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40-04-05 Can Blue Tooth Sue the Bijou?

Rush asks Vic if Blue Tooth Johnson can sue the Bijou theater.

It seems Blue Tooth's "defective" seat came loose during the show, dropping Blue Tooth like a rock to the theater floor.  He somehow landed on Mrs. Sam Ferberman's foot (she's the mother of the theater manager.)  He spilled paint (that he had purchsed earlier) everywhere and Blue Tooth feels that the incident caused possible nervous shock and high blood pressure.
Rush outlines Bluetooth’s plans to sue the Bijou Theater for his possible nervous shock and possible high blood pressure.
Once again, Paul Rhymer predicts the future. Long before the McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit inspired a string of jokes about our litigious society in the 1990s, long before frivolous lawsuits became a standup comedy cliche, Rhymer wrote this story about Bluetooth Johnson’s attempt to sue the Bijou on account of a defective theater seat that he, himself, made defective through the theft of a nut and bolt. Bluetooth admits that’s a weak link in his case, though. (Oh yeah, and he sneaked into the theater, too.) Most people think of selfish lawsuits as a phenomenon of our modern era, but this episode shows that unchecked litigiousness has, apparently, been a part of the American culture for a long, long time.
VIC: … Oh, by the way — wasn’t it your pal Bluetooth Johnson who was gonna sue the Butler House Hotel dinin’ room a while back?
RUSH: Yeah.
VIC: Quite a fella to sue folks, ain’t he?
RUSH: Bluetooth is an individual that’s determined to stand up for his rights. 
Keep on fighting for your rights, Bluetooth! You are a true American!
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
While the story is mostly true, it seems there is a convoluted story involved behind it. Blue Tooth was making a model tank in his basement. He felt on his seat in the theater and realized the screw was like the one he needed for the tank. He unscrewed the bolt, putting the nut and bolt in his pocket.

It wasn't long after that the seat collapsed, causing the chain of events listed earlier.

To top it off, we find that Blue Tooth and Rush didn't even pay to get into the theater as they entered the theater illegally. I'm guessing that there will be no way for Blue Tooth to win his claim.


+ Sylvia Starbrook is the name of the character in Sade's newspaper love story.

+ Sade reads the love story in the paper and realizes it's the same love story chapter from 2 days previous.

The love story in the paper would look a lot like the one below (click it to enlarge it and read it.) The below story was taken from a 1940 Pittsburgh paper but it's a syndicated feature and one of many like it that ran in newspapers across the country in pre-WWII America - probably very much like the one Sade reads in Vic and Sade.

About 1940 or so, the stories started to change a bit. There was often a hint of adultery in some of them.

However, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, entire contexts of newspapers changed (similar to how TV news changed after 9/11, with the scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen, etc.) and real news became a valuable commodity once again and features like the love story were taken out of most newspapers to provide more space for WWII news. The love stories that did continue often offered a patriotic stance of some sort and infidelity seemed to become non-existent.

After the war, the stories returned to many papers but often took on a much more "mature" look as they would center around widows (many women lost their husbands during the war, as almost a half a million U.S. servicemen lost their lives) or divorce (the strain of war dealt many marriages an untimely blow) or other topics not generally discussed openly in newspapers prior to WWII. And certainly, acts of infidelity increased in these stories.

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


  1. I think Vic's head looks like a peeled onion in that wide-brimmed hat he's wearing up there.