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1982

Soap

Muffy is in her house, looking at her kitchen, lamenting the amount of cleaning that she needs to do.  Then she hears the sound of footsteps, though she doesn't recognize whose footsteps they are.  We then see a woman in the hallway, who places a large metal mop bucket directly in front of Muffy's door.  Muffy soon realizes the situation that she's in, remarking, "Goodness me, what's going on?  What's this all about?  Something's blocking my front door.  I can't even get out!  Boy, oh, boy, stuck in my house!  This just isn't my day.  All around me, piles of work, and I can't get away!"  Muffy then feels soap around her feet.  She soon realizes that she left the water running, and the soap bubbles had overflowed onto the floor.

We then see Jeff walking down the hallway outside Muffy's door.  He notices that the floor looks shinier than usual.  When he hears the elevator bell and sees movement, he runs towards the elevator, thinking that it's Sam or Jodie.  He then slips and falls to the floor, and realizes that the floor was all wet, and that he is, too.

In the computer room, someone is using a duster to clean the computer room, dusting the furniture, as well as Penelope.  TXL takes note of the occurrence, believing that Sam does not know of this person's precence: "At precisely 9:30 PM - or was it 9:31 PM?  Let me check.  No, I was right the first time.  At precisely 9:30 PM, the door of the computer room opened..."

In the Children's Department, Jodie is looking around for something.  The camera focuses momentarily on a garbage pail in the doorway.  Jodie then explains that she threw her list in the garbage by mistake, but the garbage pail is missing.  She asks us where it is, and we direct her to the doorway, where she discovers that it is empty.  She wonders out loud about who might have emptied it.

Sam then walks into the Children's Department, thanking Jodie for cleaning his room.  Jodie stops Sam, because she wasn't the one who cleaned his room.  She doesn't go into the Computer Room, because she is too concerned about accidentally breaking one of Sam's model ships.  That's exactly what Sam came to discuss with Jodie, i.e. that one must take great care to dust the ships, specifically because they break so easily.  Jodie stops Sam again, explaining that she didn't dust his room.  Sam wonders who dusted his room.  Jodie suggests that TXL might have done it, because she's always complaining about the messy state of his room.  Sam ponders this for a moment, remarking that TXL isn't the tidying sort.  Then it dawns on Sam: "Wait a second!  She doesn't have any hands to hold a broom with, or a mop!"  Jodie laughs as Sam gets the joke, and admits that she only said that to make sure that he was paying attention.

Then Jeff comes in, remarking, "I'll admit, I must have looked pretty funny.  You sure fooled me with that wet floor."

Sam and Jodie are confused.  "Wet floor?"

Jeff continues, "Yeah, and the elevator doors opening?  That's what made me run and slip.  You two are getting as tricky as Muffy."

Sam denies being involved in that, adding that it sounds very dangerous.  With the floors all wet, someone could slip, and hurt themselves.  Jeff did, in fact, hurt himself, but he's okay, as he only got a small bruise.  Jodie adds that neither she or Sam had anything to do with the wet floor.  However, she also notes that the wet floor isn't the only strange thing that's happened, noting that she had been looking around for a garbage pail that mysteriously reappeared empty.  Did Jeff know who emptied it?  Jeff nods no, and Sam denies it as well.  Jodie also adds that Muffy isn't big enough to empty the garbage pail.

Jeff then realizes that he hasn't seen Muffy all night.  Sam hasn't, either.  Jodie remarks that it's not like Muffy to stay out of sight for so long.  Sam realizes that something strange is going on, as there are too many questions without answers.  He says that it's time for some detective work.

Meanwhile, Muffy is still stuck in her house.  She has gotten no phone calls, and believes that no one knows that she is stuck.  However, in the meantime, she has cleaned the soapy floor and tried to move what is blocking her in, but is still stuck.  Walking over to her bathtub, she wonders what she will do to pass the night, and make her smile.  Then she realizes that a bath will make her happy and climbs into the bath.  "When I feel the world treats me badly, when I feel kind of low and blue, when my problems start to surround me, I have a bath.  That's what I do!" she sings.

While this is going on, Sam is standing in the hallway, dressed in a Victorian-era detective costume, commenting, "There's something mighty strange going on in this store."  He then pulls out his magnifying glass, and looks around, and is very surprised to see us.  "Jumpin' jackrabbits!  There's a whole lot of kids out there!  Oh, my, and they look so big!"  He then remarks that we really looked big through the magnifying glass.  Sam then gets back on task, looking for clues.  He finds a mop and a mop bucket, remarking that those are good clues.  We can hear Muffy's singing in the distance, and Sam asks us if we hear something.  We tell him that it's Muffy, but he quickly dismisses the idea.  "We don't have time to look for Muffy now.  Nope!  We've gotta find out whoever it is in this store!  A good detective always gets his man - or his woman, I guess."

A lady then walks behind Sam as he looks for clues near a clothing rack, and Sam doesn't notice.  We alert him to the lady's presence.  He says that he doesn't see a lady anywhere around.  "That's kind of funny, isn't it?  Don't be you fooling Sam, now!  This detective work is mighty serious business."  The lady then walks behind Sam, and goes through a door, leaving it open.  We again bring the lady's presence to Sam's attention.  Sam goes after it, but then the lady walks by in the hallway, and closes the door as she goes by, inadvertently shutting the door in Sam's face.  After remarking that something strange is going on, Sam goes through the door in search of the lady.

In the Children's Department, Jeff and Jodie are standing near some cleaning supplies.  Jeff asks Jodie for a new shirt, because his is still wet.  Jodie suggests that Jeff put his shirt in the dryer.  Jeff doesn't know what a dryer is, so Jodie explains that a dryer is what people use to dry their clothes after they wash them.  When Jeff questions why people would want to wash their clothes, because his clothes are always clean, Jodie explains that as a mannequin, he's always wearing new clothes, but most people just wash and rewear their old clothes.  While Jeff thinks that it would take a long time, Jodie explains that there are machines that do this for people, and that while some people have them in their homes, other people go to a laundromat to wash their clothes.  Sam and Jodie use a laundromat for their wash.  Sam had previously told Jeff about the laundromat, and Jeff didn't think that Sam enjoyed going there.  Jodie agreed, and that Sam has trouble at the laundromat, remarking, "The last time we went, he ended up with this whole load of very small blue t-shirts."

We then see Sam and Jodie's last trip to the laundromat.  Sam and Jodie load their clothes in, add the detergent, and then add their money.  While the wash is running, Sam works on a crossword puzzle, trying to figure out a four-letter word that starts with "S", ends with "P", and us used for cleaning clothes.  When their wash is done, Sam questions the color of the t-shirts that he put in, thinking that he put white t-shirts in.  He did put white t-shirts in, but also one blue sock, which colored his shirts blue.  "It's a good thing I look handsome in blue!"  They then put their laundry in the dryer.  Sam is still working on his crossword puzzle when Jodie tells them that he's left his clothes in the dryer for a long time.  When Sam continues to be absorbed in his puzzle, Jodie opens the dryer to check on his load.  Then Sam figures out what the word was: soap.  Jodie then tells Sam that his t-shirts had shrunk in the dryer.  Upon realizing this, he suggests giving the shirts to Jodie's nephew Davy, and that maybe they can start a rock and roll band.

Back in the Children's Department, Jeff remarks that he hopes that Sam has more luck with finding out what's going on in the store.  When Jodie suggests that Jeff help him, Jeff responds, "Help Sam?  While he's playing detective?  Oh, I don't think so.  He doesn't like anyone interrupting him when he's solving a mystery."  Jodie understands, but suggests that he sort of casually wander by and see if he's all right.

Next, we see the Mime Lady carrying a bag.  It has a large "S" printed on it, and TXL tells us that everything inside the bag starts with the letter "S".  The bag contains skates, a soup spoon, a sock, and a string.  The the Mime Lady sneezes.  We then review the items in the bag.  The Mime then begins sneezing and can't stop, and leaves the room, still sneezing.

In the hallway outside Muffy's house, Sam is still looking for clues, as he walks right past the mystery woman, who is dusting a rack of clothes, and even dusts Sam's hat!  He only stops walking when Jeff gets his attention, startling him in the process.  Sam says that he's concentrating, and that he can't concentrate when Jeff is talking to him.  He says that if Jeff keeps talking, he might scare away whoever is in the store.  Jeff says that he'll leave Sam to do his thing, and wishes him luck in his search.

Jeff then sees the mystery woman, taps her on the shoulder, and says hello, still whispering.  The woman asks why they're whispering, to which Jeff responds, "Because if there's someone strange in the store, they'll hear me, and... and you're someone strange!  Who are you?"

As it turns out, it's Soapy Sue, the cleaning lady.  Everyone calls her "Soapy Sue" because she's always carrying soap around.  She has been hired by the store to keep it clean.  She empties the garbage pails, scrubs the floors, dusts the countertops, and generally keeps things neat and tidy.  Jeff asks if Soapy Sue uses the elevators.  She does, because it makes it easier to move her cleaning equipment.  Jeff then figures it out: Soapy Sue is the answer to the mystery, and that Sam has been looking for her.  Soapy Sue recognizes him as "the fellow with the magnifying glass", and they both realize that yes, he walked right by looking for clues on the wall.  She didn't bring her presence to his attention because, with this being her first night in the store, she wanted to keep out of everyone's way, though she was glad that Jeff stopped by to say hello.  Jeff explains to Soapy Sue who is in the store, and asks about Muffy, whom Sue has not seen.  They then head up to the Children's Department.

In the Children's Department, Soapy Sue apologizes for the confusion that she caused, but Jodie understands, knowing that Soapy Sue was just doing her job.  Soapy Sue comments on the cleaning supplies on the cart, but as it turns out, that's for Jodie's cleaning supplies display.  Sam then enters the Children's Department, and announces that all that he's found is a bucket of soapy water with a mop in it.  Soapy Sue asks Sam if he found the mop and soapy water, noting that she had been looking all over for it.  Sam looks her over with the magnifying glass, and asks, "Who are you?"  Soapy Sue introduces herself, and then Sam figures it out, asking if she was the one who cleaned his room.  Jodie explains that yes, Soapy Sue is the one who caused all of the mysterious things that they saw, and that she is the one that he is looking for.  Sam remarks, "Like I said, a good detective always gets his man or - in this case, it's a woman, isn't it?"

Sam questions Soapy Sue about Muffy, but unfortunately, she has no idea where Muffy is.  Jeff suggests that they start with her mousehole, and then they go out in search for her.

Back in Muffy's house, following her bath, Muffy, wearing a red bow in her hair, feels "like a brand new mouse."  She now intends to find her way out.  She pushes the mop bucket again, and it moves out a little bit, allowing Muffy enough space to get out.  She decides to climb out over the top of the bucket, asking us to wish her luck, and cross our fingers that she doesn't get stuck.  She successfully climbs out of her door and on top of the bucket, but then wonders where she will go next.  However, she sneezes, loses her balance, and falls into the mop bucket.

Then Soapy Sue, Jodie, Jeff, and Sam arrive.  Soapy Sue discovers Muffy in her mop bucket, and Jodie helps Muffy out of the bucket.  She then introduces Muffy to Soapy Sue.  Soapy Sue apologizes to Muffy, as she didn't see her mousehole when she put her mop bucket down.  But not to worry - Soapy Sue is an expert at cleanup jobs, exclaiming, "Thank goodness for soap!"

Everyone breaks into song, singing, "Thank goodness for soap!  Thank goodness for soap!  If we didn't have it, then we couldn't cope!  In a box or a bottle, a bar or on a rope, if you have to clean a mess up, it's your only hope!"  Soapy Sue then begins to dance.  Jeff joins her, and Soapy Sue inadvertently steps into her mop bucket, but keeps on dancing.

 

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