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40-01-12 Vegetable Garden

Sade tells the boys that Mis' Harris wants them to have the garden she has in her backyard.

Vic and Rush are under-joyed.  Vic, in particular, seems to push the responsibility away from himself at the very beginning of the conversation while Rush seems to have inherited the job of gardener.

Sade is surprised at the reaction of the two since at some point the boys seemed to have wished openly that they had a vegetable garden. (Men, be careful what you ask for!)
Mis’ Harris presents the gift of a garden plot to the Gooks. The ever-frugal Sade is excited about the prospect of saving money on produce, but Vic and Rush aren’t so enthused about the work ahead of them.

The United States had not yet entered World War II in 1940, so Sade’s jumping on the patriotic Victory Garden bandwagon a little ahead of time. It doesn’t take a war to get Sade to want to conserve resources and save money. 

Unfortunately, Vic and Rush never seem to match her conservative fervor, especially when it involves a little extra effort from them (see “Two Tons of Coal”). As an enthusiastic gardener myself, I can’t help but laugh a little at Vic and Rush’s whininess here — I find the work of it so pleasurable that I feel disappointed when there’s no weeds left to pull and no more watering or picking to do. I can’t help but think if they only tried it they’d realize how gratifying it was…but I’m not Vic or Rush. 

Vic is quick to remove himself from the entire endeavor, and his attitude makes me reflect on his status and his background. Vic, now a white-collar worker making what we can infer is a comfortable middle-class salary (considering his generosity with Hank Gutstop and his willingness to shell out money for Lodge frippery), grew up on a farm, as we know from “Wildflowers”. Farming professionally, especially at the turn of the century when Vic grew up, was not an easy, comfortable, or secure existence. Vic has moved up the socioeconomic ladder from his parents, and he’s quite satisfied to have left the farm behind. The prospect of digging in the dirt, even for a hobby-garden, must seem like a step back to him. Hobby-farming is a romantic and nostalgic prospect if you grew up in the middle class. If you grew up in a poor farm family, though, you can’t be blamed for never wanting to get dirt under your fingernails again.
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
If you've had the job of tending a garden, you know it's a never-ending job.

This episode could have been called, "Somebody knock me over with a feather!", since Sade says it multiple times in this episode: {{{HEAR}}}

This is one of those episodes that the boys are so under-joyed that they like to complain - together: {{{HEAR}}}


+ Vic denies that he has ever said that he would like to have a vegetable garden.

+ Mis' Harris' garden is on the Razorscum fence line - therefore, we know the Razorscums live next door to Mis' Harris' boarding house.

+ Mis' Husher has a garden of sweet peas.

+ Croucher's Grocery is mentioned for the first time in the surviving audio.

+ Sade/Vic talk about vegetables: {{{HEAR}}}

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


  1. This was a funny episode. I had the same reaction as Rush to my parents' gardening.

    I think Sade says "Someone knock [not knocked] me over with a feather!"

  2. Thank you for your comments. I believe you are correct and I shall change it presently.

  3. Freddie The LoaderJanuary 19, 2015 at 8:41 PM

    I really hate Sade in this one. So much that I can barely stand to listen to the episode, even though it is funny in its own way. The redeeming feature of it is that we never hear of the vegetable garden again in any subsequent episodes, so we can feel safe that Vic & Rush got out of doing the work.