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1985

Help!

Sam is in the computer room, trying to figure out which button on TXL to push in order to find his sandwich, and he wants to do it with no help from her.

Meanwhile, Jodie is in the stock room. She shows us all the work she has to do, taking boxes of toys up to the children's department and says it'll probably take her the rest of the night. But she's really happy that Jeff is there to help her. She couldn't do it without him.

Jeff isn't being particularly helpful at the moment, however, he's up in the children's department, playing baseball with Muffy, who is all dressed up in a spiffy baseball uniform.

"Baseball's so much fun to play!" Muffy exclaims rapturously, "Oh, I could play like this all day!"

Jeff tells her he'd like to, but he has to go and help Jodie. Muffy begs for one more throw.

"Try and throw it really far. I'd like to catch it like a baseball star!"

So Jeff throws and Muffy rushes back to make the catch and crashes into some boxes of toys. The crash is so loud that Sam hears it in the computer room and is so startled he tosses his newfound sandwich in the air, apparently never to be seen again.

Jodie has heard it too, and they both hurry to the children's department to see what happened.

Jeff immediately blames himself for throwing the ball so far, but Muffy reassures him.

"Jeff, I don't blame you! You did just what I asked you to!"

Her big toe is really hurting, but Sam thinks it'll feel better soon. Jeff says he wishes he could do something that would stop the hurting.

Jodie assures him that he can. She sings that her mother used to say, "Laughing stops the hurting," and then sings about a funny thing that happened back in 1983's "Wild West."

"Well, remember when Big Killer Jake was coming to the store? We thought he was an outlaw come to even up the score, we locked the door and stood prepared for any circumstance, and then *bug* killer Jake showed up to rid the store of ants! Yes, laughing (ha-ha-ha) stops the hurting (boo hoo hoo), it's the surest cure that you'll ever find! Just one ho-ho-ho and the next you know, well the hurting is the last thing on your mind!"

Jeff then sings about the time in "Flight" when Muffy was flying in a remote controlled plane and he thought she'd been stolen by a "giant nasty bird!"

"I appreciate your efforts to make the hurting less, but my toe is hurting just as much I really must confess!" Muffy tells them. So Jodie decides to take her to the doctor.

Jeff asks if there's anything he can do. Jodie tells him he can help by continuing to carry boxes up from the stockroom while she's gone.

The mime lady has some boxes to move, too. A big one, a medium sized one, and a small one. Which one will she need help lifting? TXL asks her. The mime lady is sure it's the big one. But when she picks it up, it's very light, because it's filled with feathers. The medium one is also lighter than it looks, because it's filled with stuffed toys. Now the mime is convinced that the little one will be easy to lift. But when she tries, it's very, very heavy because it's filled with bricks! She definitely needs help with this one. So, along comes "another" mime lady. This newfound twin takes some bricks out of the box and puts them in another box, and now the mime lady - that is, mime ladies, each have a box they can lift.

Next we see Jeff down in the stockroom, pacing and fretting over Muffy's injury. He still blames himself. "I'll never forgive myself if Muffy's badly hurt." He's been waiting to hear from them for an hour.

When they finally return, the news is good. Muffy's toe is only sprained. The doctor says that she can and should walk on it as soon as it stops hurting.

Muffy begs to differ. "Well, he may say that all is well," she whines, "but only I can really tell!"

"If you need anything Muffy, you just tell me, O.K.?" Jeff says.

"Oh, that's very kind," says Muffy. "I'll keep it in mind."

Unfortunately, because he was worrying so much, Jeff has gotten very little done while they've been gone, but he assures Jodie that now that she and Muffy are back, "I'll be a big help."

Jeff and Jodie gather some boxes and get ready to take them upstairs.

But then Muffy, who is getting whinier by the minute, objects. "Do I take it by your tone that you're leaving me alone?"

Jeff is immediately guilt stricken. "I'm sorry, Muffy," he says, "I'll take you up." He piles all the boxes he was carrying on top of the boxes in Jodie's arms. He doesn't even open the door for her, so she has to manage while carrying a double load of boxes. She is not amused.

"Boy, I don't know what I'd do without your help, Jeff," she says facetiously as she opens the door with her foot for herself and Jeff, who is now carrying Muffy.

Sam checks out the children's department on the computer and sees Jeff carrying Muffy in and explains to TXL what happened. Once that's done, he begins hunting for another sandwich.

In the meantime, TXL amuses him with a story about the Forgetful Family. This time they blunder their way into rescuing their cat, Figaro, who is stuck in a tree. Once Farley (the father) gets up the ladder, he forgets why he's up there, but Figaro, who is a bit smarter than his humans, leaps into his arms. Forgetting that he was their very own cat, the Forgetfuls are thrilled to find a brand new pet.

Sam is amazed that anyone could forget their own cat, but when TXL reminds him that he's been searching for the right button to find his sandwich, he's forgotten all about it.

"Mr. Crenshaw," teases TXL, "Sometimes I think you must be related to the Forgetful Family."

In the children's department, Muffy is settled into a little cot on the countertop with food and drink nearby. Jeff is waiting on her hand and foot. He gives her a whistle to blow whenever she needs help, and she wastes no time using it.

Jodie comes in with a huge load of boxes, but as soon as Jeff tries to help, Muffy blows on the whistle. He hands the boxes back to Jodie and hurries to Muffy's side. In fact, every time Jeff tries to help Jodie, Muffy blows on the whistle. Jeff is torn by his desire to help Jodie and Muffy's guilt-inducing injury, but he finally tells Muffy that he really must go downstairs to help Jodie.

"If you must," Muffy says forlornly, "I'll try to adjust."

Jeff says, "Oh, Muff, you'll be okay. You've got everything you need and I'm only a whistle blow away."

As he leaves, Muffy is overwhelmed by self-centered despair. "Now I can very plainly see that nobody cares for poor little me!"

"Poor little me, poor little me," she sings, "nowhere to go with my poor bandaged toe. In all of the world there can't possibly be a mouse as unhappy as poor little me! Why was I dealt the unkindest of blows, why did this happen to mine of all toes?"


After wallowing in self-pity for awhile, Muffy decides to read a book to cheer herself up. The book is just out of her reach, so she blows her whistle. Jeff doesn't come. She blows it again. Still nothing. So she decides to try getting out of the cot to get it herself and finds she can walk just fine.

It just so happens that the computer screen in Sam's room is focused on the children's department just as he has successfully found his sandwich. He looks up at the screen and is so happy to see Muffy on two feet, he slams his fist on his food tray, sending his newfound sandwich into Penelope's bowl. The cat promptly begins to eat it. "Penelope that's my sandwich!" he says, but she continues to eat.

Later, Sam tells Jodie how happy he is to see that Muffy's walking again.

"Well that's strange . . . she just had Jeff carry her up to the roof to get some fresh air." Jodie replies.

"Why would she get Jeff to carry her if she can walk by herself?" Sam asks.

"I have a feeling that our little Muffy is taking advantage of her misfortune and having Jeff help her for as long as she can." says Jodie.

"Our Muffy? She wouldn't do that! Would she?"

Jodie nods.

"On second thought, maybe she would." Sam says. "What are we gonna do, Jodie?"

She tells Sam they've got to stop running every time Muffy blows her whistle, and make sure that Jeff does too.

But Muffy has her own ideas about that. On the roof, she makes Jeff promise to help her until she feels better.

Jeff tells her he'd do anything to help her. "If you were stranded on a mountaintop, I'd climb way up and I wouldn't stop, till I had you safe and sound, down on level ground, that's what I'd do for you!" He sings. He goes on to tell her he'd swim to save her if she was in a shipwreck, or he'd face a rhino or a monster if she was lost in the jungle ". . . that's what I'd do, for you!" he says, and finishes his song with a bow. His hat falls off of his head.

Muffy feels that she can't help, so she blows the whistle and blows and blows. They can hear her in the children's department and Sam starts to respond, but Jodie stops him.

"Whatever Muffy wants she can get by herself. She's going to have to stop taking advantage of us."

Tenderhearted Sam reluctantly agrees. "After all, it is for her own good."

When no one comes, Muffy decides to act. "Poor Jeff is stuck in that frozen position. I guess I must help him - despite my condition!" She climbs on Jeff's back, causing him to bend closer to his hat, she then reaches down, pulls the hat to his head and holds it there as she says the magic words. When he returns to life, Jeff is shocked to find Muffy on his back! He tells her she shouldn't have done it, not with her sore foot.

"Oh yes, I should do everything I could! - Oh, Jeff!" she begins to sing, "If you were stuck 'cause you lost your hat, I'd walk right in front of the biggest cat, to say the magic potion and get you back in motion - that's what I'd do, for you!"

Then she confesses what she's been doing.

Jeff is surprised. He realizes that he could have been helping Jodie all this time.

"I took advantage of your generous heart. If only you'll forgive me, we'll make a new start."

Jeff says of course, he'd do anything for her, and they finish the song together, "That's what I'd do for you!"

Back in the children's department, Sam, having lost two sandwiches today, realizes he hasn't eaten "lunch" yet when he catches sight of Muffy's sandwich sitting on the counter top. Jodie says she doesn't think Muffy would mind if he had a bite, and just as he begins to take a bite out of half the sandwich, Muffy comes in and blows her whistle." Startled, Sam tosses it away.

Muffy walks in by herself, followed by Jeff. She has blown the whistle to announce that she's making a change for the better.

"I was taking advantage of my good friend, which I finally realized in the end." She vows, "From this day on, I'm going to start making amends. I won't think of myself, I'll just think of my friends!"

Sam is eyeing the leftover half of the sandwich and thinking of his stomach. "Uh, Muffy, do you suppose you might like to start by sharing your sandwich here?"

Muffy completely misses the point. "That's a good idea you had there, Sam! Jeff, would you like half a sandwich with ham?"

Jeff accepts and picks it up. "Doesn't that look good, Sam?" he says, unaware of Sam's lunch troubles. As he brings the sandwich to his mouth, Sam leans in closely, with his mouth open. "Ah - ah - ah," he says, opening his mouth wide as if to take a bite.

Who could fail to respond to such subtlety? Getting the picture, Jeff offers him a bite. For the first time today, Sam finally manages to get something to eat.


Quizzes:

  • None

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • In the box of stuffed toys the mime lady uses, one of the toys is a Snoopy toy, but the eyes and nose and ears are yellow, as if they have been bleached, perhaps to make it somewhat unrecognizable and avoid copyright hassles.
  • With the exception of the segment with the mime lady, this episode has no quizzes.
  • There's a very interesting bit of characterization and interpretation in Muffy's personality in this episode. When she is first hurt, Muffy is distressed, but very appreciative of everyone's help, trying hard to make sure Jeff doesn't blame himself for her accident. But by the time she gets back from the doctor, she has become whiny and self-centered. Though her toe really did hurt, her attitude had subtly changed from appreciation to self-pity once the emergency was over. Nina Keogh depicted this change by subtle changes in the tone in which Muffy delivered her lines.
  • Muffy seemed to be fooling herself, somewhat, as well as the others. She was alone when she sang "Poor Little Me," and she seemed to truly feel that her situation was desperate. When she was left to help Jeff she did so "despite my condition." So it seems it wasn't out-and-out duplicity that motivated Muffy, but an exaggerated sense of personal tragedy.
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