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39-06-13 Porch Collapses Rotten Takes Blame

Rush tells the story of how Rotten Davis put on an act before a crowd of 200 or so.

After a porch collapse, Rotten dressed up and acted like a crazy man who tore down the porch in a fit of rage.

Rush finally gets a moment to shine as he tells this fantastic (and apparently true) story. {{{HEAR}}}

A house collapses on Center Street, and Rotten Davis seizes the opportunity to become the center of attention.

This one has to be in my top ten favorite episodes. I laughed so hard the first time I heard it (at the time I was a teenager living in a small town, just like Rush, and this sounded like excellent fun). The idea of a collapsed house attracting the entire population’s attention rings 100% true to anyone who lives in a small town. The idea of a goofy teenager convincing everyone he tore the house down makes the story funny. And details like the suitcase and the aviator’s helmet and goggles elevate it to pure absurd Rhymerian perfection. 

What kind of character has Rotten created here? He’s a mysterious traveler of ambiguous national origin, just passing through town; and he must have his own plane if he has an aviator’s helmet. He is prone to violent outbursts and has superhuman strength, and since he has so much remorse, he must have little control over himself. I feel like Rotten must be a fan of psychological thrillers. Wherever Rotten got this character, his town has not seen anyone like this before or since!

Sade may scoff, but I think Rotten is some kind of genius. (I just don’t know which kind.) He sees opportunity wherever it exists. He is a showman and a hustler. He obviously has a brilliant future as either a performance artist, a businessman, or a confidence trickster. If I were in Rush’s shoes, you can bet I’d be following him around all the time, too!
Not the greatest episode in the series but a fine example of Billy Idelson's story-telling and Paul Rhymer's writing. The bonus is Rush's little revenge on Sade as he interrupts her time and time again in this one (and she never objects.)

Vic and Sade seem almost in awe of the story but still won't go over to the house to see the demise of the porch.


+ Stickers on the bag of luggage include Nome Alaska, London England, Paris France, Rotterdam Holland, Brussels Belgium and Stockholm Sweden.

+ The porch collapse occurred on South Center Street.

+ This is the first surviving audio episode that uses, "Billy Patterson."

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

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