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1985

Buttons

Jodie is standing in the hallway, about to summon an elevator. But there's one problem. She can't seem to bring herself to push the elevator button. She explains that she knows it's just an elevator button, and that if she pushes it the only thing that will happen is that it will take her where she wants to go.

"So why am I so nervous about pushing that button? Well, if you'd been here the other night and seen how much trouble we got into just by pushing one little ol' button, you'd understand why I'm nervous about pushing any button these days. It all started when Jeff wandered into the children's department and he saw this strange looking machine sitting on the counter." Having said that, Jodie at last pushes the elevator button.

(Flashback)

Jeff walks over to the machine on the counter. He recognizes that there is a button on top which probably will make it work, so he reaches for it. But just as he does, Waldo pops up from behind the counter and says, "Don't touch that button!"

"Waldo the Magnificent!" Jeff exclaims. "I didn't hear you come in!"

"That's what makes me magnificent!" Waldo replies.

"Is this funny looking box yours?" Jeff asks.

"This is not a funny looking box. This is my latest invention. Waldo's automatic wishing machine!"

"Don't you mean Waldo's automatic washing machine?"

"Automatic washing machine?" Waldo repeats, "What a marvelous idea! Perhaps I'll invent that next!"

"I think it's already been done," Jeff tells him.

"Oh, people are always taking my ideas! But this, Jeff, is an automatic wishing machine. Just by making a wish, pushing that button, your wish automatically comes true."

"Wow!" says Jeff. "Are you sure it works?"

"Of course it will. Eventually. I just have to work some of the bugs out of it. That's why you must not touch that button! Anything can happen!"

Just then Jodie and Muffy come in.

"Oh, Waldo's here!" says Jodie.

"Oh, give a cheer!" Muffy adds.

"Hello, my friends!" says Waldo, "How nice of you to drop in!"

After the others exchange quizzical looks, Jodie asks about the "strange looking box." Waldo explains it's his automatic wishing machine.

"Oh, you mean automatic washing machine!" Jodie says.

"To keep my mouse-sized dresses clean?" asks Muffy.

Waldo is perturbed that his new idea has somehow gotten out.

"No, Muffy," Jeff explains excitedly. "This is Waldo's automatic wishing machine. You just make a wish, press this button and it'll happen!"

Muffy can't wait to try it, but as she reaches for it, both Jeff and Waldo cry, "DON'T TOUCH THAT BUTTON!"

"What's the matter, doesn't it work?" asks Jodie.

"Of course it does, it's just not quite right yet so, until then..."

Waldo begins to sing, "You can dance a tango with a kangaroo, you can meet a cheetah for a rendezvous. You can ride a rhino down the avenue but whatever you do - don't touch that button!"

The others join in with equally unlikely activities, "you can please a penguin with a pot of stew, you can lead a leopard out of an any zoo, or you can tease a tiger till his face turns blue . . ." each suggestion ends with, "But whatever you do, don't touch that button!"

Sam has yet to join the group in the children's department. He's in the computer room, playing a video game called "Monkey Maze." He's trying to maneuver a monkey through a maze, avoiding various traps. He does all right for awhile, but he ends up losing his monkey in a moat.

When the game is over, TXL says, "I think you should know there's someone in the store." Sam asks her who it is, and she brings up a picture of the children's department on her screen and shows him Waldo. "This is the gentleman here." she says.

"Oh, that's no gentleman!" Sam says, "That's Waldo the Magnificent!" So he goes down to say hello and suggests TXL occupy herself with a quiz.

TXL shows us three buttons. One is the button on Sam's coat, one is a computer key, and the other is the button on the automatic wishing machine. She asks us what we would do with each button. Then she tells us, Sam uses his button to keep his coat closed, her button is to turn on the computer, and as for Waldo's button - "What did Waldo say? Don't touch that button!" she says emphatically.

In the children's department, Waldo is waving his wand over the box as Jodie, Jeff and Muffy watch intently.

"I think I know the problem!" Waldo announces.

"What is it?" Jeff and Jodie ask.

"It doesn't work!" Waldo answers.

Then Sam comes in and it's his turn to ask about the box.

"Sid! How are you?" Waldo greets him. "That's my world famous wishing machine!" he answers.

"Well, that's good timing! I'm right down to my last pair of clean socks!" says Sam.

But Jodie explains, "Oh, no no Sam, it's not a washing machine that's a wishing machine!"

"It'll make any wish come true with just the touch of a button!" Jeff tells him.

Naturally Sam goes to the box and is about to touch it when everyone shouts, "DON'T TOUCH THAT BUTTON!" They then explain the consequences of pushing it are unknown.

"Looks pretty harmless to me," Sam says. "Kind of looks like one of those portable video games."

"Video game?" Waldo asks, "What's that?"

Sam picks up a portable version of Monkey Maze and explains the game to Waldo, including the fact that it starts at the touch of a button. Waldo is intrigued.

"That's the game Sam plays and plays!" Muffy says. "You can really get into Monkey Maze!"

Waldo asks, "Push that button?" but as he points to the video game, his elbow hits the button on his automatic wishing machine.

"Not THAT button!" Jeff and Jodie cry out, but it's too late. Everyone begins shaking and they all are suddenly sent to - no one is quite sure.

"Where are we?" asks Jeff, looking at the strange surroundings.

"By my calculations, I'd say, we're lost!" Waldo announces.

But Sam recognizes the place. They're inside the Monkey Maze game. They're in a little capsule in the middle of the maze. Waldo suggests that Sam get them out of the maze, since he's familiar with the game. Sam proceeds to try to do so, singing all the while, "You can lose this game in so many ways, you've got to watch your step in Monkey Maze!" Suddenly, Sam falls out of the capsule and into a trap.

"What are we going to do?" Jeff moans.

"I'll just get him back with magic!" Waldo says confidently. Unfortunately, he doesn't have his magic wand with him. Without it, he has no magic powers, except the wishing machine.

But just when they begin to despair of ever finding Sam, Sam finds them, popping back into the capsule. "Well, I said I knew the game, I didn't say I knew it really well, did I?"

He's all right now, but they're still trapped in Monkey Maze.

Muffy is in distress. "Oh, I'd just like to get out of this place and soon! I'd rather be anywhere! Even the moon!"

"Muffy, you hit the nail right on the head!" says Sam and brings his hand down on Waldo's magic button. Once again, they all begin to shake and the next thing they know, they're in a dark place with lots of greenish rocks and cliffs. It looks like the moon!

"If this is the moon, Muffy," Jodie says, "This is your big chance! They say it's made of green cheese!"

"Oh, make it be true, please!" Muffy pleads.

Jeff discovers that he can jump very high, so Jodie joins him and they jump together, Jeff does the splits in the air while they laugh and jump higher and higher.

Then Sam calls them over. "Come on over here, you're not going to believe your eyes! Look!"

So Jeff and Jodie come over. Together with Sam and Waldo, they peer over a rock.

There in the sky is a beautiful green and blue planet. "Oh, wow!" they all breathe.

Next we hear TXL's voice as she shows us pictures of Jeff and Jodie jumping really high. "Do you think they're on the moon?" she asks. "But if they're on the moon, what's that other thing you see in the sky?" She explains that they're on the moon, and the beautiful blue planet is our Earth. But, she wonders aloud, how will they ever get back to Earth without Waldo's magic wand?

Back on the moon, Jodie is thrilled. "This is really something isn't it Jeff? Isn't it Muffy? - Muffy?" They realize no one knows where she is, so they decide to look for her right away. Sam stays behind for a moment to marvel at being on the moon. "Hello down there!" he calls at the Earth, "This is Sam Crenshaw up here your man on the moon! Owoooooo!" he finishes with a howl. Suddenly, he sees a strange spacecraft hovering overhead. Excitedly, he runs to warn the others.

"Hey everybody, we've got company! I just saw a thing and it had green antlers and eight nostrils and it was . . . "

Jodie interrupts him. "Oh, Sam, you and your jokes!"

"Yeah, who else would up here on the moon?" Jeff adds.

Just then the spacecraft reappears and hovers above them.

"Except perhaps THAT!" Waldo cries.

"I hate to criticize, but you sure picked a great time to lose your magic wand!" Jeff says.

"Boy we'd better find Muffy and fast!"

They call for her, looking around. Jodie spots her standing on a rock. She is about to taste the moon. "Well, time to test the tales of my youth. Moon, this is your moment of truth! Are you composed of green cheese as they say?" She takes a bite. "Blecch! I'd rather eat modeling clay!" She flings the piece of moon rock away. It floats through the air and lands on the magic button.

Everyone shakes back and forth again as they're all transported somewhere else.

"This looks like some kind of a castle or something." Jodie says. "This is more like it!" Waldo says happily. "I feel much more at home in a good old castle, don't you?"

Jeff agrees.

"Well, personally, I feel much more at home - at home!" Sam says, as Muffy nods in agreement.

But they can't figure out why the wishing machine is taking them to all these places. Waldo is sure there's a very simple explanation: "I don't know what it is, but I'm sure there is one!"

Jodie suggests they split up and investigate. Muffy agrees, as long as there isn't a castle cat. Sam chuckles and says, "Well, you can come with me, Muffy, I'll protect you!"

"And I'll protect Stan!" says Waldo.

"That's Sam!"

"Him, too." Waldo replies.

As they investigate, they come across a throne. Jeff sits down on it and suddenly someone appears there.

He's a roundish, friendly looking, but unfamiliar kind of creature.

"I'm very sorry," says Jeff. "I didn't see you sitting there on the throne!"

"That's because I wasn't sitting on the throne, I was the throne!"

"You were the throne?"

"Why yes, I'm Clump, ruler of this kingdom!"

"Yeah, but what is this kingdom?"

"Why it's the Kingdom of Clay! Everything here is made of clay. Even me!"

"How strange!" Jodie says.

"Oh, not at all," Clump says, "In fact, it's quite wonderful!" He begins to sing about his life, and as he sings, he demonstrates:

"I'm Clump of the Kingdom of Clay, I model my life every day! I can be ten feet tall or roll up in a ball, be a reindeer as well as the sleigh - it's so easy when you're made of clay." Once they've seen Clump transform himself a few times, Jeff and Jodie join in.

"He's Clump of the Kingdom of Clay, he models his life every day! He can take any shape like a lion or ape . . ."

"Or a big chocolate ice cream parfait!" Clump says. "It's so easy when you're made of, easy when you're made of, easy when you're made of clay!" they all sing.

Just then the others return. "Jumping jelly rolls!" Sam exclaims. "Certainly is a lot of clay around here."

"That's right," Jeff says. "Everything here is made of clay. Isn't that right Clump?" But when he turns to look, for some reason, Clump has transformed himself back into a throne and doesn't answer.

Jodie then remembers that right before they pushed the button, Muffy said something about clay. Since the machine is supposed to respond to wishes, Waldo suggests that they all concentrate on where they'd like to go. So they all think about the store.

Muffy covers her eyes. "You'll pardon me if I just can't look! I feel like we're lost in a storybook!"

Waldo pushes the button.


Everyone begins to shake and they are all transferred again. As soon as they "land," we hear the voice of a young boy (Ryan Johansen) telling a story.

"Once upon a time, Jodie, Jeff, Muffy, Sam and Waldo were lost in Storybook Land."

Their comments are interspersed with narration from the storyteller's voice.

Sam: "Who-who-who said that?"

Voice: "Asked Sam nervously."

Jodie: "I don't know, but he seems to be telling a story about us!"

Voice: "Said Jodie, who was just as confused as the others."

Jeff: "None of this makes any sense."

Voice: "Jeff said, scratching his head."

Muffy: "Oh, we hear a voice, but see no face, this is quite a spooky place!"

Voice: "Exclaimed Muffy, who always speaks in rhyme."

Waldo: "We seem to be in Storybook Land and according to the title apparently we're lost!"

The storyteller: "Explained Waldo, who was absolutely right - for once!"

Jodie can't help but giggle when she hears that.

Next the storyteller becomes visible, as does the title of the book he's reading, "Lost in Storybook Land."

"Yes, they were terribly lost," says the reader to us. "Since they didn't know how they got to Storybook Land, they certainly had no idea how to find a way back out. They knew Waldo's wishing machine had something to do with it, but what made it work? They wondered."

By this time, they're all pretty discouraged, but then Jodie notices something about the storybook character cut-outs that are all around them.

Jodie: "Hey, don't you recognize these storybook characters?"

Voice: "She asked the others excitedly."

Sam answers. "Yeah, sure Jodie. Why that's Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf!"

"But that's just it," says Jodie, looking at the cut-out, "Does he look like a big bad wolf to you?"

On closer inspection, the wolf looks more like an eager puppy dog as he picnics with Little Red Riding Hood.

"No!" Jeff answers, "They look they're good friends."

"Exactly!" says Jodie, and she sings, "When Red Riding Hood dines with the wolf who used to want to eat her, and the farmer is the closest friend of little rabbit Peter, then you know you're standing with the world in your hands, you're happily ever after in Storybook Land!"

"When the wicked witch will lead the handsome prince to Sleeping Beauty," Jeff sings, "and Cinderella's sisters help with half the household duties, then you know you're standing with the world in your hands, you're happily ever after in Storybook Land!"

When the song is done, Jodie says, "So you see, we must be headed for a happy ending!"

Waldo suggests that this would be a good time for his wishing machine, but Muffy disagrees.

"I'd rather see buttons and buttons galore than see Waldo's button even once more!" She says, and then hits the button with an emphatic gesture.

This time, the button takes them to a very strange place. They're surrounded by a "whole ocean of buttons."

Jodie finally figures out what's been happening. Each time the button took them somewhere, Muffy said the key words just before the button was pushed.

"And what's so special about everything Muffy says?" she asks.

"It's in rhyme!" Waldo says. "That's it! The wishing machine only responds to wishes made in rhyme! That's what I was missing!"

"There's one other thing you're missing, too, Waldo," Jeff says.

"What's that?"

"Your magic button!" says everyone else. Sure enough, Waldo's troublesome machine is missing.

"Well, it must be around here somewhere, we'll just look!" Waldo says calmly. Suddenly there's a loud noise and a toy airplane and another flying thing pass overhead.

"Now what are we going to do?" Jeff says.

"I'll tell you!" says Waldo, dancing as he sings, "You can dance a tango with a kangaroo! You can meet a cheetah for a rendezvous, you can ride a rhino down the avenue but whatever you do, don't lose that button!"

"Hey! Hey! Hoppin' hyenas! I found it! I found it!" cries Sam.

"That's marvelous, Steve!" Waldo says.

"That's Sam."

"Well thanks to both of you."

Now they test their theory. Muffy makes the wish: "This is our wish, and nothing more, we want to be safe and sound in the store!"

"Now you push the button, Sam." says Waldo, getting his name right at last.

They begin shaking again, but when all is said and done, finally, they're back in the store!

"We're here!" says Jodie. "We did it!"

Jeff gives the credit to Muffy, who rhymed them out of their predicament, and Muffy gives credit to Sam, who found the magic button.

Waldo has a happy reunion with his wand. "You're much more trustworthy than that wishing machine," he tells it, "I'll never leave you behind again."

But he's not giving up on his wishing machine. "I'm going to work on it until I get it perfect! Wouldn't you?"

"Well, Waldo to be perfectly honest, I think I'd rather make my own wishes come true." Jodie says.

"Yeah, somehow it's not as much fun if you just have to push a button. Half the fun of getting something is doing it yourself!" Jeff says.

"And you all feel the same way?" Waldo says, looking around. They all do.

"Well! Then I'd be a 2-headed purple hen before I touch that machine ever again!" he says, bringing his finger down for emphasis.

There's a freeze frame as everyone shouts, "DON'T TOUCH THAT BUTTON!"

We can hear the clucking of a hen (presumably a 2-headed purple one), as the credits roll.


Quizzes:

  • None

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • One really amusing aspect of "Buttons" is Waldo's unfamiliarity with the world around him. He apparently doesn't get out much, because he doesn't know about the automatic washing machine and has no idea what a video game is before Sam shows him one.
  • Waldo's reliance on his magic wand varies episode by episode. In "Waldo's Hat" and "Buttons," he's powerless without it, but most often, as in "Our Story, Part 2," "Storybooks," and "Moods," he only needs to use a spell. In some episodes, he even performs magic remotely, as in "Sharing." ("When Waldo heard my magic call, he sent a friend, a friend to all!") and "Songs," ("You know Waldo's spells, they always work if you can figure them out." In this episode, Waldo needed to be powerless in order to make the gang's predicament more intriguing.
  • The Monkey Maze game Sam played in the computer room is nothing like the game the gang gets trapped in. His version looked very much like a real video game, whereas the one they were trapped in looked more like a psychedelic basement from the 1960s. (Ask your parents if you don't know what that is!)
  • Undoubtedly so as not to confuse the kids, the rocks on the moon here are green. Actually the phrase "green cheese" referred, not to the color of the cheese, but it's age. "Green" meant "new," and "new cheese" which is known today as "fresh cheese," hasn't been aged. If you've ever had a pizza with fresh mozzarella, you know that it's pale color is very much like that of the moon.
  • It's a good thing Waldo's magic button didn't disappear altogether since Muffy's wish was to see buttons galore rather than see Waldo's button "even once more." I think that's why the button was lost in the last scenario.
  • For obvious reasons, no one thought of wishing Jeff was a real person. But this would have been a perfect opportunity.
  • Each time the button took them to a new place, the entire screen would retract into the shape of a sphere. There was a bouncing noise and then the sphere would return to a full screen view, with the gang now in a new location.
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