Barbeque Story/Waiter, There’s a Baby in My Soup

Barbeque Story

Synopsis:  Tommy and his friends hike over to the backyard next door to retrieve Tommy’s new ball.  Then they hike over to the next yard and almost get attacked by this heinous bulldog.

We open on a Fourth of July barbeque picnic in the Pickles’ backyard.  Tommy is about to eat some sort of large red beetle when Didi stops him and literally throws the beetle away.  The beetle lands on Lou’s nose, he flings it off and then it lands on Drew’s shoulder.  Drew overreacts and starts screaming for someone to remove it, which is pretty damn funny.  He’s all, “Get it off!  Get it off!” and Howard brushes the beetle off his shoulder, which lands on Spike’s head, who couldn’t care less and is salivating over the turkey patties on the grill, like, “Hi, ignore the large red insect on my head, please give me a burger.”  Stu, who is wearing a douche-y apron that reads “Tip the Cook” in big red letters, gloats at the dog, like ha ha, no people food for Spike.

The babies are bored in their playpen and Tommy suggests playing with his “new” ball, which I’m pretty sure we saw in the first episode, but whatever.  Tommy tosses it over to Chuckie, and Angelica, who happens to be nearby, catches the ball and knocks it volleyball style across the next two backyards, almost hitting a bird in the process.  That child is an unbelievable little twat, but damn if she doesn’t have some athletic ability!  Tommy starts crying and Didi picks him up and tries to calm him down.  Tommy looks over Didi’s shoulder and sees where the ball landed.  He stops crying and Didi gives him a kiss and puts him back in the playpen with the other babies.  Tommy tells Chuckie and the twins what he saw and plots to go over and get the ball.  He busts out his catchphrase, “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do,” and grabs a screwdriver from the pouch of a stuffed kangaroo.  He opens the playpen and the babies, again, leave unnoticed.  Tommy seems to have done this before, because he knows exactly which boards on the fence are loose.  Chuckie tries to talk Tommy out of it, and Tommy unleashes his other catchphrase, “Don’t be a baby!”  It always annoyed me when he said that.

Anyway, they venture into the other yard and after a few unfunny shenanigans (Phil looking into an ancient cement barbeque grill and ending up with a face full of soot, Chuckie temporarily getting stuck in a tree stump), Chuckie loses his shit and just goes off on Tommy.  While Chuckie continues to yell and scream, Tommy looks in the next yard over and sees his ball.  Chuckie shuts up and they all walk over to the chain link fence.  Tommy and Chuckie climb over, and Phil and Lil stay behind.  The ball is a few feet away from a flimsy doghouse, in which a nasty bulldog resides.  The bulldog pops out as Tommy retrieves his ball, but he’s chained to the doghouse, which is nailed to the ground.  The nails, however, are coming loose as the bulldog struggles to reach Tommy.  Phil and Lil hightail it out of there and return to the Pickles’ backyard.  They attach themselves to Betty, all breathless and petrified.  Betty, having no clue what’s going on, is visibly amused.  Didi starts freaking out because she can’t find Tommy.  Read that again: Didi is freaking out because she can’t find Tommy.  Why isn’t anyone – including Chuckie’s dad – freaking out over the fact that Chuckie’s missing too?  What the actual fuck?

Tommy lets out a high-pitched scream that no one but Spike can hear, and Spike jumps on the table, inadvertently putting his head through this huge tiki mask decoration, jumps over the fence, runs across the yard next door and then jumps over the next fence, where Tommy and Chuckie are.  Spike, still wearing the tiki mask, manages to scare the shit out of the bulldog, who runs back into his doghouse in terror.  Tommy and Chuckie, ball in tow, hitch a ride on Spike’s back and return to the Pickles’ backyard, unscathed.  The adults greet Chuckie with little more than a cheery but otherwise uninterested “Chuckie!”  Tommy, on the other hand, gets hugs and kisses and is chastised by Didi for giving them “quite a scare.”  The parents are really pissing me off here with their preferential treatment of Tommy.  Even the fucking dog gets more attention than Chuckie (I mean, yeah, he saved the kids from getting ripped apart by that fug bulldog, but the parents don’t know that).  The burgers wind up getting burned and are given to Spike as everyone sits down and watches the fireworks later that night.  The beetle reappears on Spike’s head and Tommy removes it and puts it in the grass.

Waiter, There’s a Baby in My Soup

Synopsis: Tommy brats it up at Stu’s business dinner.

Tommy sticks Stu’s favorite tie in the toilet and Stu is pissed.  He apparently has a dinner meeting with the head of a toy company called Mucklehoney Industries.  If things go well, Mucklehoney Industries could invest a hefty sum in Pickles Toys, and Stu has to look sharp.  I honestly don’t think he has anything to worry about since he winds up wearing the same shit he wears in every episode – jeans, a lime green shirt, lavender socks, brown shoes, a deep teal overcoat and that fucking tie, which is red with navy blue spots.  I think he’s pretty much justified in his fear of Mr. Mucklehoney not taking him seriously.  I certainly wouldn’t know what to think if someone showed up to a business dinner in that outfit!  Louise, Lou’s date for the night, is waiting outside in a bitchin’ purple sports car with lavender flames painted on it.  Lou steps out wearing a snazzy newsboy cap and tells Stu and Didi he has a hot date at the bowling alley.  Stu gives him a wink and says, “Score a three hundred, tiger!”  Ew.  Tommy’s baby-sitter calls to cancel because her goldfish died.  Didi doesn’t buy it until the baby-sitter clarifies that her other goldfish died.  Didi is understandably pissed and doesn’t even try to hide it.  Didi and Stu decide to just take Tommy with them.  They look over at him and he has somehow knocked over the garbage can and spilled everything inside it onto the floor.  Ha ha, good luck with that.

The Pickles clan meets up with Mr. Mucklehoney at this hoity-toity, expensive-ass place called Chez Ernie.  Turns out Stu really didn’t need to worry about Mr. Mucklehoney not taking him seriously: the guy doesn’t appear to take anything seriously and plays a practical joke on Stu, Didi and Tommy upon meeting each of them.  Didi sarcastically tells Mr. Mucklehoney, “Nice to meet you, too.”  I gotta say, I’m loving Didi in this episode.  Mr. Mucklehoney also appears to shop at the same store as Stu, with a bright yellow shirt, mustard slacks, a red overcoat, a light blue tie with a flamingo on it, a daisy boutonniere, yellow clown socks to match the shirt and white loafers with a brown leather fringe.  Is anyone else thinking of Claudia Kishi from The Baby-sitters Club?  ‘Cause that’s totally what the outfit makes me think of.  This guy is either drunk or high, as he laughs loudly, proclaims to be so hungry he “could eat a hog headfirst” (that’s a lovely image), and then literally yells for the waiter and orders a pound-and-a-half slab of prime rib, with spaghetti and meatballs as an appetizer.  Okay, he’s definitely high.  The head waiter seems to have a stick up his ass and is rocking earrings, a magenta jacket and a spiky blonde mullet with stripes shaved into the sides.  Très metal.  Before Didi can order, one of the snooty waiters tells her she has a phone call.  Not only that, he delivers the phone on a silver platter.  The call is from Lou, who got into a fight with Louise at the bowling alley and needs a ride home because he knows he ain’t tappin’ that ass tonight.  Didi apologizes to Mr. Mucklehoney and says she has a “family emergency” and has to go, and Mr. Mucklehoney suggests leaving Tommy with him and Stu.  Stu knows he’s fucked… or not, since nearly every toy he unveils during his presentation is met with a hearty laugh from Mr. Mucklehoney.  Also, what purpose would Didi have served at the meeting?  Why couldn’t she have stayed at home with Tommy in the first place?  Is she really so desperate to go out that she’d rather go to her husband’s business dinner than spend time with her own kid?

During the meeting, Tommy squiggles and squirms his way out of his high chair and under the table.  He gets a wad of gum and sticks it onto Mr. Mucklehoney’s shoe, then ties Stu’s shoelaces onto a table leg.  He hitches a ride on a food cart to the kitchen and raises all sorts of hell, including tossing a sardine onto some sort of sundae, getting chucked into a pile of dough, throwing a bunch of silverware into a cream pie (I feel sorry for the unwitting soul who receives this pie), pouring a shitload of black pepper and Tabasco sauce in a pot of hot soup, and hiding in a vat of noodles.  Back at the table, bowls of the spicy soup are being served.  Mr. Mucklehoney takes a sip of the soup (I don’t seem to remember him ordering soup or Stu ordering anything, but whatever), which is so hot that after one sip he’s sweating bullets within seconds.  He falls over, gagging, and Stu doesn’t do shit.  Amidst all the mayhem, Stu finally notices that Tommy’s missing!  I fail to understand how two grown-ass men somehow don’t notice that an infant sitting in a high chair next to both of them has disappeared.  Stu spots Tommy in the noodles, which are sitting right on the cart.  He walks toward the cart but, because his shoelaces are tied to the table leg, he knocks over the entire table.  Crazy.  Despite all that, Mr. Mucklehoney laughs his ass off, tells Stu that the entire incident was the best prank, like, ever and announces he’s investing in Pickles Toys.  Then he offers to pay off the entire bill, which totals up to a ludicrous three hundred ninety dollars. Really?  He’s not throwing a shitfit over the fact that he almost got his tongue burned off or that a table full of toys, food, flatware and candles got knocked on top of him, and on top of that, suspecting it was all done on purpose?  Anyone else would’ve been pissed.  Just sayin’… high as a fucking kite.

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