Family Vacation, Part 1
It's vacation time, and the Barclay family is off like a herd of turtles. Well, almost: they haven't even left yet. Young Jimmy is going to journal about the trip. One of the first things he records is that his older sister, Donna, doesn't want to go. She prefers to remain in Odyssey, but her parents have overruled that notion, so Donna is not a happy camper. Jimmy also documents a brief, pre-trip visit with Whit, who has given him a new invention, "Whit's Boredom Buster" — to be used only when Jimmy is "absolutely, without question, no doubt about it, as bored as you've ever been in your life."
At last, the Barclays are on the road... and aren't 20 minutes into their trip when trouble starts. Donna and Jimmy argue about backseat space; George runs over something that everyone thinks is a small animal but turns out to be a piece of tire rubber; they have a chewy lunch in an old diner; they sing every praise chorus they know; and the batteries go dead in Donna's tape player, further souring her mood.
To top it all off, the car suddenly dies. When George gets out to investigate, Jimmy sees a man they passed on the road rapidly approaching them. Donna speculates that he's an ax murderer. She screams for her father to get back in the car. Just as the man walks up, George pops the cap off the hot radiator, sending up an explosion of water and steam.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- What was the meaning of Whit's message, "Boredom is under your control"?
- Why is it important for families to have fun together?
- Describe some fun times you have had with your family.
Heard in episode
|Jimmy Barclay||David Griffin|
|Donna Barclay||Azure Janosky|
|Mary Barclay||Maggie Malooly|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|George Barclay||Roger Scott|
|Radio Announcer||Dave Arnold|
Mentioned in episode
|Great-Grandma Benson||Jimmy Barclay|
- This episode takes place away from Odyssey: Episodes That Take Place Away from Odyssey
- This episode marks the first appearance of the Barclay family on AIO. Although Jimmy and Donna were played by the same actors throughout the series, George and Mary were played by several different people over the years. These two episodes are the only ones in which actor other than Chuck Bolte plays George, and the only episodes where Maggie Malooly (the voice of June Kendall) plays Mary Barclay.
- The show Donna is watching on TV at home is the "I Dream of Jeannie" episode Invisible House For Sale.
- Listen closely while George is fiddling with the car: the announcer on the radio talks about being minutes away from hearing from Dr. James Dobson. The station's call letters are KFOF.
- Listeners to the show decided the travel destination after an announcement on the episode #24: “Gotcha!”. The most-requested location was Florida.
- The Barclays' first names are a reference to Frank Capra's film "It's a Wonderful Life." The character of George Bailey was played by Jimmy Stewart, and Mary Bailey was played by Donna Reed - thus, George, Jimmy, Mary, and Donna, and when the Barclay's new baby (born years later in #294: “Unto Us a Child Is Born”) would be named Stewart Reed.
- The diner that Jimmy describes the family visiting in this episode could possibly be the same diner that Bernard and Eugene visit years later in #274: “First-Hand Experience”, judging by its relative distance from town and the way the waitress calls her patrons "honey."
- When batteries go dead in a portable cassette player, the cassette doesn't just stop playing all of a sudden: the cassette deck slowly comes to a stop.
Jimmy Barclay: I got everything in that I need.
Mary Barclay: Open it up, Jimmy.
Jimmy Barclay: There. See?
Mary Barclay: Yes, I do. I see a pile of comic books, a baseball glove, your piggy bank, your play army boots, a yo-yo, a cassette player and tapes, three model sports cars, and -- what's this?
Jimmy Barclay: My Overlords of Space Laser Blaster.
Jimmy Barclay: It took three more tries before Mom would let me leave. And I had to take out most of the good stuff, too, like half of the comic books and the army boots. Just for some clean underwear, socks and shirts that make my neck itch. Grown-ups just don't understand what's really important. I thought this was supposed to be a fun vacation.
Jimmy Barclay: Come on, Donna. Mom said to turn off the TV because we have to pack.
Donna Barclay: Be quiet, runt. I don't wanna pack for that stupid vacation. I don't wanna go, and I don't think Mom and Dad should make me. You guys go. I'm twelve years old, and I'm big enough to take care of myself.
Jimmy Barclay: Ok, so Dad's not a mechanic. That's all right. He got it fixed before we left in the morning. Well, almost fixed. We have to push the lighter in to turn on the windshield wipers.
George Barclay: Oh, we're only 52 minutes late. That's a record for us.
Jimmy Barclay: All that excitement for a piece of tire rubber. Anyway, we drove for a little while and then stopped at one of those diner kind of restaurants where all the waitresses call you "honey" and look just like my Great-Grandma Benson right before she died.