Thursday, November 24, 2016

Darrin's Man Cave

Did ya ever have one of those days when you just didn't feel like going anywhere or doing anything? Just wanted to lay around the house or the apartment, munch on some popcorn and feel no particular pressure to accomplish anything?

That was the essence of the story told on Bewitched on this night in 1966 — "Oedipus Hex."

When the episode opened, Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) was being a busy neighborhood activist, working with a group of ladies to raise money for new playground equipment. She planned to host a meeting at her house for a brainstorming session on how to raise the money.

But as busy as she was, Samantha was fretting about Darrin (Dick York). He was stressed out about his work, and Samantha wished she could get him to relax. Her mistake was confiding this to her mother (Agnes Moorehead). Endora insisted that men were like children without their work, and he would just be a nuisance if he took the day off.

Without Samantha's knowledge, Endora cast a spell on a bowl of popcorn that made anyone who ate from it a couch potato; in typical Endora fashion, she did this simply to prove her point. And she did. Darrin grabbed a handful of popcorn on his way out the door, and it did its thing. Darrin turned around and went back in the house, telling Samantha he was taking the day off. She didn't know why he had changed his mind, but she was pleased.

Then one by one others fell under Endora's spell — the milkman, the TV repairman and Darrin's boss Larry (David White), who came over to see what was going on — and Samantha got suspicious.

Samantha convened her committee meeting, and Darrin and his gang of ne'er–do–wells moved their inactivity to the patio where they swapped Army stories. It became, to use a popular term, a man cave.

But as the morning wore on the committee wasn't getting anything accomplished, largely because of the distraction of the boisterous group on the patio. Samantha, who by this time had figured out what was going on, used her knowledge to her advantage and offered some popcorn to the frazzled ladies, which helped them relax, and Darrin and the slackers started calling their friends and associates to put the squeeze on them for contributions to the playground equipment fund.

They met the ladies' goal. No fundraising programs like a raffle would be necessary.

Endora's plan had failed.

And, after Endora removed the spell as she had promised Samantha she would do and everyone began to leave, Darrin told Samantha the morning had been enjoyable, relaxing, and they ought to do it more often.

Samantha, of course, had found the morning anything but relaxing.

No special lesson to be learned from that episode, I suppose, except that being a couch potato isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be quite rewarding.