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1983

Our Story Part 1

"Last day, store is closing down," sings Jodie.  "Clear the shelves, all the customers are gone.  Say goodbye too all my friends."  Everyone else is singing the same tune as Jodie packs the last remaining items in a box in the Children's Department, completely bare, and devoid of any merchandise.

"We worked all night, and still there's more boxes to fill on every floor!" says Muffy, with a sigh.  "I'm very tired, and furthermore, I don't wanna leave the store!"  Sam agrees with her, but has resigned himself to the store's fate, that it will be demolished so that a new building can be built on the site.

Jeff asks if there is anything that they can do, but Jodie explains that nothing can be done.  "At 9:00 this morning, the store will be sold, so we've got to be packed and out of here by the end of the day," she says.

"Terrible, just terrible," says Sam.  "I-I think it's just awful, knocking down a beautiful old building like this just because it's old!"

Jodie agrees with him, but reminds him that there's nothing that they can do about it.  She then takes a box and rummages through it, pulling out Muffy's old movie camera.  Everyone reminisces about Muffy's movie, and Sam remarks with a laugh about how silly they all looked.  Jodie then pulls out Sam's old shoes.  When she questions whether Sam really wants to save those, Sam admits, "Oh, I guess not.  I was rather attached to them at one point."

"I cry when things are thrown away," says Muffy.  "They remind me of a better day."

"Don't cry, Muffy," says Jeff.  "We've got so many good things to remember to make us happy."

Jodie agrees with Jeff.  "We've got some wonderful memories," she says, "and no one can ever take those away from us."  Everyone sings about the memories of things that they've done in the store, remembering their circus performance, dressing up in costumes, the fall of the soup display, Jeff's falling into the pool in the Camp Rainbow obstacle course, Muffy's flight in Jodie's radio-controlled airplane, playing music with Oscar Peterson, Jodie's ride on horseback, recovering Jodie's balloons, Muffy's movie, the failure of the Starlight Cafe, dancing in the Children's Department, setting up the camping display, Jeff's search for a suitable pet, Sam's playing soccer with the Toronto Blizzard, the trying on different wigs, the witch story, the celebration of Jeff's birthday, the time when Sam and Muffy wished to be baseball players and broke the magic mirror, and Jeff's hopscotch dance.

At the end of the song, Sam suggests that everyone resume packing.  "There's no sense in just sitting around here thinking about the past."

Jeff then finds a photograph in a nearby box, suggesting that they throw it away.  When Muffy asks to see it, Jeff explains, "It's just a number."

Jodie takes a look at the photo, and explains that the photo depicts an historic plaque.  "A long time ago, when they used to build stores and houses, they'd put the date on a plaque like this one."  Pointing to the date on the plaque, she says, "See?  1899.  That's the year it was built.  Most old buildings have them."

"Well, does our store have one?" asks Jeff.

"Oh, don't we wish," says Jodie.  She continues to explain, "See, many old buildings that are old enough to have a plaque like this can't be torn down.  That's the law."

Sam is a bit surprised.  "Do you mean to say that no one knows exactly how old this building is?"

"That's right," explains Jodie.  "You see, the records were destroyed in a fire a long time ago, so in order to save the store, we'd have to find a plaque like this."

"You should have told me this before," says Muffy.  "I would have searched the entire store!"

Jodie knew better, explaining, "Oh. never mind, Muffy.  They already did that with experts.  But we weren't here, because they did it during the daytime."

"And they didn't find the plaque, did they?" asks Jeff.

"They didn't find anything," says Jodie, in a resigned tone.

Muffy is upset that her home is being destroyed again, explaining that the demolition of her previous home, in an old house, was demolished, which ultimately led to her moving into the store.

In a flashback, we see Muffy on her scooter, standing outside her former home as it is being demolished.  After lamenting her situation in song, she departs just as a piece of heavy equipment levels the last section of her former home.  She travels through neighborhood streets, a park, and then finally reaches the store, which attracts her with a "Cheeses of the World" display.

At the store, Sam is standing near the store's entrance as the store is about to close for the evening.  After he bids a customer good night, he remarks, as Muffy enters, "There's a nice little mouse."  Then, realizing what he is seeing, exclaims, "A MOUSE?!  HEY!  HEY, STOP, MOUSE!  STOP THAT SCOOTER!" and begins pursuing her.  As Muffy rides through the store, Sam runs into Jodie, whom he quickly recruits to help catch Muffy.  They come close to catching her at one point, but only succeed in running into each other while Muffy rides away.  They catch Muffy when she runs into a bedding display, flying off of her scooter and landing in a bed.

Sam immediately confronts Muffy, asking, "Okay!  What's the big idea busting in here, little mouse?"

Jodie quickly calls Sam out for his behavior.  "Sam, please, maybe she's hurt!  Gee, I hope you haven't broken any bones."

Muffy replies, "A bruise or two, I think that's all.  No bones broken in my fall."

Jodie and Sam are astonished to find out that Muffy can talk.  When Sam questions her on this, she replies, "Well, this mouse talks all the time.  Not only that, I talk in rhyme."  She then explains why she is there in the first place.  "Forgive me for being talkative, but I'm looking for a place to live."

"Oh!  Oh, well, you're going to have to look some place else," says Sam.  "After all, this is a store.  This isn't a hotel, you know."

Jodie comes to Muffy's defense, telling Sam that there are plenty of places for her to live in the store, and that she thinks that Muffy is kind of cute.

"And I think you are very nice," says Muffy.  "So many folk are mean to mice."

"Nice, huh?" asks Sam.  "Heh, heh, heh.  Hear that?  Nice."

Jodie then puts it to Sam again about Muffy's coming to live in the store, reminding him that he brings his cat to the store all the time.

Muffy doesn't like that at all, exclaiming, "Oh, drat, he has a cat?  Oh, I can't stay here and that is that!" and starts to leave.  Jodie stops her, explaining that Penelope is a nice cat, and that she stays in Sam's Computer Room.  Muffy agrees to ignore Penelope and stay.  While Jodie starts looking for a place for Muffy to put her things, Sam wonders how he's going to break the news to Penelope about Muffy.

Back in the empty Children's Department, Muffy finishes her story by saying, "And now you know my entire story, and how I arrived in all my glory."

With that, Sam excuses himself to go down to the Computer Room in order to pack his own things.  Jeff also excuses himself to check the hallways to see if they have forgotten anything.

"Sometimes I wonder why it's so hard to say goodbye," says Muffy.

Jodie sympathizes.  She then looks in the box, and finds some of Muffy's toys, remembering the time when Muffy brought them to life.  Muffy recalls how wonderful it was when the toys came to life under one of Waldo the Magnificent's magic spells, as they moved around and danced.  Jodie suggests that Muffy try the spell again, explaining, "I think we could all use some magic on a day as sad as this."

Muffy obliges.  "Abra-dee, abra-do, with a hay and a ho and a nonny nonny no!"  The toys come to life once again, performing the same dance that they did previously.

Later, in the Computer Room, TXL tells Sam, with a sniffle, "I will miss you."

"Well," Sam replies, "I'll kind of miss you, too, TXL."  He doesn't know quite what to say after that, before changing the subject, telling her that he needs to finish packing.  He turns and finds his old sailor's uniform, commenting that he wouldn't want to forget that.  When TXL comments on how sad it is, he reminds her that it's not always the case, and that sometimes things look sad, but they come to a happy ending.

In a flashback, Sam tells the story of when he retired from the merchant marine.  Sam is standing on his ship, with Penelope in her carrier, telling her, "Well, Penelope, there it is: land.  Yep, this is it.  Just plain old retired Sam Crenshaw from now on.  Ex-seaman.  Heh.  Well, I guess it's about time I stopped working, don't you think?"

After a sailor takes Sam's bag and Penelope, in her carrier, to shore, Sam asks the captain permission to go ashore.  The captain gives him permission, and wishes him good luck.  Sam reciprocates, telling the captain, "Don't bump into any icebergs, now," much to the captain's amusement.  As Sam leaves the ship, he says goodbye to all of the different parts of the ship, and sings "Yo He Ho" to himself as he walks down the gangway to shore.  After thanking the sailor for carrying his stuff out, he gives the captain a final salute, and he departs.

Back in the Computer Room, Sam explains to TXL that the day had begun as the saddest in his life, but it didn't have a sad ending by any means.

Returning to the flashback, Sam is sitting on a park bench with Penelope.  He tells Penelope how nice it is to have the park so close to their new home, and that they could come on a daily basis - unless it's raining, in which case they would have to go elsewhere.  Sam tells Penelope that in any case, they will find lots of things to do.  He begins singing about the things that he's seeing while sitting in the park, including watching children, eating peanuts, feeding birds, watching sailboats, and drinking tea, while reminiscing about his past career as a sailor.

As Sam finishes singing, a woman, visibly upset, walks up to Sam's bench and sits down next to him.  He asks, "Are you all right, ma'am?  You don't look too all right."

"Oh, I'm sorry," she says.  "I'm just a little upset.  I can't seem to find any work!"  Sam sympathizes, and offers her some of his peanuts.  She declines, and then  continues to explain, "I keep going to interviews and trying to get a job as a display designer, and they just keep turning me down!  Nobody's ever gonna hire me!"

Sam hands her the classified section of the newspaper, which she opens up to look in.  She asks Sam if he has a job, to which he replies, "Nope.  Not anymore.  Used to be in the merchant marine.  But now I'm too old.  I kind of miss having something to do."

The woman quickly finds an advertisement for a display designer at a large department store.  She then says, "No... they won't hire me."

Sam is surprised by what he hears, and sets her straight.  "Hey, don't be silly!  What kind of an attitude is that?  You listen, young lady, you just march right in there and you tell 'em, 'Hello, my name is Sam, and I'm...'" before realizing that he was using his own name instead of hers.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she says, "my name's Jodie."

After they shake hands, Sam continues, "But look, you just go down to that store and you say, 'My name is Jodie, and I'm the best display designer in the whole world!"

"Do you really think it will work?" Jodie asks.

Sam is confident.  "Of course it'll work.  Go on!  And don't forget: you are a wonderful display designer.  And you tell 'em that!"

Jodie agrees, and her confidence is restored.  She gets up, thanks Sam, and heads off to apply for the job.  Sam wishes her luck, and then turns to Penelope, saying to her, "She's a nice lady, isn't she, Penelope.  I wonder what a display designer does, anyway," before taking a nap on the bench.

Later, Jodie returns and excitedly wakes Sam up.  She got the job!  Sam was happy, as he knew that she just needed to believe in herself.  Jodie tells Sam that they also needed a night watchman, and that she told them all about him.  Sam is initially skeptical, but then Jodie tells him that it's a good job, and that he wears a special uniform.  Sam becomes more interested when he learns about the uniform, as it reminds him of his time at sea.

They both leave the park together, as Jodie carries Penelope in her carrier, singing that they won't be sitting in the park anymore because they have jobs, working at night in a store, and about their new friendship, and all of the new things that they will be able to explore together.

Sam finishes his story by saying, "So you see, TXL, you just never know what's around the corner!"

TXL replies, "I am a computer.  I am programmed to know everything."

Sam wishes that she did, because then she could tell them where the plaque was located.

"Are you referring to the one that looks like this?" she asks, while displaying a photo of a plaque that reads, "Robert Simpson, Merchant, 1896".  Sam confirms that it is the correct plaque, to which TXL replies, "I'm afraid that I have no records of the plaque's location."

Sam is disappointed.  "Yeah... well, then, I guess our last hope for saving the store is gone.  I might as well go and help Muffy move her piano."

Upstairs, Muffy is packing up her own room, working to remove a picture from her wall.  After some effort, she removes it, but not before making a hole in the wall, and causing plaster dust to go down her back.  Having removed the picture, her packing is complete.  She comments how she will miss everyone - even Penelope - and, "though I know I sometimes tease, they were always nice, and gave me cheese."  Muffy then remembers the time when she felt like no one wanted her, and that Jeff sang her a song to show how much he cared.

In a flashback, we revisit the time when Jeff sang that song to Muffy in the Children's Department.

At the end of the song, Muffy is working to get her piano out of her house.  She remarks, "Push and shove and grunt and groan.  I should change this for a gramophone!"

Sam encourages her from the hallway, saying, "Come on, Muffy, it's just a little further, and then I'll be able to reach in and grab it!"

Muffy gives the piano a good hard shove, but doesn't get it out of her house.  When Sam questions the sound that he heard, she tells him, "My piano slid against the wall.  I'll never get it to the hall!"

Sam encourages her again.  "Ah, sure, you will.  Come on, just give it one big push."

"Okay, here I go," she says.  "Just watch the door!"

Muffy then gives the piano a big push, succeeding in getting it out of her house.  However, unbeknownst to anyone at the time, she also knocks two large sections of plaster off of the wall, revealing that the plaque that everyone has been looking for had been hidden behind Muffy's wall.

"Oops," Muffy remarks, "that door will bother me no more!"

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