Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ask me - I live there (Finally, my review of Vic and Sade)

I live in a small house halfway up the next block.

I spend hours most everyday pouring over Vic and Sade material - most of it is stuff I have written myself.  There's no cure for me - the lure of being in the small town halfway up the next block is too strong.  It's become commonplace for me to imagine myself as a fly on the wall at the Gook house.

There's little plot.  What I hear are bits and pieces of stories, generally about people I have heard of, but I don't "know."  Well, I DO know them because the Gooks talk about them all of the time.

The Gooks are not really doing anything - which may seem to make the show slow.  But what they are actually doing is having a "conversation." And while they are having their conversations, it's plausible to say that Vic is not really listening to Sade and he sure isn't listening to Rush.   Sade is not listening to Vic or Rush.  Rush is reading from his books - outloud - and no one else really wants to hear "that trash."  Uncle Fletcher is either DEMANDING to be heard or goes away quietly.  Meanwhile, everyone is talking over each other, striving for someone to hear what they say.

It sounds chaotic - and it is - but there is a magical rhythm to it that becomes predictable after a while of listening.  As a matter of fact, the show is all about rhythms: Brainfeeble... Kneesuffer... Gutstop... Kissy Lunge... J.J.J.J. Stunbolt, Y.I.I.Y Skeeber, for crying out loud.  The whole secret of the show is acclimating yourself to the rhythm of what's being spoken.   Once you learn that, you don't really care what they say.  The rhythm and the very silly names (Cupid and Stupid Golfbake, Robert and Slobert Hink, Rishigan Fishigan from Sishigan, Michigan) are jumbled up inside of the rhetoric - but then you soak up the ridiculous situations and reflect on your knowledge that has been passed along before - because the continuity is overwhelmingly good and you realize - yes, these friends of the Gooks are crazier than they are and everything that's been said is completely plausible.

Writer Paul Rhymer often took normal situations and made the most ridiculous things happen in the 1940's; for instance, a set of four idental twins call the Gook residence, think Rush is a girl, asks Sade how much she weighs naked.  

Vic's visiting lodge brothers might come for a visit; not 2 or 3 but 19 of them.

Or Vic  -very intelligent yet a big "kid" trapped in a man's body- having to have his wife participate in one of his strange lodge ceremonies (he tells her to screw in a green lightbulb, make him soup and serve it to him barefooted.)  Then there was the time that Vic complimented Sade's fat friend on a dress she was wearing; the fat friend gains confidence because of this and buys a new dress.  The fat lady then invites the Gooks over hoping Vic again will compliment her and he's reluctantly prepared to do so until he finds a set of antique guns and a cowboy hat over at her house - he dons them all and literally psychotically escapes into a world where he looks to kill desperados.  When the fat lady comes out to show Vic her new dress, he doesn't give a flying fang about it - all he cares about are the cattle rustlers he's imagined he can shoot.

Sade on the other hand, is all about some gossip.  She loves to share it with anyone who will listen; the family listens only out of being forced to.  Sade is thrilled when she gets a boring, predictable letter from her sister but the family could care less.  Vic and Rush care less, eh?  Well She'll guilt trip them and nag them to death.  And she does.  And it's hilarious. 

Sade is uneducated and doesn't understand even the simplest math.  Her vocabulary is short as well.  Yet, her enormous powers of insight and observation make fools out of the much-better-educated Vic and Rush almost every show.

The women in her sewing club can get furious at each other over the fact that one has smaller feet than the other.

Rush is "a big old high school boy" but cares little about girls - he's enamored with counterfieting ___ (fill in the blank) and movies at the theatre, which are at least 90% love stories.  No, Rush isn't gay - I think he gets a kick out of watching these movies as there are no other movies to watch.  His adopted mother and father sure aren't about affection nor listening to him, so he watches the love stories. 

Sometimes, he and his father conspire to do dirty deeds like draw a pencil mustache on a sleeping, silly neighbor who cries all the time and is afraid of the dark.

Uncle Fletcher is a head case.  But is he crazy, senile or are his stories so crazy that they only make him appear nuts?  

He knows an endless line of inventors. He enjoys riding on the garbage wagon.  He knows the ages of people when they got married.  He seems to be endlessly rich.  Yet his passion in life seems to be his friends and his family.  Everyone loves Uncle Fletcher even though he is bothersome, partially deaf and probably as nutty as a squirel's house.

If it appears to you the family is disfunctional - think again.  They are simply quirky and they all know quirky people. 

Just ask me, I live there.

©Jimbo 2010/2011


  1. I guess you live in Illinois like me.

    The few shows I have listened to are like you just explained. It has a low key story line with emphasis on how the characters react (or do not react) to each other. They all go march to their own drummers. I do believe you live there as when I visit your Vic and Sade blog it has so much detail how could you not live there?

  2. I do live there, I really do :)


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