We'll join the Bixbys in a moment, but first a message from our sponsor.
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And now to today's story.
Note all the old-fashioned first names among the cast and characters. Nowadays few Americans name their children Martha, George, Eileen, Herb, Herman, Muriel, Lucy, Henry, or Melvin. And our non-speaking roles included Inez, Mabel, and Myrtle.
We have several well-known actors on our program today. First, in the leading role of Martha Bixby we are delighted to have Eileen Jividen. In the role of her husband, George, we have Herb Conley. The renowned actor, Bob Marvin, will portray Herman La Bauchie, the practical-joke player. Muriel Ballard, the up-and-coming young actress, will play Lucy Ames. Her husband, Henry, will be played by Ken Fulton.
In the role of Susan, the Bixbys' 15-year-old daughter, we have Nancy Mosier. You should be delighted to know that the 10-year-old brat, Jeffery, will be played today by the perfect actor for this part, Keith Forrider.
Melvin Winngate, Susan's boyfriend, we have lovable John Millington.
And, finally, as Jim Whitsneizer, the young man whose wife is to
have a baby, we have Tommy Thomas.
CLASS PHOTO I'M IN THE TOP ROW, SECOND FROM RIGHT
story today begins in the Ames kitchen. Inez Ruppledove and
Martha Bixby are talking on the party line when Lucy picks up her telephone.
should explain this plot device. Many of our telephones in
Richwood were still "party lines," where several
homes shared the same wire. When you picked up your phone, it
was like picking up an extension. Instead of a dial tone, you
might hear a conversation already in progress.
LUCY AMES (Muriel Ballard): Hm? Oh, I'm sorry, Martha. This party line! When is that telephone company going to change it over? (hangs up)
Hmm. It seems I heard them saying something about a baby. Do you suppose Martha's going to have another ba why, of course! Martha must be going to have a baby!
Say, I know what. I'll get up a baby shower for her! Yes, a surprise baby shower! I'll call up Herman, and Inez boy, will Martha be surprised! Let's see, what's Herman's number?
ANNOUNCER: So Lucy got together a group of Martha's friends for the shower. Little did she know that Martha was not expecting! You see, she got a little mixed up with what she heard of the conversation.
Later that evening, Melvin and Susan were sitting in the porch swing. Herman was coming up the street toward the house, but they didn't notice him.
MELVIN (John Millington): Uh, Susan, if I tried to er to kiss you, would you c-call for help?
SUSAN BIXBY (Nancy Mosier): Well, I don't know, Melvin. Do you think you'll need any?
HERMAN (Bob Marvin) : Ha-ha! (approaching, loudly) That's the best one I've heard all day! Do you think I'll need any! Ha-ha-ha! (quiets down) Say, I've got a joke to pull on your mother. You two keep quiet, will ya?
ANNOUNCER: Herman went up to the door and rang the doorbell. (sound effect) Martha was upstairs washing her face.
MARTHA BIXBY (Eileen Jividen): Oh, me. I wonder who that could be? (running downstairs) Coming, I'm coming! (opening door) Hey, there's nobody here!
ANNOUNCER: Herman had run around to the side door while Martha was coming down the steps. He let himself in the door and came up behind Martha. He had already put on a grotesque false face, so when Martha turned around
MARTHA B: Eek! Aah! George, someone's down here! Help me! Aah!
GEORGE BIXBY (Herb Conley): Martha! What's wrong? (running downstairs) Did this man try oh, so it's you, Herman! What do you mean by scaring my wife like that? You should be ashamed of yourself.
HERMAN: Aw, George, you know how I am. I do this all the time! Come on, shake hands.
GEORGE B: Oh, all right. (loud buzz) Yaaououch!
ANNOUNCER: The next day, Martha went shopping. Lucy came to the house to tell the Bixbys about the shower. (doorbell)
GEORGE B: All right, I'm coming. (opening door) Oh, hello, Mrs. Ames. Come on in!
LUCY A: Thank you, but I can't stay too long. I just wanted to tell you that we're planning to have a surprise baby shower here tomorrow and we wondered if you'd let us.
GEORGE B: Well, it's all right with me, but I'll have to ask Martha when she gets back, and
LUCY A: Oh, no, don't! You see, this party's for Martha.
GEORGE B: Wait a moment! Martha's not going to say, there has been an increase in the amount of knitting she's been turning out!
SUSAN B: But Father, she said she's knitting that for the Whitsneizers!
JEFF BIXBY (Keith Forrider): Yeah, I had to take a whole basket of that stuff over there yesterday.
GEORGE B: She's probably just trying to cover up. She didn't tell me that you two were on the way for a long time. I wonder why she does these things. (pause) Well, Mrs. Ames, thank you for coming over. Sure glad you did.
LUCY A: You're welcome. Goodbye. (door closes)
SUSAN B: I wonder how she found out, when Mother wouldn't even tell us?
GEORGE B: Women have a way of finding out these things, Susan. You should know, as long as you stay on the telephone! You probably know more about some of those girls than they know about themselves.
ANNOUNCER: That evening at the dinner table, the family nervously tried to find out if Lucy was right.
GEORGE B: Uh, Martha, we er we have something to ask you.
MARTHA B: Well, come out with it.
SUSAN B: Er Mother, are you going to have a baby?
MARTHA B: What? Am I going to have a baby? Ha-ha! Where'd you get that idea?
JEFF B: But what about the surprise mmphmmph-mmmph? Hey, Susan, why'd you do that?
MARTHA B: I'll get the dessert and then maybe I can find out where you got that idea. Me going to have a baby! Ha-ha! (fades away into kitchen)
Trying to cover up again! I wish she'd come out and tell us.
I enjoyed writing this line of Jeff's. Even at age 11, I must have realized that I had no inclination to parenthood.
JEFF B: Yeah. I don't know whether to expect a howling, screaming, yelling baby, or peace and quiet.
ANNOUNCER: The next day was the day of the shower. At exactly 1:55, Lucy came over to talk to Martha while Henry kept the guests outside.
LUCY A: I came over here to look at your young tomato plants, Martha. I'm thinking of putting some out, myself.
MARTHA B: Oh, yes. Come on out to the garage. (fading out) I just picked these up at the nursery yesterday. (door closes)
HENRY AMES (Ken Fulton): All right, everybody. Come on in, and hurry! (shuffling-about noises) Herman, get behind that chair. Inez, you crawl in here. George, come on down and get in the closet. That's right, Mabel. All right, is everyone ready?
HERMAN: Okay. Quiet now, here they come.
MARTHA B (approaching): Really, I think you'd do better with hybrid tomatoes. They seem to
MARTHA B: Huh? Hey, what's this all about?
LUCY A: Martha, all these friends of yours are here to celebrate the baby that is on the way. We're so happy about it that
MARTHA B: Wait a minute. Last night my family thought the same thing. And now you who got the idea that I was going to have a baby, anyway?
LUCY A: Well I well, aren't you?
MARTHA B: Of course not. Who thought this thing up?
HERMAN: Well, Lucy told me.
GEORGE B: Same here.
HENRY A: Where'd you hear this choice bit of gossip, blabbermouth?
LUCY A: Well, I picked up the telephone one morning and heard Inez say that well, she didn't exactly say it she um they were
HENRY A: In other words, you started a rumor. Right?
The rest of the script is in someone else's handwriting, probably that of Muriel Ballard, the daughter of the pastor at my church.
My guess is that she inserted the purse incident only to establish that the Jeffery character was, as the announcer had described him, a brat.
The portion in red was later crossed out and presumably not performed.
ANNOUNCER: Everybody began to talk at once, but they soon quieted down. Someone suggested that since they were there, they may as well have a party.
LUCY A (suddenly): Oh, Jeffery, you little monster! Who do you think you are, taking those things out of my purse like that?
JEFF B (very surprised): Well-l-l I uh
LUCY A: Nonsense! Give me that purse right now!
ANNOUNCER: Meanwhile, Henry began telling this joke to George.
HENRY: A farmer and a professor were traveling together when the professor suggested asking riddles to pass the time. "Every time you miss a riddle, you give me a dollar, and every time I miss, I'll give you a dollar."
"You're better educated than I am," replied the farmer. "I'll give you 50 cents." The professor agreed and told the farmer to ask the first riddle.
"What has three legs walking and two legs flying?"
The professor gave up and handed over the dollar.
farmer didn't know either and handed back 50 cents!
In old comedies, the sponsor's product was often worked into the plot. They'd still be doing it today if programs were still sponsored by a single advertiser.
ANNOUNCER: At that moment, Herman came in with the refreshments: hamburgers and Burpsi-Cola. He passed the tray to Martha first.
MARTHA B (taking a bite of the hamburger): Eeek! Oh, goodness! What is this, anyway?
HERMAN: Well, I guess that now, since you've already sampled my delicious cooking, I can tell you about it. Do you remember when you asked me to plant those rose bushes? Well, I found several worms while I was doing it, and decided that I would dry them and try to play a joke on you. You see, Martha, the "meat" is cardboard, and the "bun" is cotton stuffed with the dried worms and covered with tan tissue paper.
MARTHA B: Oh, Herman! You make me sick!
HERMAN (laughing): You'll probably be a lot sicker because you took that big bite out of the hamburger. Ha-ha!
ANNOUNCER: However, things soon quieted down. The group decided that since Martha was such a good sport about it, they would give her their presents anyway!
Then the guests went home. Later that night, Martha found half of a candy box and a shoelace on the floor.
GEORGE B: This reminds me of a poem I read yesterday in "The American Legion Magazine." Would you like to hear it?
ANNOUNCER: Not waiting for Martha to answer, George recited:
left-shoe Oxford, man's size ten,
negligence we wouldn't mind,
ANNOUNCER: The next day, the Bixbys decided to give the presents to Myrtle Whitsneizer. The Bixbys were hoping it would be a girl, because other than two sheets, a blanket, and a basinet, the presents were for a girl.
One day about two weeks later, Martha was hanging some clothes out on the clothesline when one of her neighbors told her that Mrs. Whitsneizer had gone to the hospital to have her baby. Immediately Martha dropped everything and drove out to the hospital.
Just as she got out of the car, she saw something that looked like a mental patient racing from the hospital whooping and shouting. As he came closer, Martha saw that it was Mr. Whitsneizer.
MR. WHITSNEIZER (Tommy Thomas): My wife just had a baby! My dear Myrtle just had a baby! Waahooo! Whoopee!
Care for a cigar, Ma'am?
MARTHA B: No thanks. This just isn't my brand.
By the way, Jim, what are you going to name her?
MR. W: Oh, it is not a girl. It's a boy. Yipeee!
ANNOUNCER: As Martha got into the car, she was wondering what would be done with the girl-baby presents. As she looked back outside, she saw a nurse telling Mr. Whitsneizer something. Then came another loud whoop.
MR. W: It's a girl! It's a boy! It's twins! Hey, Mister, have two cigars!
ANNOUNCER: Laughing, Martha started the engine and drove away.
This final commercial and the closing are again in my handwriting.
Several people have written in to us here at station HAMS
asking questions about our fine product, Burpsi-Cola. One
person asked about the miracle ingredient that makes Burpsi turn to
bubbles. Well, here it is;
A lady recently called in, telling us how much she liked our product. At least that's what we think she said. Here's how she described Burpsi-Cola.
almost unintelligibly, at double speed): IwouldliketotellyouhowmuchIlikeyourfineproductBurpsiCola
(normal speed): Thank you, Mrs. Duck.
(double speed): Yourewelcome.
(normal speed): Do you see what I mean? Even ducks are drinking Burpsi-Cola.
Another person, a human being this time, sent us a jingle. It goes like this.
We appreciate those letters, folks. We're glad to know that you're drinking a lot of regular, large, and glutton size Burpsi-Colas. Keep on drinking them, will you?
(double speed): Allrightallright!
ANNOUNCER: We hope you have enjoyed today's episode of The Bixbys.
This program was produced and directed by Tommy Thomas. It was based upon a story written by Eileen Jividen, Barbara Bugg, Tommy Thomas, and Bob Marvin. This story was adapted for radio by Muriel Ballard and Tommy Thomas. Our Burpsi-Cola commercials were done for us today by Nancy Mosier, and the jingle was sung for us by Linda Congrove and Brenda Stockwell. Our executive producer was John W. Merriman. This has been a John Merriman production.
And now this is Barbara Bugg signing off for Burpsi-Cola. Good day!