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1985

Jeans

Muffy rushes into the stockroom where Mrs. Pennypacker is surrounded by jeans. Muffy's in quite a state.

"Great! The jeans are finally here. It seems I've waited for a year!" she cries, excitedly darting here and there, examining the jeans. It's soon apparent that she's looking for one particular kind. "They're the reason that I came. Mr. Mousters is their name."

Mrs. Pennypacker mentions that they're quite expensive.

"Yes, I think you're probably right. They cost a lot to buy," admits Muffy, "but if I don't get a pair, I'm simply going to die!"

"Well! I hardly think that that's likely, Muffy dear!" exclaims Mrs. P. But Muffy, who hasn't found the jeans she wanted, runs off.

Muffy hasn't been gone long when Jodie bursts in, takes a look at a little pair of jeans and says, "Ah, jeans. Great! They're perfect! Thanks!" and then she's gone.

Mrs. Pennypacker is philosophical about the two different experiences. "One out of two isn't bad," she says.

In the children's department, Jeff is trying on a pair of jeans and a jeans jacket. He comes out of the dressing room looking sharp, but he's not too impressed. The jeans are stiff and he likes his own clothes better, he tells Jodie.

"Hey!" says Jodie. "I wouldn't mind a little enthusiasm. After all, we're having a special on jeans, you know!"

"I'm sorry, Jodie. You're absolutely right. Well - how's this?" He begins to dance and sing, "Jeans! How I love to wear them, Jeans! make me feel so neat. Jeans! I don't think I can share them, Jeans! really can't be beat." Jodie joins in and together they sing the praises of jeans.

"Well, that's better!" says Jodie. After the song, Jeff goes to change back into his regular clothes so that the new ones won't get wrinkled. Before he goes, he asks Jodie what she has in the little box she brought into the children's department.

"Oh! A little surprise for Muffy. You'll never guess. A little pair of jeans!" she says, holding up a pair of little blue jeans with a logo that says "RR."

"She'll love them!" Jeff says confidently.


But when Jodie presents her gift to Muffy, Muffy is not even close to loving them.

"Jodie thanks. Thanks all the same. But I can't wear jeans with that name!"

The jeans are a Rompin' Rodents brand.

"No one wears those anymore, you should dump them from the store." As she talks, she gets more and more emotional as she describes Mr. Mousters, her preferred brand of jeans. "They're the ones with fashion flair, they're the only ones I'll wear. And if it's all the same to you, here's what I'd suggest you do. Just pack these up and then return them, 'cause if they were mine, well, I think I'd probably burn them!"

Jodie gasps.

"Muffy!" says Jeff, in shock. He turns to Jodie. "Well. I like them. They're a little small for me though! but Jodie only manages a half smile at his little joke.

Down in the stockroom, Mrs. P is singing the "Jeans" song at the top of her voice while wrapping a pair of jeans around her neck like a boa, but she is brought up short when Jodie enters. "Oh, Jodie, you should make some noise when you come into a room." she breathes. But Jodie has problems of her own. She sadly tells Mrs. P that Muffy didn't like the jeans she tried to give her and will only wear Mr. Mousters jeans.

Mrs. P remembers that Muffy mentioned them. "You know, until Muffy mentioned they were jeans I thought Mr. Mousters was the first mate on the Duke of Beefgravia's yacht."

"The Duke of Beefgravia?" Jodie asks incredulously.

"Yes. A charming man. I was his cook on his round the world cruise."

"Round the world cruise?" asks Jodie, getting more interested.

"That's right and good thing I was there I saved him from that typhoon."

"A typhoon?" Jodie says, growing more excited.

"Mmmhmm, it was just after we'd returned from our elephant safari."

"An elephant safari? Oh!"

"I think I'd better restock these right now." Mrs. P says casually, looking at the jeans.

Jodie is agog. "Mrs. P!" she gasps.

"We'd just completed our mountain climb in the Himalayas," she continues.

"Oh, really?" Jodie nearly shrieks.

"Really. It was a boring trip actually." Mrs. P concludes.

Later, the TV is on in the children's department while Jodie tells Sam about Muffy's intense desire for Mr. Mousters jeans. Sam thinks the name sounds familiar for some reason. He mentions in passing that he knew a Mr. Masters who was "the first mate on a king's ship or something."

Jeff notices that there's a Mr. Mousters commercial on TV and calls the others to look. Mr. Mousters, evidently, are not just jeans, but snazzy jumpsuits with matching tops. They all fall in love with the jeans, especially Jeff who really likes the jingle.

After watching the commercial, Sam remembers why the name "Mr. Mousters" sounds familiar. He read the name in a magazine and he goes to the computer room to get the magazine. He has his usual trouble with his cabinets, which results in his getting knocked on the head with a mallet. His hat is pushed down over his eyes and as he gropes around, he hits the keyboard and out pops the magazine.

"This can be a dangerous place can't it? Good thing I don't keep an elephant in here." Just then we hear an elephant trumpeting. 'Whoaooooooo!" cries Sam, rushing to get out of there.

Muffy is back in the stockroom and Mrs. P has bad news for her. She's searched high and low and can't find any Mr. Mousters jeans. She tells Muffy not to despair.

"No Mr. Mousters! Oh, that's great. And you say don't despair? I must be the only mouse who doesn't own a pair!"

"Oh, Muffy!" Mrs. Pennypacker says. But Muffy is inconsolable. Not only has she received a letter from Mort asking if she has her Mr. Mousters yet, he sent along a picture of himself - in his Mr. Mousters jeans!

Muffy is worried that Mort won't want to play with her when he finds out she hasn't gotten her own pair yet.

"Oh, pish tosh, Muffy, they're only jeans!"

"'Only jeans?' You must be joking. 'Only jeans?' I'm almost choking!"

Mrs. Pennypacker tries to get Muffy to realize that you can't judge people by what they wear. "Why, look at me, for example!" she says.

Muffy gives her outfit the once over and makes a disgusted face.

Mrs. Pennypacker soldiers on, singing a song about how it's what's inside that counts. "If you took the air from a basketball, it could never bounce. Learn a lesson from that basketball it's what's inside that counts!"

Muffy agrees and even sings along, "It's what's inside that counts. That's all that really matters. It's what's inside that counts, that's all you really are." She seems to have taken the lesson to heart. "It's what I am that people love. It's me that they adore." but then she continues: "But Mr. Mousters jeans would make them like me even more!"

When Muffy's gone, Mrs. Pennypacker laments, "For a moment there I thought we were getting somewhere."

But Muffy has learned a thing or two, because she skulks into the children's department to apologize to Jodie. Sam, Jodie and Jeff are looking into Sam's "Old Salt" magazine to find out where he read about Mr. Mousters.

"Oh, Jodie," says Muffy. "Uh, I'm sorry I acted like that, and I hope you don't think that I'm a rat."

Jodie isn't sure. "Well, Muffy, my feelings were really hurt. I thought that you . . ."

Sam interrupts to tell them that he's found the item. Mr. Mousters Jeans International is looking for a new Mr. Mousters mouse. The mouse will appear in all their ads, TV and magazines, and receive a free year's supply of Mr. Mousters jeans. All that any hopeful needs to do is to write a letter to tell why she wants to represent the company.

"Oh, I'll do that in so time flat!" says Muffy and runs off.

After she's gone, Sam reads further. It seems the director is in town all this week. Jodie thinks he'd come over right away if he knew about Muffy, so they decide to call all the hotels and see if they can find him. So Sam hunts for the phone book - which is right in front of him.

"What do you wanna go and hide the phone book there for?" he mutters.

Meanwhile, Muffy is dreaming sweet dreams as she prepares to write her letter. "I'll be the toast of the town, all mice will want to be me, wherever you look, I know you'll probably see me!" she sings, as she imagines her career in advertising: Her picture on magazines like "Cheese World," "Ms. Mouse" and "Mouse Beautiful," a movie made from her biography, dancing and dining in the finest restaurants, catered to by a butler and a maid - "I'll be a mouse of renown, the toast of the town!"

"Well, before I get too rehearsed, I better write this letter first!"

In the stockroom, Mrs. P is still sorting through the jeans. "I haven't seen so many jeans since that rodeo last year," she says to herself. Then she pauses. "I'll never know how that bull threw me!"

Muffy is back, rummaging around and freaking out because she's just discovered that the Mr. Mousters commercial director is coming to the store to see her. Mrs. Pennypacker thinks she's just so cute.

A half hour late, the director breezes into the children's department. "Kids! Kids! I'm so sorry I'm late. How do you do, J. Ross Craven." he introduces himself. He speaks in an insincere, schmoozing kind of voice.

"How do you do, I'm Jodie."

"Great to meet you Jodie, you look sensational!"

Now he turns to Jeff. "How ya doin' buddy, J. Ross Craven."

"Hi, I'm Jeff."

"Great to meet you, Jim."

"That's Jeff."

"Where? Oh, you! Ha-Ha! Excellent! Fantastic!"

Now he catches sight of Muffy. "Ah-ha-ha-ha, you must be Muffy Mouse."

Muffy tries to be witty. "Well, ah, yes, uh, how'd you guess?"

J. Ross Craven laughs in an exaggerated way. "Isn't she great? Fantastic, a mouse with spunk. I love you Muffy, you're beautiful, I sincerely mean that!" he says, pinching her cheeks (to her chagrin).

Next he asks for a chair, which he uses to rest his foot on.

Muffy is nervous, so Jodie suggests they do the "dance bit" and then Muffy will say her line (evidently about the jeans) at the end. Jeff and Jodie help out by dancing and singing the "Jeans" song along with her.

During the song J. Ross is dancing along and he looks impressed. "Bravo, b-r-ravo, excelente! I loved it!"

"I'll try to say my line, okay?"

"Muffy, sweetheart, forget it, there's no need!"

Jodie is forlorn. "Didn't you like the way she moved?"

"Like it? I loved it, I loved all three of you. I want to sign you to an exclusive contract to sell Mr. Mousters jeans.

Jeff is so excited he's bouncing up and down. "Did you say all three of us?"

"I sure did, Jim."

"That's Jeff."

"Where?"

Mr. Craven shows Muffy the layout with a picture of a mouse in Mr. Mousters apparel. "This will be you. Is that not beautiful? Is that not sensational?"

Muffy is nearly overcome with excitement. "Well tweak my cheek, oh, Mr.Craven, thanks to you, all of my dreams are coming true."

"Don't thank me, Muffy, sweetheart, thank Mr. Mousters!" he says. He goes on to tell them that he'll make them famous. There will be dolls, records, TV shows, video games and lunch boxes!

Just then, Mort shows up for a visit. Before they can tell him the good news, J. Ross Craven becomes fascinated with the jeans he's wearing.

"These are called Pied Piper Pants. I hear they're all the rage in France!" Mort informs him.

"Well, they know their fashion." He takes a closer look. "These jeans are sensational, they're fantastic!" he says, looking off into the distance. "They're the jeans of the future! Sorry kids, the deal's off. Once people see these Pied Piper Pants, Mr. Mousters will be old hat, old news old jeans!"

"Now, listen Marv," says Mr. Craven, "I'd like to talk to you about doing some ads. Are you interested?"

"Well, yes I gue--" before he can finish the word, Mr. Craven yanks him closer. "I'm talking exclusive contract, I'm talking dolls, records, video games, TV shows . . ."

"Lunch boxes?" asks Mort, getting interested. He has no idea that he has just supplanted Muffy.

Jeff, Jodie and Muffy are just stunned as the two of them leave the children's department. Just then, in comes Sam, dressed in a denim jacket studded with rhinestones and a denim cap, equally flashy, is singing, "Jeans! How I love to wear them, oh jeans! Where is he? Where's that director fellow?"

"He left Sam," says Jodie.

"The deal's off." Jeff adds.

At first, Sam is disappointed for himself, but then he remembers Muffy. After all, she was the one with the highest hopes. "Gosh, I'm sorry," he says to her.

"Oh, well. I feel a little sorry, too," says Muffy, "but gee, there's nothing I can do. So much for fancy fashion scenes. But after all - they're only jeans!"

"You know, Muffy, I think you're right." says Jodie.

Sam says, "Yeah, hear! hear!"

"So though I won't dress trendily, I hope you'll all still be friends with me," says Muffy.

"Well, we don't care what you wear, Muff, we like you because you're you!" says Jeff.

"Oh, I'm happy, Jodie, Jeff and Sam, that you all like me as I am." She pauses. "But, um, Jodie, uh, if you have the chance, uh, could you order some Pied Piper Pants?"

"Oh, Muffy!" says everyone, and then they all sing together, "It's what's inside that counts, that's all that really matters, it's what's inside that counts, that's all you really are."


Quizzes:

  • There's a picture of Jodie getting some jeans for Muffy, and we have to guess which of three pairs of jeans will fit the picture of Muffy.
  • Here's Mrs. P on the Duke of Beefgravia's yacht. Was Mr. Mousters the cook on the yacht, the first mate or the leader of the elephant safari? (With that third choice an elephant appears on the boat and it begins sinking) "Better hurry with your answer!" says TXL.
  • After the nursery rhyme "Jenny Wren," which dress should the mime wear to look like Jenny Wren in the nursery rhyme? (She has a choice of two very pretty pink dresses and one plain brown one. The answer is the plain one, because Jenny Wren said in the rhyme that she must wear her "plain brown gown.") TXL and the mime both like the others better.

Nursery Rhyme:

  • Jenny Wren

Notes:

  • I really liked the fact that though both Mrs. Pennypacker and Sam remembered the first mate on the Duke of Beefgravia's yacht (you've got to love that name!), they remembered different things about him. Mrs. Pennypacker, who had served with him on the yacht, remembered whose yacht it was and what happened on the trip, but she didn't quite remember the name. Sam remembered that it was "Mr. Masters," but he couldn't remember just where he served as first mate, remembering him as being on a "king's ship or something." A nice touch of realism.
  • Jodie usually is very forgiving of her friends but Muffy really hurt her feelings in this episode. Even when Muffy apologized, Jodie was going to complain a bit more about what she had done to her, very unusual for Jodie - but Sam interrupted her and with her attention diverted to Muffy's chance for stardom, Jodie seemed to more or less forget about it.
  • Interestingly enough, when Jeff, Jodie, and Muffy were singing their "Jeans" song for J. Ross Craven, none of them were wearing jeans!
  • In their excitement over being chosen to be in Mr. Mousters commercials, everyone seemed to forget that Jeff couldn't leave the store. It would have been quite a problem to film all the commercials and do all the photo sessions in the store, and how would they explain it without giving away their secret?
  • All the jeans for mice in this program had a rodent connection. Rompin' Rodents and Mr. Mousters is obvious, but it was also true of Pied Piper Pants. Remember that the pied piper led all the rats out of the town of Hamlin.
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