At the Fortnum household, teenage son Tom is reading through a catalog with hundreds of things to buy. An ad about raising giant mushrooms in the cellar catches his attention and he asks his mom and dad if he can order seeds. He's soon mowing for the money and his dad Hugh comes out to tell him he has tickets to the ball game. Tom passes and it's clear he's waiting for something. Their neighbor Mrs. Goodbody interrupts her spraying for parasites and weeds to come over and complain about invaders from outer space. She insists she's the first line of defense. The mailman comes over and Tom runs to sign for a special delivery package. Hugh asks to see it and checks out the package, which announces it contains Abyssians Amazon Mushrooms, shipped from New Orleans. Tom takes the package and runs inside, while Mrs. Goodbody continues to spray...Read the full recap
Host: This is my copy of the Johnson-Smith Racine, Wisconsin Catalog. Every boy in America at one time had one. You sent away for jokes, surprises, funny faces, whoopee cushions, and illusions. I sent away for my first Johnson-Smith catalog when I was 10, because I heard you could buy things, strange things, that you dunked in water or planted in your window box, that grew, and grew, and grew.
Roger Willis: What's intuition?
Hugh Fortnum: Uh, the stuff you know that you don't know you know?
Roger Willis: That's it. Over a period of time, things gather. Surprises. Your hands get dirty but you don't remember how they got that way. Dust falls on you every day but you don't feel it. But when you get enough dust collected up, there it is. You see it. You name it. And now I feel the weather changing every minute with the skin prickling on the backs of my hands.
Hugh Fortnum: Well...
Roger Willis: Now, don't laugh. I'm full up on dust and strange weather.
Hugh Fortnum: Well, what do we do about it?
Roger Willis: I don't know. Watch everything. Maybe it's in the way the wind blows those weeds. Or the way the sun burns on the telephone wires. Or the crickets screeching in the grass.
Hugh Fortnum: That's not much to go on.
Roger Willis: Then we're sunk and lost.