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Classic Television Rundown: Salute Your Shorts, Episode 1-3: "The Treasure of Sara Madre"

"Each time she got paid, she buried her money somewhere in camp. One day, Sara took the whole class up to the top of Mount Hoodlu, and she do-si-do's right off a cliff. Splat."

Originally airing the week after "Zeke the Plumber," this episode offered a less horrific take on classic campfire legends. A cynic could warn the show against running the legend well dry, but when that well is so authentic and intricate to its muse - summer camp - I say let it flow. You'd be surprised how many of my Boy Scout camps seemed to be situated right next to sanitariums.

Salute Your Shorts here sets out the shoes Nicholas Cage hoped to fill with National Treasure, in the sense that both plots focused on finding some analogue of gold (in the show, a dead lady's paychecks; in the movie, the TRUTH, you lying government patsies!). Both also featured a lot of sneaker-wear, I'd assume, because: a) That's what kids wear, and; B) Bruckheimer's costumers probably tried to make Cage look like he was still a boy at heart or something. Other than these most basic premises of adventure, the two really aren't alike. I just wanted to talk about National Treasure.

You know, this episode may itself be stepping into the shoes of 1948's Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I can't make the comparison because it was made before Cage was born enough to be cast in anything (thus I haven't seen it), and it really doesn't matter. So long as a story can stand on its own, references to others past or present serve merely as a seasoning for those well-seasoned. This is why Hot Fuzz will live forever, while Epic Movie is already dead.

Speaking of Salute Your Shorts (oh yeah that's what's going on here), Budnick and his crony Donkey Lips once again mastermind a get-rich-quick scheme, which in the context of '90s summer camp means tricking everyone out of their boom-boxes. The deadly sin he attacks this week is greed, which pulls everyone apart as they search for the the deceased dance counselor's money. Dina should've recognized the evil of his intents (and the insight of her instincts) in the beginning, before she and the others ended up in a dangerous, rock-strewn dirt shoveling fight: "Come on, Budnick. You're our friend, and you can't put money over friendship... Whoa, listen to me." If the hunt hadn't turned out an expertly-plotted goose chase and real dough were at stake, friendships would've been severed and people could've died. People like Sara Madre.

By the way, I'd be excited for the lust-themed episode if that weren't so wrong, yet I still have to ask my young self a serious question: How come, instead of having a crush on human Dina, you dreamed of Gadget from Rescue Rangers?! Dina may be materialistic, but Gadget's a totes nerd! Get your priorities straight.

My dream girl?

Throughout the entire episode, Counselor Ug is busy prepping the baseball diamond for a brochure photo, which he does using a technique that I somewhat believed adults used on their lawns for years to come - trimming the grass with scissors. It's a perfect, quiet B story that serves for passing humor before masterfully tying back into the climax of the A. And since I'm being so absurd and confusing today, I'm not going to reveal how that works. I'm just going to emphasize that it is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT JUST LIKE GADGET'S TAIL

Oh god... Young me is rising from my subconscious, threatening to derail my post, my family, and my career (pending). Soon he's gonna start posting all those disgusting HOT pictures that turned up when I searched for "Gadget." I haven't even gotten a chance to mention how funny/cute it is that everyone has to dance their way to the treasure..."Take 6 cha-cha-cha's from the fireplace. Take 3 rumbas to the right..." MONTEREY JACK WINKED AT HER BEHIND YOUR BACK

In conclusion, it's a fun, well-written episode with a satisfying PAIR OF GOGGLE ON THOSE WIGGLY EARS

I'm just gonna cut to the quotes.
Memorable Quotes

Michael (looking at the picture of Sara Madre) - "Tasty-looking babe!"

Dina - "How much do you think there is?"
Sponge - "A trillion smackeroos!"

Donkey Lips (presenting Budnick's new surround sound system) - "On box number 1: Metallica. On box number 2: White Snake. On 3, 4, and 5, we have... NUCLEAR WINTER!"

Michael - "What do you want?"
Budnick - "Peace of mind."

Telly - "What would he need a hacksaw for?"
Dina - "I just figured it out: They're serving meatloaf tonight."

Budnick (when he hears Donkey Lips is looking for a metal file with which to steal the treasure map) - "A file, huh? I'll file him under 'D' for 'Dead Donkey.'"

Donkey Lips - "I bunny-hopped into something really nasty back there."

Iconic insults used in this episode: Ex-lax, cha-cha-chumps, roll-o, greedy little weasel, stooge, Raiders of the Lost Fart.

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  1. Blogger chris | 2:52 PM |  

    I would not have admitted this if it didn't seem like fate, but I was JUST GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCHING Gadget from Rescue Rangers! And I saw that pic!


  2. Blogger DoktorPeace | 4:17 PM |  

    My advice: Turn off safesearch, close the curtains, and enjoy the ride.

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