((HEAR)))

Download the complete commercial-free, sound-improved episode!

1 comment:

  1. Not as funny as I had hoped. Nonetheless it's everything the show was. Characters living life of the era. Sade, proud of her husband and confident of her sense of style. Vic, proud too, but in the area of dress, sulkily submits to her control. Poor Rush is again treated as a youth, not yet worthy of equality.