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1987

Memories

In the children's department, Jodie is showing the others a sign she has painted for the "Favourite Memories Contest," and Sam tells her she could have been a professional sign painter.

"Why, that's what I wanted to be when I was a little girl!" Mrs. Pennypacker says. "That was just before I wanted to be a tightrope walker and just after I wanted to be an ear, nose and foot doctor."

The winner of the contest, which is for all those who work in the store, will win a camera.

Jodie explains that everyone will write out their favorite memories, then there'll be a big party where all the entries will be read. Then everyone will vote on which one they like best.

"Memory lane!" says Sam, "Count on the store owner to come up with an idea like that for an annual party."

"It's going to be fun just trying to decide which memory is our favorite," says Mrs. Pennypacker.

"Yeah," Jodie agrees, "There's really nothing quite as nice as thinking about all the good times that we've had." She gets up onto the counter with Jeff and Muffy on one side, Sam and Mrs. Pennypacker on the other side, and begins to sing, "Thinkin' back on days gone by could bring a teardrop to your eye. It's not that memories'll make you sad but they're happy tears, for all the years, and all the good times we've had. Remember the good times, remember those smiles from one back when. Remember the good times and you can relive them once again. Whenever you need a lift, it's like a gift that never goes away. Remember the good times and yesterday's good times will bring you a brand new smile today."

"Hey Sam," says Jeff, "What good memories do you remember?"

Sam recalls his first day in the merchant marines, (which we see in a drawing), when his captain told him to be the lookout in the crow's nest. For half an hour, he was looking for a real bird's nest, until a crew mate explained it was a platform high on the main mast.

Muffy remembers the day "a parade came to town, and my dad helped me meet the world's tallest clown!" (We see a drawing of Muffy's dad, introducing her to a clown on stilts).

Mrs. Pennypacker remembers playing skip rope with the Countess of Macaroon when a stray kangaroo wandered into the courtyard "and showed us all a thing or two about skipping!" (A picture shows the kangaroo helping Mrs. Pennypacker turn the jump rope).

They finish the song, and then they all rush off to work on their stories, except Jeff, who is left alone in the children's department.

Later, Jeff comes into the stockroom, where Mrs. Pennypacker is going through her things. She pulls out an exotic looking necklace. She tells Jeff that her memory for the contest will be about her meeting with Algernon Alsworthy. "Oh, Allie! He was one of the greatest adventurers of all time."

"Did he give you this?" Jeff asks.

"Yes!" she breathes. "Well, I'll have you know I saved his life once! . . . It was very funny how it happened."

It happened when she was on safari in Lowerfrania, a land very rich in treasures.

(Flashback)


Mrs. Pennypacker's voice narrates as we see her, on safari, looking, with her binoculars, for the great white-nosed rhino. She had wandered for three days and was about to give up when she suddenly saw something big, white and round.

"If this isn't the great white-nosed rhino then I'm a polka dot orangutan!" she says. But when she lowers the binoculars she realizes it's the safari hat of someone who looks just like Jeff, but with thick eyebrows, a mustache and a monocle. At first she's startled, but then she recognizes him. Captain Algernon Alsworthy, I presume!" she says.

"At your service'm," he says in a pinched sounding British accent.

"It's such a pleasure to meet you!" says Mrs. Pennypacker.

"I say, aren't you the famous Mrs. Pennypacker?"

"I am indeed."

"Well, then, my dear, the pleasure is all mine!" says Alsworthy, kissing her hand. Mrs. Pennypacker giggles and wiggles her fingers, hinting for another kiss, which she gets. Then Alsworthy explains that he's in Lowerfrania looking for the lost treasure of King Karuf. "But I must say, so far, I've had no luck."

Mrs. Pennypacker explains that she's been looking for the great white-nosed rhino without any luck either. "I've looked that way," she says, pointing with her binoculars towards the left, "and I've looked that way," she says, pointing to the right, hitting Alsworthy in the stomach. He falls to the ground.

"Oh! I'm very sorry, are you all right?"

"Yes! Yes, yes, by George, I think it is!" says Alsworthy, moving aside some flora, "Why, Mrs. Pennypacker, you've found my treasure!" Indeed, it was hidden right where he fell. As he inspects it, an arrow flies overhead and into a tree nearby.

"Mrs. Pennypacker, do you realize what you have just done?" Alsworthy says, standing up.

"Yes. I've given you a terrible blow to the stomach and I'm terribly sorry about it."

"No no no no no no no no no not that! No! First of all, you've helped me find my treasure, and then, then you saved my life from those nasty Lowerfranians!" he says, looking at the arrow in the tree.

"Now, now, Captain, the Lowerfranians are a lovely people."

"And what about that arrow?"

"An inexperienced member of the Lowerfranian bow and arrow club. After all, this is the third day of their competition."

"I thought that only lasted two days."

"Oh, my, you're right." Mrs. Pennypacker says, "Besides, it was being held over there!" Once again she knocks the captain down with her binoculars as she points. While he's on the ground, another arrow hits the tree just under the first.

"My, my dear Mrs. Pennypacker," says Alsworthy, "I insist that you have one of these pendants as a reward." He hands her the necklace, from the treasure he just found. "But first, there is something that we must do."

"Oh!" says Mrs. Pennypacker, holding out her hand. Gallantly, Alsworthy obliges and kisses it, but his mustache comes off and sticks to her hand. "What's that, Captain Alsworthy?" she asks.

"Get OUT of here!" he says, and after a bit of bumbling, they rush off together.

(End flashback)


"Oh, that was a great story, Mrs. Pennypacker," Jeff exclaims, "You know, I almost felt like I was right there with you. I'll bet you're going to win the contest!"

"Oh, Jeffrey! Now I'm sure everyone has wonderful memories of their past too!"

"Yeah, well, I'm sure everyone does, Mrs. Pennypacker," Jeff says quietly, handing her the pendant. "We'll see you later," he adds, walking away somewhat abruptly.

"Oh! Goodbye - Jeffrey," says Mrs. Pennypacker in a puzzled way. She turns to us. "Did Jeffrey sound a little sad to you? You know, I never thought of it before, but Jeffrey probably doesn't have any nice memories of places like Lowerfrania because he's never been out of the store!"

Meanwhile, Jeff has returned to the children's department where Jodie is sitting looking at a book and smiling fondly. Jeff comes up to her. "Must be a good book," he says.

"Oh!" says Jodie, a bit surprised. "Yeah, it is, Jeff."

She doesn't offer any more, so Jeff prods her, "Doesn't look like a normal book, though."

"No, no, it's a scrapbook," Jodie explains. She's using it to choose her favorite memory. She shows Jeff pictures of herself as a little girl. "There are all sorts of things in here," she says, turning the page. "Oh, no!"

"What?"

"Well, this is me going to my first high school dance."

"Oh, you look nervous."

"Oh I was Jeff, I was scared! Well, I really didn't know Gerald, that's the boy who asked me, so I didn't know what we were going to talk about."

"Did it turn out okay.?" asks Jeff.

"Oh yeah, but at first I thought I'd made a terrible mistake by saying yes!"

(Flashback)


Jodie is wearing a lacy peach gown with a full skirt. "Gerald" (Jeff again), is wearing a white tuxedo jacket and glasses, and he has little pieces of tissue on his face where he cut himself shaving. He hands Jodie some punch.

"Gee this really looks like good punch," says Jodie.

"I hope so," says Gerald, in a nasal voice. "I'm not sure I picked the right kind. Judging punch is not the thing I do best."

"Oh, I'm sure it's just fine," says Jodie. They both look around nervously. "So! Have you seen any good movies lately?"

"No. Going to the movies is not the thing I do best." says Gerald.

"Well, what about books? Have you read any good books lately?"

"No. No, reading books is not the thing I do best," says Gerald, looking very uneasy.

"Well, uh, did you try out for the football team?"

"No. No, playing football is not the thing I do best," says Gerald, as Jodie mouths it along with him.

Jodie puts down her punch. "Well, I guess that - you probably wouldn't want to dance, would you?"

"Oh! But that's the thing I do best!" says Gerald. He drains his punch glass and tosses it away. In a moment, they're both on the floor, dancing away. The music segues into the song we heard earlier. Jodie sings as the other kids gather around, "Whenever you need a lift, it's like a gift that never goes away,"

"Remember the goo-ood times and yesterday's goo-ood times," sings Gerald more enthusiastically than tunefully, then together they sing, "will bring you a brand new smile, today." Gerald puts his arms around Jodie, their faces touch and we fade out.

(End flashback)


In the children's department, Jeff and Jodie are cheek to cheek in a similar position.

"So, I guess your first date with Gerald turned out all right after all."

"Yeah, it sure did. Oh! And we won the dance contest!"

"That's a great memory Jodie. I mean, it's totally different from Mrs. Pennypacker's but - well, it could still win the contest."

"Well, I guess everybody's favorite memories are different, Jeff."

"Yeah," Jeff says, sounding wistful again. "I guess they are different, Jodie. We'll see you later," he says, and then he walks away.

Jodie looks at us. "I wonder if Jeff is feeling left out with all of our talk about memories," she says. She bites her lip.

In the computer room, Sam is going through his old sea chest. He finds a plunger with an emergency horn attached to it. Next, he pulls out his hip boot shoe horn, which seems to go on forever as he keeps pulling it out. "I gotta get a shorter shoe horn or some longer hip boots or somethin'," he mumbles to himself. "Won't be needin' that for a couple of days." He keeps digging through the chest, saying he must be getting close and doesn't see Jeff come in. When Jeff asks him what he's getting close to, Sam is startled.

He explains that the chest is full of memories, but there's one particular thing that he's looking for. A big, shiny metal thing with a safety pin on the end of it. "Ouch! Mmm. There it is, I found it!" he says, and pulls out a medal.

"Wow! How did you get that?"

Sam modestly says it was really nothing and tells Jeff it's written on the medal.

"For bravery," reads Jeff.

"Extreme bravery, I think it says," Sam interjects.

"Right. 'For extreme bravery above and beyond the call of duty, this medal is presented to Sam Crenshaw from General Alvin Cooper.'"

"Just on the edge there," prompts Sam.

Jeff reads the edge. "Thwait. Cooper-thwait. Cooperthwait. Whoth that Tham?"

Sam laughs. "Well, that's all part of the story." It happened when he was back in the merchant marines. As he tells the story, we see drawings depicting it.

Sam was on the night watch on a dark and stormy night, and trying to hold onto the wheel was a little like trying to hold onto a runaway horse. But Sam was managing. Suddenly, he saw a flare. Curious, he took the ship off course to see what was out there. Soon he saw a lone figure on a life raft. Sam called out, "Ahoy there! Who are you?"

"Alvin Cooperthwait!" called a voice. (It sounds just like Jeff's).

"I'll get you off of the raft!" Sam calls to him.

But how? He was alone on deck. If he let go of the wheel to help, the ship might capsize.

"Then I noticed a coil of rope at my feet. Why, that was just what I needed!" He tied the rope to the wheel and looped it around his waist so he could leave the wheel without really letting go of it. He then took the rope end and tossed it over the side and hauled the man aboard. (In the picture, we finally see the face of Alvin Cooperthwait and (no surprise here), he looks just like Jeff). It turned out that the man was a general, and very important in the armed forces. A week later, there was a special ceremony just for Sam. "I pin this medal on you," Cooperthwait said (with Jeff's voice), "In recognition of your brave deed, and with it I add my deepest thanks."

In the picture, under flying flags, we see Cooperthwait standing next to Sam. Both of them are smiling as Cooperthwait pins on the medal. "When we get back Jeff is standing next to Sam in the same pose, and then he pins the medal on Sam's coat.

"I never realized I was so close to a real hero before," Jeff says.

"Well, I wouldn't really go that far, Jeff, but uh, it is kind of nice to think about that."

"Well, you sure have a great favorite memory for the contest!"

"Yeah, thank you, Jeff."

"Well, I'll see you later, Sam."

When Jeff leaves, Sam says, "Gosh I hope Jeff doesn't feel badly about hearing everybody else's memories. Hmm. You know, he just might."

He then decides to put his medal away, but he can't find it. (It's pinned to his coat).

"Emergency! Emergency!" he cries, tapping TXL's buttons and setting his closets spinning. "Oh! Somebody's stolen my . . . someone's stolen my medal! It was right here on my . . ." he points over to the left and spots his medal, but the bedlam continues behind him. "Stop! Stop! Stop! I found it!" he says, hitting the keys again.

Up in the children's department, Muffy is standing with a graduation cap on her head and a diploma in her hand. "This strange looking hat is a symbol that I'm very, very smart. But to me, it's also a sign of a moment so fine, in which I played a part."

Jeff walks in and wonders why Muffy is wearing the funny hat. Muffy explains that it looks funny, but it means a lot to her.

"Is this one of your favorite memories?"

"Oh! It's one of the best for this contest!" says Muffy. Jeff asks her to tell it to him.

"It was a wonderful sight, my graduation night," she begins, "We'd learned as much as they could teach. But best of all - as I recall - I was asked to make a speech."

(Flashback)


Muffy, in cap and gown, is standing at a lectern speaking of the wonderful memories she and her classmates will always have of "these lovely Mouse High halls." Above her head is a heavy sign which reads "Year of the Cheddar." She ends her speech "with a call for all to stand and repeat with me please, 'may we always have cheese, and may cats one fine day be banned!'"

Everyone cheers, and out comes the principal (it's Jeff, made up to look like a mouse). He's there to give Muffy an award for outstanding rhyming ability, but as he is talking, the heavy sign above him begins to creak and sway.

"Oh! I need to shout! Please, look out!" cries Muffy, pushing the principal out of harm's way just as the sign comes down.

"Well," says the principal, getting up. "This only proves what an exceptional mouse Muffy really is. And so, would like to present an extra special award, Mouse High's greatest award, the Mozzarella Award." He hands her a mouse made of cheese attached to a wooden stand. Everyone cheers.

(End flashback)


Jeff is standing next to Muffy in the same pose as she was in with the principal as he handed her the award. He commends her on her bravery.

"Oh, I don't think I was really brave. Thinking fast really made the save."

Jeff still thinks it was great. "But what happened to your trophy?" he asks. It's sitting there, but it's only the wooden stand. The mouse is gone.

"Well, I guess the old phrase is very true. You can't eat your cheese and have it too!" They laugh.

"I guess so, Muffy, but you sure have a great story to write about for the memory contest!"

Muffy agrees.

"Well. I, uh, I guess I'll let you get to it," he says, shrugging and walking away. "Bye, then, Muffy."

As he leaves, Muffy says, "Oh - that's something I never thought about! I wonder if Jeff is feeling left out?"

Jodie comes in and asks if Jeff has just left. She tells Muffy she's worried about him. Muffy admits that she's worried as well, and as they speak, Mrs. Pennypacker and Sam come in, expressing their own concern.

"Here we are all talking about our memories before we came to the store and - Jeff only has memories of being in the store."

"Yeah, that's kind of what we were thinking too, isn't it?" says Sam.

"I think maybe the poor boy's feeling left out of this contest." Mrs. Pennypacker says.

"I do too," says Muffy, "but what can we do?"

"Wait a minute," says Jodie, "Maybe I've got an idea right here!" She points to her photograph album, and then huddles with the others and whispers her idea so Jeff won't hear.

Later, Jeff wanders into the children's department. "Hey, everyone! Everyone?" He looks around. "Where'd everyone go?" He looks on the counter. "Wherever they went they left something behind. I wonder what it is? Sure is a nicely wrapped gift." He is bursting with curiosity. "I wonder what it is? I think I'll take a little peek." Surprised, he looks up. "It's for me." It's not his birthday or Christmas, so he wonders what it's for. "I wonder if I should open it. Do you think so? Okay," he says with a chuckle, "If you say so."

He finds a photograph album inside. "I love photo albums. I wonder who's pictures are in it?" He opens the book. "Everyone's pictures are in it." he says with a shaky sigh. He turns the pages. "What a great gift!"

"Surprise!" everyone cries, popping up from behind the counter. He asks what the gift is for.

"Well, we realized that we've spent all evening telling you our favorite memories from days gone by . . ." Jodie begins.

"And then we thought that, well, maybe you were feeling badly because you didn't have any favorite memories, except for here in the store," Sam continues.

"So we thought we'd remind you of all the good times we've had here," says Mrs. Pennypacker.

"We wanted nice memories to come to mind, so we got all the photographs we could find!" Muffy adds.

"Aw, but you really didn't need to do this. You see, all night long, while you've been telling me your favorite memories, well I've been thinking that all my favorite memories come from you. From all the things we've done together, and all the places you've told me about." Jeff looks down a bit shyly. "Well, I couldn't choose my favorite memory - I have too many."

Jodie looks like she might cry.

"Well, now you have a photo album Jeff, to help you choose." Then she and the others leave to give Jeff chance to be alone with his memories. Jeff gazes lovingly at the book and then sits down on a stool.

"Without ever leaving I've been everywhere," he sings, "I've been to those lands 'cause you've taken me there. I travel the world, go wherever I please, 'cause you, you make my memories,"

Then he opens the album, and we see photographs of everyone from Muffy to Waldo.

"And when we decide that we'll travel no more, we always find something to do in the store. We act our own stories and sing melodies, 'cause you, you make my memories."

Now we're seeing photographs of the play "Little Blue Riding Hood," the Three Bears opera, being Robin Hood and friends in the Land of Make Believe, Cinderella from Jodie's dream, and Sam's practice date.

"And so many interesting people come by and join us in all of our play. With so many good times, you'll understand why I wouldn't have missed any day."

The photos include "interesting people" like Muffy's Granny Sweet, Karen Kain, Oscar Peterson, Levi Batista (from "Hello Friend,") Sharon, Lois and Bram, the Canadian Brass, Mort, Bruce Cockburn and Valdy.

"I picture your faces and here's what I see, a lifetime of moments you've made just for me, the things I remember, you've given me these, yes you, you make my memories."

We see more pictures of everyone, including Jeff and Waldo trapped in Waldo's hat eating giant marshmallows, Muffy and Jeff snuggling, Sam and Mrs. Pennypacker having tea together, and Jeff and Jodie at the piano.

"The tales that you tell with the greatest of ease,"

We see Mrs. Pennypacker telling stories.

"101 things to do with blue cheese,"

Muffy is shown in her chef's outfit and serving cheese to Fred in "Space,"

"Your life of adventure on all seven seas,"

First there's a photo of Sam in the park with Penelope, and then of Sam in full naval uniform.

"Your voice just as soft as a cool evening breeze,"

Now we see Jodie singing to Jeff and the two of them holding hands on the roof from "Tears."

Now we're back to Jeff in the store, singing earnestly and affectionately, "Yes you, you make my memories. It's true! You make my memories."

Quizzes:

  • Do you remember Mrs. Pennypacker's, Jodie's, Sam's and Muffy's favorite memories?

Nursery Rhyme:

  • None

Notes:

  • Why was Jeff in everyone's memories? A clue is that Jeff told Mrs. Pennypacker, "I almost felt like I was right there with you." It vividly illustrated how his friends' stories transported him to the places they spoke of. However, this metaphor, I imagine, was lost on the youngest viewers of Today's Special.
  • It's odd how everyone insists Jeff has never been out of the store. He's had some pretty remarkable "out-of-store" experiences in "Adventure," "Buttons," and "Storybooks," but I guess magical places don't count.
  • Sam's sea chest contents always crack me up, like that ludicrously long hip boot shoehorn, and the plunger with an emergency horn!
  • Though in 1981 Muffy declared she had "never been to school," that notion was revised in this episode, where she became a high school graduate.
  • The photographs in Jeff's album were truly remarkable, especially the pictures from Jodie's dream, from the Land of Make Believe, and from the inside of Waldo's hat!
  • Since Jeff felt he couldn't choose his favorite memory and the photo album was supposed to help him choose, I assume he was going to attend the annual party and enter the contest.
  • The idea of the favorite memories contest and the photo album really was a great idea. "Memories" was a satisfying, nostalgic last episode, but could be shown as a regular episode as well. As in "Locks," it also gave us an opportunity to see how Jeff has come to accept and appreciate his life in the store.
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