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1985

Going Out

"Going out?" cry Muffy and Jeff. "Jodie?"

"What's this all about?" Muffy asks.

"Yeah?" Jeff adds.

They're in the children's department, behind the second counter talking to Sam, who is stacking some blocks.

"I told you," Sam tells them, "she's going out to a dance tonight with someone. That's why I'm helping with her display, that's all."

Muffy jumps up and down. Jeff says, "Wow!"

"Listen," Muffy says excitedly, "Helping Jodie has to wait. Tell us first about her date!"

"Curious catfish, Muffy, it really is none of our business."

"Oh, come on, Sam," pleads Jeff. "What's he like? Who is Jodie going out with?"

"To tell you the truth, Jeff, Muffy -" he drops to a stage whisper. "I have no idea."

Jeff and Muffy plan to ask Jodie about it when they see her, but Sam firmly forbids it. She's too busy to be bothered.

"Who she goes to this dance with is none of our affair!" he tells them. "Do you understand that, Muffy? Jeff?" They reluctantly agree not to bother her. But they're still bursting with excitement and curiosity.

"Jodie's going out! Our Jodie's going out! Wow! With someone new," they sing, "A date who is he?"

"Wonder if she's in a tizzy?"

"Jodie's going Jodie's going Jodie's going out!"

Sam sings a countermelody advising them to leave her alone but their speculation can't be stopped.

"He could be sweet kind, smart . . . " they sing.

"An expert in dancing," Jeff sings, looking worried.

". . . and terribly nice! What if he's mean, cruel, rude, rather moody . . . "

"And doesn't like mice!" Muffy exclaims, "Oh, no!"

"Jodie's going out, Jodie's going out . . ."

Jodie comes in twice, and they try to act natural, but don't do a very good job of it. Jodie wonders what's wrong with them, but hasn't a clue, and as soon as she leaves, they begin singing again: "Jodie's going out! Our Jodie's going out . . ." while Sam continues to sing his song warning them to leave her alone and to not ask silly questions. Sam says, "Hey!" to punctuate the last note, and his accompanying gesture knocks over the block display he has been building.

Later, Jeff is helping out by carrying some boxes to the stockroom for Jodie. Suddenly, Muffy calls him, "Jeff! Jeff! Emergency! There's something here from Mrs. P!"

There, on a shelf, is a beautiful gem-studded tiara.

"It's beautiful, but look at this!" Muffy gasps, "A note that we cannot dismiss!"

Jeff reads it. "Dear Jodie, here is the tiara I promised to loan you. It's just the thing to wear on your head when you are dancing with a royal prince! - A royal prince!" he repeats excitedly.

"Oh, no wonder Jodie's so excited, it's to the palace she's invited!"

But when they bring the note and the tiara to Sam in the children's department, he scoffs at the idea of Jodie having a date with a prince. "Ha! Now that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Jodie doesn't even know a royal prince, I'm sure of it!"

Jeff refers him to the note Mrs. P has written.

"Oh, regal beagles, Jeff. Mrs. P thinks everybody knows a royal prince. Why she probably just misunderstood why Jodie wanted to borrow that tiara."

Muffy is unconvinced by Sam's skepticism. "Her prince will come, he won't be late. He'll take our Jodie on her date. And because she is so smart and nice, the queen will ask Jodie for advice on how to run the kingdom well, and Jodie, being wise, will tell! And then, the king and the queen and the prince will say, in the palace you must stay! The entire kingdom pleads with you to become a royal princess, too!"

Jeff doesn't like that idea at all. If Jodie becomes a princess, she'll leave the store and he'll never see her again.

Sam assures him. "Oh, exaggeratin' elephants, Jeff! I never heard such nonsense in my entire life. Jodie's not going out with a royal prince - Come on!"

Just then, Jodie comes in, unaware of all their turmoil. She picks up the tiara, asks Jeff to teach her a new dance for a "special occasion" and then shows them her shimmery silver dress. She holds it up in front of her and asks, "Well, how do I look?" Everyone nods their approval. "Do you think this is a dress fit for a prince?" she asks.

Sam gasps. They all nod. "Yeah - nice - good, yeah." says Sam. As Jodie walks away, Sam says, "Oh, my goodness. Maybe Jodie will become a royal princess."

Next, young Lisa Cortistine tells us the story "Too Many Fanfares." It's about a young princess who is miserable because she gets a headache every day. One day a peasant girl accidentally bounces a ball through her open window. When she comes to get it, the princess tells the girl, "I wish I could play ball, but my head hurts and nobody knows why."

"Must be because you're a princess." replies the peasant girl.

"Don't be silly, I'm just the same as anyone else, and if you don't believe me, come and stay at the palace and I'll show you."

So after asking her parents, the peasant girl comes to spend the day with the princess. First thing in the morning, they are awakened by the blare of trumpets. It's the royal fanfare that she's greeted with every morning. Another noisy fanfare blows when she goes in to eat breakfast and every time she enters or leaves a room. Even when she goes out to the stables to take her guest for a horseback ride, the royal fanfare players are there, blaring in the stables.

"See, my head is beginning to ache again!" the princess complains.

The peasant girl says it isn't any wonder, with all the blaring trumpets everywhere she goes.

The princess is dismayed. Her father the king won't be pleased if she doesn't have a proper fanfare played for her. The peasant girl says that she has an idea, and dashes off.

At lunchtime, the princess enters the room, and instead of blaring her fanfare on trumpets, the royal musicians are playing the fanfare on small flutes, given to them by the peasant girl. Now the princess could have her fanfare played on flutes from then on. With their much softer sound, the problem was solved. And the princess' head never ached again.

After the story, Jeff is standing in the children's department, torn between his friendship for Jodie and his own fear that she will leave the store. Jodie wants him to teach her a new dance for the party, but he doesn't want to teach her a fun dance so that she'll have a good time and go off to become a princess. So he decides to teach her a silly dance so everyone will laugh at her.

"Well, she wouldn't want to become a princess if everybody laughed at her, would she? Yeah!" He pauses. "But it's not a very nice thing to do, is it? But I want her to stay here and be my best friend! Don't I? Oh! I don't know what I want."

Jodie comes in bursting with enthusiasm, all ready to learn a new dance.

"How about 'the Silly?'" Jeff suggests. He tells her to scrunch up her face and make a "bleh-bleh-bleh" noise with her tongue flying out of her mouth. At first Jodie is doubtful, and Jeff gives us a look of confusion and remorse, but he continues making up his silly dance right on the spot. They throw their arms around and wiggle their legs wildly, and by the end of the dance, Jodie loves it. She then thanks Jeff profusely. "You're such a good friend!" she exclaims ectastically. "Thanks!" She walks off, saying, "bleh-bleh-bleh!"

Jeff can barely stand to hear her praise and looks pained while she thanks him. Now he feels very, very guilty. "People are going to laugh at her, and it's all my fault." he looks at us. "What am I going to do?"

Meanwhile, Muffy is making some plans of her own as she dusts her furniture. She's wearing a cute little apron and kerchief, and as she does her chores, she builds castles in the air.

"If Jodie's party is a success, she might become a real princess, and live in a palace for awhile. But without me, who'll make her smile? Princesses work hard, so it's only fair, that I move to the palace and live with her there. Then we'll have a celebration, and I'll be the First Mouse in the nation. Everything will be first rate. Cheese served on a golden plate. All other mice will want my advice, because when I'm famous, I'll still be nice! The crowds will roar and beg to see such a famous mouse like me!"

Jeff is still miserable, however, and he is sitting on the steps on the roof when Sam encounters him there and notices he is "down in the mouth."

"What's wrong?" he asks.

"Oh, Sam. I've done something really awful . . . I taught Jodie this silly dance so she'd have a miserable time at the party."

"Uh-oh. That wasn't a very nice thing to do to a friend."

"I know," says Jeff. "I just don't want her going off and living in some palace somewhere."

"Oh, Jeff, just because Jodie's going to one dance with a royal prince, that doesn't mean she's going to go and live in a palace. But, well, you know Jeff, one day Jodie might leave the store. She might get another job, or she might wanna move to another city."

"Couldn't we stop her?" Jeff asks.

"Is that what best friends are for Jeff? Do you really think we should stop Jodie from doing the things that would make her happy?"

"No, I guess not. I want Jodie to be happy more than anything else. I mean, when Jodie's happy, it makes me happy. But if she went away, well, I'd be sad, too. I'd be happy for her and sad for me."

"Mmhmm," says Sam quietly. "Sort of confusing isn't it?" He begins to sing quietly, "We want our Jodie to be happy, even if she must go away."

"It would be wrong of me to try and make her stay," Jeff sings.

"Good friends can't always be together, sometimes they go their separate ways,"

"Leaving the memories of special days."

Together they sing, "Happy and sad, happy and sad, we'll know what to do. We'll help her follow her own rainbow and hope that all her dreams come true."

"You know you're absolutely right, Sam," says Jeff, " and if Jodie wants to be a princess and that makes her happy, well, I'm gonna help her . . . And I'm going to tell her not to dance that silly dance at the party. And I'm going to be very polite to the prince when he comes to pick her up."

"You know something Jeff?" Sam says proudly, "Jodie's lucky to have a friend like you."

"Happy and sad, happy and sad, we'll know what to do. We'll help her follow her own rainbow, and hope that all her dreams come true." They sing, together, again. Sam then pats Jeff companionably on the shoulder.

Later, in the children's department, a chastened Jeff is practicing bowing and saying, "Your royal highness." Sam likes the bow, but insists Jeff should be saying, "Your majesty."

Muffy says that Jeff is right.

"Oh, really?" Sam says, "And how many royal princes do you know Muffy Mouse?"

"Er, none," admits Muffy, "But Mrs. P knows three of the finest, and she calls them your royal highness."

Sam yields to that, and they all continue their bowing practice. When Jodie comes in and finds Jeff with his head down, she wonders if he has dropped something.

"No!" says Jeff, in an overly bright voice. "No - we were just - learning how to bow!" He tries to sound casual.

"You never know when you might meet a royal prince or something," Sam says.

"Or a royal princess." adds Jeff.

"Well, personally, it would be keen, if I were good friends with a queen," Muffy says.

"A queen!" breathes Jodie. "Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful? I think it would be great fun to be a queen."

The others try to dissuade her, but Jodie refuses to be daunted, "If I could wear a long velvet gown," she sings, "and on my head a small golden crown. What if a carriage drove me through town, it would be fun to be a queen!"

Jeff, Muffy and Sam counter with, "A queen lives in a palace with no time to play, she must make a big speech every day. She can't be tired, she must be brave, and she's required to learn how to wave!"

"But after all this royal work is done, to be a queen would still be fun!" Jodie insists. She sings more about her fantasy life as a queen followed by more admonitions from her friends their version of the "realities" of royal life. By the end of the song, Jodie is less sure. "After all this royal work is done, to be a queen would still be fun!" Jodie sings again, but then she adds, "At least I think so!"

Next TXL reads a nursery rhyme which is represented by a drawing.

"Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been? I've been to London to visit the queen. Pussycat, pussycat, what did you there? I frightened a little mouse under the chair."

Muffy pops up in front of the drawing of the cat and the queen and lodges a strong protest to the rhyme. "Being chased is most alarming! Especially for a mouse that's charming!" She also suggests that if she were queen, she'd require cats to wear mittens, and chasing mice would be forbidden!

Now the moment has come. Sam calls everyone into the children's department to tell them the prince has arrived. They're all in a frenzy of excitement and nervousness and they all prepare to bow as he comes through the door.

Sam tries to calm Muffy. "After all, he's just an ordinary, average, run of the mill, everyday common prince!"

Sam blows a fanfare on a kazoo shaped like a little trumpet and everyone bows and says "your royal highness." They're all facing the door, but he enters from the opposite direction. It's a boy, maybe 12 or 13 years old. (played by Adam Kositsky).

"Hi," he says. "Jodie said I could wait here!" He looks pretty ordinary, just a boy in a raincoat carrying a paper bag. Jeff hurries to take off his raincoat, while Sam tells Muffy he doesn't look much like his idea of a prince. He's looking away, so he doesn't see the princely garb the young man is wearing underneath his jacket. Jeff calls Sam's attention to what the boy is wearing just as the boy takes a crown out from his paper bag and puts it on his head.

"Oooh! Oh my goodness. Oh, my! Yes sir! Oh, your royal majesty!" Sam says, bowing, and hitting his head on the counter.

"Welcome to the department store!" Jeff shouts, rolling out a red carpet so suddenly that the prince has to leap over the rolling end to avoid a collision.

Sam is growing ever more flustered, and begins to welcome him. When he comes up the stairs to the counter, Sam requests that he use the red carpet which they went "all the way down to the carpeting department" to get. So the young man goes back and walks up the carpet.

"Oh, your royal highness! How do you do sir? I am Sam, the loyal store security guard . . . and, uh, this here is Jeff - the - uh, this, oh, he's the - um, yes! And this is, this is Muffy the - mouse!"

Muffy asks nervously, "Did your royal coach find a spot in the store's large parking lot?"

"I came on the bus." says the boy.

"Oh, the bus, yes, just like anyone else, how, how nice, I mean, I like that in a prince, Prince." says Sam.

In comes Jodie. She is wearing the silvery dress, she has her hair up and it is crowned by the sparkling tiara. "Well, I'm ready!" she says. "How do I look?"

"You look wonderful, Jodie!" says Jeff, and she does.

"Or maybe we should say, your royal highness!" says Sam.

Jodie laughs. "Well, Darren, I think we should be going."

"Oh, look at that Muffy, they're like this!" says Sam, holding two fingers close together. "She already knows the prince so well, she can call him by his first name."

Jodie laughs again, apparently thinking Sam is kidding.

Jeff takes her to one side. "I only taught you that silly dance because I - I didn't want you to have a good time at the party," he confesses.

"Oh, Jeff," Jodie says, slightly hurt, and puzzled.

"Well, I didn't want you going off to some palace somewhere." Jeff said.

"Why would I want to go off and live in a palace?"

"Well, because of the prince - and you, and . . ." A flustered Jeff trails off and points first to one and then to the other.

"Darren?" says Jodie. "Darren isn't a prince!"

"Oh, my goodness," shouts Sam, "he's a KING! - Your MAJESTY!" he bows again, bonking his head on the counter. "I did it again!" he mutters.

"Oh, Sam!" laughs Jodie, "Darren isn't a king either! He lives next door to me! We're going to the annual neighborhood fancy dress ball!"

"The annual neighborhood fancy dress ball," says Jeff, "I get it!"

"You mean, you're not, you're not really a real . . .?" Sam asks.

Darren shakes his head.

"And you're not going to become a real, uh . . ."

Jodie shakes her head, "No!" she says.

"Well, I'm glad we made a big mistake, all this bowing is giving me a backache." Muffy says.

"Yeah," says Sam and touches his forehead. "It's starting to give me a headache, too."

"So that's why you've all been acting so strangely!" says Jodie. "You thought Darren was a real prince. Oh!"

"Yeah and that's why I played the trick on you with the dance." Jeff says, "I won't ever do it again Jodie, I promise."

"Yeah, whatever you do, Jodie, don't dance the silly." says Sam.

Darren speaks up. "The Silly! It's great! It's the latest thing! Everyone at my school's doing it!"

"They are?" says Sam.

"They are?" says Jodie.

"They ARE?" cries a stunned Jeff.

"Yeah! Do the silly!" he says, and begins dancing and singing. "Do the silly, bleh-bleh-bleh-bleh arms willy-nilly bleh-bleh-bleh-bleh!" Everyone joins in, even Sam and Muffy. Jeff and Darren kick up their heels wildly, along with Jodie, despite her long dress. Eventually Darren winds up riding piggy back with Jeff holding him by his feet.

"The silly!" they all say, waving their arms around wildly and laughing.


Quizzes:

  • Three pairs of children are going out together. Judging by their attire, which ones are going to play in the snow? To a gym? To a party?
  • What's wrong with this picture? (Among the dancers in the picture, all dancing "The Silly" by the way, is a lion dressed royally. After all, he is the "king of the beasts.")

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • It's implied, but never directly said, that Jeff, Sam and Muffy think that Jodie's date with the prince could lead to her marriage into the royal family, though Muffy's speculation allowed for a simple invitation to join the family. Strangely, their viewpoint doesn't change even when the "prince" turns out to be a child. Perhaps the idea of making Darren a child was to emphasize the complete innocence of the "date" compared with everyone's imaginations, or perhaps to avoid needing to refer to him (as Jodie's boyfriend), at any other time. Still, it was odd that no one even seemed to notice that Darren was a bit young for Jodie!
  • I think it's sweet that Jeff, Sam and Muffy think so much of Jodie that they assume if she's dating a prince she'll undoubtedly win his heart and become a princess. But no one seems to notice the obvious problem: Canada doesn't have a royal family or a royal palace!
  • "Happy and Sad," and the scene leading up to it is the sweetest "male bonding" number between Sam and Jeff in the whole series. There's a quietness about it that's somewhat unique, and there's a real strong connection between Sam and Jeff. As usual, it's easy to forget Sam is a puppet.
  • This is one of the few episodes in which Sam takes on the parent role, and Jeff and Muffy are like his children. In other episodes, Jeff and Jodie are the "parents" and Muffy and Sam are the children, or Jodie is mommy to all three of them.
  • "Who Jodie goes to this dance with is none of our affair!" Sam admonishes Muffy and Jeff. Is this a play on words for the parents? Interestingly, the whole misunderstanding could have been avoided if they had asked Jodie for details.
  • It's pretty funny how Sam, in introducing Jeff to the prince, can't exactly put his finger on how to describe who - or what - Jeff is.
  • Jeff and Muffy have differing, but very personal worries about Jodie's date. Jeff seems concerned that he might be an "expert at dancing," perhaps thus supplanting him, and Muffy worries that he might not like mice.
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