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1985

Jeff

Jeff is all alone in the store again, but this time he's not worried or afraid. Sam and Jodie have the night off, and Muffy's visiting Mort. "So the whole store is mine to explore." he says contentedly. Right now, he's playing croquet. "You know what I like best about living in a department store? Well, there's always so much to do. Just as long as I remember to put everything back the way it was before the store opens in the morning. See, that's because the people who work here in the daytime, well, they think I'm just a mannequin. But you know differently, don't you? You know all about my magic hat." He reminds us about the day when he first got it.

(Flashback to "Our Story Part, 2" from the part where Waldo casts the spell on the hat and it lands on Jeff's head to the part when Jeff is delivered to the store).

"I don't remember everything that happened that day, but I'll never forget the first time that I saw Jodie and Sam and Muffy . . ."

(Flashback to "Our Story, Part 2" from when Sam and Muffy first saw Jeff move to the part when Jeff goes off to explore the store. The exploration scene is taken from Jeff's dream in "Sleep.")

"Well, that was my first night in the store!" says Jeff. "I did a lot of exploring. All the way from the roof, down to the stockroom. Well, after all, it's the only world I've got and it's great!" He looks down at his croquet game. "Only it would be a little better if I could get these two balls through that hoop on the floor." So far he has only been tapping the balls. He looks in our direction, "Pardon me? What? Harder? Oh, I should hit the ball harder. Oh!" Unfortunately he hits them a bit too hard. They separate and go bouncing through the store with Jeff in hot pursuit, but with them rolling in opposite directions, Jeff's having a hard time catching them. He's worried he won't find them before the store opens.

"Calm down, Jeff, calm down," he tells himself. "Now, what would Sam and Jodie and Muffy do if this happened to them? Well, Sam would look for clues, that's it!" He picks up a pair of binoculars. "And Muffy, Muffy would go have some cheese, and Jodie, Jodie would think of a plan! That's it! Clues and a plan!" He picks up a pair of roller skates and is ready to go. "Tell me if you see anything!"

The next time we see him he has put on the roller skates and is tracking the still bouncing red ball through the store with the binoculars. He follows it through the store, and finally sees it head straight for the front display window. "Oh, no! The window!" Jeff cries, worried that the ball will break the window. But fortunately, it settles onto a bed display.

"Whew! That was close!" Jeff sighs. "Have you seen the other one?" Just then the blue ball comes rolling between his legs, hurtling towards the window as well, but like the other, it lands without doing any harm. But now Jeff has another problem. How can he get the croquet balls back without letting people outside the window see him?

"Think, Jeff, you've been in tougher situations than this." He thinks a bit. "Wait a minute. Remember when Waldo was sick, and Sam and Jodie went searching for the magic potion? Yeah, well, Waldo used his magic so that I could leave the store and go with them. The first time I'd ever been outside. I was hoping we'd go to the park, or the zoo, or even the seaside. But oh, no, we had to go to a haunted castle instead."

(Flashback to "Adventure" from entering the haunted castle to the part where Jodie and Sam, emerging from behind a trap door, inadvertently trap Jeff on the other side).

"We went round and round that secret door until we were dizzy." says Jeff, "But we finally found the magic potion. I was glad we could help Waldo after all he's done for me."

Now he turns his attention to the problem at hand. He decides to go into the window to get the balls, and if anyone comes by, he'll simply freeze and pretend to be a mannequin. He climbs into the window and picks up the blue ball. A police officer walks by, so Jeff freezes in position until she passes by. He starts to get the red ball, which is on the bed, but just then a popcorn vendor comes by and plants his cart in front of the window.

"Oh, no, now I'm really stuck and I think I've gotta sneeze!" Jeff says. He sneezes, and the popcorn vendor turns around, but when he doesn't see anyone, he shakes his head in puzzlement and turns his back again.

"Sometimes being a mannequin can be very difficult." says Jeff, "Like now!" He wishes he was in the store, playing, or dressing up in different clothes. "It's much more fun dressing up than standing in this front window!"

(Flashback: From "Changes" when Jeff sings and dances while changing into different outfits).

But the popcorn vendor is still there when we come back to Jeff. "I'm still here, he's still here!" Jeff says. Finally, the vendor walks away. "Now's my chance!" cries Jeff and makes a lunge for the red ball, and just then the police officer passes by again. Jeff strikes a pose on the bed. The police officer has noticed movement, and turns around to look at Jeff. But when she turns away again, Jeff makes a dash for the inside of the store.

"I made it!" Jeff says. "Now to put everything back just the way it was." He picks up the roller skates which he left behind when he went to get the balls out of the window, and begins reminiscing about when Jodie taught him to roller skate. He says he fell a lot, but Jodie wouldn't let him give up.

(Flashback to the "Wheels Go Around" song from "Wheels")

Before he puts everything back, Jeff decides to try a trick with the two croquet balls. He tosses one in the air and spins around and catches it. But when he tries to do it with both of them at the same time, he drops them and away they fly! Jeff is off in pursuit of them again, but amazingly both balls go right through the hoop on floor. This delights Jeff. "I did it! I got them both through the hoop!" He's very proud of himself and he wishes Jodie, Sam and Muffy could see it. "But you'll tell them, won't you? Thanks.

"I'm really glad you came to visit me," he continues. "My world wouldn't be much fun if I couldn't share it."

Next Jeff strolls through the store and sings, "I live in the store, come and see me, I live in the store, come 'round and free me. Come see my home, here in the store. Yes I live in the store, yes I live in the store," Suddenly, he jumps into the front window display and onto a bed, "Watch me dance upon my stage, in a glass cage with a view, I'll sing a song in rhyme, you see me and I see you . . . " he dances with no inhibitions until he sees the popcorn vendor and the police officer again, then he dances with tiny moves inching his way across the display to avoid attracting attention to himself. "A playground of discovery to wander in or ponder on, a magic spell, a story tell, places here and now and gone. With friends and fears and tears and joy, to have it all! To be the boy whose life goes on, here in the store. Yes I live in the store, yes I live in the store . . ." he sings, dancing his way through the store.


Quizzes:

  • None

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • This is the first of four flashback episodes, the others are "Jodie," "Muffy" and "Sam." "Jeff" is easily the weakest, perhaps because it's difficult to concoct a plot around one person in a department store.
  • There's a lot of revisionist history in "Jeff."
    • Jeff's first exploration of the store is usually portrayed using "Hocus Pocus Alimagocus," a song and dance originally seen in "Family." Possibly because it's shorter, they used his dream from "Sleep" here instead, but it doesn't make as much sense as a real event, especially when he's riding a tricycle on the ceiling.
    • Jeff says he explored the whole store from the roof to the stockroom, another mild revision. Actually, the roof wasn't even accessible yet in "Balloons," and Jeff first ventured onto the roof in "Night," not on his first night in the store. Also, in "Boxes and Boxes," there's a strong indication that Jeff hadn't been to the stockroom before.
    • It was the genie's magic, not Waldo's, that allowed Jeff to leave the store and find the magic potion in "Adventure."
    • Also in "Adventure," Jeff, Jodie and Sam didn't go round and round the secret door until they were dizzy. Jeff only went round once and Jodie and Sam twice before they fell down the chute into the cellar.
  • After all the trouble Jeff took not to be detected by passersby, it seems ludicrous for him to be dancing and singing in the window at the end.
  • I'm not overly fond of the flashback episodes, but apparently the gang was working on their live show at this time, and perhaps doing these simple episodes enabled them to concentrate on that.
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