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41-01-24 Boss Waits in the Car


The Thimble Club in disarray
Sade is excitingly telling Rush the big news: Ruthie Stembottom finally had enough of Mis' Appelrot and blew up on her right in the Underwear Department of Yamilton's and then quit the Thimble Club! That's pretty big news in Sade's world.

Meanwhile, Vic comes home, dropped off for a second by his boss, Mr. Ruebush. Vic has to get some papers and go right back to what he was doing and where he was going.

Sade, however, wants to tell Vic the story about the improbable happenings between Ruthie and Mis' Appelrot. While Vic is most-intrigued, he must immediately return to his boss and his job as he promised he would be just a second.

Of course it doesn't stop there. The telephone rings twice - both times for Vic - and he takes so long in the house that his boss finally drives away.
Some major drama goes down in the underwear department at Yamilton’s. All the major drama on this show seems to go down in the underwear department of Yamilton’s.

This is one of those episodes where Sade acts so dense and inconsiderate that it bothers me a little. Would she really show this little understanding of Vic’s situation? I guess it boils down to the old trope: Sade’s whole world is her home and community, and when a bombshell like this goes off in her circle of friends and neighbors, it IS important to her — just as important as Vic’s work is to him. Still, it’s hard to believe that she could be quite this silly!

All that off to one side, though, it’s great to hear that someone finally told off Mis’ Appelrot, and even better to know that that person was Ruthie Stembottom. We could be seeing the beginnings of a civil war in the Thimble Club, or at least a great rift, where the Appelrot-loyal split into their own Thimble Club and the Ruthie-loyal crowd forms a new Appelrot-free club of their own. Of course, they’d never actually do that, and Sade probably won’t quit the Thimble Club. That would be much too confrontational an action for the peace-preserving Midwestern ladies of the Thimble Club. My guess is they’re all going to pretend this never happened and (hopefully) Appelrot will try to be a little nicer to Ruthie from now on.
 SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
A very intriguing episode with juicy gossip about (sometimes) Public Enemy #1, Mis' Appelrot. Ruthie ''goes off'' on her... but quitting the Thimble Club seems a bit like a MacGuffin, as I totally can't see that happening. I think it's writer Paul Rhymer's way to make the news juicy enough to almost force Sade into making Vic listen to her news. So perhaps in a way, he employed an Alfred Hitchcock trick in radio before others later began to do so (this is evident in shows like The Lives of Harry Lime, The Adventures of Superman and others.)

It's too bad the show is hampered miserably by terrible sound quality. I was able to fix what I could but the damage is so bad, it seems to make little difference. I did fix the opening (half of it was missing - I replaced the missing half with an existing half of another episode) and there was a quirky tape speed-up toward the end which I restored as best I could. The hissing gets really bad towards the last quarter of the episode. I did what I could - mostly in-between the family talking.


+ Since Ruthie quit the Thimble Club, Sade, who is the club's President, is thinking about resigning as well.

+ The suit salesman who calls and talks to a harried Vic was named Mr. Weefer.

+ Miss Hammersweet (the other caller who talked to Vic) is his secretary at Consolidated Kitchenware.

+ Sade uses wild vivid exaggerations in describing Ruthie's anger (EDITED): {{{HEAR}}}
"Telephone's ringing!" I don't know of anybody who ever [yelled] that in real life. I think if they did, it was so rare that I never noticed. Usually if the telephone was ringing, someone either went straight for it to answer it, or if they couldn't they just yelled out, "Hey, somebody pick up the phone, and see who it is."

Sometimes, as a joke and a salute to Vic and Sade, I'll comment that the telephone is ringing. I'll even try to use Vic's tired out voice as it does, until either I, or somebody picks it up. I even made a ringtone for my cell phone of a montage of Vic, Sade, and Rush saying, "Telephone's ringing."

Now that I'm thinking of it, I've noticed people do something like it when a cell phone rings. Cell phones can have any number of chirpy or musical riffs for the ring tone. Anything from a traditional telephone bell to a persons favorite rock and roll band playing a sound bite. Because the tone can be surprising, the people around might look up, or at the source of the intrusion and comment that someone's cell phone is ringing.

Cell phones have been around since the 1980's, and you'd think we'd be more used to the unexpected range in ring tones. Consider that the telephone wasn't invented until the 1870's or so. By the 1930's the novelty was still slowly spreading, and it might not have been so uncommon of a thing for folks like Vic and Sade to say, "Telephone's ringing!"

Telephones and phone conversations became a comedy gag from the time of Mark Twain. He once wrote about the odd, one sided conversation his daughter had as she took a phone call. In the vaudeville and early radio days of the 20th century, George Jessel did a bit where he phoned his mom, and the audience only caught the monolog of his side of the conversation. When necessary for getting the laugh, he might sometimes repeat what his mom might have reacted to him with. Probably Fibber McGee's telephone calls to Myrt the phone operator more closely resembles Mark Twain's short story.

I say all that to compare the time of the telephones early days from it's invention, up to Vic and Sade, to the cell phone in the early years of the 21st century. It might sound so far fetched to state the obvious. "Telephone's ringing." But it does parallel our response to the oddity of the cell phone. - Keith Heltsley@Retro Radio Podcast
Download the complete commercial-free, sound-improved episode!

1 comment:

  1. A thought on "Telephone's Ringin'". If you watch the WC Fields classic film, "The Bank Dick", in a scene at the beginning of the film, the family are sitting around the breakfast table and the phone rings and the younger daughter says, "Telephone's ringin', telephone's ringin'" exactly the same way it's said on Vic & Sade. As a matter of fact, first time I heard it on Vic & Sade I immediately thought of the Bank Dick and that scene. Since that film was made around 1940-41, the exact same time as these episodes, I'm guessing maybe it WAS something people commonly said at the time.