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Shame-O Episode 2 by Dave Riley Printer Friendly

Roy said and did nothing to annoy Emily while Patty's scheme almost succeeded but fizzled out when a nosy classmate got wise. During the closing theme he suddenly jumped up and danced around his sister in the manner of a stereotypical indian circling a victim that's been tied to a stake. He repeatedly shot his cap pistol at the ceiling and endlessly sang/yelled But they're cousins at the top of his lungs. Again, Emily hollered for her mother.

The front doorbell rang and Mrs. Bailey scampered down from the second floor. She paused in the foyer at the bottom of the stairs and, with her hand on the doorknob, shouted over her shoulder, "That's it little man! I'm telling your father!"

Mrs. Bailey smoothed the front of her dress, affected a theatrical smile and opened the door. The front porch dwarfed a frumpy teenaged girl.

"Well hello Janie!" Mrs. Bailey insincerely beamed.

Janie maintained a straight face and said nothing. She intended to wave so she raised her left hand from the textbooks and spiral notebooks that she clutched to her chest. The books started to slide down her torso and she quickly returned her hand. Her entire body convulsed as she hiked the books up to their original position.

"Good to see you. Well c'mon in." Mrs. Bailey invited Janie into the house.

While Mrs. Bailey led Janie to the family room she automatically spewed small talk. Simultaneously she considered Janie's dowdy clothes, studious demeanor, and unspectacular looks—in her private mind she referred to the babysitter as Plain Jane. She concluded that Janie must spend Saturday nights wallowing in unpopularity.

The butterflies in Roy's stomach shifted to epileptic seizure mode when Mrs. Bailey and Janie appeared, but he pretended not to notice and devoted his attention to The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Emily enthusiastically greeted Janie and suggested some "girl talk" later that evening. She regarded Janie as a peer and had convinced herself that only Roy needed a babysitter.

Mrs. Bailey commented, "Well Janie, I see you've bought plenty of homework."

Janie evenly replied, "I need to keep my grades up so I can get into a good college."

Mrs. Bailey checked her watch and distractedly exclaimed, "Good for you! What do you plan to study?"

"I'm going to be a freelance critic."

"What exactly is that?"

Janie explained, "I'd critique anything for anybody, anytime, anywhere. Say you just painted the walls. You'd call me in and show me the freshly painted walls and ask my opinion. Then I'd say something like 'That's a really tacky color and you don't know how to paint anyway. Fifty dollars please'."

Mrs. Bailey almost frowned, but she remembered her manners and kept grinning. "Well Janie, why ever would I want you to do that?"

Janie considered the question for a couple of seconds, then answered, "I haven't the vaguest idea. All I know is I'd be fifty dollars richer."

Jim Bailey turned up in the family room futzing with his tie knot and grumbling something about being underappreciated and missing Gunsmoke.

Mrs. Bailey coaxed her husband, "Jim honey, of course you remember Janie."

He stopped fiddling with his tie and regarded the babysitter. "Oh . . . yeah . . . hi Janice." He continued adjusting his neckwear.

Neither Janie nor the children reacted. Mrs. Bailey corrected her husband through a forced smile, "You mean Janie." Then she turned to Janie. "You know, Mr. Bailey always was a kidder."

Episode 3


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