Lawrence is unhappy, so unhappy, even his renowned imagination can’t change things. The cause of this unhappiness? Braces. He has a mouthful, along with the medieval-torture-device headgear he must wear at night. Of course, he also has a list of foods he can’t eat as well, all his favorites: pizza crust, candy, and caramel apples. The mere thought of it makes him want to scream. Jack Allen tells him to use his imagination to solve his problem. While Lawrence is doing that, his mother, Maureen, is facing problems of her own.
Maureen is a school teacher, and the board has voted in a new history curriculum, one that eliminates Christianity’s contribution to the development of the United States and western civilization. Maureen can’t in good conscience teach this to her students. After much soul searching, and persuasion and encouragement from Jack and others, she decides to take on the school board.
Meanwhile, Lawrence has come up with a creative way to handle his braces problem, he wants fashionably-colored braces. Unfortunately, he’s not willing to wait to let the dentist do it. Instead, he paints them himself using the paint from his model car kit. He shows Jack, who immediately rushes him to the hospital. Lawrence learns a valuable lesson about being patient and also about listening to his mother and those in authority.
And Maureen? Her stance against the curriculum is successful, and she learns that there are times when you have to go against what the authorities say, namely, when the authorities contradict God.
- Why was Maureen so opposed to the history curriculum?
- What is “revisionist” history?
- When is it appropriate to go against those in authority over you?
- Can you think of any other examples of when it might be okay?
Heard in episode
|Anita Clair||A-Jay James|
|Jack Allen||Alan Young|
|Lawrence Hodges||Gabriel Encarnacion|
|Maureen Hodges||Janet Waldo|
|Principal Mike Coogan||Walker Edmiston|
Mentioned in episode
|Joe Finneman||Jack Allen|
|Dale Jacobs||Maureen Hodges|
|Connie Kendall||Jack Allen|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The album version of this episode features 1 minute and 37 seconds of additional lines and scenes.
- This is the last episode that Lawrence appears in until #638: “The Triangled Web, Part 1”.
- The chemistry evident between Alan Young and Janet Waldo in their shared scenes during this episode would be harnessed later when Waldo returned to voice recurring character Joanne Woodston.
- In one scene from this episode, Lawrence is reading a Star Fighters book and says his headgear makes him look like something out of Star Wars.
- See main article: List of Star Wars references
Lawrence Hodges: A bite of this apple can't do any harm. Just a bite... <crunch> AAAGGHH!
Maureen Hodges: We're not suggesting that the curriculum be changed; we're suggesting that the board drop the curriculum completely.
Anita Clair: On what grounds?
Maureen Hodges: On the grounds that you have a seven-page, single-spaced list of errors in front of you.
Maureen Hodges: Don't you see what's happening here? We're opening the door for the kind of education that suppresses children's understanding, not releases it! It's a viewpoint that limits their grasp of the thoughts and philosophies that made us what we are as a nation. This curriculum isn't a balanced look at events, but someone's agenda! It isn't trying to teach history; it's trying to indoctrinate. It's doing what we used to accuse the Communists or the Nazis of doing with their history books—altering or ignoring facts in order to push a particular perspective on students!
Jack Allen: You're fortunate you only swallowed a little of that paint—though what in the world made you paint your braces is beyond me!
Lawrence Hodges: Well, you said to use my imagination to make my braces fun!
Jack Allen: Well, but Lawrence, I didn't mean disconnecting your brain! How could you be so old and not know better?