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40-01-22 R. J. Konk's Improved Portrait

Sade is busted. She's hidden Vic's mail from the headquarters of the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way. Hidden it to stop Vic from spending another $50.00.

Vic is none-too-pleased to find that his wife has basically stolen from him and then was secretive about it.

Upon opening the mail (which Sade had already opened!) Vic finds an offer to buy yet another portrait of lodge founder, R.J. Konk. - but this one is a bit different. It's lips draw back and it "smiles."
Vic receives an offer to buy a new portrait of R.J. Konk with an interesting new feature.

Paul Rhymer was always going one-up on his craziness. Previously, Vic owned a portrait of R.J. Konk where his eyes are replaced by electric lights. This is already absurd and just a little creepy — not an object I’d want to run into while rummaging around in a dark attic. But it wasn’t enough. Rhymer thought, “How can I improve on this? How can I elevate this from absurd to nightmarish?” The result sounds like something out of Eraserhead. No matter how many times I hear this episode, I cannot listen to Sade lackadaisically read the phrase “science has developed a rubberoid substance that is hardy, flexible, and the exact color of human flesh” without laughing like a maniac.
Sade is so disturbed at the prospect of having this monstrosity in her house that she hides the Lodge mailing from Vic. However, this time, the offer fails to tempt even the Exalted Big Dipper of the Drowsy Venus Chapter of the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way. I have a feeling the Lodge is going to lose money on this one…
_______  _______  _______
This is to me a quintessential Vic and Sade episode. It is as if they are an island of sanity in world of crazy. Yet the craziness is such an everyday occurrence that they can't help but treat it as natural. In such a world you have to be ever watchful against your family (or yourself) succumbing. Hence Sade's worried tone.

This new portrait of Konk is, to use a modern term, nightmare fuel. It's beyond ridiculous, it's monstrous. I like to imagine the shop where they are manufactured, having five or six in a row, all being tested at the same time. As an engineer who once had a job in the display business, I can easily imagine developing such a thing, to be used in grocery store displays and such like. ("Mom, buy Farina and see how I smile!") But it would be so off-putting to sales it would be gone in a week, I'm sure.

I'm not sure if Vic bought a cannon last week, or a cabinet. To my ear it sounds like "cabinet" but I am not dogmatic on the point. It seems to me that Sade would have a bigger, more negative comment about a cannon, and she definitely mentions 'cabinets' later on. On the other hand, Vic did apparently buy a cannon in another episode.

SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed from the audio by Garry Motter)
You'll have to admit, Vic's a sucker for most anything the lodge offers.

And you have to feel a bit sorry for Sade, who has to stoop to underhandedness to see that $50 isn't again wasted on some lodge frivolity in those tough, pre-war days of small town America.

Other than the reading from a Third Lieutenant Stanley book (about the circus and the courageous Lieutenant fighting off four lions)  Rush barely makes a peep.


+ Sade seems to feel so guilty that she passes the time by allowing Rush to read aloud from this Third Lieutenant Stanley book!

+ We find that the week before last, Vic had bought a $50 lodge cannon.

+ Art Bleep is mentioned. He is a lodge member, from the Our Friends in Pacific Chapter, San Francisco. He provides a testimonial about the new, improved portrait.

+ This lodge scheme is so blatant that even Vic calls it. "ridiculous" and says "They've gone just a trifle too far"; that's some harsh criticism from Vic for his beloved lodge.

Sade's reason for opening the letter: {{{HEAR}}}

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

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