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39-03-08 Mr. Erickson's House Repairs


Vic and Rush come home to find an axe by the washboard.

Sade has been after the landlord, Mr. Erickson, for a while to fix up the house. When she comes home, she tells them that Mr. Erickson has some crazy notion that the family can take turns (or make a game out of) destroying the staircase banister, to make his job easier when he finally does get around making the house repairs in the spring.  He's also left a knife for removing the wallpaper in the kitchen.

Sade doesn't like Mr. Erickson or his "fat daughter," who has gold teeth.  She called Mr. Erickson "greasy" and "oily!"

While Sade thinks this is a ridiculous idea, Rush thinks it's it will be fun and can't wait to help in the destruction.  (In later episodes we will see just how much Rush loves house destruction.)
Sade is concerned about landlord Mr. Erickson’s proposed plan for completing a few much-needed repairs on the house.

Although nostalgia is certainly a part of Vic and Sade's appeal, it is by no means the main feature that attracts people to the show. It's amazing to me how few episodes actually feel dated: some things just haven't changed since the 1930s. The indignity suffered by a renter is one of those things.

Mr. Erickson episodes are near and dear to my heart. I live in a college town where demand for cheap housing is high, and I am no stranger to creepy, oily, shady, irresponsible landlords; below-code apartments, fixtures falling off walls, crumbling staircases, unusable appliances, radon-filled basements that shouldn’t even have people living in them, and much-needed repairs taking eons to get done — and there’s not very much you can do about it because moving is a pain and you’re not going to find affordable housing anywhere else. Oh, Vic & Sade, how keenly I feel your pain!

For me, the best part of this is Rush’s (largely ignored) attempts to communicate to his parents that he is 100% in favor of the arrangement. He’s holding onto a sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, his parents will go along with Mr. Erickson on this and he’ll get to take an axe and hack pieces out of the woodwork. His parents’ obvious dismay and disgust at the idea does not sway him — he still thinks that if he is sure to voice his opinion, he may have a chance. That’s one of the things I like about Rush — no scheme is too ambitious, no hope too high.  

Rush’s inane phone conversations with Bluetooth are hilarious in this episode too. (That’s another thing that hasn’t changed since the 30s — 14-year-olds use the phone way too much.)
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcription by Lydia Crowe)

The issue with the house and it's repair pops up time and time again on Vic and Sade. Mr. Erickson likes to do things cheaply; hence, the axe and the knife.

While a work of fiction, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of landlord actually doing things like this!


+ This is the first time in the existing  audio shows that Mr. Erickson (and his daughter) are mentioned.

+ Mr. Gumpox is also mentioned. Vic and Rush suspect the axe they found belongs to him. (Mr. Gumpox is known to carry different tools in his garbage wagon, according to Rush.)

+ The Bijou is mentioned for the for time in the existing audio. Rush and Blue Tooth Johnson are going to the show.

+ The Greek is mentioned briefly.

+ Erickson's daughter (who we will later learn is named Beulah) lives on Mulberry Street.

+ So far, we know that Sade does not like Mr. Erickson, his daughter and now she's starting to turn on Mis' Applerot...

{{{HEAR}}} Rush asks if Blue Tooth Johnson telephoned...

{{{HEAR}}} Rush talks to Blue Tooth on the phone.
Mr. Erickson sounds like a loud, corpulent man, with a round, moon-like face that always wears a smile; but with shrewd eyes constantly probing for financial gain. He thinks he impresses people with his good humor and open-handedness, but, because of his love for appearances over character, and bargains over value, he seems shabby and vulgar. - Mis' Sarah Cole
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