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1981

Trains

"All aboard the whistle blows, a rumble starts beneath your toes, that clickety-clack just grows and grows, and on and on your journey goes! And that's why everybody knows it's fun to ride on a train."

Jeff and Jodie are singing this as they watch the model train chug along its track in Jodie's display. Muffy comes in and complains about the noise the train is making. Her nap was interrupted and she feels no one cares about her sleep. She demands absolute quiet on every floor.

Jodie tells her she's being unreasonable, she has to do her job and it's not fair to the customers not to get the store ready for the train sale for today's special.

Muffy says, all right, if she can't have quiet, she'll leave, "Excuse me while I go and pack!"

Jeff is quite disturbed by Muffy's temper. "I've never seen Muffy so upset before." he says.

Jodie is less concerned, she doesn't think Muffy will really leave. "We just have to be extra nice to Muffy."

Jeff says he'll try to be quiet. How quiet do you think a train can be? He asks us. He begins to whisper "click clack clickety clack, click clack clickety clack", brushing his hands together instead of clapping to be quiet. He invites us to try it.

Next a tongue twister appears on the screen, "Trains travel to Toronto" and TXL asks us to say it over and over again quickly. She does so, but Sam can only say it right once when he tries it. He explains that trains go to other places besides Toronto. He shows TXL pictures in a scrapbook of his of an old train.

TXL has a picture of a modern train, and Sam does too, a very bright shiny one with two stories. TXL then says she has a picture of a train going up a mountain, and we see a picture of the mountain-climbing train.

Back upstairs in the children's department, Jodie comes in with luggage and Jeff is worried that she is going away just like Muffy. Jodie explains that the luggage is for a display. Jeff is surprised. "Luggage doesn't have anything to do with trains."

"Don't they?" Jodie asks. She reminds him that people go on trains for trips and they need luggage to carry the things they need.

Sam comes through the department on his rounds and Jeff asks him a riddle. "What travels on a track?" After many clues, Sam finally gets the answer right. A train. He mentions that a subway is a kind of train too, and he suggests they show everybody what happened when he and Jodie went to ride the subway.

We see Jodie and Sam putting their tokens in the machine to get in, looking at the signs, riding on the first car so they can look out at the tracks and pretend to be driving the train.

Afterwards Sam wonders where Muffy is, and Jeff tells him she's packing to leave but that Jodie doesn't think she'll really go.

Over at Muffy's place, Muffy tells us she's not angry about the noise anymore but she still plans to leave the store, since mice like to move a lot and not stay in the same old spot. She says she'll miss her friends but they don't really need her there. "Jodie's smart and Jeff is strong, and Sam keeps things from going wrong." But she feels she has no important thing to do, so she's going leave, and sings "I'm going to leave this place I call my home . . ." she is crying as the song ends.

In the computer room, Sam is trying to figure out a way to get Penelope to be nice to Muffy until they can find a way to convince her to stay in the store. Speaking of Penelope, Sam says, he can't find her but he knows she won't run away because she hates to travel. When he carries her on a bus or train he always puts her in her basket. When he lifts the top of it, he finds that Penelope is inside, probably the top fell down on her.

Sam tells of a time when he was on vacation and he sent Penelope to a kennel. A girl named Susan, his neighbor, took her there for him, and he shows us pictures of the trip as Robyn Hayle provides Penelope's voice.

Penelope enjoyed the kennel so much, Sam had to offer to give her her favorite food all week so she would come home. This gives him an idea. Maybe if he gave Muffy some of her favorite cheeses, she wouldn't leave the store.

Back in the children's department, Jeff rolls a big trunk. Jodie thinks he's bringing it for her display and she tells him that the display is finished and she doesn't need it. Jeff explains that the trunk is all of Muffy's books and records, and he is going to put the trunk in the basement until Muffy gets a new place to stay. Jodie is surprised that Muffy is still upset about the noise, but Jeff explains she's not angry anymore, she just wishes she had something important to do. Jodie says maybe if they can think of something, then Muffy will decide to stay.

Jeff says he would like to leave the store, just for a little while, to take a trip somewhere. Jodie says he can, he can dream of faraway places and that's almost as fun as really being there. She suggests they take a trip together right then. Hopping up on the trunk side by side, they sing, "In our dreams, the two of us traveling on a train or a bus..."


Next we hear Sam talking on the phone and he asks us to guess who he was talking to. He gives us a few clues and then adds, "he's fixing my pickup truck!" So we know it's a mechanic.

Next Sam calls out, "where am I?" He realizes that he's in the closet so he emerges and tells us another riddle. The answer is a plane.

Jeff and Jodie are with Muffy in the children's department trying to convince her that she's important. She always finds lost things because she's so small she can look in places where they can't. Jeff reminds her that when Jodie was sick she ran the whole store. That's not enough for Muffy, finding things isn't important, and she only ran the store once, not every day.

Jeff and Jodie consult in low tones, trying to think of something to make Muffy want to stay. Jodie finally says, "Jeff take off your hat!" Jeff is surprised, but he takes it off. Jodie says that she can't remember the magic words, "AND NEITHER CAN YOU, SAM!" she calls, hinting at Sam not to say them. So it's up to Muffy to say the magic words.

Jeff comes to life and tells Muffy he's glad she's found something important to do at last, saying the magic words.

"But we don't want you to stay just because you know the magic words," Jodie says, "we want you to stay because we really like you you're our friend."

So Muffy decides to stay.

Suddenly the train starts up. Jodie tells them to turn it off since Muffy doesn't like the noise but Muffy enjoys the sound now that she can "join the fun".

Together Jeff and Jodie sing the song from the beginning about why it's fun to ride on a train, and Muffy and Sam chant, "click-clack, clickety clack" in unison.


Quizzes:

  • A toy train has an engine and three passenger cars. Which car goes first?
  • What do a suitcase, a bag, a laundry basket and a cardboard box have in common?
  • What's wrong with this picture?
  • Which one of these things is different?

Nursery Rhyme:

  • Girls and boys come out to play!

Notes:

  • This is an unusual episode because Jodie actually says something that's not true. The only other time that happens is in "Junior", and that's also to try and keep Muffy in the store.
  • The tune to Jeff and Jodie's imaginary travel song is recycled in 1982's Circus where the lyrics are changed to "Circus clowns, that's what we are!"
  • The subway line that Sam and Jodie took is the Yonge-University-Spadina Line, which runs from Downsview to Finch (it ran from Wilson to Finch when the episode was made). I found it curious that the Rosedale station was chosen, being an above-ground station, vs. a more typical underground station.
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