Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode
Word Count: 2300
The Olympic Inheritance
With commentary by the noted media expert, Prof. F. Sheets
“Pa! Pa! Come quick!” Little Joe called as he ran into the house. “You got to see this!!!”
Ben Cartwright ran out of the massive (like himself) Cattle Baron front door to the Ponderosa yard to see an open wagon filled with attractive senoritas in skintight outfits and silvery blonde Scandinavian girls in similar attire.
“Are you Mr. Ben Cartwright?” the smiling driver asked.
“Yes.” Ben smiled warmly as Joe started winking at each girl in the wagon and distributing appointment cards that said “Joseph Francis Cartwright, Ponderosa Ranch, Nevada Territory, I can make you swoon and die for more”,
plus their appointment time as well as directions to his hayloft of WOWza.
“Tee hee hee!” the gals all laughed anticipating a date with handsome, virile Joe Cartwright.
“Who are you? And who are all these attractive gals?” Ben tipped his hat. He was very polite.
“I am Coach Pedro Lindstrom and this is the Mexican Swedish Volleyball team. The attorney for the late Gunnar Borgstrom sent us here. He left the team to his nephew Horse Cartwright in his will.”
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: The driver of the wagon was played by former football great Gluggy Shluggy Shlep, Jr. who was a childhood friend of Dan Blocker. Gluggy played running nose for the University of Iowa in the Fruit Bowl in 1947.
”You must mean my son Hoss, not Horse,” said Ben.
”I thought that was a typo in the will. Gunnar was never a very good speller.”
”He had lousy fashion sense too,” Ben added. “He wore that red satin shirt and Mexican sombrero and he was Swedish too!”
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: Gunnar was in three episodes of Bonanza. The first was “The Last Viking” where he was played by Neville Brand. Then he was a character in “Inger, My Love” and was played by Jeremy Slate. Lastly, he was in “Swedish Meatballs on the Sierra” where he was played by Regis Philbin.
Hoss came around the corner of the barn. He noticed the wagonload of attractive woman while he was single-handedly shoeing the entire corral of horses and chopping enough wood for the entire Nevada Territory.
“Wow! A wagon load of attractive fillies! They must be Little Joe’s dates for the afternoon gal break. That little brother of mine sure has a way with the purty ladies.” Hoss grinned watching Joe passing out the last of his appointment cards to Gwinilla in the last seat.
“Teee heeee!” said blonde Gwinilla, batting her black thick false eyelashes. Joe loved those blondes with false eyelashes. The dumber and ditzier the better. Seeing as women on the Ponderosa tended to be as disposable, like dirty Kleenex, Joe had less remorse when a ditsy one bit the dust than if the gal had a bit of brains. Joe liked his woman just like his favorite Swanson TV brand dinner in shiny disposable aluminum trays — filled with stuffing and steamy gravy and ready to go with just a bit of heat.
“No son, those gals are not here on the Ponderosa for Joe.” Ben turned to Joe and said, “Joseph, don’t chew with your mouth open.”
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: Lorne Greene and Michael Landon ad-libbed this section. The line was supposed to be “Joseph, don’t you think you should be helping Hoss shovel manure?” Landon was supposed to say, “No, Pa. Don’t you think you should be shoveling manure with the rest of us?” Greene and Landon felt that was not a comment Joe would ever make and refused to do the script as it was written. The director, Al Fredichcock, left in the lines rather than argue.
”Pa, I’m not chewing, I am kissing!” Little Joe answered as he kissed Maria Madelana and hugged her twin Madelana Maria simultaneously, not an easy task but Little Joe Cartwright was very agile and wore spandex cowboy pants.
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: Michael Landon was a gymnastic star in high school. The twins who played Maria Madelana and Madelana Maria were stars in the 1962 Olympics and later appeared in the Star Trek Episode entitled “Spock, Is that a Phaser in Your Pocket or are You Happy To See Me?”
“Tee heee,” said Ingrid as she waited her turn behind Espadrilla and Sonia Louis for kissing.
“Are all these gals here to see Adam? He is on some sort of business trip to St. Louis or Detroit.”
“Tee heeee hheee!” giggled Burrito and Gravlox. “Ees he in Detroit to buy a new Chevy Impala?”
“Or a Chevy Tahoe wagon with simulated plastic wood grain panels and a fold down rear seat?”
”No, these gals are not for Adam. Hoss, they are all here for you!” Ben patted Hoss on the back affectionately. “This is the Swedish Mexican Olympic Volley Ball team and they are all yours. They are your inheritance from your Uncle Gunnar, son.
Hoss rolled his eyes back in his head and fainted dead away.
When Hoss came too, he was stretched out on the famous stain-proof settee with Pa holding a cold cloth on his head. “I sent Joe to ride for Doc Martin. He should be back in either five minutes or two days… depending.”
”Depending on what Mr. Cartwright?” Pedro Lindstrom asked
“Depending on how fast Cochise can run. He/she hasn’t had coffee yet this morning and…”
”And what?” Pedro asked.
“Depending on if Joe finds the doctor right away and he is not out at some nearby ranch delivering breech-birthed twins.”
“We get a lot of those around here,” said Hoss.
“Must be those above ground atom bomb tests over near Reno,” said Ikea, the captain of the Olympic volleyball team as she assembled new plywood-and-vinyl oak-grained entertainment unit on the left of the MASSIVE (like the Cartwrights) stone fireplace.
“Depending on if Joe meets up with trouble, like a bushwhacking …
“Was he carrying a large some of money and flashing it around again?” Hop Sing asked bringing out the Pu Pu platters and lighting the little sternos under them. “This will tide girls over to dinner time and/or when Mr. Little Joe comes back.”
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: The pu pu scene had to be re-shot three times when Lorne’s toupee caught fire on one take and Dan ate all the food on the next. If you look carefully, you can see the singed edges of Greene’s hair in the opening sequence.
“Depending on if Joe meets up with some escaped prisoners who coincidentally look exactly like him and /or were previously never shown life-long friends for whom Joe was their best man,” Ben added.
“You said a mouthful in that last sentence, Mr. Cartwright,” Said Lekvar, the silver blonde in the blue skintight blouse.
“Call me Ben…I may look old but I am only ten years older than Hoss, here.”
“Ben,” Lekvar sighed “You said a mouthful in that last sentence, Beeeeeeeeennnnnnn.” she drew out the last line as long as she could to get more camera time.
“Hey, I am the voice of Canada. No line is too long, convoluted or tongue twisting for me! Or ‘pour moi’ depending on what part of Canada you are from.”
”Speaking of tongue twisting…” Hoochie Mama said tugging on Ben’s ubiquitous leather vest. “I had the next appointment. Do you think Joe will be back soon?”
“Soon, depending on if a crazed mob wants to hang him by his cute little neck and we all have to ride into Virginia City and save him in the nick of time.”
“Or if he get bushwhacked!” said Hop Sing, passing out Swedish meatballs on frilled toothpicks.
”Pa, I never understood why we continue to live around here,” Hoss observed. “The folks in Virginia city are so mean to us. And dumb too.”
Ben shrugged. “Land was cheap. I thought the neighborhood would improve. Mr. Haney promised that a golf course would open. Anyway, we wouldn’t have many stories if there wasn’t constant trouble every week.”
They heard hooves gallop up.
Gallop gallop gallop!
”Joe?” all the girls sighed melodiously in unison as the door opened.
“No, it’s me, Adam!” The eldest Cartwright brother came in, tossed his black hat on the rack and realized that not only was his brother Hoss stretched out on the settee but also the house was filled with attractive women. It wasn’t that often that Adam came home to find a bevy of doomed gals right in his parlor. What a treat after a hard day of punching cattle! Some of those cattle even punched back. He rubbed his bruised jaw from that last punch from that white face heifer, Bossie Sue.
“What’s going on here?” Adam asked as he strode into the room.
“This is the Swedish Mexican Olympic Volleyball team and they are all for Hoss. They are his inheritance from his late Uncle Gunnar,” Ben explained. “They all belong to Hoss.”
”Wowza!” Adam exclaimed. “The Olympics!” When his grandfather Stoddard died, all he got was an old boot, a box of Mrs. Paul’s Fish Sticks, a Boston Red Socks pennant and a map of Cheers. Adam looked around and leaned manfully against the nearest gal.
“Teee heeee!” giggled Evita. “Meester Cartwright you lean so manfully!”
”I studied leaning in an unnamed Eastern college!” said Adam, the most educated and perpetually leaning Cartwright.
”You do eeet so well!” Evita swooned, running her hands through Adam’s dark mysterious hair.
“And I play the guitar too!” Adam whispered seductively at the attractive gal while holding one hand on his hair so it wouldn’t fall into the pu pu platter sterno.
”Ay caramba! Can you show me and let me dance my hoochie mama dance in your bedroom while you strum madrigals on your guitar?”
Adam kissed her long and sloooooooow. As always, Adam was thinking with his lips first and then his brain.
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: David Rose wrote the musical accompaniment, “Hoss’s Olympic Team”, to this episode that was later recycled on Little House on the Prairie and on the NBC 1972 Olympic Coverage.
Adam pulled away from her and gasped, “Oh no! I can’t do that!!! You belong to my brother, Hoss! And blood is thicker than water and saliva and 78,432 other liquids including the flat beer they serve in the saloon scenes!”
But not my gravy on the ligonberry burritos!” Hop Sing said proudly. “I thicken my gravy with corn starch. Dinner is served. You eat now or I quit.”
“But Joe isn’t here yet!” Ben said. “I am nervous that something happened to my darling baby son.”
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: Some people think that Pa liked Joe best. Others claim that it is just because Joe got into so much trouble all the time. The third school of thought is that Pa was just overcompensating and he hates Joe.
“Maybe we should saddle up and go hunting for him,” Hoss said sitting up and banging his balding head on the large torpedo bra-ed bazoom of the gal who was leaning over him. A smile flashed across his face as he fainted again. “They don’t call them torpedo bras for nothing.”
Note from Prof. F. Sheets: Dan Blocker had to shoot the bazoom bumping scene 74 times until he was satisfied. Blocker was a perfectionist. Pernell Roberts volunteered to help Dan rehearse and demonstrated how to do the scene with the actress 37 times.
”Pa, maybe he is having a so-called private dinner with Julia Bulette or Lotta, the rose lady, over the saloon.”
”Maybe he is,” Ben nodded. He had been a young man once and sowed his own wild oats once or twice or three times… he did have three sons. Matter of fact, he and Adam’s mother were banned from all the Mc Donald’s drive-thru lanes in the Boston Metropolitan area for staging their own “private dinners”. Ben had been away at sea for the previous 17 months and Ben and Elizabeth couldn’t wait until they brought their McNuggets and fries back to the Stoddard house. They had their “private dinner” in front of a family ordering McFish Sandwich Happy Meals during lent and the children were sure that Ronald Mc Donald, instead of the stork, brought babies. Ben remembered that “private dinner” as a very Happy Meal. Adam was born nine months later. None of his boys would ever be vegetarians, especially Adam.
“Then I am serving dinner!” Hop Sing said angrily. “Lo Mein and stuffed cabbage is getting over done! Chicken mole! Gravlox! Eat, eat!” Hop Sing urged.
“Tee heee,” said all the gals as they skipped to the table, bouncing adorably as they went into the dining room.
“Dibs on Joe’s dessert!” Hoss hollered as he raced to the table with on pretty gal on each arm and two in each vest pocket.
“Hey you got the gals; at least let Pa and me split Joe’s dessert!” Adam griped, slowly leaning on one of the girls.
“OK!” Hoss grinned.
“You divide the dessert and I get first pick,” Ben suggested wisely and equitably.
Adam nodded. It was certainly better than holding lit matches like Pa usually suggested. He smiled as he dug into dinner. He loved Hop Sing’s noodle kugel and he was getting to share an extra portion of home made prune tapioca. “Life doesn’t get any better than this!” Adam sighed, digging into his extra dessert.
Revised in honor of the 2004 Summer Olympics. Thanks to Susan for the inspiration!