Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Jean Byron

            On Wednesday I had books that were due to be returned to the OISE library but there was an 80% chance of rain and so rather than risk being caught in a downpour I took the day of grace.
            There’s lots of squirrel traffic back and forth across Queen Street and over Dunn Avenue in the mornings this time of year. They know not to cross when the streetcar is coming.
            I spent most of the day working on my journal and didn’t take a bike ride that afternoon because I thought it might rain. It didn’t rain until that night though, so really I could have returned the books and ridden down to Pharmacy and Danforth and back without getting wet, unless of course it did rain after all in the east end.
            That evening I grilled the frozen chicken burgers that I’d gotten from the food bank a few weeks ago. They weren’t purely chicken though because they also contained cheese, wheat and soy. I had one on a spelt bun with dill pickle, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise and a beer while watching two episodes of Dobie Gillis.
            In the first story Dobie tries to come up with a logical argument to get Zelda to stop following him around and insisting that they are meant to be together. She is sure that his inferior brain won’t be able to convince her but challenges him to do so. From a science class demonstration of two mice, each bred for opposite levels of intelligence, he gets the idea to tell that Zelda that her hopes of eventually marrying him and raising a family would be a cruel. He argues that the fact that he is stupid means there is a fifty-fifty chance that they would have stupid children and she realizes that he is right. He steers her into a relationship instead with the smartest guy in college, Chatsworth Osborn Jr. What’s weird is that in the first part of season two Chatsworth is portrayed as a rich idiot but now he's a wealthy genius. So Zelda begins a relationship with Chatsworth and seems to be happy but Dobie is miserable so he plots to convince her that his argument about heredity was wrong. His plan is to sneak into the lab and overfeed the smart mouse so that it will be slower going through the maze than the dumb mouse. In the lab though he finds Zelda, who had the same idea, because she was unhappy without Dobie too.
            In the second story Dobie has become very interested in Archaeology and asks his father, Herbert for money so he can go with his professor on a dig to Egypt. Herbert knows from past experience that any time Dobie is interested in something new there is an attractive girl involved. He goes to visit the class and discovers that the professor is gorgeous so he’s sure that Dobie must be in love with his teacher. A good part of the comedy in this episode involves Herbert rushing to the teacher one night after watching the love scene from a silent film set in Egypt called “Cold Steel and Hot Sand” featuring love affair between a sheik and an archaeologist. He bursts into the lab and falls on his knees, begging the professor not to take his son to Egypt because she’s too beautiful and Egypt is too romantic. She demands that he go home and apologize to Dobie and so he does but while he’s talking with his son, Dobie mentions that Professor Burkhart is good looking and Herbert goes rushing back to the lab, bursts in and once again falls to his knees and beg her not to take Dobie to Egypt or else he will force him to stay home. She says that it’s important enough that Dobie goes that she is willing to stay home. When he goes back to tell Dobie he is sure that on hearing that the professor won't be going he won't want to go but Dobie doesn’t care. Convinced that Dobie really cares about archaeology Herbert goes back to fall on his knees and beg the professor for forgiveness and tell her she can go to Egypt. He goes home to tell Dobie but then sees his wife sewing shorts for Dobie and he rushes back to the professor to beg her not to wear shorts on the dig. She agrees and he heads home but halfway there he makes a U-turn and slides into the lab once again on his knees only to find the cleaning lady who says she was warned that a nut would come in on his knees. Later when he gets a letter from Dobie in Egypt his depiction sounds so romantic that Herbert charges out the door, presumably on his way to Egypt.
            Professor Burkhart was played by Jean Byron, who later played Patty’s mother on the Patty Duke Show.

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