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1985

Sam

Sam is sitting on the end of a small houseboat fishing with a friend. "Singin' yo he ho, I'm-a waitin' for a bite, singin' yo he ho, hope I won't be here all night!" he sings. Then he laughs and greets us. "I guess you're wonderin' why I'm not at the store!" He explains that he's got the weekend to himself, so he's visiting Kevin O'Reilly, an old sailor friend (played by Sandy Webster), on his houseboat. Sam introduces us to him.

"How do," says Kevin.

Sam chuckles and explains that Kevin is the quiet type. Still, Kevin speaks up to tell Sam that he thinks he should quit his job and come stay on the houseboat with him.

Sam laughs as if Kevin just told a great joke. "He's a nice guy," he tells us, "But he certainly is a little weird in his ideas. Give up my job indeed!"

"Well, why not?" Kevin asks. "Being a security guard can't be that exciting."

Sam strongly disagrees. "Why, the singin' alone tires me out each night, Kevin."

"Singin'?" Kevin asks.

"Sure! Me and Jodie and Jeff and Muffy, we're a regular glee club down at the store. And then there's all the costumes to put on and . . ."

"Costumes?"

"Sure! Boy oh, boy, you sure don't know much about bein' a security guard, do you?" Sam decides to enlighten him by telling him about the time they all got together and tried on fancy clothes.

(Flashback to "Costumes," "Put on Your Fancy Dress")

"So you see there's always plenty to do. 'Course I like to keep everything running smoothly. Sometimes that's difficult with TXL around."

"TXL?"

Sam tries to explain that TXL is a computer, but somehow he can't get the word out. So he tells Kevin she's a machine with lots of buttons. She tries to help, he tells him, but things don't always work out, like the time when Sam was making donuts.

"I didn't know a security guard had to cook, too!" Kevin says in amazement.

"We have to do many things in the line of duty, you know!" says Sam.

(Flashback to "Fun," several scenes of Sam's trouble with the donuts, including one scene never seen before:

A donut is coming on the conveyor belt but stops midway. "If the donut won't come to Crenshaw, then Crenshaw will go to the donut," Sam says. He walks over, but as soon as he squirts the whipped cream, the donut moves and he creams the conveyor belt instead.

The clips continue with the time TXL showered him with gigantic donuts and end with TXL sending out a plate of donuts stuck to each other and to the plate).

Back on the houseboat, Sam tells Kevin he had some donuts left over, and offers him one. He hands a plate to Kevin, who tries to pull one free, but he can't. He flips the plate over and the donuts don't fall off! Then he hands them back to Sam. "No thanks, Sam," he says. Sam supposes it's because they're stale. "You know, I never did figure out what kind of trick TXL was trying to play on me," he says. "How would you like a liverwurst and onion sandwich?" he asks Kevin.

"Later," says Kevin, less than enthusiastically.
He's got to get ready to take his boat through the locks. Sam goes out to check to see if he's caught anything. He hauls in an old paint bucket.

"Must be using the wrong bait," he says to himself. But then he's thrilled to find that there's a tiny fish inside the bucket. He picks it up, and it promptly leaps back into the water.

Sam beckons us closer. He reminds us about the time he was a bit afraid to fly and Jodie took him on his first flight. He asks if we could 'keep it under our hat.' After all, he reasons, everyone doesn't have to know he'd never flown before.

(Flashback to "Flight," Sam's first flight).

"I gotta admit, flyin' was kinda fun," says Sam. He begins pretending he's a plane, thrusting his arms out to the side and making plane noises. Kevin comes up behind him and clears his throat. A bit flustered, Sam says, "I guess a boat isn't the best place in the world to pretend I'm an . . . well, to do my exercises."

Kevin doesn't appear to be fooled by that, but he lets it go, and points out the Rosedale locks just ahead. Sam says he hopes the fishing is better on the other side since "there are no fish around here." In the water, a close-up reveals a little fish giggling at that comment.

Kevin says it's probably been a long time since Sam has been on a boat. Sam tells him not really, though the last boat he was on wasn't "really real," it was a television set. He and Jodie and Muffy were invited to be on television.

"Because you're a security guard?"

Sam laughs heartily. "No, not 'cause - Who'd want to see a security guard on television?" He explains that they were invited to "sing songs on television about the sea, don'tcha know?"

(Flashback to "Television," from Jodie, Muffy and Sam's first entrance into the studio to the part when they were experimenting with the microphone).

Sam explains about how there was a set that looked like a boat and a movie of the sea playing behind them as they sang.

("Television" flashback again, to the singing of "Yo He Ho")

Sam hopes he won't get seasick as they go through the locks like he did on the TV set! He explains to us how the locks work, that they're a kind of "elevator for boats" that allows a boat to go smoothly from one lake to one that is higher or lower. We see the boat go into the lock and then the water is drained until Kevin's boat is level with the lake on the other side. Sam sings "Yo He Ho" as they go through, and enjoys it so much he says he ought to do it more often.

Kevin says that's what he's been trying to say, that a man Sam's age should relax and get away from it all. "You certainly can't do that in the city."

"Peaceful pigeons, 'course you can!" Sam says. All he has to do is check into a big hotel.

(Flashback to "Travel," Sam's stay in the hotel).

"It's a good thing I rested up that weekend because the next night at the store was one of the very busiest."

"Inspection by the boss?" asks Kevin.

"Oh, no, no, no."

"Computer failure? . . . Inventory? . . . Intruders?" Kevin suggests.

"No, no, it was opera, Kevin!"

"Opera?"

Sam explains that they decided to put on an opera of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," and that he played the part of Papa Bear.

(Flashback to "Opera," the Three Bears opera)

All at once, Sam gets a bite! He excitedly reels it in, and Kevin takes a look. It's a note.

"A note?" Sam says, "I want a fish, I don't want a pen pal!"

It's a waterproof note from Sam's friends at the store. It says:

"Dear Sam: Hope you're having a good time. We miss you. Your friends, Jeff, Muffy, Jodie and TXL."

Sam is quite touched. "Now you see what I mean about that bein' the best darn place to work in the entire world, Kevin!"

"Well, if you ever do decide to retire, let me know, right away."

"Why?"

"Because then I'll apply for your job!"

Sam tells him he'll have to learn how to sing first, but it isn't hard. He begins a chorus of "Yo He Ho," and Kevin joins in. They float down the lake, singing away, as the credits roll.


Quizzes:

  • None

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • Of the four flashback episodes, "Sam" is the closest to a regular episode. There's a guest star, new educational scenes (explaining and going through the locks), and even a flashback scene that was edited out of "Fun."
  • "Sam" pokes mild fun at Today's Special through Sam's comments about his "duties" as a security guard. It's gentle, though, and allows us to chuckle at some of the less credulous aspects of the show without being disrespectful.
  • I haven't the foggiest idea how the gang at the store managed to throw a note into the lake, never mind how it happened to catch on Sam's hook. A little help from Waldo the Magnificent, perhaps?
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