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40-05-03 Engine Cab Ride to Chicago

Sade, trying to do Vic a favor, has asked Mr. Donahue to let Vic ride in the locomotive for a trip he must take to Chicago for business.

Despite the fact that Vic could ride comfortably in the coach (at his job's expense), Sade doesn't seem to grasp this.

Vic explains that there is no place to sit down in the "rocking, swaying engine" and he'd have to stand up for 5 hours (140 miles!)  Not to mention that the locomotive is filled with black smoke and coal; he'd certainly get dirty.

Vic piles on why the idea is unreasonable:
  • It's against the rules
  • Donahue would have to be sneaky to provide Vic a free ride - making Vic look like a hobo riding the rails
  • Vic would have to wait at the water tower outside of town, then get on (he'd have to walk almost 5 miles, with a suitcase)
  • Vic might get shot by a railroad detective. 
To top it off, Vic learns at the end of the episode, the engine isn't stopping after all.  To get on, Vic would have to jump onto the moving train.
Vic gets what he’s always wanted — a ride in an engine cab. Unfortunately, he’s getting it under less than ideal circumstances.

Sade can’t be blamed too much here for not knowing what she was getting Vic into — after all, she was just trying to do him a favor. The real loony party here is Mr. Donahue, who is intimately acquainted with the environment of the locomotive engine cab, and should know that this is a terrible idea. Sade seems to place much too much trust in Mr. Donahue’s assurances that everything will be completely safe and free of danger. When it comes to Vic jumping on the moving locomotive, though, even Sade seems to begin to question Mr. Donahue’s sanity. And Rush, in his usual insouciant way, just sits back and enjoys the absurdity of it all.

Compounding the problem is that neither Sade nor Mr. Donahue fully understands Vic’s professional obligations and the level of dignity he is expected to maintain for his job. Donahue might wear a blue serge suit and a derby hat now, but at his heart, he is still an overalls man. And Sade’s all about practicality — why shouldn’t Vic fulfill a lifelong dream, make the neighbor happy, and save $7 on train fare all at the same time? To Sade, the sheltered homemaker, and Mr. Donahue, the bluecollar guy, high-stakes business meetings, expense accounts, and big-shot executives are completely foreign concepts. So poor Vic is stuck being the bad guy again.
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
    Here's another episode where scatterbrain Sade's just not thinking.  Though Vic is upset at the notion, Sade means well and thought she and Mr. Donahue were doing him a tremendous favor, as Vic has always made mention that he wanted to ride in the engine.  However, as so many of Sade's ideas go, she was short-sighted and didn't foresee all the problems involved in such a trip risk.


    + Ralph K. Weech is mentioned for the first time.  He's a big shot Kitchenware executive from New York who (along with Mr. Buller) will meet Vic at the train station in Chicago.

    Old postcard of Chicago's Union Station
    + Chicago is 140 miles away from the town the Gooks live in.

    + The station in Chicago is known as Union Station; it's still in use today.

    + A water tower sits at the north end of the train yards, just outside of town, a half a mile north of Harry Hunter's farm.  (The first time Harry Hunter has been mentioned.)

    + A train ticket from where the Gooks live to Chicago is about $7.00 (that could be round-trip...)

    + Vic mentions he would like to take a trip in the engine with Mr. Donahue to Funks Grove.  Funks Grove is about 6 miles southwest of Bloomington, Illinois.  It's famous for being on Route 66 and having many syrup trees/farms.

    Vic rails that after the trip in the engine, he'd be "black as a cannibal": {{{HEAR}}}

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

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