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41-01-23 The All-Star Marching Team


Vic: 4/16ths of a second elapses rapidly!

The lodge headquarters in Chicago has honored Vic by naming him to the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way All-Star Marching Team. Nine others in the country were also voted to the team and Vic is of course very proud of this.

It's not all peaches and cream though as the other team members are located across the country and practicing could be a problem. And there's always the problem of Sade and Rush making fun of Vic.
What I love about this is, although Vic, Sade and Rush discuss most of the ridiculous aspects of Headquarters’ plan to have the Marching Team practice separately (the 4/16ths of a second, grown men all across the country marking up the street and marching back and forth all by themselves), they fail to acknowledge the single most ludicrous part of the whole thing, namely:
 ”In order that perfect rhythm be attained, each separate unit will train itself to march at the rate of one stride every 3 and 4/16ths seconds.”
Ish on the 4/16ths of a second. Forget the 4/16ths of a second. THREE SECONDS IS A REALLY LONG TIME! Try it yourself. Stand up and imagine yourself marching to a sprightly Sousa composition and count “one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi” before you take each step. It is a comically slow pace for a parade. 
For perspective, here’s a video of something I was lucky enough to see (and get stuck behind) during my Study Abroad travels — a Holy Week procession in Palma de Mallorca,Spain. Processions, of course, are not parades, but rather the slow and somber cousin of parades. Holy Week in Spain is a serious and mournful time during which Catholic fraternities fill the streets to commemorate the passion of Jesus Christ. These processions are not meant to be animated, but funereal, plodding and torturous. But count once: they are still taking less than one second for each stride! A parade at one stride every 3 and 4/16ths seconds would make a self-flagellating monk say “Can we please pick up the pace a little?”
This is an excellent trick of Paul Rhymer’s — dropping some absolutely crazy piece of nonsense on the listeners and then having the characters totally ignore it in favor of other minutiae.  I’m sure there are other examples of this in “Vic and Sade.” Can you think of any?
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
When Vic was selected to the Marching Team for his lodge, I just about had a fit.  I found this (and anything to do with the Marching Team) to be hilarious.

Vic, who is crazy about marching (and to him, it's serious business), has to not only put up with ridiculous "marching orders" (literally) but his own wife, who thinks the lodge, the Marching Team and his marching orders from the lodge is ludicrous.

The Marching Team never does work out for Vic or the lodge and further deteriorates as time goes along.  Just as Sade is crazy about washrags, she never buys any in the history of the show that we are aware of - and despite his love for marching, Vic never gets to march in any parades in the whole series.  

These are the kinds of jokes Rhymer liked to play on his audience.  He doesn't have the characters tell jokes - he has them live their lives as jokes. There are other examples of this as well - Sade swears she keeps secrets yet she tells Ruthie every detail about things - to her, this is not telling secrets; Rush can never tell the story about Smelly Clark's Uncle Strap - which is probably a good thing since the whole thing may be set up to be a very dirty story if you read between the lines; Uncle Fletcher who is really not hard of hearing nor senile uses both things to purposely draw attention to himself; Vic, certainly the smartest person on the show and a very intelligent, well-read person who probably had many of the same qualities and attributes as the show's creator, is really nothing but an overgrown, spoiled child  - much more childish than Rush or Russell.

I love the names of the other members of the marching team - to me, this is the absolute best collection of names in the series.

This episode certainly ranks in my top ten favorites. There are more episodes about the Marching Team in the future and the whole concept is hilarious.

There were many sound difficulties with this precious episode; I am pleased to report I fixed a lot of those problems and this may have been one of my better jobs at repair. That's a good thing considering that the sound of this episode is one that truly deserves to be cared for.


The members of the All-Star Marching Team for the Sacred Stars of the Milky Way:
(Other than Detroit, all those cities are fictional, according to Google Earth.)

By the way, I really get a big kick out of Vic here... (listen closely to the tone of his voice. He feels like he must take up for each one of the members of the Marching Team because an "attack" on them is an attack on him.) It almost always cracks me up: {{{HEAR}}}

+ Vic got another delinquent bill from Kleeburger's. Recall that he was all paid up not too long ago.

+ Vic leaves at the end of the episode to go play indoor horseshoes at Ike Kneesuffer's place.

Here's a clip of both Rush and Sade reading the "Latin" in Vic's letter from the lodge. Near the end, hear Bernadine Flynn giggle as she reads (EDITED): {{{HEAR}}}

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

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