Episode 16 – Be the First on your Block

Howard calls a family meeting to announce they will be installing a bomb shelter in the backyard. He reasons that at the height of the ‘Cold War’ tensions could boil over any time. The rest of the family is not so sure.

Word spreads quickly amongst Richie’s friends of the bomb shelter. It is believed the site will make a great ‘make-out’ spot. A girl named Carol who has never shown interest in Richie suddenly wants to go out with him because he now has a bomb shelter.

“Just in case anyone needs a bracer when the bombs are falling”

Howard conducts his first practice drill in the backyard in the area roped off for the installation. Assorted people and their dates turns up, including Fonzie on his motorcycle. Howard orders them all to leave and go home. This causes friction with other members of the family.

The next day at Arnolds, everyone ignores Richie. Marion also suffers some backlash. Another meeting is called at home, in which contrary opinions are aired –

RICHIE: Dad, the way I figure it is if they drop the bomb, then I won’t have any friends. And if they DON’T drop the bomb, the way things are, I won’t have any friends. So what good is the bomb shelter?

MARION: That’s an interesting question Howard. What’s your answer?

HOWARD: I’ll tell you what good it is… If you sit in it you have peace of mind.

RICHIE: While all your friends are pounding at the door?

HOWARD: Oh look, the discussion is over. We’re gonna take a vote.

The family vote against having the shelter being installed but, ashead of the house, Howard overrides the decision. Slowly, however, he begins to question whether all the negative reaction is worth it, eventually siding with the rest of the family in choosing not to install a bomb shelter in their backyard.

HOWARD: Richard, what do you think about a man who got so carried away by his own fears he forgot about people?

RICHIE: I’d say he’s human.

The actress who played the girl who would only go out with Richie because she thought he had a bomb shelter was Christina Hart (born 1949). She would go on to become a successful playwright, and direct over 50 plays. Amongst many film and television appearances, she played a member of the Manson gang in the 1976 movie HELTER SKELTER.

And finally, from the people who brought you this…

Comes this…

A foxhole kit for just $13:50? Are you kidding me? That spells BARGAIN in any language – Nuclear Survival Dialect most especially. Just wish the guy narrating this video could have somehow found a way to ratchet up his reading speed from extra, extra slow to, well… even just ‘slow’ would have been an improvement. Don’t ya think?

ROLLING STONE Magazine have come up with a list they consider to be the 100 Greatest Television Series of all time.(HERE) These types of lists are always good for a giggle and a quibble.

HAPPY DAYS came in at #65. Naturally, I believed a much-loved show that ran for 11 seasons warranted a higher position. TOP TEN springs to mind. TOP FIVE would have been deserving. But not my list, right?

I was mentally coercing myself into a state of something resembling partial, ok… VERY partial acceptance of that lowly placing (amidst dealing with the hurt of HR PUFNSTUF being left out altogether!) – believing I should probably be thankful the hipster millennials compiling the list thought to include it at all – when further scrolling revealed THE MUPPETT SHOW rated a full 11 places higher, coming in at #54.

That was zero hour for me. Time to shut the gate. Sorry ROLLING STONEwho I used to so love when I was 15 – but after seeing that and consequently never being able to UNSEE that – the jig with your list was most definitely up for me. But no hard feelings.

Are you ready for a little SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK in your life? If the answer’s ‘Yes’ (or even a firm ‘maybe’) go ahead and click HERE to enter. No need to knock.

5 thoughts on “Episode 16 – Be the First on your Block

  1. Well, I tried everything (again) to get the “like” to work for me here, including going out, “logging on” to Wordpress, rebooting the page, looking for your blog in the Reader…to no avail. Sorry about that. I’m sure it’s something simple. Just can’t figure it out, Glen! Hey, but as for this episode, sounds like a good one. The Twilight Zone where one family is all prepared, bomb shelter and all, and the other families aren’t…and come banging on the door, begging to be let in… I bet someone who wrote this Happy Days episode was inspired by that. ‘Cause it’s true. How COULD we not open the door? We SHOULDN’T, because then all the effort and thought and preparation puts our whole family at risk… but what would life be like when we crawled out of there one day and people were dead and/or dying…people whose names we knew? I don’t know! I would never survive the end of the world anyway, lol. I love the cartoon of the 1950s family in the shelter and the mom’s wearing high heels. LOL. COME ON! Also love the post-nuclear war survival game for 2-4 players. LOL And props for Christina Hart! I looked her up. Playwrights are a special breed. I admire them. I loved the fact that Sam Shepard was one. Handsome AND brainy, haha. Just looked him up too. He was married to an actress I’m sure you’d recognize. But I had no idea she had such a bizarre name: O-Lan. HOW WEIRD. But interesting. I would love that to be my name, lol. Lastly, I have to come back because I want to see the Brief History of the Fallout Shelter video, but I can’t right now ’cause I’m in the library and didn’t bring my headphones. Look forward to it, tho.
  2. Oh my god! I went back to that page to read up on Sam Shepard a little bit, and J.H.C., he could NOT keep it in his pants! Excuse my French. He was married to Lan-O for over a decade but bedding everyone in Hollywood at the same time–sometimes seeing three different women at once. And I completely forgot he finally got together with Jessica Lange (while he was still married, mind you, but Lan-O and he divorced soon after Jessica) for 27 years. Wow, that’s a committment-phobe if I ever saw one, lol. Jeez, Sam!!
  3. Okay, saw the video. It was pretty funny, in a sad way, of course. And yeah, the narrator needed to have a couple Red Bulls before he read that. And yeah, the foxhole fit for 13 bucks… oh my god! Can you IMAGINE getting into something the size of a dumpster with your entire family? As for the Rolling Stone ratings…their intelligence is questionable, at best, lol. Of course Happy Days can’t be below The Muppetts. How absurd! Each brought their own brand of innocent enjoyment. How could it be better? And props to you for mentioning HR Puff’N’Stuff! I, of course, had a big crush on Jack Wild back then. I’ve probably mentioned this before.

Got thoughts? Wanna share some? Do you know just how much I would enjoy that?