Search This Blog

41-10-10 Fred's Tires

Fred Stembottom makes it known to Sade that the Stembottoms want a new tire as their gift from the Gooks for Christmas. As a matter of fact, Fred is apparently spreading it around everywhere that they want new tires and Sade has totaled up the number of new tires to be five.

Sade doesn't think it's right to ask for tires because Ruthie will be left out of having Christmas fun.
Here we see Fred Stembottom at his very worst – trying to scam his wife out of fun Christmas presents for utilitarian purposes. Vic is right – Fred Stembottom is a baboon. Maybe it’s a long con to get rich on the black market and be able to shower Ruthie with the presents she wants! Then again, maybe Fred isn’t that smart or insightful…
SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
I find this episode to be totally ironic on a few counts. First of all, rubber was already in short supply in October 1941 (the time of this episode) due to Lend-Lease, a subject I wrote about about not too long ago in this blog.

Dec. 12, 1941, Ottawa Citizen
Secondly, in 2 months and 2 days time from this episode's debut, new tires would no longer be sold on the open market until World War II was over. All rubber manufacturers were using their production then for the war effort. The only tires you could buy were used tires (and it's probable many of those were given to the U.S. Government in scrap drives.) As Rush points out, in October 1941, a used car tire might sell for $2-3. By December 12th, 1941, the price probably escalated to 4 to 5 times that amount, although I could find no advertisements in newspapers to back up that claim.

The five tires Fred and Ruthie would receive at Christmas would have been worth a small fortune on the black market. Assume a brand new tire would be $20-25 after the attack on Pearl Harbor - and five would be worth about $125. And since we are talking a full set plus a spare, we might even be talking about $150. $150 was a lot of money in 1941.

Now, consider a brand new Cadillac cost $1000 in 1941. Hence, $150 in 1941 is equivalent today to about $5000 as far as spending goes (if my economic assumptions are correct.)  Sade may poo-poo Fred's wants but it appears as though Fred Stembottom was a genius!


+ Salt and matches are two items Sade wants Rush to get at the store. Those two items were also among the items he was to get at the store in this episode. They were also on the grocery list that Bess wrote on top of her letter in this episode.

+ Fred has a brother in Oklahoma.

Sade imitates Fred and his laugh: {{{HEAR}}}

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

No comments:

Post a Comment