Summary: A REALLY Lost Episode. A tale told in many parts including RECIPES (no commercials)
Word Count: 7373
Twins… Separated at Birth
Dedicated to Puchi and Lillian, my pals, without whom this tale would never have unfolded….
Please note: No naugas have been killed for seat covers in this story. Don’t try these stunts at home, kids; save the pie tossing and eye poking for professionals.
Adam reveals a revelation
“Tis a long sad tale,” sighed Adam Cartwright. “A LONG sad tale.”
Hoss frowned. He was hoping to dig into the special dinner Hop Sing had prepared for their special guests, Lillian and Puchi.
“I love long sad tales!” Little Joe said, slicing some raw onion into his salad hoping to make his eyes tear. He was so cute when he cried.
“Why?” Hoss asked reaching for the bowl of kasha and varnishkas that Lillian had lovingly prepared for the Cartwrights. “Why is it sad? Why does it have to be long?”
“Because Adam said it was!” Ben decided. “And Little Joe is already crying!”
“It is a tale of a family divided,” Adam said. “And two sisters raised apart.”
“But reunited!” Ben smiled and squeezed Puchi’s hand to his left and Lillian’s hand to his right. “This is so wonderful!”
“I can cry!” Joe sniffled. Puchi handed Little Joe a hanky. His lower lip trembled and he forced himself to smile and take her hanky “Thanks, Ma’am.”
“Eat!” Lillian urged everyone, especially her newly discovered twin Puchi.
“Thanks!” smiled Puchi, digging in to the steaming bowl Hoss passed to her.
“So how did you two wind up separated?” Ben asked from the head of the table.
“It is a long sad tale,” Adam repeated.
“What do you mean, a long sad tale?” Little Joe asked his older brother.
“Tell it all, Adam!” Hoss urged. “From the beginning!” It didn’t matter now how long the long-winded story was as Lillian had said it was ok to eat. Hoss couldn’t take one of Adam’s yarns on an empty stomach but since Lillian said they could start dinner, Hoss was happy. He could eat and listen to one of Adam’s long-winded tales.
“Well, it all started when gypsies came to Brooklyn….” Adam said slathering butter on some of the corn bread Puchi had baked.
“Brooklyn? Gypsies?” Joe eyes lit up.
Ben Cartwright shuddered nervously. He had hoped that Little Joe had totally forgotten Tirza and her fluorescent orange skirt and the moonlight rock of love. “Er, pass the cheese blintzes… and the noodle-icious kugel.”
“Love that yummy kugel!” Hoss said. “What does this all have to do with gypsies, Adam?”
“Well, one day, when Puchi and Lillian were new born babies, their mother went shopping at Macy’s.”
“Like the Macy’s where they have the Thanksgiving parade?” Joe and Hoss asked. It was a tradition on the Ponderosa for all the boys to watch the Thanksgiving parade on not-yet-invented television while they peeled potatoes and smashed mini marshmallows onto the sweet potato casserole. Joe loved the big balloons. Adam loved the marching bands and Hoss always choked up when Santa rode up at the end.
“Go on with the long sad story, Adam,” Ben urged.
“Their father was supposed to watch the newborn twins but wanted to go to the Polo Grounds to see the Dodgers play baseball,” Adam said. He took a sip of the heavy Malaga wine.
“Polo?” Joe asked. “On ponies?”
“No, baseball,” Hoss corrected. “On feet.”
“Then why was it called the Polo Grounds?” Joe argued. “Why didn’t they call it the feet grounds?”
“Just eat and let older brother tell the sad tale.” Hoss poked Joe in the ribs with his elbow.
“OOoff,” said Joe exhaling sharply. He reached up and slapped Hoss in the head and then Adam poked Joe in the eye.
“Stop! Stop! You are being foolish stooges!” Lillian gasped.
“Oy!” gasped Puchi as Joe picked up the butter knife, swung it at Adam and sliced his lovely pompadour into bangs.
The next episode: Family Secrets
“Hey! You messed up my hair!” Adam protested. Then he poked both Joe and Hoss in the eyes with his spoon.
“Well, get a tooo pee like me!” Hoss suggested, hitting Joe in the face with a conveniently misplaced cream pie.
“Stop!” Both Lillian and Puchi ordered.
“Yes, Ma’ams!” The three Cartwright boys smiled. Each of them hit themselves in the face with a pie just to even things out.
“Nyaat nayaat nayaat!” Hoss snickered.
“Go on, son,” Ben nodded and gave his younger sons a sharp look. “Keep your elbows to yourself, Hoss.”
“Well, the adorably adorable twins were sound asleep,” Adam started.
“Puchi and Lillian?” Joe asked.
“Yes,” Ben nodded. “Twins…. Sometimes people have twins and never know about it.”
“Is this FORESHADOWING???” Hop Sing thought to himself. “Could Mister Cartwright have found out about his twin Jackie Chan? Or could Ben Cartwright be ready to spill the beans about his own twin sons who were kept secret for decades? They were the products of Doc Martin’s misdirected cloning experiment. Only Hoppy knew the secret, having stumbled upon it years earlier. Ben Cartwright swore him to secrecy and had not-yet-invented cable TV installed in Hop Sing’s never-shown-on screen bedroom.
“Is this Pa’s way of telling us the TRUTH about him?” Hoss thought to himself as he munched on another portion of pipik stew. “Is Pa going to tell us about his secret twin brother Adama, the leader of Battle Star Galactica?”
Hoss had discovered the secret when he snuck into Hoppy’s bedroom one night when Hop Sing was at a late Feng Shui class. Hoss loved the Sci Fi channel.
“Hmmm… could Pa be hinting at Cousin Will’s twin, Zorro?” Adam thought to himself as he chowed down on some of Lillian’s homemade chopped liver. Adam had discovered this family secret when he paid Cousin Will to take Laura Dayton off his hands. Adam had to do a swan dive off the house he was building to make it look real.
“So the father figured he could leave them alone, sleeping, while he scooted over to the Polo grounds…”
“Why did they play baseball on the Polo Grounds?” Joe asked.
Ignoring the persistent question, Adam continued. “Unfortunately, the game went into extra innings… Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth had some sort of fight with Yogi Berra over a bottle of Yoo Hoo chocolate drink.”
“Darling sister, when will you start spelling your name correctly? Mama always said it was Lily Ann. She wanted us to be alike . . . though I don’t think she had computer expertise in mind,” said Puchi Ann.
“I knew there was a reason I was not a polo fan,” Lillian added. “And why don’t you spell your name Puchian?”
“Why don’t you spell your name Lilly Ann?” Puchi countered.
“And why don’t you spell yours PUCHIAN!!!??” Lillian glared.
“Girls, girls!” Ben held up his hands. “Don’t fight!”
“Pa, sisters, even sisters separated at birth, have their little set-tos and spats!” Hoss said devouring a third helping of potato kugel as Little Joe shoveled his fifth portion of kasha and varnishes into his plate.
“Go on with the story, Adam,” Ben said, paternally wiping sour cream off Little Joe’s adorable chin with his bandana and straightening Adam’s newly cut bangs and simultaneously digging lemon meringue out of Hoss’ left ear. A father’s job is never done and Ben was the bestest of fathers, both in the west but in the east too.
“Well…. the father of Lillian and Puchi Ann went to the baseball game…”
“On the subway?”
Adam nodded. “He figured he would get back before the twin infants awoke up or his wife got home but the game went into extra innings and the subway got stalled.”
“Oy!” gasped Lillian and Puchi in unison.
“There was a flood in the tunnel under Flatbush Avenue. It caved in. Eventually Mayor Lindsay hired Philip Diedershiemer to straighten out the entire system.”
“Phil is a swell guy! A real mench!” Lillian kvelled.
“Didn’t we already hear this part of the story?” Joe said impatiently. He kicked Hoss under the table.
Hoss said “OOOOF!” and spit out his borsht which splattered in a mauve stain on the table cloth.
“You stop spitting or I go back China!” Hop Sing roared in his phony comedic accent. In reality, Hop Sing spoke quite well but his father, Charley Chan (hence his secret twin brother Jackie Chan) had instructed his number two son, Jimmy Chan, to speak in a foolish accent when in his secret undercover identity as Hop Sing. Eventually, Charlie hoped that Jimmy could find vital clues to the secret cloning factory that Doc Martin was operating for evil oil interests in Washington…..but that is another story.
“Yes, but I keep getting interrupted!” Adam pinched the bridge of his nose. Then he pulled a chunk of pie filling out of his left nostril and flung it across the table where is splattered across Joe’s shirt.
“HEY!” Joe said ripping off his soiled shirt and thrilling Susan Grote as well as many other fans.
And now, Twins: The Separation
“Don’t interrupt your brother, Adam!” Lillian chided.
“Then what happened?” Puchi asked. She wanted to hear all the details of the long sad tale that Adam told.
“Well, the twin girl babies awoke and started to cry and wail just as a gypsy caravan passed the house on their way to Bensonhurst to see Ralph Kramden. You see, he was the head of the Raccoon Lodge and had hired the gypsies to play the violin at a Lodge fundraiser.”
“Your mothers all loved gypsy violinists. All three of them,” Ben sighed. “Besides dying, they had their loves of gypsy violins in common.”
“And, they died and left you wonderful sons to raise!” Puchi reminded Ben.
“Wonderful and handsome sons!” Lillian added as she admired Ben’s boys.
Even with his bad haircut and the bangs that made him look like Buster Brown or one of the Beatles, Adam was still quite handsome.
“What did the gypsies do?” Joe barechestedly leaned his elbows on the table.
“Elbows, Joseph!” Ben corrected. “And go get a shirt when you are sitting at the table. Susan Grote and all those women will be pounding on the door in a minute. Hop Sing tossed Little Joe a pin striped shirt with garters “Put on shirt or I go back to China!”
Joe put on the shirt and removed his elbows from the table just as Adam pulled off his boots and slammed his feet on the table. A borsht ladle flipped up into the air and knocked the candles over and set Joe’s hair on fire. Hoss dumped a pitcher of lemonade over Joe’s head in the nick of time but not before his lovely curls were burned off the top of his head.
“Har har! Nyuk nyuk!” Hoss laughed. “Now you look bald like me! You can get a too pee too!”
“Har har!” Adam laughed and poked Joe in the eye with his finger.
“YOWch!” Joe wailed.
“Quiet down!” Hop Sing ordered, mopping up the massive mess. Undercover detective work was messy.
Ben said not a word as he knew there was no way he would hear the end of the tale of Puchi Ann and Lillian if he interrupted Adam to correct his table manners. Adam wasn’t even wearing socks and his toenails needed trimming.
“Adam! Feet off the table!!” Lillian and Puchi snapped in unison.
“YES MA’AM!” Adam saluted and put his feet down and put his boots back on. He loved assertive women.
“How rude!” said Kimmy Gibbler and Michelle Tanner, who had joined them for dinner. They had been working on their science fair project for school and were investigating Doc Martin’s secret cloning lab. (I guess it wasn’t much of a secret?)
“Do you want a pedicure?” Puchi offered.
“Not right now, your Puchi-ness. Thanks.” Adam winked. “Perhaps, later, when we are ALONE.”
“Go on, Adam,” Joe said attempting to ignore Kimmy Gibbler grabbing his thigh under the table.
“How RUDE!!!” said Hoss and Little Michelle Tanner.
“Who cares!” Kimmy countered.
“I do!” Joe spat back.
“The Gypsy King, Rudolph, spied the twins through the window, and before you could say Chicken Parikash, he snagged the two babies and tossed them in the back of the gypsy wagon. They headed for Bensonhurst. Just as they went past the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Church Avenue, they hit a bump and one of the babies bounced out!”
“OH MY! Which baby bounced?” Ben asked.
“Puchi,” Adam said sipping his heavy Malaga and dunking his biscuit in the gravy. “She was a bit bouncier!”
“Like a knaidlach!” Hoss said. (Author’s note: A knaidlach is a matzoh ball — a soup dumpling made from matzoh meal — and some people make them fluffy and some make them bouncy. Hoss was a connoisseur of kosher cuisine. For your very own recipe, see the end of this endless tale.)
“Go on, Adam,” Joe said still attempting to ignore Kimmy Gibbler grabbing his thigh under the table. “What happened to King Rudolph?”
“He was later elected mayor of New York City, despite his hairdo,” Adam said. “He had a comb over.”
Hoss guffawed. Ben rolled his eyes and Adam snickered.
“Like you should talk,” Joe reprimanded. He fluffed his thick curly hair with his fork and admired his handsome reflection in the silver water pitcher.
“Joseph! Don‘t comb your hair at the table!” Ben shook his head. His dead wife Marie would die if she saw the crude manners her adorable son had, despite Ben‘s best efforts.
“How RUDE!!!” said Little Michelle Tanner.
“Oy! Who knew I was born Jewish?” sighed Puchi.
“I did!” Hoss exclaimed. Folks never believed how intuitive about discerning people’s origins from their accents and mannerisms. He knew Mayor Rudy was a gypsy and that Roy Coffee played football in Michigan with the Mishugina Wolverines and that Chief Winnemucca had a cousin who was wanted by Elliot Ness. Hoss also knew that it was a crime to rip the tags off a pillow but no one had ever been convicted.
“All this time I thought I was an Okie (part Cherokee, even) and that Darling Lily Ann was the one who got snatched!” Puchi Ann said. “OY!”
“Oy is also a Cherokee term,” Ben Cartwright explained. “Chief Winnemucca explained that to me the night Little Joe took his daughter Princess Sarah to the prom. The Chief said, ‘OY! It is almost midnight and if your son wants to keep his kahones, he better have my little girl home in five minutes!’”
“OY!” said Adam and Hoss. Despite his shenanigans, they both loved their brother and definitely wanted him to retain his kahones.
“Did he?” Lillian asked nervously. She was very fond of Little Joe.
“I sure did! I didn’t want to lose my kahones!” Joe grinned. “Pa always said we should guard our family jewels.”
“What happened to Puchi?” asked Hoss.
“Puchi bounced a few times and rolled down hill into a passing boat.” Lillian explained.
“A boat?” Hoss asked.
“Yes, it was one of Abel Stoddard’s ships,” explained Ben. He gave Kimmy Gibbler a dirty look. She was making moves on Joe and there was no way Ben Cartwright wanted her as a daughter-in- law. Kimmy made Tirza look attractive. “Kimmy, how would you like a new blue dress? We have a big rack of them in the barn,” Ben said.
“A new dress!?!?! Wooo wooo!” Kimmy leaped to her feet, unhanded Joe’s thigh and dashed to the barn. Joe sighed. He was relieved his kahones were now safe.
“Thanks, Pa!” Joe said gratefully. “You saved me!’
“Of course! That’s a Pa’s job, son!” Ben smiled.
“Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!” laughed Hoss and Adam.
“Lock the door and load my shot gun, Hop Sing. Don‘t make a mistake,” Ben said in an even voice.
Hop Sing rushed to the gun case near the fire place. “Yes sir!” There was no way Hoppy wanted Kimmy to marry any Cartwright. As my father, Charlie Chan once said “Advice after mistake is like medicine after dead man’s funeral” (Charlie Chan Carries On – 1931)
“Your father? Charlie Chan?” Adam raised his eyebrow.
““I load shot gun quick!” Hop Sing ran off.
“So Puchi was on Abel Stoddard’s boat?” Hoss said hoping Adam would finish
this awfully long story.
“Yes,” Adam nodded. “The ship sailed right around the tip of Florida…”
“Did they go to Disney World!?” Hoss asked. He loved Disney World. His favorite ride was “It’s a Small World” with all the cute little singing and dancing dolls. He liked Space Mountain too. He also loved to visit Parrot Land. It wasn’t as slick as Disney but he always cracked up when he saw the parrots perform in little costumes. He hoped to teach the chickens on the Ponderosa to wear suits and drive miniature motorcycles over the winter when things were slow.
“No, they got caught in a hurricane and ran aground in Texas. And the gypsies left Brooklyn,” Adam said helping himself to some pickled herring.
“Aw shucks!” Hoss frowned. Not only was he sad about the gypsies leaving Brooklyn but Adam had speared the most succulent piece of pickled herring in the bowl.
“Never to perform for the Raccoons!” Ben sighed. “Adah Menkin performed for the Raccoons. She told me herself.”
“However, they did stop off at the neon polyester factory to buy fabric for skirts and bandanas,” Adam pointed out as he admired the plump pickled herring on his plate. Then he neatly sliced it into eight exact pieces and ate each one. He mopped up the last of the cream sauce with the nub of his bagel. “Delicious as always!”
“I thought so,” Lillian agreed. “It was a good season for herring.”
“Neon polyester? So that is where Tirza got them cow-shocking, horse-stampeding duds!” Hoss exclaimed. Seeing his father’s angry look at the mention of Joe’s former fiancée, Hoss blushed. Ben shook his head vigorously but it was too late.
“Tirza? Tirza!” Joe sighed with desire as well as indigestion from eating too much herring and onions. “Now that was a night I remember! Moonlight! Uncoordinated dancing… kisses on the moonlight rock of LOoooOOOVE!”
“Joseph! We have company! Women and children are at the table!” Ben reprimanded. “No need to go into details of THAT!”
Twins: Mayberry Memories
“Soitenly!” his three stoogey sons agreed.
“Did you know that Shemp Howard, who was Shemp in the Three Stooges, appeared in the Charlie Chan movie ‘Murder in New York’?” Michelle Tanner mentioned.
“Eat! Eat!” Lillian and Hop Sing urged, hoping to change the topic. Hop Sing had finished loading the shotgun and stood it next to Ben Cartwright.
“Thanks, Hop Sing,” Ben nodded.
“No problem. You shoot Kimmy! Make Hop Sing happy, Mistah Cartlight,” Hop Sing said with a heavy accent. He headed for the kitchen for more herring. “More herring coming right up, Mr. Adam. Finish story! Finish story!”
“Princess Sara loves this sort of food!” Joe said. “She gave her recipe for pot roast to Hop Sing. She signed it ‘love and knishes’. Isn’t that romantic? “
“Very!” Puchi and Lillian sighed. They both loved romance.
“She writes to me from college. She loves gourmet grub,” Joe explained.
“Does she?” Hoss asked. “One of Adam’s gals did too.”
“One of my girl friends? Which one?” Adam assumed his brothers were referring to the peddler’s daughter who later married Sheriff Andy Taylor in Mayberry.
“MISS JONES!!!” Hoss and Little Joe laughed. Even Ben couldn’t help laughing at that one as Adam turned red and choked. Puchi pounded his back until he stopped.
“Remember when Miss Jones first came to town and fell for Adam?” Hoss said.
“Fell like a ten ton safe hitting Wiley Coyote on his furry head!” Joe giggled.
“It was all Little Joe’s fault!” Adam argued.
“Let’s go to the flashback episode!” Ben said. “Miss Jones, Not My Love”
Flash Back: Really Lost Episode Within A Really Lost Episode
“We got a new teacher this year,” Teeny Tiny Little Joe told his family at the dinner table. “Buster and Mitch told me. She starts next week, just when I go to the fourth grade.” He handed his empty plate to his father for a portion of roast beast.
“I certainly hope you try hard to make a good first impression,” Ben urged, putting meat on his plate. “First impressions are very important. If you start off on the right foot, I bet you will do much better in school this year.”
“How can I do that?” Joe asked. “How do I make a good impression?”
“Be very polite and wash your neck and get a haircut,” Ben suggested.
“Speak grammatically and quote the bard,” Adam suggested, passing the potatoes to Hoss.
“Perhaps you should bring her a welcoming gift,” Hoss suggested adding some potatoes to Little Joe’s plate and passing it to Adam, who added green beans.
“How about a bouquet of flowers? You can pick them on your way to school. Speaking from experience, ladies always love flowers,” Adam suggested, not realizing how this would get him into trouble.
“That sounds great! I will make a good first impression and school will be real easy for me.” Joe dove into his supper, content that he was stacking the deck in his favor with the new school teacher. If she thought he was a good student, then he could coast the rest of the year.
Little Joe was so proud of his clever plan, he told all of his friends, “I am going to make a good first impression and bring the new teacher a gift.”
His friends Harold, Pete and Buster all agreed and they decided to also bring gifts the first day. Now there all four boys who wanted to be in good terms with their new teacher, Miss Jones.
They all decided to bring in gifts.
“If we butter her up, we won’t get into any trouble when we misbehave!” Joe declared. “Just follow what I do and do the same thing.”
First Little Joe presented Miss Jones with his wildflowers.
“Oh my! How lovely!” the new teacher exclaimed excitedly. She was so nervous she blathered on and on. “Where did you get such a nice idea? Are these for me? Where are they from?”
Little Joe tried to speak but did not want to interrupt the teacher. His father had told him to use his best manners.
“OH! I love wildflowers. Where did you pick them? Whose idea was this? Where are they from?
Little Joe could only answer her first question about who gave him the idea of bringing the teacher a bouquet. “My older brother Adam.”
“Adam? Your oldest brother?” Miss Jones almost swooned. Unfortunately, Miss Jones assumed that the flowers were from Adam Cartwright. “Tell your brother I am very flattered.”
Joe nodded and sat down in his seat, relieved that the task was over.
Next, Buster gave the teacher a box; she shook it and then she smelled it. It smelled like chocolate.
She knew the boy’s father worked in the mercantile so she asked the boy if it was candy.
The boy said, yes. Then he added, “It was Adam Cartwright’s idea!”
The next boy, Harold Blackburn, gave her the box he had. She shook the box and smelled it. She knew this boy’s father, Harvey Blackburn was a baker.
She asked, “Is this a cake?”
The boy said, yes and sat down. Then he quickly added what Little Joe had told him to say, “It was Adam Cartwright’s idea!”
“Adam Cartwright!?!” Miss Jones blushed. Adam Cartwright had sent these children with gifts from him?
The next boy, Pete, gave her his box, she knew his father, Cosmo worked at the Silver Dollar Saloon as a bartender. Then, mortified she asked, “Is this rum?”
The boy said, “No Ma’am.”
“Is it BEER?”
The boy said, “No Ma’am.”
Miss Jones shook the box and it started to leak. She decided to taste what was leaking out. Then, angrily she said, “What is it?”
The Pete said, “It’s a puppy!”
Miss Jones fainted.
“Guess that means we are dismissed,” Little Joe announced to the class as he stepped over Miss Jones’ prone body.
Two weeks later, Abigail Jones was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class in the Virginia City one-room school house. She came to the part where Chicken Little warns the farmer. She read… “And Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, “The sky is falling.” Miss. Jones then asked the class, “What do you think that farmer said?”
Little Joe Cartwright raised his hand and said, “I think he said ‘Hot Damn! A talking chicken!’”
“Thanks for the swell story about Little Joe!” Kimmy squealed and jumped up from the table, knocking Puchie’s pea soup off the table.
“I knew I never liked that Kimmy!” Puchi growled ominously as the soup puddled on the dining room floor just as Hop Sing rushed in with a platter of strawberry short cakes.
“Ayyyeeee!” Hoppy shrieked as he skidded in the soup puddle.
The cakes spiraled up in the air and fell heavily on Hoss’ head. “Yum! Whipped cream! Nyuk nyuk!” Hoss said good-naturedly as he swiped the white fluff from his sparkling blue eyes. “Real whipped cream! Not Kool Whip!” He offered a glob to Adam.
“Delicious! Lips that touch Kool Whip shall never touch mine!” Adam declared as he hit Hoss over the head with a rubber chicken.
“Alas!” said Puchi, a Kool Whip devotee. “Though, my heart does belong to Harvey, my sweetie!”
“Goldurn you, Kimmy!” Little Joe exploded. He leaped at Kimmy and grabbed her skinny neck. Her eyes bugged out worse than when Laura Dayton was mooned by the Bonner brothers.
“Gaggaaaaakakkakakkaka!” gargled Kimmy as Michelle Tanner said “That is so rude!”
“JOSEPH!” Ben roared as he and Adam tried to unpry Joe’s fingers from Kimmy’s throat. “It’s BLUE DRESS TIME!”
“Blue Dress Time?” Joe said choking Kimmy.
“Aakakakkakakakgagaaa!” gasped Kimmy.
“Blue Dress! Blue Dress!” Adam and Hoss hollered. “Blue Dress Time!”
“Ayyyeeee!” Hoppy shrieked as he collapsed in the soup puddle. An unobserved matzo ball rolled under the settee.
“OY!” exclaimed the twins Lillian and Puchian (or was that Lilly Ann and Puchi Ann?) “Are you ok, Hop Sing!?!?”
“Goldurn annoying wacky neighbor girl!” Hoss said, trying to wipe the whipped cream out of his eyes. “You ruined this reunion dinner!”
Just then, there was a knock at the door….
In the midst of all the flung strawberry short cake, spilled soup, rolling matzoh balls, Joe throttling Kimmy Gibbler (HOW RUDE!), Hop Sing taking a tumble and calling Jimmy Chang (1-800-ISue4U) on his not-yet-invented cell phone, knocks on the door, and Ben announcing it was “Blue Dress Time” for Kimmy, one of the twins said: “And I had better find out how I made it to Oklahoma and the Cherokees!” Puchi Ann (not Puchiann).
Suddenly the room went silent.
Who was at the door???
“Hellooooo!” called a feminine voice. “Tis I!”
WHO IS IT????
“Who is there?” Ben asked.
“It is me. Kathy, the lawyer. I want all this over and done so I can work on a brief without being distracted!”
“Or spitting on your not-yet-invented computer terminal as you laugh?” said Hop Sing (aka Jimmy Chan). “Nothing is more annoying to clean up from than saliva stains on a computer screen.”
“Why?” Lillian asked.
“Most cleaning products gum up the mouse. My father Charlie Chan said ‘Only very foolish mouse makes nest in cat’s ear’. ”
“Aha!” said Puchi.
“So…are you going to finish this never-ending saga?” Kathy asked. “Or do I have to put a restraining order on you Three Stooges!?”
“Four if you count, Pa,” Hoss said.
“That’s right!” Ben started to sing. “We got a right to pick a little fight Bonanza!
If anyone fights anyone of us
He’s gotta fight with me!
We’re not a one to saddle up and run,
Anyone of us who starts a little fuss
knows he can count on me!
One for four
Four for one,
This we guarantee.
We got a right to pick a little fight
If anyone fights anyone of us
He’s gotta fight with me! “
“What he said!” Adam, Hoss and Joe agreed.
“Well…ummm…. if that is the case,” Kathy started. She picked up her laptop and rode out. “I’ll be back with the sheriff!”
Briefs? That lawyer gal was coming back with the sheriff and briefs?
“Boxers or brief?” Kimmy said as she eyed Joe up and down and down and up.
“GASP!” Lillian gasped. “This is worse than discussing if Ben picked grapes with Joyce Edwards or….”
“Or stole a kiss?” Ben wiggled his eyebrows knowingly.
“Or MORE!!!” winked Adam.
“More? Like making jelly?” said Lillian.
“I do like grape jelly,” Hoss remarked.
“There isn’t any food you don’t like,” Hop Sing muttered. He sure wished he had finished college and gone to law school and could skip all the middle men in this disastrous thing, instead of relying on subcontractor lawyers like Kathy and Jimmy Chang. Maybe he should have listened to his father, Charlie Chan, and not pledged a frat. Maybe it wasn’t too late to go back to school.
“Boxers or briefs? “ Kimmy repeated. “Fess up!”
“Boxers,” Hoss blushed.
“Briefs,” Adam blushed.
“Neither!” Joe bragged and wiggled his perfect tushie.
“That is more information than any of us really needed, young man!” Lillian and Puchi said in unison. “Though you do have an adorable tushie.”
And now today’s episode: “Martha”
Despite Ben’s best efforts and Adam grabbing what was left of Joe’s poofy curly perfectly perfect hair, they unpried Joe’s fingers from Kimmy’s throat. “You hurt my beloved brother Hoss! And made Hop Sing slip on soup!” Joe growled. “I should kill you!”
Kimmy stuck out her tongue at Joe.
“Use it or lose it!” Joe challenged.
“HOW RUDE!” said Michelle Tanner.
And what about us! Twins separated at birth!” wailed Puchi and Lillian
“Poor twins!!! Separated like that!! How awful for them!!! Just glad we can finally hear this sad, really, sad story. And all we can do is hope it has a happy ending. Maybe they will all end up on the Ponderosa, living happily ever after?” said Martha who had just popped by. She started mopping up the spilled soup as Puchi helped Hop Sing to his feet.
“Don’t you think one of you boys should ride for the doctor?” asked Lillian.
“That would be a good idea,” agreed Martha.
“And a lawyer! I am suing you!” Hop Sing declared.
“Aw shut up and go back to China!” Kimmy Gibbler said rudely.
“And now today’s episode: Hop Sing or Sing Sing?”
“Fine advice. Then I really won’t have to worry about the brief because I’ll be found in contempt of court and land in Sing Sing!” smiled Kathy, the lawyer. She hadn’t really ridden away but just gave that illusion so she and her buddy Matlock (who dated Rebecca Kauffman when he was Andy in Mayberry) could peep in the window and watch what was REALLY going on inside the Ponderosa.
“Sing Sing? Or Hop Sing?” asked Hoss.
“Hop Sing is just my assumed name, you STOOGE!!!” shouted Hop Sing, who was really Jimmy Chan, son of Charlie Chan the detective.
“Go back to China whatever your name is! You are probably a terrorist any how!” Kimmy said rudely.
“Don’t you accuse Hop Sing or Jimmy Chan of any inappropriate behavior or I will choke the life out of you!” Joe bellowed. Both his brothers grabbed him and restrained him. It always took two or three men to restrain an angry Cartwright.
“JOE, STOP!” Hoss pleaded. “You cain’t kill her…Or make her do gymnastics with her tongue neither!”
“Let the law handle it!” Ben demanded.
“I’ll send for Roy Coffee!” Adam said.
“And some Roy Pie to go with that Roy Coffee!” Kimmy said obnoxiously.
“Let me KILL HER!” Joe glared as Adam and Hoss restrained him along with Lillian and Puchi.
“Workman’s comp! Workman’s comp” declared Hop Sing from the floor, pulling out his not-yet-invented cell phone and calling Jimmy Chang at 1-800-WeSue4U. “Jimmy Chang! Workman’s comp! Come to Ponderosa! QUICK!”
“Gaggaaaaaaaaaakkkeee!” spewed Kimmy.
“You won’t hear the end of the story if you strangle Kimmy!” Lillian shouted.
“Stop, Joe!” Her twin sister Puchi added. “Don’t choke the obnoxious wacky neighbor! Stop!”
And now “How Did Puchi Get to Oklahoma?“
“So how did Puchi get from Brooklyn to Oklahoma and the Indians?” Adam asked, smoothing his hair and trying to look more like Adam and less like Moe.
“Yes!” Lillian said, wiping up the spilled soup and smoothing the whipped cream off of Hoss’ tufty hair. “Are you all right, Hoss?”
“Yes, Ma’am. Though I could do with some more soup and some of them matzoh balls!” Hoss grinned gapped-toothedly.
“Absolutely!” Lillian poured him and the rest of the party more some more.
“How did Puchi get to Oklahoma, Adam?” Ben said sipping his soup. He gestured for Joe to sit down next to him and avoid any more ruckuses with Kimmy who was swooning on the settee.
“Well, Chief Nameoke of the Rockaway Indians was passing the gypsy camp somewhere near Canarsie. They gypsies, needing some quick cash to go to Coney Island for a Nathan’s Hot Dog, traded Puchi to the Indians. In turn, Nameoke, sent the baby to his cousin Mishugina Menchin, a Cherokee brave as a birthday gift.”
“A birthday gift?” Ben gasped. “They sent a baby as a gift?”
“Yes, Pa. That is how Puchi wound up in Oklahoma and with the Cherokees,” Adam explained. “Eventually, Mishugina Menchin got a job as the original Curly in ‘Oklahoma’ on Broadway.”
“I loved that show,” Ben said. A tear trickled down his cheek. “Elizabeth and I saw it on our third date.”
“I love Ado Annie!” Joe grinned. “She’s a gal who can’t say ‘no’!”
“Workman’s comp! Workman’s comp,” declared Hop Sing from the floor.
And now… Another Knock.
Knock knock! said the door.
“Who is there?” said Puchi.
“Jamie!” said a voice that sounded like fingernails scratching on a black board.
“JAMIE WHO!??” asked Lillian bravely.
The rest of the group trembled at the word.
Martha bravely flung open the massive oak door just as a crazed male figure rushed over to the settee. His foot hit the abandoned matzoh ball and he kicked it hard. It ricocheted off the massive stone fireplace and hit the loaded shot gun that had been propped against the wall behind Ben Cartwright’s chair in the dining room.
“Oh well,” Ben shrugged.
“You win some and lose some…” Hoss said philosophically.
Finally: The Dramatic Conclusion?
“Tis a long sad tale,” sighed Adam Cartwright as he concluded the entire story.
“A LONG sad tale,” Hoss frowned. He was hoping to dig into the special dinner Hop Sing had prepared for their special guests, Lillian and Puchi.
Puchi handed Little Joe a hanky. He looked strange with is curly hair kinking up and his nose growing longer. Puchi was shaken to her core.
Joe’s lower lip trembled and he forced himself to smile and take her hanky “Thanks, Ma’am.”
“Eat!” Lillian urged everyone, especially her newly discovered twin Puchi.
“It is a long sad tale,” Adam repeated.
“What do you mean, a long sad tale?” Little Joe asked his older brother. “Look at your own face! Your hair! Gak.”
It didn’t matter now how long the long winded story was as Lillian had said it was ok to eat. Hoss couldn’t take one of Adam’s yarns on an empty stomach and so much had happened in the last hours. Since Lillian said they could start dinner, Hoss was happy. He could eat and listen to one of Adam’s long winded tales and try to figure out why he and his brothers looked so strange. He was still Hoss on the inside but looked like a stooge on the outside.
“Well, part of it started when gypsies came to Brooklyn….” Adam said slathering butter on some of the corn bread Puchi had baked. “That and something radioactive here in Nevada.”
“From the not-yet-invented Atom bomb tests over in Reno,” Ben said. A tear trickled down his cheek.
“And that part started with Doc Martin’s misdirected cloning experiments!” Hop Sing revealed. “President Lincoln asked my father, Charlie Chan, to send me here undercover and investigate Doc Martin.”
“Doc Martin! What do you mean?” Hoss gasped.
“Doc Martin cloned cowboys so he could create a ready labor force at round up time, for the mines and the timber mills, for square dancing as well as test subjects for tossing lemon meringue pies. “
“The ultimate weapon for world domination!” Puchi and Lillian gasped.
“Unfortunately, the experiment went terribly wrong,” Ben sighed.
“Especially for you boys. Doc had stolen your…your…”
“Our what?” Adam pleaded.
“Pish?” Hoss asked.
“P.I.S.H. You know, when you went to the doc for you back to school check-ups and he asked you to give a urine sample.”
“Your in what?” Hoss asked.
“Pee in a cup,” Ben translated to Hoss-ese, and before any of his sons could make a “guy comment”, Ben cautioned them “And don’t forget we have ladies present.”
“So Doc Martin used your PISH…” Hop Sing repeated.
“P.I.S.H.? What is that?” Adam asked.
“Personal Identity Stuff for Hunks!” Lillian explained. She knew a wealth of vocabulary words in numerous languages.
“What happened, Pa?” Joe pleaded.
“Well…. When the real people reached a certain age and the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars and gasoline went over $3 a gallon and Brittany Spears became the role model for MOTHERS….” Ben continued.
“OY VAY!” Puchi and Lillian gasped.
“Well, when all those things coincided, the real men started turning into The Three Stooges. They were transformed!” Ben wept looking at his once handsome sons. Joe, Hoss and Adam looked just like Larry, Curly and Moe. “What am I to do!?!?”
“I know!” Lillian leapt to her feet.
“What are you going to do, sister?” Puchi whispered.
“The true miracle elixir of health is at hand!” Lillian smiled.
“Pulque?” Joe asked hopefully.
“No! Chicken soup!!!” Lillian declared.
“The miracle elixir of health!” her twin Puchi confirmed.
“Quick! Make some! Save my boys from being doomed to a life of stoogie-ness. A fate worse than death!”
“Please!” Adam pleaded brushing his bangs out of his eyes. “No more Moe!”
“Save us, Miss Lillian! Save us, Miss Puchi!” Hoss got down on bended knees and pleaded. “I don’t want to look like Curly no Moe!”
“Nyuk! Nyuk!” Little Joe wailed. Tears cascaded out of his dill pickle eyes.
“Let’s get that soup quick!!!!!! I couldn’t bear for the boys to live out their lives in that state!” Martha pleaded as she rushed outside to capture a chicken, kill and pluck it.
“I agree. Let’s wrap this up before the soup gets cold,” said Kathy, grabbing a big iron kettle.
Later…. after steaming bowls of magically medicinal chicken soup…
“Thanks!” the Cartwright boys said, hugging their rescuers. “You saved us from a stoogie fate worse than death!”
“And make sure you wear undies!” Puchi chided Little Joe.
Lillian blushed as she busied herself writing down the chicken soup recipe for Hop Sing. “Now, Jimmy, go back to college and graduate and make your parents proud!”
“Yes, Ma’am!” Hop Sing who was really Jimmy Chan agreed. “No more of this mopping up after the Cartwrights! I am going to law school!”
“Who will take your place and keep house for us?” Ben asked.
“Yes! Hop Sing! What will we do without you?” Adam gasped.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door!
“Whose there?” Hoss asked.
“Me! Alice! Mrs. Brady sent me over!” said a voice.
“Did she bring MarciaMarciaMarcia?” Joe asked hopefully
Everyone laughed except for Cochise, who was in the kitchen drinking coffee.
HOP SING’S MATZO BALLS
Hoppy got this recipe from Mr. Kauffman who got it from Lillian who got it from her Bubbe
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water, or broth from the soup as needed
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs until well blended. Combine the matzo meal and salt; lightly stir into the egg mixture until the liquid is absorbed, and the meal is damp. Gradually mix in the water so that the mixture holds together, but is not too wet. Just enough. Cover and refrigerate while bringing the water to a boil.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. When the water is at a full boil, remove the matzo mixture from the refrigerator. Using wet hands, shape spoonfuls of the dough into golf ball size balls. Do not pack the balls together too tightly as they expand as they cook much like Joe does when he spies an attractive doomed gal.
- Drop balls into the boiling water, and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from water and serve in soup. Do not let the matzo balls sit out too long, or they will harden like the cold lips of Laura Dayton.
Just remember some folks like their balls hard, others, fluffy.
ROY COFFEE’S LEMON MERINGUE PIE (SUITABLE FOR THROWING)
Your Favorite Pie Crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fit a homemade or store-bought pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate; line crust with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights or buckshot. Do not use bullets as they will explode. Bake until crust is lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Carefully lift and remove paper with pie weights and let crust cool.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh from 2 – 3 lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Meringue Topping (this makes a double fluffy batch that you can use on one really poofy pie swooping and swirling like Joe’s pompadore or put the extra on a spare throwing pie):
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
8 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Lemon Filling: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large, nonreactive saucepan or the horse trough.
- Add egg yolks, then immediately but gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups water.
- Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking regularly, 8- 10 minutes, until thickened.
- Remove from heat, whisk in zest, then juice, and finally butter.
- Keep warm until meringue is made. MMmmmmm MMmmm
- Meringue topping: Mix cornstarch and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened
- Remove from heat when translucent and thickened.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix cream of tartar and sugar together.
- Beat egg whites with whip attachment of mixer until frothy. Add vanilla.
- Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tbsp at a time.
- Then drop in cornstarch mixture, 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form.
- Pour warm lemon filling into pie crust.
- Distribute meringue evenly over the top, starting with the edges, and then the middle.
- Make sure it attaches to the crust.
- Lifting with the back of the spoon, create peaks in the meringue.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Cool completely before throwing or serve with cups of steaming Roy Coffee
- Bring water to a near boil on the stove in a blue graniteware pot.
- Throw your coffee grounds right into the water. That’s right. Filters are for city slickers, dudes or bootleggers
- Stir the coffee over the fire for a minute or two.
- Remove the pot from the fire and let the coffee sit for a minute or two to allow the grounds to settle at the bottom of the pot. Add a bit of cold water to help speed along the settling process or strain through your moustache.
- Carefully pour the coffee into your tin cup so that the grounds stay in the pot.