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1987

Locks

Sam is removing a lock from a door and handing it to Jeff. He explains that the lock-and-key system is being replaced by a computerized card system. He demonstrates by sliding a card into a slot on the door. Nothing happens. He slides the card in the other way. Still, nothing happens. Then he remembers that he has to hook up the new system to the computer before it works.

"At least I think I have to hook it up to the computer system, unless I, uh, oh, whatever! It's still a great new system!"

"Yup! It sure is Sam, and it'll make your job a lot easier, too," says Jeff.

"Oh, oh it certainly will, Jeff, because, well, a big part of my job is seeing that thing are locked up securely." Then he sings, "When you want to know for certain something special is secure, lock it up, lock it up, and then you'll always be sure! Lock it up, lock it up, with the card it's not hard to lock it up."

"Lock it up, lock it up, turn the key, look at me and lock it up!" Jeff sings in reply.

Meanwhile Muffy is also collecting locks and keys for Sam. "But here's one key that stays with me," she says, showing us a tiny key. "It opens up my diary. This little book is filled with rhyme about some very private times!" She puts the key in her dress pocket, but when she leans over to pick up the box of locks she has been collecting, the key falls out of her pocket and in with the others.

Even locker locks are being replaced. Jodie and Mrs. Pennypacker are in the stockroom where Mrs. Pennypacker is removing her combination lock. "You know, this old combination lock always reminds me of the prince of Balahad. He gave me the key to his castle once, but unfortunately I lost it while swimming across the moat."

Jodie asks if she ever worries about forgetting the combination.

"Oh no! I have a system to remind me of the numbers . . . first I remember the year I yakked my way across the Yukon, that's 1952. And then I remember the number of freckles on my father's left arm, that' 29, so 19 52 29." Jodie dials the numbers and sure enough, the lock opens. Jodie suggests they bring the lock upstairs, and then she has her own work to get done.

She sings, "If there's something quite important, that you don't want to be found. Lock it up, lock it up, and you'll keep it safe and sound! Lock it up, lock it up, with the key you can see how to lock it up."

"Lock it up, lock it up," sings Mrs. Pennypacker, "Turn the dial with a smile and lock it up."

Soon Sam, Jeff, Muffy, Mrs. Pennypacker and Jodie are converging on the children's department, all singing about locks.

"Lock up the store at the close of day," sings Sam.

"Lock up the house when you go away," Jeff adds.

"Lock up your money so it can't be found," sings Jodie.

"And lock up the cat when I'm around!" sings Muffy.

"Lock it up, lock it up, lock it up!" they sing, in beautiful multi-part harmony.

There are now several large boxes full of locks and keys in the children's department. Mrs. Pennypacker says they need to store them in the stockroom until they're sure Sam's new security system works.

"Right. All these heavy b-," Sam says, and stops short. "Oh, well, um, speaking of security systems, I must go down to the computer room and start workin' on it right now, so, toodle-oo see ya later!" he says, making a hasty retreat. Muffy also quickly excuses herself, leaving only Jeff and Jodie to help move the boxes.

"Mrs. Pennypacker," protests Jodie, "Jeff and I were going to work on my display. You see my boss is coming in early in the morning to see how it looks and, well, I wanted to do an extra special job." She pauses. "But..."

"But probably we can do that right after we help Mrs. Pennypacker, right Jodie?" Jeff finishes her thought.

"Right, Jeff."

"Terrific!" says Mrs. Pennypacker. Each of them carries one box. Jodie nearly drops her box, it's so heavy, and even Jeff is struggling under his load. Mrs. Pennypacker, however, is holding hers with one hand.

"Mrs. Pennypacker!" gasps Jodie, "Doesn't that box seem heavy to you?"

"Well, no actually, I've always had strong arms. It comes from teaching sumo wrestling back - well, I was very young of course, but - strength endures!"

In the computer room, Sam is acquainting himself with the key card manual. He is sliding cards into a slot on his desk to see what they do. He slides a card in and pushes a button. A red light flashes, meaning that all the doors to the outside are locked. Then he presses some more keys and a blue light flashes, meaning that the doors inside the store are locked. Another sequence makes the green light flash, which means all the doors everywhere are unlocked.

TXL asks about the yellow light, but Sam isn't sure what it does yet. He decides to examine the red light first, but when he pushes buttons, the yellow light flashes instead. Pandemonium ensues.

"What does it do?" yells TXL over the din.

"Well, I have no idea! It makes my closets go haywire and makes your lights flash and makes the siren go off!"

"If I may point out, it also locked your door!" TXL shouts. We see the red light flashing on the card slot next to Sam's door. So Sam takes the card out of the slot on the desk. The siren stops, the closets close, and his door unlocks.

"Wow! I wonder what else happened when that yellow light went on?" Sam wonders.

TXL advises him to check his instructions before proceeding further.

Suddenly, her side slot opens and out slides a small pile of fish.

"Wow! School's out!" says Sam. "Yeah, you know, I think there's something fishy about these instructions, TXL."

In the meantime, Jeff and Jodie are leaving the stockroom on their way to work on Jodie's display. But the door won't open. There's a red light flashing over the key slot next to the door.

"Oh no, Sam's working on his new security system." says Jodie.

"Oh, is it working?" asks Mrs. Pennypacker.

"It's working all right," says Jeff.

"Yeah, it's working so well that we're all locked in here," Jodie tells her.

"Oh, dear!" says Mrs. Pennypacker.

"You can say that again," says Jeff.

"Oh, dear!" Mrs. Pennypacker repeats.

Jodie and Jeff look at us, and then smile and shake their heads at Mrs. Pennypacker.

Back in the computer room, Sam is on the phone. "Yes sir. Yes I'll see that she gets the message. Righty-o. Roger over and out!" he says, and hangs up. But instead of hanging the phone on the hook, he absent mindedly places it on top of the fish on TXL's side slot. Then he returns to the key card manual and reads that he is supposed to put card A into slot B, being very careful not to touch input C with finger D. He's stymied by a reference to "intermitttent pulsation" and begins looking for a glossary.

"Well, that seems quite straightforward to me," says TXL.

"Yeah, I'm sure it is, TXL," he says, and then mutters, "Your system probably wrote this manual."

"There's no need to snap Mr. Crenshaw. I'm sure you can figure it all out. With my help."

But Sam wants to do it on his own, at least at first, if she doesn't mind.

TXL assures him she doesn't mind at all, and that she'll just occupy herself with a story. As she tells the story, we see the pictures.

It's the story of a baby bear named Boswell who lived in a very nice zoo with other friendly bears, but he was not happy. More than anything, he longed to be part of the world outside his cage, which seemed much nicer than his own. Every day, the zookeeper opened the gate to feed the bears. Every day, Boswell dreamed he would forget to lock it back up again. Then, one day, it happened! There was his doorway to the outside world! All the other bears were too busy eating to notice, but Boswell ran right through the open gate. Eventually, he stopped running and noticed some other animals running by. (They were cars). He tried to talk to them, but they wouldn't stop. Finally, he found one of them standing still. He tried to make friends, but to no avail. The strange animal didn't even blink an eye. (Its headlight). By now, Boswell was hungry, so the smell of a nearby bakery caught his attention. He hurried in. The smells were wonderful, and the people seemed friendly. That is, until they saw Boswell. Then they screamed and pointed at him. (The adults look terrified, but one little girl is giggling). Then Boswell saw two men coming towards him with a net. So he began running as fast as he could. (One of the men with the net has tripped as Boswell, donut flying, escapes). He ran and ran until finally he saw his own cage. Thrilled, he ran inside and shut the door behind him.

"And from that day on," TXL says, "Boswell never worried about being in his cage locked away from the outside world. He was just glad the outside world was locked out of his cage!"

By now, Muffy has discovered that her diary key is missing and is tearing her room apart, tossing things here and there, looking for it. She worries that her diary may be locked forever, or even worse, that someone has stolen the key and plans to read her diary. "Oh! I guess I better hunt some more. Maybe it dropped here on the floor!" She continues her search.

Still locked in the stockroom, Mrs. Pennypacker is saying, "Oh dear, this is terrible!"

Jodie adds, "This is awful."

"This is awfully terrible!" says Mrs. Pennypacker.

"This is terribly awful!" says Jodie.

"I don't know what you're so upset about. We're just locked in the stockroom," says Jeff calmly.

"Jeff, you don't understand," says Jodie.

"You don't understand at all," Mrs. Pennypacker agrees.

"What don't I understand?"

"WE ARE LOCKED IN THIS STOCKROOM!" the two women cry.

"What's so terrible about that?" asks Jeff.

"Well, for one thing, if I don't get my display done before my boss gets here I have no idea what's going to happen!" says Jodie.

"And that's nothing compared to what will happen to me if I'm late for Mr. Yamoto's class . . . let's just say that the last person who kept him waiting got a job in the circus as a human pretzel!" Mrs. Pennypacker says, turning her neck to the side.

Jeff chuckles. He's sure Sam will get them out in no time.

"Oh, Jeff, you're probably right," says Jodie. "But it's funny how knowing you can't get out of a place can be so difficult to get used to."

"You mean like the way I can't leave the store," says Jeff.

"Oh!" says Jodie. "I never really thought about it that way Jeff. I'm sorry."

"Don't feel sorry for me, Jodie. I leave the store all the time!"

Mrs. Pennypacker gasps. "You'd better not let Waldo the Impulsive find out! He'll uncast his spell!"

Jeff explains that he leaves the store through his imagination.

"There's no place I know of that I cannot be," he sings, "As long as I let my ideas run free!" He dances to the center of the floor. "I lock up my worries and leave them behind, that's when I unlock the doors of my mind, unlock the door, unlock the door . . ." he mimes opening a door, which Jodie then steps through. As he sings of all the places he can go, he and Jodie dance together briefly, and then a door appears. Jeff steps through singing, "See all that awaits you, the whole world and more!" He waves goodbye to Jodie and Mrs. Pennypacker.

"All things you've imagined are waiting for you!" he sings, now dancing in a room full of huge toys and giant candy. When he comes back into the stockroom, the door turns itself over and over until it becomes a gold key in Jeff's hand. "Unlock the door!" he finishes, on a lovely high note.

Back in her apartment, Muffy, her hair filled with debris, has finally given up looking for her key, thinking it must've been stolen. "But who'd want an old fashioned key made of tin?" she wonders to herself. "It's not like the new locks that Sam's putting in. - That's it! My key must've gone to the stockroom I guess. I'll go there and find out!" She looks around. "And then I'll clean up this mess!"

In the stockroom, a casual comment by Jeff reminds Jodie that they can call Sam on the stockroom telephone. But, as we've seen earlier, Sam has the phone off the hook, on top of the fish, as he wrestles with the instruction manual for his key card system, so Jodie gets a busy signal.

Jeff is still optimistic. Sam will be off the phone soon enough, he'll get the new security system working and they'll be out of there in plenty of time to finish her display.

"Well, I hope so, Jeff, because I've only got an hour before my boss arrives and, well, if I don't get my display done - I don't even want to think about this!"

Mrs. Pennypacker tries to comfort her. "Oh, Jeffrey's right, Jodie, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Sam knows we're here and is just trying to figure out how this new system works. And you know how good Sam is with electronic things."

"OH!" groans Jodie. "I think this calls for drastic measures."

"Like what?" asks Jeff.

"Like: HELP!"

"HELP!" Mrs. Pennypacker joins in.

"Help, we're locked in here!" shouts Jodie.

"HELP! WE'RE TRAPPED! H-E-E-E-E-E-LP!" shrieks Mrs. Pennypacker so hysterically that Jodie stops to stare.

Meanwhile Muffy has arrived at the stockroom door, on a quest to find her key. She finds the doorway locked, but then she hears a shriek from Mrs. Pennypacker. By now, Jodie and Jeff are both trying to calm her down.

"Mrs. Pennypacker now, listen, listen, listen. I think I heard something!" says Jeff.

"Oh, that was me shouting, dear," she answers with perfect calm before shrieking, "HELP!" again.

"No, Mrs. Pennypacker, listen. Listen! Is somebody there?" Jeff calls out towards the door.

"Yes!" says Muffy, who has climbed to the window. "It's me! Can't you get free?"

"No, no, we can't Muffy," calls Jodie. "Go and tell Sam that we're locked in here and hurry, please!"

So Muffy races off to the computer room. There, Sam is still trying to decipher the instructions.

"Oh, I don't know, TXL, for all the directions are worth I might as well be readin' em upside down."

"I'm sorry to have to tell you, Mr. Crenshaw, but - you are!" TXL says.

Sam peers closer and realizes she's right. "I guess I should be wearing my glasses. No wonder I couldn't figure out the security system."

Muffy hurries in. "Well, you better try, Sam, and right this minute! The stockroom's locked and our friends are in it!"

"What? You mean Mrs. Pennypacker's in the stockroom and she can't get out?"

"Yeah, and Jeff and Jodie are too, I heard them shout!"

So Sam brings up the stockroom on his computer monitor and talks to the group over the PA system. Seeing their predicament, Sam inserts a card and pushes a few buttons. Jeff pushes open the door. It works! "You did it, Sam!" says Jeff. The ladies cheer.

But TXL tells Sam that he's now locked in his room. When he pulls the card out, the group in the stockroom are locked in again.

"If I unlock your door, I lock myself in here," Sam explains. "Hold on, and I'll try to figure this out."

It becomes a quiz. TXL explains that when Sam opens the stockroom door by putting the key card in, he locks himself and Muffy in. When he takes it out, the stockroom is locked. (This is depicted in a drawing in which we see two card slots, one has a red light on, the other a green light.) "How are they ever going to get themselves out of this situation. Can you figure it out?" TXL asks.

Sam and Muffy can't, at first. Then Muffy says, "I've thought and thought and my mind's in knots. I think we'll have to take turns coming up with thoughts."

"Take turns? That's it, Muffy, take turns!" exclaims Sam. "Jeff, Jodie, Mrs. Pennypacker, when you see the green light flash, open the door and don't close it until you're all safely out . . . after you get your door open, I'll pull the card back out and that should unlock my door and then we'll all be free!"

"Sam, you're a genius!" says Jeff.

"Well, I don't know about that, Jeff. Let's just see if this works first!" Sam says modestly. Of course, it does work, and soon, everyone's free!

In the stockroom, Jeff suggests they get the boxes of locks and bring them upstairs again. Then it's off to the children's department, where, as Jodie says, "There are no doors and better still, no locks!"

"Well," says TXL, as she shows a picture of both card slots with green lights shining, "Sam sure did a good job of solving that problem. Now everyone can get out of their rooms. Did you figure it out, too? I always knew you were clever."

When everyone meets in the children's department, Sam wonders why they brought back the boxes of locks.

"Well, we thought we'd bring the locks back Sam, because, well the security system didn't work too well, did it?"

"Well, uh, it really wasn't that bad, was it?" Everyone just stares. Jodie sighs and shakes her head.

"You know I'll betcha something good's gonna come out of all this!" Sam insists.

He's answered with silence.

"Look, you have to admit it was pretty exciting there for a few minutes, Mrs. Pennypacker, wasn't it?"

"Well," she says, "It may have been exciting but this situation almost made me late for my wrestling class with Mr. Yamoto and if that had happened, let's just say it wouldn't have been a pretty sight."

"No, and I should've been working on my display, my boss is going to be here in . . ." Jodie looks at her watch. Her eyes widen. "Fifteen minutes!"

This starts a commotion. Jeff and Muffy begin asking what they can do to help and Jodie begins directing them. Everyone is talking at once.

Sam whistles for attention. "Now hold it! I told you some good was gonna come out of this!" He explains that Jodie's boss called earlier to say he tried to come in, but his old key wouldn't work in the door. "So he won't be coming in until regular store hours."

"Oh, Sam! You're a life saver!" says Jodie.

"Well, I wouldn't say that, exactly, Jodie, but uh, would it be all right if I still went ahead with my security system?"

Jodie shrugs. "I guess so. What do you guys think?"

"Well, I'm in favor as long as you read those instructions all the way through," says Mrs. Pennypacker. Sam promises he will.

"I think we should keep the new security system," Jeff says, "I mean, it would be a lot better than trying to figure out where all these go!" He walks over to the boxes of locks and picks up a key. "I mean, would you look at this? I wonder what this tiny little key is used for?"

Muffy exclaims, "Oh, Jeff! That's the key to my diary! Oh, you're so clever, and I thought that I'd lost it forever and ever!"

Jodie suggests that she can write all about what happened in her diary and lock it up when she's done.

"Lock it up, lock it up, you can't look in my book if I lock it up!" Muffy sings.

"Lock up the store with a special key," sings Sam.

"Lock up the store for security!" adds Jeff.

"Lock up my book with a key of tin," sings Muffy.

"And lock up my room but don't lock me in!" sings Mrs. Pennypacker.

"Lock it up, lock it up, lock it up!" they all sing in unison.


Quizzes:

  • None

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • What an interesting story about Mrs. Pennypacker's aborted romance with the "prince of Balahad." Almost too spicy for a children's show? Perhaps that's why they had her lose the key.
  • Mrs. Pennypacker first says she has strong arms because she taught sumo wrestling a very long time ago. Somehow that changes into her being a current sumo wrestling student with a Mr. Yamoto.
  • Sam's comment about the three fish, "School's out!" is followed by a rimshot (a snare drum playing Ta-dum!)
  • Sam's key card manual is clearly upside down when he's talking on the phone with Jodie's boss, during which time he seems to be reading it just fine.
  • Jodie's boss must have arrived over an hour early if he tried to get in while Jodie was locked in the stockroom.
  • In this story, it's Jeff who is the calm one, reassuring Jodie and Mrs. Pennypacker, who are usually the ones reassuring him. Since this is the next-to-last episode of the show, it's an appropriate demonstration of how much Jeff has grown in the years since he first got his hat.
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