Friday, January 25, 2013

What Might Have Been



Endora (Agnes Moorehead): I was just being a good mother–in–law. I gave him what he wanted.

Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery): What?

Endora: He said he'd be happier if he had never met you.

Samantha: He didn't say it. I said it.

Endora: Well, who cares who said it? I arranged it.

I always had the feeling that the episode of Bewitched that first aired on this night 45 years ago was inspired by "It's a Wonderful Life," the classic Christmas movie.

It isn't my intention to discuss the plot of "It's a Wonderful Life" here — except to note the similarity of the themes.

In "It's a Wonderful Life," Jimmy Stewart was shown that, contrary to what he believed, the people in his life would not have been better off if he had never been born.

On Bewitched 45 years ago tonight, Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) showed her mother, Endora (Agnes Moorehead), that her mortal husband, Darrin (Dick York), would not have been happier if he had never met her.

The whole thing began with a fight between Darrin and Samantha.

As she so often did — and, frequently, for no other reason than to amuse herself — Endora had cast a spell on Darrin. Several spells, it seemed to me. She caused him to encounter all kinds of problems preparing for and leaving for work, then she put a cobra in his briefcase that cost Darrin's agency an important account — and Darrin his job.

It was all too much for Darrin, who claimed that Endora and Samantha were always ganging up on him. Samantha wondered if perhaps he would have been happier if they'd never met — and Endora decided to give them all the opportunity to find out.

She zapped Darrin into an alternate reality in which he and Samantha had never met.

Samantha insisted on seeing for herself what Darrin's life would have been like without her.

And, initially, it didn't look as if Darrin had suffered from not having met Samantha.

When Samantha and Endora traveled to that alternate time to observe Darrin's Samantha–less life, he seemed to be thriving. His office was filled with trophies he had won in golf tournaments. His career was going so well that it appeared he was about to be made a partner.

And his romance with his pre–Samantha girlfriend seemed to be sizzling. In fact, after a lengthy courtship, they were finally about to be married.

As Huey Lewis put it, the future was so bright he had to wear shades.

Endora thought the point had been made and was in favor of returning to their own time and Samantha making a "clean break" with Darrin — who she believed clearly was happier without Samantha.

But Samantha wasn't ready to concede. She believed this alternate Darrin had been dragging his feet on marriage because deep down he felt that he was meant to be with someone else, and she arranged to "meet" Darrin at a party that was being given for the happy couple.

Samantha concluded that Darrin was not happier without her.

She reached that conclusion after a chance meeting and conversation between the two in which Darrin told Samantha he was about to be married. Samantha replied that he must be thrilled.

"I should be, shouldn't I?" he said.

Samantha knew she was right and returned to her original reality and demanded that her mother bring Darrin back, which she did.

OK, it was a corny story in its way, but it had a lot of sweetness to it. It wasn't a carbon copy of "It's a Wonderful Life," but it didn't need to be. The story worked with the characters.

And, really, anything between Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York was believable. There was a genuine chemistry between the two, a chemistry that audiences really couldn't help seeing.

I always felt that Bewitched began its decline when Dick Sargent took over the role about midway through the series. That may have been because that spark just wasn't there anymore.

Dick York was very natural and believable as Darrin — and perhaps never moreso than when his character was allowed to resume his dialogue with Samantha from the point when Endora sent him to his alternate reality.

York had just told Samantha that sometimes he wished he had never met her, "but there are other times when I realize I couldn't live without you — and that't most of the time."

It had the ring of authenticity to it when it came from York's lips.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Evil Lives



Rod Serling: Where will he go next, this phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare — Chicago? Los Angeles? Miami? Florida; Vincennes, Indiana; Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there's hate, where there's prejudice, where there's bigotry. He's alive. He's alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a minority attacked, any blind, unreasoning assault on a people or any human being. He's alive because through these things we keep him alive.

Most of the episodes in the original Twilight Zone series were half an hour long.

But the episodes of the 1962–63 season were an hour long. There were only 18 of them (it's a long story); all the episodes in the other four seasons were half an hour in length.

For the most part, I didn't think much of the hour– long episodes. That was really too much for the type of show Twilight Zone was — most of the time.

An exception to that rule was the episode that aired 50 years ago tonight, "He's Alive."

Dennis Hopper played a wannabe fascist, trying to win popular support but failing. He was visited by someone who was always in the shadows but who offered seemingly knowledgeable advice on how to build a political movement.

And Hopper's character followed the advice, apparently never realizing the identity of the source.

But the shadowy figure told the story of the rise of Adolf Hitler. And he told it with authority — for the shadowy figure was Adolf Hitler.

He told Hopper all the things he needed to do to consolidate his base and his power. He knew those things would work because they had already worked for him.

Ultimately, though, Hopper was fatally wounded, and the shadowy figured slinked off, presumably in search of a new protege to mold.

The message was that, no matter how much one may want to imagine otherwise, prejudice and hate will always be with us.

That wasn't an uplifting message, but it is one that is always worth repeating.

Because there are always those naive souls who, like Hopper's character, think hostile movements end because leaders die.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Over the Edge



George (Joseph Cotten): Why should the Falls drag me down here at 5 o'clock in the morning? To show me how big they are and how small I am? To remind me they can get along without any help? All right, so they've proved it. But why not? They've had 10,000 years to get independent. What's so wonderful about that? I suppose I could, too, only it might take a little more time.

They come and they go, the pinup sensations and the slinky actresses who seize our collective attention for a year or two until the next one comes along.

Marilyn Monroe, though, was different. Her decade was the 1950s, but she would have stood out in any decade. Only the clothes and the hairstyle would vary.

Sixty years ago, Marilyn was probably in her prime, and the movie that made its debut on this day in 1953 — "Niagara" — clearly was a turning point for her. In 1952, she made $750/week, but after "Niagara," her salary went up 67%.

She went on to make most of her most memorable films after her appearance in "Niagara," but that was really when the Marilyn phenomenon began.

About a quarter of a century later, "Charlie's Angels" was credited with pioneering what came to be known as "jiggle TV."

But the model for it was really developed on the big screen by Marilyn Monroe. I mean, did anyone ever walk away from a camera the way Marilyn did?

And I mean movie cameras. Still cameras could only capture her beauty. They couldn't fully convey her movements when she walked.

As I say, she stood out.

That was her character's problem in "Niagara," too. She attracted a lot of attention — from her actual lover, with whom she communicated in various ways, and those who wanted to be her lover, like the kids at the Niagara Falls motel where she and her husband (Joseph Cotten) were staying — and her husband, too, for that matter.

Cotten's character clearly had issues with his wife's behavior — at one point, when Marilyn was about to leave the motel to meet her lover, Cotten told her she "smell[ed] like a dime store," and she tauntingly replied, "I'm meeting somebody, just anybody handy, as long as he's a man!"

(OK, sometimes the dialogue in "Niagara" lacked subtlety, but I doubt that most film noirs, as melodramatic as they tended to be, managed to avoid that pitfall.)

She knew how to push all his buttons, but she didn't want to annoy him. She wanted to be rid of him, and her lover was going to help her do that. That, essentially, was the plan.

But things didn't go according to plan.

There was a lot of electricity between Monroe and Cotten. In the first half of the movie, it was face to face, but in the second half of the movie, when Monroe realized that her lover, not Cotten, had been killed, the electricity took on a more sinister and shadowy aura.

He was out there, somewhere, and Monroe knew why he had killed her lover — because her lover had tried to kill him. He knew that she had cajoled her lover into coming after him — perhaps because he had been cajoled by her into killing someone else years before.

(That's just speculation on my part. But who knows?)

Ultimately, Cotten's character — who, it was suggested earlier in the movie, had been discharged from an Army mental hospital — killed Marilyn and then accidentally abducted a young woman who had been kind to him at the motel. Their boat ran out of gas on the river above the Falls, and Cotten put the young woman (Jean Peters) on a rock just before the boat went over.

Just before that, when Peters was still on board the boat, Peters' husband (Max Showalter) muttered "Scuttle it!" as he watched from the shoreline. Later, after Peters was retrieved by helicopter, an officer observed, "That's the first time somebody said 'Scuttle it!' as a prayer."

"And had it answered," Showalter replied.

Critics of the time were tepid in their praise of Monroe, but I think she often got (and continues to get) the short end of that stick. Because of her beauty, the assumption was and is that she was a dumb blonde — when, in fact, it was Marilyn who really created the dumb blonde.

The characters she played may have been dumb, but she wasn't dumb — and certainly not in "Niagara." She was cold and conniving. Her plan did not fail because it was a bad plan. It failed because her husband found a way to beat it.

Nevertheless, Monroe was dismissed as human scenery.

Don't get me wrong. Monroe was and still is pleasing to the eye. But there was much more to the package.

Some reputations are determined to live on, and it is likely that Monroe will still be regarded as an airhead decades from now. But, for those who are willing to evaluate her with fresh eyes, her movies are out there waiting to be seen, and "Niagara" will bear witness to her talent.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Lesson in Perspective



Bob (Bob Newhart): Jerry, why would she spend so much for a watch?

Jerry (Peter Bonerz): She loves you, Bob.

Bob: She'd better have a better reason than that.

Milestone birthdays are always good for some laughs.

On this night in 1973, Bob Hartley (Bob Newhart) observed his 40th birthday, which was not something in which he was particularly interested, but his wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette) was — and so were their friends. They had planned a surprise party with a lot of gag gifts for the evening of Bob's birthday.

But, when the day dawned and they awoke together in their apartment, Emily gave Bob a special gift — a new wristwatch. Bob thought it was nice, but it wasn't special.

Well, that's what he thought.

When he got to the office and showed the watch to his friend Jerry (Peter Bonerz), Jerry told him that it was a very expensive watch. Bob was skeptical until he called a neighborhood jeweler who confirmed the value of the watch.

And that ruined the rest of Bob's birthday. He couldn't enjoy the party. He pouted throughout, and the audience was led to believe that a big fight was about to occur.

But what followed was an intriguing character study that, frankly, reminded me of my parents.

Bob and the character he played were children of the Depression, just like my parents, and that really shaped their outlooks on, well, everything. My mother absolutely would not throw anything away. She had been conditioned to waste nothing lest she need it and not have it in the future.

(After she died, it fell to me to sort through her things, and I can't tell you how many boxes of junk I went through and eventually threw away.)

Bob tried to explain that mindset to Emily, whose character, I always supposed, was younger than Bob, perhaps young enough to have missed out on the Depression.

"When I was a kid, I measured the cost of everything in ice cream cones," he told her. "An ice cream cone cost 10 cents so if something cost 10 cents, that was an ice cream cone. If something cost a dollar, that was 10 ice cream cones.

"And when I found out how much that watch cost,"
he concluded, "I felt like I had been run over by an ice cream truck."

It was a lesson in perspective.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Ides of April



Oscar (Jack Klugman): Hey, where'd you find those alimony checks?

Felix (Tony Randall): They were in a shoebox marked "gambling losses."

Every American who pays taxes could relate to the episode of The Odd Couple that aired for the first time 40 years ago tonight.

Certainly, anyone whose returns have been audited could relate to it.

Felix was contacted by the IRS and was asked to come in. No further details were offered so, being the hyperactive fussbudget that he was, Felix began imagining all sorts of dire scenarios involving tax evasion charges and prison sentences.

Anyway, when he arrived at the IRS office, Felix immediately launched into an indignant defense of his meticulously kept tax returns. His returns were always neater and clearer than anyone else's, he fumed. If anyone should be audited, it should be his messy roommate, Oscar.

Then he learned that he wasn't being audited at all. The IRS agent simply wanted to meet the man who, year after year, filed the neatest and best–kept returns her office saw. In tax season, when anything and everything was submitted under the heading of tax return, Felix's returns were a joy to behold.

And she called in her co–workers to meet him, and they all stood and applauded Felix, who beamed with appreciation.

But then the IRS agent reflected on what Felix had said and wanted to find out more about Felix's roommate. Try as he might, Felix couldn't back out of it.

And Oscar was called in for an audit of his returns.

Oscar, of course, was furious with Felix, especially after it was revealed that Oscar's returns really were about as bad as one could possibly imagine. Over the years, he had submitted "receipts" written on items like cocktail napkins and footballs.

They were a mess, and it looked like Oscar was going to be hit with a heavy fine along with past–due taxes.

But, at the last minute, Felix came to the rescue. He had been researching Oscar's finances and found something of interest. Oscar had been married but he and his wife had divorced. As part of the divorce settlement, he was required to pay alimony.

The IRS agent didn't remember that Oscar had once had a co–filer. Oscar did, of course. Consequently, the agent didn't know he had been divorced. Oscar did, of course.

But he hadn't been taking the tax deductions he should have taken for that because he didn't know about them. The IRS agent did, of course.

And Felix had determined that the IRS owed money to Oscar, not the other way around.

Upon reflection, the IRS agent acknowledged that Oscar used to file a joint return.

"Didn't you ever wonder what became of his wife?" Felix asked.

"Looking at the way he keeps his records," the agent replied, "I just figured he lost her somewhere."

Hmmm. Sounds like my returns.

The More Things Change



Today is Desi Arnaz Jr.'s 60th birthday.

I'm quite a few years younger than he is so I can't speak based on personal observation, but, from what I have heard, his must have been the most widely publicized birth ever.

Certainly it was the most widely publicized in TV history.

He was the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the stars of the popular sitcom I Love Lucy, and his mother's pregnancy was written into the series' storyline in the 1952–1953 season.

Some of the series' best episodes — my personal favorite was the one in which Lucy hired an English tutor (Hans Conried) to improve the language skills of the adults who would influence her child's early years — came from this arrangement. But be the episodes great or mediocre, there was a lot of attention paid to Lucy's pregnancy in the series.

Anyway, the episode in which Lucy gave birth to her child had been taped nearly two months before. Coincidentally, it aired on the same day that Ball gave birth to her real son — about 12 hours after Desi Arnaz Jr. was born, as a matter of fact.

News didn't travel quite as fast in 1953 as it does in 2013. There was no internet, no cable TV, no texting. In fact, broadcast news was still in its infancy at the time, and television ownership wasn't nearly as pervasive in America as it is today.

Nevertheless, the word must have spread to a certain segment of the population, but I'm sure there were those who had no idea that Ball had given birth that day.

But the publicity about the episode in which Lucy gave birth attracted great ratings 60 years ago tonight. And, whether those who were watching knew that Lucy had given birth to her actual son earlier that day, everyone was told about it as the final credits rolled.

Dwight Eisenhower, the man who was idolized by millions for leading the Allied triumph in World War II, was sworn in as president the next day, but his TV ratings paled compared to Lucy's. He got about half as many viewers as Lucy did.

What does that tell me about America and its priorities then and now?

It tells me that things probably haven't changed that much.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When Words Aren't Enough




Daphne (Jane Leeves): I've got some shocking news. I found a ring in your father's underwear drawer.

Frasier (Kelsey Grammer): What on earth would leave a ring around his underwear drawer?

Readers of this blog know of my fondness for the Frasier TV series. And, as I have mentioned before, I really like all of the episodes. (Some more than others, of course.)

But I especially like the episode that made its debut 15 years ago tonight.

Martin (John Mahoney) decided that he wanted to get married again, and he got an engagement ring to pop the question to his girlfriend Sherry (Marsha Mason). Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) learned of the existence of the ring through Daphne (Jane Leeves), who found it while going through Martin's dresser.

Neither of the sons was pleased with the prospect, and it was hilarious to hear what each was dreading. Frasier anticipated hearing Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" as played on the banjo.

Niles wondered what Sherry would want to be called — finally settling on "Ma" — and imagined the kinds of things he might say to her, i.e. ...
"Don't you look nice tonight, Ma."

"Yes, I'd like another corn dog, Ma."

"Off to the roller derby, Ma?"
As usual, Niles and Frasier could only think in terms of how Martin's presumed marriage would affect them.

And, with that as motivation, Niles hired a private investigator to look into Sherry's past. The investigator hadn't finished his work when Niles decided to call things off (after Martin learned about the investigator — but did not yet know for certain who had hired him), but he was able to report that Sherry had been married several times and had been engaged to but had not married at least one other man.

Armed with this information, Niles and Frasier tried to persuade their father to change his plans, but Martin replied that he had known about Sherry's past all along. His mind was made up.

Turned out, he knew all along what her answer would be, too. She didn't want to get married again, but he did.

Frasier knew nothing of this. He assumed that Sherry had accepted Martin's proposal and proceeded to make himself look foolish when it turned out she had not.

Frasier (Kelsey Grammer): I'd like you to know that everybody is 100% behind this decision. My God, we're all so excited.

Martin (John Mahoney): Frasier!

Sherry (Marsha Mason): Well, I'm so glad that you're so happy your father's breaking up with me.

Frasier: Breaking up? I had no idea.

Sherry: And you get paid to help people through their difficult moments?

Martin and Sherry parted ways, agreeing to remain friends, and Martin stayed in the bar after Sherry left, sitting in front of the TV, which was showing the Sonics and Bulls. Frasier came in and sat with his father, and they shared a bonding moment in which little was said out loud — but there was a lot of non–verbal communication.

Sometimes it isn't easy for fathers and sons to communicate, and some fathers and sons are better at it than others. Frasier and Martin had their uneasy moments during the series' 11–year run, but there were times when they offered a simple example for how fathers and sons should communicate when words aren't enough.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Real Treasure of the Sierra Madre



Gold Hat (Alfonso Bedoya): Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!

Humphrey Bogart is my favorite actor, and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" is my favorite Bogart movie.

But Bogart didn't utter the most famous line from that movie, which premiered on this date in 1948.

That was Alfonso Bedoya, the Mexican actor who played Gold Hat, the bandit who famously protested that "I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!"

The American Film Institute ranked that line 36th in its list of the Top 100 movie quotes. No other line from "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" made the list.

There were some other great lines in that movie. There were some great performances, too. But, for whatever reason, Bedoya's line is what people always seem to remember.

Well, it was his most memorable role, and the line has become somewhat iconic. So I suppose that is understandable.

But it is still worth remembering that Bedoya's role was a comparatively small one. And it would qualify as a supporting role only because it had far too few lines for it to be considered a leading role.

Bogart probably was regarded as the lead actor in the movie, but his performance wasn't nominated for an Oscar. I don't know why. I've seen all the performances that were nominated that year, and I didn't think any of them were better than Bogart's.

Howard (Walter Huston): Water's precious. Sometimes it's more precious than gold.

Walter Huston won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His son, John Huston, won Oscars for directing and writing.

The movie itself was nominated for Best Picture but lost to "Hamlet." Oh, well. It's tough to beat Shakespeare. Those tales have been around for centuries.

The story was a morality play worthy of those that were popular in Europe before Shakespeare's time. Morality plays tend to be conflicts between good and evil, and, admittedly, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" didn't necessarily invoke God or the devil or religious themes in general — well, not directly — as most morality plays do, but it did focus on greed, which, it seems to me, is in the same ballpark.

It did, however, suggest that 1 Timothy was right when it said, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil," so perhaps there is a strong religious theme at work here.

Three Americans set off on a trip to prospect for gold in the wilds of Mexico. Initially, their intentions are noble, and those intentions include dividing the gold they find evenly, but greed takes over as the piles of gold begin to grow.

Bogart's character underwent the most radical change, going from a generally decent (if flawed) guy to a greedy, conniving, paranoid character, a virtual Jekyll–Hyde role that must have been fun for him to play.

(If nothing else, it was good prep for his later role as Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny.")

Ironically, given the status the movie has achieved with modern fans, my understanding is that it wasn't particularly well received by the public 65 years ago.

Apparently, many moviegoers of the time did not want to see Bogart playing such a reprehensible character.
Dobbs (Bogart): Nobody puts one over on Fred C. Dobbs.

Those moviegoers deprived themselves of one of the great acting jobs in movie history. It was a real treasure.

But if you have never seen it, you don't have to deprive yourself much longer. Turner Classic Movies will be showing "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" Saturday afternoon at 4:30 (Central).

Once I Had a Secret Goal



There were so many episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore Show that made me laugh the first time I saw them — and still make me laugh today.

There are the classic episodes that everyone remembers, but there are also episodes that are rarely mentioned. Such an episode — at least, in my experience — is the episode that aired 40 years ago tonight.

Titled "Lou's Place," it explored one of the secret ambitions of Lou Grant (Ed Asner), the news producer with the gruff exterior and the heart of gold.

Lou revealed that he had always wanted to have his own bar, but he didn't have enough money to buy one of his favorite watering holes when it became available so he tried to persuade Ted (Ted Knight) to invest in it with him.

But Lou, the hard–boiled newsman, didn't have the temperament to manage a bar — and certainly not with Ted, who kept inventing lame excuses to get his investment money back.

The bar's previous owner had been a gregarious sort who remembered everyone's name and encouraged his patrons to participate in group sing–alongs.

That wasn't Lou's nature, and he knew it. But something needed to be done. The bar was not thriving, so Lou resolved to be just like the previous owner and be lovable.

That proved to be a challenge for Lou.

"I never really cared about being lovable before," he said. "It was always enough that people were afraid of me."

So Lou set out to be just like the previous owner, establishing "happy hour," introducing himself to the patrons and then introducing them to each other, repeating the process every time someone new came in and then leading everyone in a sing–along.

But it didn't catch on with the gang. So Lou, reverting to his true self, decided to give it another try. He announced another sing–along.

"And this time," he said with eyes squinting as he glanced around the room, "I really want to hear it."

And he went around the room like a drill sergeant, barking out orders like "Sing it!" or "I can't hear you" as he went from table to table.

The group did perform better the second time around, but it was a forced performance, and, before they finished singing, Lou decided that he had to sell the place.

I guess some things must be learned the hard way.

But it worked out well for fans of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. After all, if Lou had found that running a bar was his true calling, he might have left WJM long before the series went off the air.

And, consequently, he might not have gone on to star in his own series, Lou Grant, further defining the character.

Lou's place was in the newsroom.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Do You Smell What I Smell?



Hawkeye (Alan Alda): Jesus ate with the lepers.

Father Mulcahy (William Christopher): He was an exceptionally good sport.

On this day in 1978, the M*A*S*H TV series was about halfway through its 11–year run.

It is often said of sitcoms that, when they have been on the air that long, the episodes tend to become stale.

And it is true that M*A*S*H had some misfires that year.

But the episode that aired 35 years ago tonight was pure entertainment from start to finish. I've always thought of it as one of the series' best.

It wasn't like many of the episodes in the latter years of the series — in which a somber angle was inserted into an otherwise upbeat story. It was strictly comedy, all the way through.

As it opened, the surgeons had just completed a particularly grueling session in the operating room. To unwind, Charles (David Ogden Stiers) took to playing his French horn, much to the dismay of Hawkeye and B.J. (Mike Farrell), who decided to abstain from bathing until Charles stopped playing his horn.

Charles refused to back down, of course, and so did Hawkeye and B.J. It was a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.

And the rest of the camp was caught in the middle. Charles' French horn playing was, to put it mildly, annoying, and Hawkeye and B.J.'s stench was, well, irritating.

Something had to be done.

The odor became so bad that Hawkeye and B.J. were ordered by everyone else to eat their meals outside the mess hall. When Father Mulcahy strolled by and observed that it was a fine day to be eating outside, Hawkeye and B.J. invited him to sit and share the noontime meal. He refused, prompting them to inquire if it was because of their smell. Mulcahy admitted that it was.

"Jesus ate with the lepers," Hawkeye said.

And, in one of the best lines I have ever heard, Mulcahy replied, "He was an exceptionally good sport."

(An interesting side story involved Col. Potter and a suicidal patient. The patient's girlfriend or wife — I forget which — had been a beauty queen or something like that, and in high school they had been voted cutest couple. Now, disfigured by his injury, the patient could only think that they would be regarded as beauty and the beast.)

Inevitably, I suppose, there was a rebellion. The camp forcibly bathed Hawkeye and B.J. with teams assigned to wash, apply soap and dry the two miscreants.

As for Charles, his French horn was taken from him and placed in the path of an oncoming Jeep that left it flat as a pancake while the camp cheered.

But the cheering died away as Col. Potter strolled onto the scene. He appraised the situation and announced to the hushed crowd, clearly fearing severe punishment, that they were to be confined "to the Officer's Club for the duration of the whiskey. Pierce, Hunnicutt and Winchester are buying!"

Winchester had an issue to discuss. "My French horn ..." he began, looking at the flattened instrument.

"By all means, bring it along," Potter told him. "We'd love to hear it."