Where’s Alfalfa?

For the past few nights, the family has been gathered around ye olde television set watching TCM’s “Our Gang” at dinnertime.  My father is the only one who really knows who’s who because there is no Spanky or Buckwheat, no Alfalfa even.  This is the original gang.

Here’s a clip from one of the funniest episodes we’ve seen yet, all about how Norman (Chubbsy Ubbsy) tries to propose to Miss Crabtree.  Oh my god, isn’t he just adorable?

That little blond kid who peeks in on Norman and Miss Crabtree looks like a version of Alfalfa but he’s not Alfalfa.  I don’t know what his name is.  I am only familiar with the more popular gang, you know – the Alfalfa, Spanky, Buckwheat, and Darla.  But the kids in “Our Gang” are pretty talented, too.  And cute. 

However, given the decade during which this show was at its most popular, it’s still a little disturbing to see how some of the children were treated during filming.  I mean, in one scene in tonight’s episode, a baby was being force-fed some kind of syrupy liquid that she obviously did not want to ingest!  The Gang mentioned something about the baby having worms and needing to take a deworming elixir.  Then the Gang were made Honorary Firemen and had to sleep in the firehouse, just like real firemen, but the baby wouldn’t go to sleep.  One of the older girls kept pushing the baby down into her bed…pushing, pushing, pushing…and the baby was for realsies crying for her mother.  You could see the baby mouth the word, “Mama!!!”

Oh, and then another episode during which the evil Dog Catcher threatened to round up all the Gang’s dogs and “execute them by gas!” Yes, that is what the Dog Catcher’s sign said.  So the Gang dressed up their dogs like cows, goats, and cuddly brown bears to disguise them and get them home safely but the evil Dog Catcher snatched every single one of them.  Unbeknownst to the Dog Catcher, a single dog had managed to sneak away and perform heroic feats (such as saving that aforementioned baby from falling to its death from the ledge of a city skyscraper) but the evil Dog Catcher caught up with the Hero Dog and threatened to “kill it!” if the Gang didn’t cough up $5 to pay for its release within an hour.

Well, the Gang was too late and the last scene showed the dog being gassed.  To death.  Death. (The death scenes encouraged the audience to clap loudly if they wanted to spare this dog’s life…the gas is being turned UP!!…CLAP LOUDER!!)

But since this is “Our Gang” and kids are involved and it’s a family show, Hero Dog ended up saving its own life by plugging up the deathgas pipe with his tail.

Yay! The Gang wins again!

While my family sighed a collective sigh of relief at the dog’s astonishingly good luck (and the scene writer’s better judgment to not kill a dog on TV), we did kind of look at each other like…What the hell was that?  That was sick, that’s what it was.

And because we are a family of dog lovin’ fools, Elle and I immediately started to snuggle with Jack.  After a few minutes, Elle couldn’t stop laughing about something.  She eventually pointed to Jack’s butt and when I saw it I couldn’t stop laughing.  Soon I was showing everyone Jack’s butt. 

My dog has an alfalfa:

I mean, that’s some pretty good comedic timing, right?

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About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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One Response to Where’s Alfalfa?

  1. Doug says:

    Your dog has character. And is a good looking pup.

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