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1987

Ice Cream

An unfamiliar woman (played by Jayne Eastwood), looking very severe in a brown suit, granny glasses and a tight bun, marches authoritatively into the stockroom. A box sits there, partially unpacked.

"My, my, my!" the woman says, "This simply will not do!" She bangs on Mrs. Pennypacker's service bell, but no one answers. "Well, seems she's not working tonight. Lucky for her!" She writes on a clipboard, saying, "Mistake Number 15, improper storage in stockroom!" She looks up. "Well, looks like I'm just in time! Things are going to shape up around here or my name's not Flora Frimble!" She takes another look around. "Oh, for Pete's sake! What a mess!"

Meanwhile, Sam is counting his supply of sardine cans, stacked all around him in the computer room. 'That does her, TXL, 12 dozen! 144 tins of sardines right where I can get at 'em. Now I won't have to buy any more till - uh, let's see . . ." he counts on his fingers. "Next Tuesday." He is about to begin eating some right away when TXL alerts him that there is a stranger in the store. On her screen, she shows him Mrs. Frimble outside Muffy's place. There's a broom out of place, and Mrs. Frimble flips it over to look at the bottom.

"That's the dirtiest broom I've ever seen in my life. It's not as if they do any cleaning around here for goodness sake!" She then notes that a mannequin is misplaced nearby and adds that to her list. Muffy's scooter, on the ground nearby, goes on as well.

Observing her, Sam realizes that she looks familiar. He pulls out the store's newsletter and there she is, posed next to her brother, the store's owner.

"There's no room for mistakes in our family's store," Sam reads. TXL tells him that she's headed for the children's department, so Sam goes to warn Jodie.

Jodie is at that moment setting up an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. The store is celebrating its birthday and the children's department is serving ice cream for the occasion.

"I can't wait to have a hot fudge sundae," says Jeff. He looks at us. "That's my favorite," he adds.

"Well, we'll have all sorts of sundaes and toppings Jeff. Let's see. Marshmallow, caramel, pineapple, you name it!"

"Hot fudge is fine with me!" Jeff says.

"Ice cream cones? Sodas? Milkshakes? Banana splits?"

"They all sound good Jodie, but hot fudge is what I'm waiting for."

Jodie persists. "Ice cream pies? Ice cream sandwiches? Ice cream bars and 25 different kind of sprinkles to put on top . . ."

"I know what I want to put on my ice cream," Jeff says.

"Hot fudge?"

"How'dya guess?" says Jeff with a chuckle.

"We'll have every topping you could wish for," Jodie sings.

"For every sundae you could need a dish for," Jeff joins in.

"And no matter which ice cream you favor,"

"We'll have each and every kind of flavorrrr!" Jeff sings elegantly, rolling the "r."

Then Jodie begins singing an exhaustive list of all the flavors they will be serving. Muffy comes in and adds her favorites to the list, while Jeff sings, in counterpoint, "Every flavor that you favor is yours to savor in our ice cream store."

"I'll try them one day, then I'll judge," he sings, "But now I want a sundae of hot fudge!"

Then Sam comes in singing his own list of flavors, but fails to sway Jeff from his single-minded pursuit of a hot fudge sundae. When they're finished, the gang continues discussing ice cream.

"Hey, hey, you guys wanna know my favorite dream?" Muffy says, "Apple pie with cheese ice cream!"

"Oh, I don't know Muffy, I think I kind of like French vanilla," says Jodie, "What about you Sam, do you like pie with ice cream?"

"I sure do, Jodie," says Sam enthusiastically. "Like, uh, maple walnut goes pretty good with pizza pie. That's one of my favorites!"

Jodie makes a face. Muffy rolls her eyes.

"Uh, ice cream with pizza, Sam?" Jeff asks tentatively.

"Sure, Jeff. What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing's wrong, Sam," Jodie says diplomatically, "It's just that your taste is a little different from ours."

Muffy is more blunt. "Yeah. It's sort of like all your favorite pies and cakes taste like some poor chef's mistakes!"

The mention of mistakes reminds Sam why he came upstairs, but before he can tell her about Mrs. Frimble, she walks into the room. She shows them her pad, "filled with nothing but mistakes," and Jodie, still not knowing who she is, introduces Jeff and Muffy.

Mrs. Frimble shakes Muffy's hand. "Oh, yes. My brother's told me all about you!"

Muffy asks his name. Sam explains that her brother is store's owner.

"And you are?"

Sam panics. "I - I - I am Cram Senshaw! I mean Sem Cranshaw." Jeff whispers it into his ear. "I mean, oh boy! I mean Sam Crenshaw. Tumblin' tuna boats, I usually don't make mistakes like that Mrs. Frimble,' he sputters, then excuses himself to make his rounds. "Wouldn't wanna make a mistake in security now would we? No! . . . No-mistake Crenshaw is on the job!"

As she watches Sam walk away, Mrs. Frimble looks severe. "I certainly hope he is no-mistake Crenshaw, because goodness knows I've seen enough mistakes around here already!" She reads off a few from her list and suggests that a few people might lose their jobs. "But not you Jodie," she says, looking around. "This is a wonderful display here!"

Jodie explains that kids will be able to get ice cream cones, milkshakes, sodas . . .

"Uh - hot fudge sundaes!" Jeff interjects, placing his hand in the air like an overeager schoolboy.

"Every flavor you adore we'll have right here in the store," Muffy says.

"Really? What special flavors will you have?"

"Oh, we'll have chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch . . ." begins Jodie.

"Oh, not those! I mean special. You need something new. Something different. Ah-ha! I have an idea, why don't you make up a flavor."

Jodie and Jeff begin stammering out excuses.

"I know my brother would love it," says Mrs. Frimble meaningfully.

"Oh." Jodie says. Then they say in unison, "No problem."

"Good! Then it's settled. I'd like to taste a sample tonight in my office." Then she leaves.

"I don't know about you two, but I think we have a problem!" Jodie half-sobs. Jeff pats her on the back.

TXL steps in a with a history lesson that ends with a quiz. She explains that a Roman emperor sometimes enjoyed a "fruit ice." Since there was no refrigeration back then, the cook had to get some snow from the mountain and then rush back to the kitchen with it, where he flavored it with fruit juice. Now she asks us to find two identical cups on his shelf so he can serve the fruit ice to both the emperor and empress.

Back in the children's department, Jodie and Jeff are sitting glumly at the ice cream parlor table. "Wouldn't you know it?" Jodie says, "The busiest night of the year and now I've gotta come up with a a special ice cream flavor for Mrs. Frimble."

Jeff suggests she could buy some, but the stores are all closed and anyway, she's too busy to leave.

So Muffy suggests they make the ice cream in the store.

"But I've never made ice cream in my life. Neither have you and neither has Jeff."

"Sam has," says Jeff. He explains that Sam is the only one who could manage to make the ice cream tonight, despite his strange tastes. So they decide to risk it. They'll try to steer him away from bizarre concoctions by telling him it has to be delicious with hot fudge sauce, "make you sigh with apple pie," and make a really good milkshake.

In the meantime, we visit with the mime lady. TXL asks her, "Do you know how to make ice cream?" The mime nods, brings in a bowl and puts ice in it. She mimes a scream in the direction of the ice and then cocks her ear toward the bowl listening for a response.

"Mime lady, I didn't say make ice scream. I said, make ice cream!"

The mime makes an "O" with her mouth. "Do you know how to make that?"

The mime doesn't, so TXL shows her some pictures of three kids mixing the ingredients for banana ice cream, putting it into an ice cream freezer, then eating it.

"And that's how you make ice cr-," TXL breaks off when the mime holds up an ice cream cone. "Mime lady, where did you get that?"

The mime points to the table, on which sits an ice cream freezer.

"You certainly are a fast learner, aren't you?" says TXL as the mime licks her ice cream contentedly.

Meanwhile, in the computer room, Sam is pulling a very large sardine out of a can with the can's key and asking TXL what's available in the store to make ice cream. TXL tells him there's plenty of milk, cream and sugar in the store's kitchen, but only the usual flavorings.

Sam says that won't do, and as he thinks, he twirls the sardine on the key. "We need a flavor that no one's thought of before." Then he mumbles, "Boy, they like to make fun of me do they. They say I like strange food, with odd tastes, (he twirls the sardine again). Well I'll show them! (twirl), I'll find a flavor that's just fantastic with hot fudge (twirl) and one that's amazing with apple pie too, you can believe it! (twirl) And one that makes a marvelous milkshake. Yeah, but what kind of flavor of ice cream could do all that? Let me see now . . ." He looks down at his hand, and inspiration dawns. "Sardine!" He says, with a big grin, and chuckles with delight.

Freed from worry for the moment about the new ice cream, Jeff, Muffy and Jodie are practicing a song and dance in the children's department. They sing about all the things they'd rather give away than an ice cream cone. Muffy even offers her cheese. "But for goodness sake, please don't take my ice cream cone!" Then Jodie and Jeff do a little dance while sitting in two chairs.

Later, Jeff is reading the newsletter about Mrs. Frimble's "no-mistake" policy when Sam comes in with his new ice cream for them to try. "Get ready to taste the new sensation from Sam "no-mistakes" Crenshaw. He hands out small cups full of ice cream and tells them all to taste it together. "I want to see the looks on everyone's faces when you dig in."

He sees them all right. Looks of shock, distaste and disgust.

"Oh, Sam, what IS this?" cries Jodie.

"Don'tcha just love it Jodie?" says an oblivious Sam.

"It, it tastes sort of like, um, like um . . ." Jeff says.

"Like sardine?"

"Sardine!" says Jeff. Then, "Sardine?!"

"Sam, you made sardine ice cream?" asks Jodie in horror.

"Yeah!" Sam says happily. "You said you wanted a new taste!"

"I knew something like this would happen," Jodie says to herself.

Sam finally realizes everyone is not loving his creation. "Is there something wrong with it? It goes with hot fudge, Jeff, and it works with apple pie, Muffy, and it makes a really great milkshake Jodie, really, I tested it myself to make sure." He invites them to finish the rest in order to really appreciate it.

"Hmph! The rest of this will be wasted! It's the worst thing I've ever tasted!" says Muffy.

"Well, maybe when you grow up, Muffy . . ." Sam says sarcastically.

"Well, if 'growing up, Muffy' means this on my tongue, I think I'll try to keep forever young!"

"Me, too," says Jeff.

"Sorry Sam," says Jodie gently. "We don't mean to hurt your feelings, it's just that most people don't share your," she makes a face, "taste."

Jeff explains that people expect a candy flavor or a fruit flavor.

"They're not gonna like sardine," Jodie adds. But she's not too worried. She suggests he try again. "We've got lots of milk and cream," she tells him.

"Well, uh, no, actually Jodie, we're out."

"We're what?"

"Out."

"Sam, I ordered enough supplies to make 200 liters of ice cream."

"Well, actually it came to 203 liters."

"Oh, Sam, you didn't!" cries Jeff.

"Oh no, you mean - it's all sardine?" Muffy gasps.

That's it all right. But Jodie tells them all not to panic. At least Mrs. Frimble doesn't know about it yet. Jeff thinks she'd probably think this was the biggest mistake of the night and fire all of them.

But, unfortunately, Sam has already left a sample for her.

"Sam," says Jodie urgently, "If I were you, I would get up to her brother's office right away. I mean, maybe she hasn't tasted it yet and you could get it away from her."

"Hey look, well, maybe she'll like it," says Sam hopefully.

He is met by the dubious stares of the others.

"All right, I'm on my way. Oh, boy!"

So Sam goes to the office and knocks. Mrs. Frimble isn't in. On the desk is an undisturbed cup of sardine ice cream, with little fish tails sticking out of it. Sam picks it up and is about to leave when Mrs. Frimble arrives.

"Crenshaw!" she barks, "I've counted 78 mistakes in this store so far. My brother will be hearing about this first thing in the morning. What's this? Snacking on the job, Crenshaw?"

"Oh, this? Well, actually it's something I made up for the children's department, Mrs. Frimble."

"Well, pardon me, my mistake," says Mrs. Frimble. She grabs the sample. "Thank you very much, excuse me," she says, and tries to get around Sam who keeps moving to block her entrance. "Mercy sakes, Crenshaw get out of the way!" she shouts. Sam moves and she disappears into her office with the sample.

"This calls for Plan B!" says Sam.

In the children's department, Jeff and Jodie are sitting in the ice cream parlor display, waiting for Sam. He walks past them.

"Sam, Sam, did you get there before the - um, Sam?" says Jeff as he rushes by.

"Sam, where're you going?" Jodie asks.

"Sorry, Jodie, Jeff, I don't have time to talk now!" He calls behind him.

"Jodie, you don't think he was fired, do you?"

"Oh no, I don't think . . ." says Jodie. She is brought up short by Sam going back the way he came, dressed in his detective costume. They watch him go by, look at each other and say, in unison,

"Must be Plan B."

Thus attired, Sam knocks on Mrs. Frimble's door and introduces himself as Cam the Detective. He's looking for a small cup of ice cream, he explains, resting his hand right on the cup.

"Your hand is in it," says Mrs. Frimble.

"Oh! So it is! I noticed the cold. That's the cup! That's the one I'm looking for." He begins backing towards the door. "Thank you! You've been very helpful. Sure appreciate it. Thank you again, Mrs. Frimble," he says and then he closes the door.

Mrs. Frimble stares after him for a moment. Then she says, "He's going on the list!"

Muffy, Jodie and Jeff are waiting anxiously for Sam.

"I hope Sam's all right," says Jodie.

"Me too," says Jeff.

"Me, three," says Muffy.

Then Sam walks in, humming a happy tune and carrying the ice cream sample.

"Oh Sam, you did it!" says Jodie.

"Way to go Sam!" adds Jeff.

"Yay, Sam, hooray, you saved the day!" Muffy exults.

"Aw, Muffy, it takes more than a Dixie cup full of ice cream to stymie Sam Crenshaw!"

"How about 200 liters of it?" Jeff asks wryly.

"Yeah, that'll just about do it, Jeff," Sam says. Everyone laughs. "Mrs. Frimble will never get to taste this, she'll never suspect . . ."

"CRENSHAW!" comes the bellow of Mrs. Frimble.

"Oh! Thunderin' buffaloes here she comes!" Sam says.

"Uh-huh! Aha! I thought that was you in that getup. Playing dress up on the job, Crenshaw?"

Sam tries to answer.

"Well I really don't have time to chat, I've just come to taste that ice cream that you're serving tomorrow. Ah! There's one right there. Jolly good!" She gets ready to dig in.

"Mrs. Frimble, stop, please, a minute, please!" says Sam.

"What is it, Crenshaw?"

"Well, uh, look, I haven't exactly had a chance to put in the peanut butter chips yet, it wouldn't taste good without it." he says.

"Oh, rubbish! Besides, I don't even like peanut butter chips," says Mrs. Frimble and begins to spoon it up.

"St-st-st-stop!" says Jeff. "It looks like it's melted a bit, Mrs. Frimble, why don't we wait until tomorrow and give you a fresh cup."

"I'll try it now!" Mrs. Frimble insists, digging in again.

Now everyone cries, "STOP!"

"What IS going on here?" Mrs. Frimble demands.

All at once, everyone tries to protect Sam by telling her that this was all their fault, but Sam hushes them.

"Mrs. Frimble, it's my fault. I made the ice cream and you see my tastes aren't exactly ordinary . . ." he begins, but Mrs. Frimble takes a taste before he can finish. An odd look comes on her face.

"Sardine?" she asks.

"Oh, boy, oh, boy," says Sam dejectedly. "Yeah, sardine."

"Why, that's my favorite flavor, now how on earth did you know that?"

"Bumblin' banana bread, I didn't!"

"Well, this is wonderful! Mmm! Marvelous! Delicious! Jodie, I don't care what flavors you serve here, you just make sure you have sardine when I come back with my brother tomorrow."

Jodie is amazed. "I certainly will, Mrs. Frimble - and to think, we all thought it was a horrible mistake!"

"Mistake? Well! If that's how one mistake can turn out, I'm prepared to put up with rest!" Mrs. Frimble says, tossing her list of mistakes into the air. Then she sings, "I've tried new flavors on the scene, like Swiss vanilla lima bean, but my favorite is sardine, at your ice cream store."

"If I try it once more, then I'll judge, until then . . ." sings Jeff.

"We know! Hot fudge!" the others cry.

"Right," Jeff replies.

"We'll have flavors by the score, for kids from one to 94. Now there's going to be one more, in our ice cream store!" they all sing, including Mrs. Frimble.

After the song, a now cheerful Mrs. Frimble says, "Well! I only wish you had a little extra I could take home with me!"

"Well," says Sam, "How big's your freezer?"

Everyone laughs.


Quizzes:

  • We see a drawing of Jeff going for a mountain hike. Which mountain is actually a giant hot fudge sundae? Once we find it, we hear a noise like something falling from the sky. It turns out to be a big cherry for the top of the mountain. "Happy hiking, Jeff," says TXL.
  • We see another picture of Jeff. This time, he's making strawberry ice cream. There are five things in the kitchen he'll need. Do you remember what they are? (We scan the shelves to find milk, cream, sugar, strawberries and an ice cream maker or freezer). "If you remembered all those, you deserve an ice cream cone," says TXL. Pop! One appears in Jeff's hand.
  • The queen in the picture has an ice cream cone. What three things in this picture rhyme with cone? (Phone, throne, the dog's bone.)

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • In the store newsletter, there is a picture of Mrs. Frimble and her brother, the unnamed store owner. It seems his picture was created using a picture of her, which was then cropped and altered to look like a man.
  • Why does Jeff sing "flavor" in an overly elegant style and roll the "r" at the end? My guess is that he was singing in the old-fashioned barbershop style that matched the era of Jodie's old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
  • Interestingly, eggs are never listed as an ingredient in ice cream, though many ice creams contain them. Perhaps the fear of salmonella made the writers cautious about encouraging kids to put raw eggs into their ice cream.
  • When the idea of sardine ice cream hits Sam, I swear I see a big grin on his face. Bob Dermer accomplished this, I believe, with a combination of his voice and some puppet sleight of hand that I can't quite discern.
  • Jayne Eastwood and Nerene Virgin had previously worked together on the mini-series "Ramona," in which Jayne Eastwood played Ramona's teacher Mrs. Whaley, and Nerene Virgin played the school principal, Mrs. Larson.
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