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Rupert Pumpkin - Sade, Vic, Uncle Fletcher and Rush
 

The Washing Machine is on the Blink

By PAUL RHYMER

 

vicandsade ANNOUNCER: It is late afternoon as our scene opens now, and here in the living room we find Victor Gook and his young son Rush. The older gentleman is looking over the newspaper and the younger gentleman seems to be occupied with a school-book. And as we draw closer, we hear the latter individual say:

RUSH: Gov., wanta take the book now an’ see if I know ‘em?
VIC: Your definitions?
RUSH: Yeah.
VIC: Shoot.
RUSH: Here's the book.
VIC: I'll just listen.
RUSH: No take the book. I gotta have ‘em word for word.
VIC: Toss it over.
RUSH: [tosses] Catch.
VIC: [catches] Got ‘er.
RUSH: I’ll start with "elocution"… at the top of the page there.
VIC: Uh-huh. Let ‘er rip.
RUSH: Elocution is the art of delivering, written or extemporaneous, with force, propriety,  and ease."
VIC: Yeah.
RUSH: That got ‘er?
VIC: Yeah. Is "rhetoric" next?
RUSH: Uh-huh. "Rhetoric is the science of speaking with elegance and persuasion."
VIC: Emphasis.
RUSH: "Emphasis is a particular stress of the voice on a word or words in reading or  speaking." Examples: I think I will tie my shoe, I think I will tie my shoe, I think I will  tie my shoe, I think I will tie my shoe, I think I will tie my ...
SADE: [entering] Vic.
VIC: Uh-huh?
SADE: Whatcha doin?
VIC: Coaching Mr. Jackson here in his English lesson.
SADE: Well, look, I'm in a little trouble.
VIC: Trouble?
SADE: My wash machines on the blink.
VIC: What ails it?
SADE: It won't run. An’ the worst of it is, it gives a person  shocks.
VIC: Yeah?
SADE: There's electricity right in the water. Stuck my hand in an’ little jabs went  right up through my arm.
VIC: Prob’ly what's happened is the lead wire's had some insulation scraped off an’  the current...
SADE: Wish you'd come and see it. I'm scared to death of it.
VIC: How come you're washin’ this afternoon?
SADE: Just running a few towels an’ a table-cloth through. Will you run down an’  take a look?
VIC: I guess so. Any special hurry?
SADE: Yes, there is. The table-cloth is Ruthie’s an’ I wand to get it washed an’  ironed. Fred's stoppin’ by for it after supper.
VIC: [rising] I can prob’ly wrap some tape around your lead wire an’ doctor it up  in a jiffy. Guess we'll have to post-pone our definitions, Ike.
RUSH: O.K. Mom, can you get a big shock from the wash-machine?
SADE: Enough of a shock to scare the daylights outa me.
RUSH: Guess I’ll go along. I haven't had a good shock in I don't know when.
SADE: [as they go] Don't fiddle around, son. Electricity is a very dangerous thing.
RUSH: You can just stick your hand in the water an’ feel it, huh?
SADE: Yes. I like to jump through the ceiling.
VIC: Some of the current is escaping is all, kiddo. You couldn't get a big enough  shock to hurt...
SADE: Be careful of the garbage bucket goin’ down cellar. It's on the top step but one.
VIC: You don't hafta come along, Sade. I’ll just…
SADE: Wanta get Ruthie’s table-cloth outa the way so ya don't step on it or anything.
RUSH: Next year I’ll be able to fix stuff for ya, Mom. The freshmen up at high school  study electricity second semester an’…
SADE: Want me to let the water out, Vic?
VIC: No, don't think ya need to.
SADE: That's good. Got all these nice suds worked up. Stick your hand in there once.
VIC: Get quite a jolt?
SADE: Jolt enough for me.
VIC: Well, I don't imagine… [laughs foolishly]
SADE: [giggling] ‘Lectricity all right, huh?
VIC: Yeah. [laughs] Help yourself to some voltage, Pete.
RUSH: Think I’ll kinda take it easy at the start. Just stick one finger in so…[laughs]
VIC: [chuckles] Hot stuff, huh?
RUSH: It just gives kinda a tickle.
VIC: Goes right up your arm though. C’mon, Sade, join the party.
SADE: I will not. Scares the livin’ life outa me.
RUSH: ‘Lectricity is good for ya. They used to have a machine down at Klemm’s drug store  where ya put in a nickel an’ grab a-hold of…
SADE: Will ya see if you can fix it, Vic? If I'm gonna get Ruthie’s table-cloth washed an’ ironed before Fred comes, I’ll kinda hafta hurry.
VIC: I already see what's the matter. One side, Oliver.
RUSH: I enjoy feelin’ the good ol’ electricity go through my system. Gives me the  sensation of…
VIC: Move. [to Sade] See here this lead wire?
SADE: Yeah. That what's broke?
VIC: It's not broke. The insulation's been scraped off. A piece of taped wrapped around it  should do the business. Rush, there's a tin box with tape in it on the shelf there.
RUSH: [moving off] I’ll get it.
VIC: [silly laugh] C’mon, Sade. Put your hand in here.
SADE: Not for forty dollars.
VIC: Won't hurt you any.
SADE: Maybe not. But it scares me pink.
VIC: Why, there's not enough current here to… Just lay it down, son.
SADE: [moving off] Holler soon as it's ready, will ya, Vic?
VIC: Yeah - only be a couple minutes.
RUSH: [laughs]
VIC: [laughs in sympathy] Quite a kick, ain’t it?
RUSH: Wish there was more of it. This only gives a tickle.
VIC: Move over a little. Shucks, I…[laughs foolishly]
RUSH: [laughs in sympathy] Ain’t that the doggondest feeling.
VIC: Yeah [chuckles]
RUSH: Hey, I just thought of an invention.
VIC: What's that?
RUSH: Well you know in the depots an’ movie shows an’ places where they got wash rooms?
VIC: Uh-huh.
RUSH: Why not fix ‘em up so when people washed their hands, they get a good healthy shock  like this?
SADE: Uh-huh. Only problem is, folks like your mother’d holler for the police.
RUSH: Yeah. Heck, wish we could get more good ol’ ‘lectricity in this wash-machine.
VIC: I know how it could be done.
RUSH: How?
VIC: Pour a little water on the floor.
RUSH: An’ stand in it, ya mean?
VIC: Sure.
RUSH: Let's do it.
VIC: O.K. Dip some outa the washer with the tin cup there.
RUSH: Figure that'll gun up the current?
VIC: You betcha. Water is one of the world's best conductors. Thomas A Edison himself once  declared that…Right around my shoes here.
RUSH: O.K.
VIC: Pour some where you're  gonna stand now.
RUSH: All right.
VIC: Electricity is a marvelous marvelous thing. Nobody knows what it is. Nobody knows where it comes from. The sum of the knowledge…
RUSH: Shall I stick my hand in the wash-machine now?
VIC: I better do it first. Might give more of a wallop than you can take. However, I'm sure  it won't be so much that… [laughs in delight]
RUSH: How is it?
VIC: Great.
RUSH: Much as I enjoy electricity, I wouldn't wanta… [laughs]
VIC: How ya like that?
RUSH: [laughing] Dandy.
VIC: Goes right through ya, don't it?
RUSH: I’ll say.
VIC: Here-I’ll show ya something. Stand back a little ways.
RUSH: I hate to leave the electricity.
VIC: You'll get some electricity.
RUSH: Where ya want me to go?
VIC: Right here.
RUSH: I won't be able to reach the wash-machine.
VIC: That's O.K. Now look: you're Mr. Steve Butler from Des Moines, Iowa. You want to make  my acquaintance. See?
RUSH: [chuckles] Yeah.
VIC: [chuckles]  All right. Say Somethin’.
RUSH:  Ah…you’re Mr. Gook, I believe?
VIC: Yes, sir.
RUSH: I'm Mr. Steve Butler from Des Moines, Iowa.
VIC: Glad to know you Mr. Butler.
RUSH: Care to shake hands?
VIC: Be delighted. Put ‘er there. [they both go into ecstasies.]
RUSH: That's fun.
VIC: Yeah.
RUSH: Let me  stand in the water this time.
VIC: All right.
RUSH: Ah… what was the name?
VIC: Mr. Gook.
RUSH: I'm Mister Butler from Des Moines, Iowa.
VIC: The heck. Care to shake hands?
RUSH: Sure. [more laughter]
VIC: You put out a pretty mean hand shake, Mr. Butler.
RUSH: Yeah.
VIC: Well, enough of this. Hand me that tape an’ let's...
RUSH: Hey, Gov., whatcha say we pull it on Mom?
VIC: You couldn't get her to shake hands.
RUSH: Well we'll work it slick. I’ll say, "Mom, feel my hand. It's cold as ice." An’ she'll  be standin’ in this water, as’ you can be holdin’ my other hand. Won't that give a shock?
VIC: Yeah, believe it will.
RUSH: I’ll holler then, huh?
VIC: Will you shoulder the responsibility?
RUSH: Sure. [calls] Mom.
SADE: [upstairs] All finished?
RUSH: [calls] Not quite. Can ya come down here a minute?
SADE: What's the matter?
RUSH: Wanta show you something.
VIC: I imagine you mother is a little too smooth to fall for…
RUSH: She's comin’. Whatcha say I stand right here with my left hand behind me? You take  a-hold of it?
VIC: O.K. An’ ya better face the door.
RUSH: Yeah.
VIC: I'm afraid there won't be much electricity left by the time it goes through my body an’ yours too.
RUSH: All the better. Wouldn’t wanta give Mom a big shock. Just wanta…
SADE: [approaching] What's the matter.
RUSH: I think there's something the matter with my hand.
SADE: [up] Your hand? Have you been fiddlin’ with them wires an’…
RUSH: My hands so darn cold.
SADE: Cold?
RUSH: Feel it once.
SADE: Oh, gracious, Rush, did you have me come all the way downstairs just to…
RUSH: Feel it once.
SADE: An’, Vic, you said it'd only take a minute to fix… [little scream]
VIC AND RUSH: [laugh]
SADE: That was a smart trick, wasn't it?
VIC: The blame lies on other shoulders than mine, kiddo. The whole scheme was hatched up  by nobody else than your son here who…
SADE: How near are ya done fixin’ the washer?
VIC: Why…a…as a matter of fact, I haven't…
SADE: Haven't even started to fix it, huh?
SADE: [moving off] If either one of ya ever pull another stunt like that on me, there's  gonna be some fur flyin’.
VIC: [after her] Sade, it was only an innocent little prank. We thought you'd enjoy…
RUSH: [to Vic] Don't believe she can hear ya, Gov. Almost upstairs.
VIC: We didn't come out so hot with our bit of horse-play.
RUSH: Say, ain’t you Mr. Gook?
VIC: Yeah.
RUSH: I'm Mr. Butler from Des Moines, Iowa.
SADE: Well break my back.
RUSH: Shake hands?
VIC: Why not? [They both laugh with delight.]
RUSH: Hey, I got another idea. Let's…
VIC: Forget your idea. We've raised enough of trouble an’ heartbreak. Hand me that tape an’…
RUSH: Just wanta ask ya somethin’. Look: If I took this piece of wire an’ stood in that  puddle of water by the faucets, an’ you held the other end of the wire in the wash-machine,  would I get a shock?
VIC: Ya might.
RUSH: Let's try an’ see.
VIC: I think we better get to work here an’ undo the hard feelings that Mom …
RUSH: Only take a minute.
VIC: O.K.—but get a move on.
RUSH: [moving off] Boy, I can hardly wait till next year when I'm a freshman in high school  an’ can learn all the electricity…
SADE: [approaching] Vic.
VIC: Yeah?
RUSH: [closer] Got it fixed yet?
SADE: Why…a…I was just gonna start to…
RUSH: I didn't think you had. Listen: Mr. Drummond’s upstairs. Came over to borrow  some butter. He knows all about electricity. I asked him to step down an’ fix the machine.
VIC: Aw, heck, Sade, all I've got to do is wrap a little tape around…
SADE: Uh-huh, but you haven't done it an’ I'm in a hurry. [calls] Mr. Drummond, you can come  down if you will. I'm just clearing away some of the rubbish so you'll have room.
VIC: We're rubbish, huh?
SADE: [moving off] Great big men that'd shock a lady with nasty ol’ electricity.
VIC: We're not so popular, son.
RUSH: Guess not.
VIC: By the way, son, you know Mr. Drummond, don't ya?
RUSH: Know him?
VIC: You have the honor of his acquaintance?
RUSH: Whatcha talkin’ about, Gov.? Heck, I know Mr. Drummond as well as I know...
VIC: Forget it. Just occurred to me ya might like to shake hands with him.
RUSH: Shake hands with…? Oh.  [laughs]
VIC: Get the drift?
RUSH: Yeah. Where shall I stand—right here in the water?
VIC: [affirmative] Uh-huh. An’ hold your left arm behind ya so I can touch it.
RUSH: O.K. [They both produce a conspiratorial chuckle.]
VIC AND RUSH: [call] Right this way, Mr. Drummond.

ANNOUNCER: Which concludes another brief interlude at the small house half-way up in the next block.

First broadcast 1934
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