Monday, August 11, 2008

100 Mile Walk (Season 1, Ep. 3)

We begin with Charles standing in a field, sincerely thanking the Lord for his wheat crop. Inside, he starts listing what all they can buy with the money when he sells the harvest. This is called counting your chickens before they hatch and that shit makes the Lord very angry. That night, a hailstorm from hell is unleashed upon Walnut Grove. Charles runs outside, but unless he's got a 100 acre tarp, he shoulda just stayed in bed.

The wheat's been flattened, so now the Ingalls family has no food and no money. Charles takes off on foot toward Sleepy Eye and Mankato to look for work. Jack Peters, an Irish guy, catches up to Charles a short time later, and they walk together. That night, they make a fire and cook stew. Another guy approaches the flames. His name is Jacob. He hangs out with them, and it turns out that he's a bootmaker in his spare time. Pa's boots are in shit-shape, and Jacob throws them into the woods. Pa can't afford a new pair, but this is one time that "cash on the barrel" doesn't apply.

The men find jobs in a mining quarry. Jack works as a "powder monkey", putting lit dynamite into holes in the rock, then running like hell. Charles and Jacob team up for a (slightly) less dangerous job. One guy holds a tall steel spike, while the other guy pounds it with a sledgehammer. Mind your limbs, eh?

Back at the little house, Caroline has invited all the womenfolk of Hero Township over to hear her newest plan yet. They can manually take the wheat out of whatever it is the wheat grows in and dry it in sheaves. I hope there's a montage or something of them "bringing in the sheaves". That's my favourite Little House hymn. There's a bunch of whiny divas who don't wanna do it, but seriously, bitches, what else were you gonna do all day?

Ah, yes. I called it. Now it's time for a hard-work montage of the men in the quarry and the women in the field. Pa and Jacob win a $50 prize in a drilling contest. Jack, a veteran of quarry work, taunts them from a rocky hill, saying that even with their win, they're not experienced enough to carry his jock, or some 1870s version of that. Suddenly, the rock and Jack explode into bits.

Conveniently, the job is over and Charles can go home. The quarry-owner gives him Jack's paycheque to drop off with his family. Jack has a young son who is devastated by the news. Pa makes some promises he's not gonna keep, and says he'll come visit sometime. Poor kid is so depressed, he can't even sense that Pa is just making shit up and has no intention of ever coming back.

Pa makes it back to the little house, and everyone is happy.

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