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39-08-15 Vic's Geographical Trip

Vic is excited.  He's written 15 pages (six sheets typewritten) about his recent traveling exploits for newspaperman Ed Greefer.  It seems certain that Ed will publish the article, since earlier in the day Ed seemed quite interested in his trip.

Vic's high hopes for a printed article in the paper however, come crashing down towards the end of the episode.  Not only is the article full of factual errors but it painfully states the obvious.

Vic recites from memory, parts of the article: {{{HEAR}}}
Vic has written a fifteen-page article about his business trip to the southern and midwestern United States, to the delight of his reporter friend…or so he thinks.

Oh, poor Vic. Whenever he’s this excited about something you just know the wind is about to be taken out of his sails in a big way. You can predict what’s going to happen from the beginning — a guy makes a phone call just to chat and Vic sends him an unsolicited (and, frankly, poorly-written) 15-page manuscript and waits for the bouquets to be thrown at him. This episode is like watching a truck hit someone in slow motion. At least Sade and Rush are supportive. Sade makes some tentative attempts to talk Vic down, but she doesn’t force the issue:
SADE: Is that…very newsy?

VIC: Sure!
SADE: Don’t…people already appreciate where Ohio is?
VIC: Naw!
SADE: If you were talkin’ about China or someplace, but…[giggles] little dinky Ohio just a tiny ways off…lands, I should think…
A first in this episode: Sade mentions that Vic has received a dun from Kleeburger’s. Vic’s $2 debt to Kleeburger’s, and his capricious refusal to pay it, becomes a running joke in the series. I often wonder how he acquired it in the first place and whether broad-brimmed hats had anything to do with it.
 SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
This is an episode where Vic gets to shine.  He seems to be very proud of himself but near the end of the episode -- even before the fateful phone call, we know what will eventually happen because Vic's article has so many things wrong with it.

The family was excited at first to hear of the article but as the episode wore on, you can tell the interest in the article is fading fast in their eyes.

At one point, Sade refers to the article as "junk" but she meant no harm.  Vic immediately jumps on that with a posturing, "Junk?"


+ Rush talks to Vic about Rooster Davis and refers to the fact that Rooster is on Division Street (the first time that street is mentioned in the surviving audio, by the way) and the fact that to get a hold of him, he'd have to have a "magic telephone" - or a cell phone, as we know it today: {{{HEAR}}}

+ Vic tells us his middle name is "Rodney."

+ Ed Greefer is mentioned for the first time in the surviving audio.  He's a Sky Brother in the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way.  He's also a reporter for the newspaper.  His sister is Olive Greefer.

+ Olive Greefer is mentioned for the first time in the surviving audio.  She is a sales girl at Yamilton's.  "She makes a wonderful salary there", according to Sade.  Her brother is Ed Greefer.

+ Mis' Gregg is mentioned for the first time in the surviving audio.  She is a secretary at Consolidated Kitchenware.  It takes her almost an hour to type 3 full pages.

+ Mis' Larrs is mentioned for the first time in the surviving audio.  She may know about Olive Reefer's salary.

+ It took Vic less than 40 minutes to hand write the 15 pages.

+ Vic wrote about Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio - places we can assume he went during his trip.

+ While reciting parts of his article to the family, Rush points out that Ohio is not the "Hoosier State" as Vic had erroneously stated in his article.

+ While no one points it out, other untrue statements pop up while Rush is gone to answer the telephone.  Vic states that the Mississippi River runs through Kentucky.  He also states that Indiana is the "Gopher State (when in actuality, Minnesota is such).

  Bob Stepno (in his wonderful blog, Journalistic Heroes) wrote the following concerning this episode:
Vic says he’s considering writing articles for the paper about a two-week business trip. His wife and 14-year-old son are merciless in their critique of his news judgment, with a hint that Vic has been spending too much time at the office entertaining “one of the girls” (named Lolita DiRienzis) who gave him the idea. 
Vic feigns modesty at first and judiciously avoids identifying the “someone” who gave him idea, but Sade and Rush egg him on to the point that he argues he might even write a book.
Sade: You think maybe you will write pieces for the newspaper about your trip? Vic: What newspaper editor would be interested in any trash I’d turn out… Aw shucks… Probably the editor’d split his sides laughing if I submitted any such fantastic proposal…
Rush: Yes I imagine it would be awfully dull reading… You wouldn’t have anything to say about Wisconsin and Michigan that would thrill anybody… What would you call your book, “A trip through darkest Michigan”? “Blood-thirsty Adventures in Untamed Wisconsin?”
Vic takes umbrage, defends the idea, and recounts in detail one of his “side-splitting stories,” which isn’t.

Unlike Vic's joke, Paul Rhymer’s humor is brilliant and subtle, with glimpses of the absurdities of real life. Underneath this particular story about Vic's hope of getting his “adventure” into the paper is the reality that people back in the days of radio drama really did take the newspaper seriously.

Vic is jolly: {{{HEAR}}}

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