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1986

Moods

Sam is reading a joke book and sharing some jokes with TXL. Here's one: "The customer orders a ham sandwich and the waiter says, 'With pleasure.' 'No, with mustard,' says the customer." TXL loves the joke and gives a high pitched laugh. Sam plans to put a star by the joke so he'll remember to tell it to the others later.

Suddenly, Waldo magically appears, startling Sam. He asks, "What you're laughing about, Steve?"

"That's Sam!" Sam corrects him.

"Well, I want to know what you're both laughing about."

So Sam tells him a joke. "Did you hear the one about the dog who went to the flea circus? He stole the show!" TXL and Sam break into gales of laughter, but Waldo remains sober.

"Yes, then what happened?" Waldo asks.

"He stole the show! Well, he-he-he! Uh, that's it!"

"Oh dear," says Waldo, "It's just as I feared."

"Gosh Waldo, you look kind of glum."

"I'm afraid I do, don't I? Yeah, I better go and visit the others and see if they can cheer me up."

Sam assures him he won't find any better jokes.

"Well, that doesn't make me feel any better, Seth," says Waldo and then, poof! He disappears.

"That's - that's uh - that's Sam, Waldo," Sam says, looking around for the magician.

Upstairs, Jodie comes into the children's department, saying "Yippee!" She catches Jeff by the hands and says, "Oh, Jeff, do a little dance with me."

"Okay! Let's dance." Jeff says and they skip around for a bit.

"Oh, isn't life just wonderful?" Jodie exclaims.

"Well, yes it is, but what's so special about life today?"

"Oh, I am in the greatest mood!" says Jodie. She just got a letter from her boss to tell her she's getting a raise! She and Jeff skip hand in hand behind the display and Waldo pops up between them.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything," he says dully.

"Oh! Waldo! Hi!" says Jodie.

"Gee you have such a way of sneaking up on people," adds Jeff.

"I'm sorry if I'm spoiling your fun," says Waldo.

Jodie assures him he's not and that's he's welcome to join them. Jeff explains that Jodie just got some good news.

"Oh, good. Well, tell me, and maybe it will cheer me up."

Jodie doesn't know if it'll do that, but she shares the news of her raise.

"Wait!" says Waldo. "Nope! No reaction. This IS serious."

"Oh, Waldo, Waldo, Waldo," says Jeff, putting his arm around him. "What's wrong?"

"Well, Jeff, I'll tell you. I'm not in very good spirits today."

Sam comes in just then to check on Waldo. "Are you feeling any better yet?" he asks.

"As a matter of fact, I'm not, Slick," Waldo answers. "No, I'm still feeling rather glum."

Now Muffy pops up. "Hey! Is that Waldo I'm hearing who needs some cheering?"

"Yeah, Muffy," Jodie says, "It seems Waldo here has a regular case of the blues."

Waldo objects.

"Now, now, Waldo, stop fussing," Jodie interrupts. "It's a regular case of the blues and everybody gets them." She sings to him, "Everybody gets the blues. People understand feeling sad, you feel lower than your shoes, but friend, I've got some news: That everybody gets the blues." The others join in. Waldo listens patiently and even sways along to the beat of the music as they sing, but he still objects.

"I really do appreciate your thoughts, friends. But you see, this is not a regular case of the blues. This is a magician's case of the blues."

"Oh, is that better or worse?" Muffy asks, "Does it mean you need a nurse?"

Waldo thinks that might be wise. "Is there a doctor or nurse in the house?"

"Oh! Dr. Muff will be right back with her handy medical sack!" Muffy says, and rushes off.

While he waits, Waldo is looking in a book called "The Fit Magician."

"Does it tell you how to make the pounds melt away like magic?" Sam cracks, and then he laughs - alone. "Get it? Pounds like - mag..." he trails off.

"And what's so amusing about that, Slim? As a matter of fact, I am watching my weight."

Sam assures him he was only making a little joke, and reminds him that his name is Sam.

Then Muffy arrives with her medical bag, dressed like a doctor, and they all get ready to try and help. Waldo hands the book to Jodie and asks her to read the directions while "Stan and Jeff" pass Muffy the proper instruments from her bag.

The first thing to check, according to the book, is Waldo's "tickle factor."

"What in Sam Hill is that?" Sam wants to know.

"That's Stan Hill!" says Waldo.

They need a feather, which rather amazingly is in Muffy's medical bag, and the instructions say to use it to tickle his nose while they tell a joke. Sam supplies another groaner that gets everyone else laughing, but Waldo is completely stone faced.

"I fear I've got a case of the Grumples!" declares Waldo. It's a disease only magicians get, and if it's a bad case, they can no longer practice magic. There is a cure, but when Waldo snaps his fingers to make it appear, nothing happens. "Oh, this is bad!" He says. But fortunately, he carries one with him at all times in case of an emergency. It consists of four cards. Each card has instructions in the form of a riddle, telling what each one of them must find and bring back to Waldo. When they find the items, they must follow the instructions on the card exactly. Otherwise, the Grumples will remain for good. So Jeff, Jodie, Muffy and Sam each take a card and get ready to try and find the items.

"Well, good luck, my friends," Waldo says. They all promise to be back as soon as they can.

"Yeah. We'll be back before you can - uh, well, before - well, before you can remember my name!" Sam says.

"Remember your name?" Waldo says incredulously. "Remember your name? How could I forget your name, Seth? No, it's Stan. No, not Stan. Slim!" He looks at us. "Starts with an 'S' right?" First up in the quest for a cure is Muffy. She goes back to her room, still in her doctor's clothes, and reads her clue.

"Bring back a four legged cuddly thing that sleeps from winter to the spring . . . Now what could that be? Can you see?" She surveys her room and finally settles on her teddy bear. Then she sings a special rhyme. "Take one step forward, and two steps back, and turn twice on the spot. And very soon you'll be on track in the 'Go-Away Grumples Gavotte.'" As she sings, she performs the movements. When she's done, she admits, "I don't understand the words I've just spoken, but maybe poor Waldo's spell has been broken."

But Waldo is still feeling the Grumples "creeping up" on him. He wonders how bad it is, and so he tries a simple trick. He puts his hat on the counter and tries to move it to his head. Instead, the hat turns into a rabbit. "Oh, well, who wants a rabbit on the head anyway?" He turns it back into a hat and puts it on his head, but it now has a half-eaten carrot inside. "I do hope my friends are following their instructions," he says a bit nervously.

Now it's Sam's turn. He's in his computer room and he reads his instructions to TXL. "In the room where you spend your day, you'll find the answer hidden away. Something that usually flies overhead is much more likely to bounce instead." TXL offers some help in the form of a quiz. She shows us four things, a dog, a horse, a plane and a bird. Which ones fly? Sam chooses the plane and the bird. But why would they bounce? Well, Sam figures out that balls bounce because they're made of rubber.

So TXL asks if he has a rubber bird or a rubber plane in his room. He says he has a rubber chicken but it'll take days to find it. TXL helps by dumping things everywhere until the chicken shows up.

Now Sam has to sing his special rhyme and do his steps. "Take one step left and two steps right. And jump twice on the spot. The answer soon will be in sight in the Go-Away Grumples Gavotte."

"Go-Away Grumples Gavotte," he mutters, when he's finished, "Go-Away Grumples Gavotte. Heh! That's the oddest thing. I don't have any clue what I just sang but who knows, TXL, maybe old Waldo is getting better as we speak."

But he's not. He tries a card trick. He attempts to guess the identity of a hidden card. He guesses the Ace of Hearts. He's not even close. It's a get well card. When he opens it, it says, "Hope you're feeling better soon, love Mom. XOXO." Waldo hopes his friends hurry.

In the stockroom, Jodie is explaining what's going on to Mrs. Pennypacker. She says she remembers Waldo. "Oh, yes, Waldo the Enormous."

"No, no, Mrs. Pennypacker, Waldo the Magnificent."

It seems she got him mixed up with Emmet the Enormous, a man who could eat an entire roast beef before anyone else could start their Yorkshire pudding. "Astounding man!" Mrs. Pennypacker breathes admiringly.

Jodie explains as quickly as she can that Waldo has the Grumples and could lose all his magic powers. Mrs. Pennypacker remembers that she once knew a young magician who came down with it.

"Oh, what happened to him?" asks Jodie.

"Well, I believe he's waiting on tables, now."

"Oh!" says Jodie anxiously.

"Well, it was appropriate, he had the right uniform," says Mrs. Pennypacker calmly.

Jodie isn't calm at all as she reads her instructions. "Now, it says here that I'm supposed to find someone who's big but never has grown and never does anything on his own. He moves with great grace and a smile on his face, but only with string can his feelings be shown."

"Now, what in the Signal Hill do you think that means?" Mrs. Pennypacker asks.

"Well, I guess it's a riddle." says Jodie. "Whoever he is, he's never grown, so, well, that must mean that he's always been big."

"And apparently he never does anything on his own," says Mrs. Pennypacker. "What is he? Some sort of puppet?"

That's it! Jodie realizes, a puppet. She asks Mrs. Pennypacker if she has a big string puppet somewhere in the stockroom.

Thankfully, she does. It just arrived today. Jodie picks it up and then sings her rhyme.

"Take once step there, and one step here, and bounce twice on the spot. The answer's getting very near, in the Go-Away Grumples Gavotte!" She and Mrs. Pennypacker sing the refrain, as Jodie makes the puppet's mouth move. "The Go-Away Grumples Gavotte, the dance you can't be taught. You have to know just when to go and just when you cannot, in the Go-Away Grumples Gavotte."

"Oh, boy, Mrs. Pennypacker, I sure hope all this is doing something for Waldo."

Mrs. Pennypacker says she'd like to meet them in the children's department later. "I want to see if this Grumples remedy turns out any better than the last one I saw!"

Meanwhile, Waldo is trying another trick. The simplest trick he can think of. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat. "Easy as pie, right?" He says. Then he pulls a pie out of the hat and hits himself in the face with it. "Oh dear, oh dear. My days as a magician have ended. The Grumples have had their way with me! Hurry back, my friends!"

Now only Jeff is left to solve his riddle. He is wandering the store, but he can't figure it out. He asks for our help. His clue says, " 'I walk just like a man, and talk just like a man, I can do most anything a super man can, but though my words and motions may seem so very real, I'm really not a man at all, just plastic, wire and steel.' I don't know what that means. Yeah, yeah, you're right," he says, "It sort of sounds kind of like a robot or something like that. Where am I going to find a robot in the store?"

Just then, a robot rolls into view, striking Jeff lightly on the foot. "Oops! Sorry," it says.

"Well, will you look at that? A robot!" Jeff laughs and begins to sing his rhyme. "Take one step fast, and two steps slow, and spin twice on the spot. And tell the Grumples all to go in the Go-Away Grumples Gavotte."

"The Go-Away Grumples Gavotte," chants the robot.

"The dance you can't be taught. You have to know just when to go, and just when you cannot," Jeff sings, "in the Go-Away Grumples Gavotte," he finishes, with the robot chanting along and dancing with him.

"Come on, Roby-bot, let's go down to the children's department and see if Waldo's better yet." Off he goes, but Roby-bot whimpers until Jeff comes back and takes him by the hand to lead him there.

Waldo, still with pie on his face, is despondent. "What am I going to do? I know. They said they would come back before I could remember the name of what's his name! That's what I'll do, I'll concentrate on that, and maybe they'll come back. Now, let's see. It was Sid? No. Stan? No. Saul? Couldn't be. Sue? SUE? No, not unless he shaves off that mustache. Segoonch? That's not even a name!" Waldo wails.

Next TXL uses a quiz to remind us what each of Waldo's friends is bringing back to the children's department. Muffy is bringing a teddy bear, Jodie a string puppet, Sam a rubber chicken and Jeff a robot named Roby-bot. "Now the big question is: Are all these things really going to cure Waldo's Grumples?" She wonders.

When we get back to Waldo, he's still guessing. "Sven?" he says. "No. Um. Ah! I've got it! Sam!"

Just then, everyone walks in. "Hey, Waldo, you finally remembered my name!" Sam says.

"Yes, well, it was purely by accident, I assure you."

Mrs. Pennypacker is there too, wearing a hard hat, an overcoat, and a necklace made of garlic and peppers.

"Mrs. Pennypacker, why are you dressed like that?" asks Waldo.

"Oh. It's - it's just a little precaution that's all. The last time I saw someone try this, well!" She chuckles. "I won't go into details. Besides, it probably had to do with the weather."

"Oh? What was the weather like?"

"A lot like it is today, come to think of it!" says Mrs. Pennypacker.

Jodie puts her arm around Waldo. "Oh, come on, Waldo! Don't let the Grumples get the best of you."

Waldo takes heart and says he's ready. "I'm going to dance the Go-Away Grumples Gavotte!" he announces. He then instructs Muffy to sing the first verse while he holds the teddy bear. As she does, he performs the steps she describes. Next he holds the rubber chicken and dances with it as Sam sings the next verse. Next Jodie sings the refrain while holding the puppet up and making him 'sing' with her and Waldo dances, holding the hands of the puppet. Next Waldo dances with Roby-bot and sings Jeff's verse. Then, all together, they sing the refrain again.

When they're finished, there's only one way to find out if it worked or not. Waldo will have to try a magic trick.

"Let's see. Yes, I'll do an old favorite. I'll turn that teddy bear into a black stallion."

"Oh wow! You may go ahead of course," Muffy says, "'Cause I've always wanted my own pet horse!"

"Stand back everyone!" cries Waldo. "Hocus Pocus, hoots and hallions. Hicus Picus, stoots and stallions!"

Sam is holding the bear. "Ta-da!" he cries, "Look at that! It's a -" he pauses and shakes the teddy bear a bit. "It's still a little bear."

Suddenly there's a big puff of smoke and Waldo has transformed into a gaudy fairy with huge wings and red ringlets in his hair. Jeff can't quite stifle a giggle.

"Oh, no," says Jodie. "We must have done something wrong."

"I don't know," says Mrs. Pennypacker, "For a fella who still has the Grumples he seems to be in a pretty happy mood!"

Indeed, Waldo is grinning from ear to ear. "I am! I'm in a very good mood! The Grumples are gone!"

"But your trick -" says a confused Jodie.

"Well, you see, with this trick, this is the way it always works for me. That's why it's an old favorite! I'm a very happy magician, and I must say I have all of you to thank for it." He comes over and points his fairy wand at each as he says their names. "Jeff and Jodie, Mrs. Pennypacker and Muffy, and of course, my dear old friend, um, um, um..."

"Sam!" Everyone shouts. Waldo points his wand at him, too, laughing.


Quizzes:

  • There's a picture of a sad little girl. She's unhappy because her dog has run away. She's in a sad mood, but suddenly, she's smiling and in a happy mood. Why? (We hear barking and then pan out to see that her dog has returned).
  • We see a picture of a boy in a sad mood because it's raining outside. What would it take for him to be in a happy mood? (A bright sunny day!)

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • Waldo's Grumples cure seemed pretty specific. "In the room where you spend your day you'll find the answer hidden away" was particularly apt for Sam. Who else would have a rubber chicken hidden in their room? Perhaps the cure magically matches the magician who needs it. After all, Waldo's mother was able to send a magical "Get Well" card, so why not?
  • When Jodie is holding the string puppet, most of the time you can see both of her hands. But whenever the puppet is actually moving its mouth, one of Jodie's hands is out of sight above the puppet, making it appear as if she is controlling it. Undoubtedly, somewhere above her, there was a puppeteer controlling it. String puppetry is very difficult and involved, so a novice like Nerene Virgin wouldn't be able to actually control it on her own.
  • Shortly after meeting the robot, Jeff knows his name is "Roby-bot" for some undisclosed reason.
  • When Barrie Baldaro (Waldo) is dancing the "Go-Away Grumples Gavotte" with Roby-bot, he spins himself dizzy and is a little out of breath. Disoriented, he has to be directed back to the proper spot by his ever-watchful choreographer, Jeff Hyslop.
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