1.5 "This Probably is Condemned"

“Before we start scraping off the grime, can I make you something to eat?” — Kirk

Kirk needs help getting the Minuteman cleaned up.

WRITER: Barton Dean
DIRECTOR: Will MacKenzie
GUEST STARS: Dick Christie (Andy; maple syrup salesman), Jim Boeke (inspector), Roy London and Susan Watson (Mr. and Mrs. Carlson; guests who get discounted room)


MAIN PLOT: A health and safety inspector visits the town, and Kirk is especially eager to make sure that he stays away from the Minuteman. So when the inspector finishes taking a look at the Stratford (everything is up to code), Kirk offers to show him the quick way out of town. But then, a few minutes later, Kirk returns and tells Dick, Joanna and Leslie that the inspector caught sight of the café, inspected it, and was disgusted enough to condemn the property. Now Kirk has to find a way to get the Minuteman back up to code.

Kirk brings Dick, Joanna and Leslie to see the café for themselves—they’ve never actually seen the inside before (and neither had “Newhart” viewers up to that point in the series). It’s definitely an eye-sore: there are dirty dishes everywhere, the tables and chairs are grimy, and the place is littered with junky souvenirs no one in his or her right mind would ever buy. Kirk launches into a story (obviously fake) about how he never really wanted to run the café, but was talked into it by a girlfriend who dumped him as soon after he bought it for her. Leslie and Joanna are so moved by Kirk’s story that they eagerly offer to help him get the Minuteman back up to code. While Dick is skeptical, Joanna convinces him to join in, too. So the next morning, the whole gang (including George) brings a bunch of cleaning supplies to the café. A very grateful Kirk leaves to go get them some breakfast.

Hours pass. That evening, Dick, Joanna, Leslie and George finally return to the Stratford after a long day of cleaning. As it turns out, Kirk never did return with breakfast, so they spent the day cleaning without him. Dick is furious, but everyone else thinks that there has to be a good explanation for Kirk’s disappearance. Sure enough, Kirk drops by the Stratford and explains that he spent the day in the hospital with some mystery illness. When Dick threatens to call the hospital to confirm the story, Kirk stubbornly insists that it’s true, and gives so many details that Dick (reluctantly) agrees to put the phone down.

The gang goes back to the Minuteman so Kirk can see the work they did. The café is now spotless, and Kirk is touched by the lengths they went to. Dick asks Kirk to repay them by never lying again. Kirk worries that he doesn’t know how to stop lying, but decides to try it out by being honest about what he did earlier that day—he didn’t go to the hospital (“No kidding,” Dick says); he went to Boston and spent the whole day eating ice cream and playing video games. When the gang forgives him for this, he’s suddenly encouraged to tell a few more truths—including this whopper: the Minuteman was never condemned. Kirk made it up because he wanted help cleaning.

Well, now everyone is furious, and Dick lunges at Kirk and has to be restrained by the others. Kirk, oblivious to the reaction, leaves to go get champagne to celebrate his decision to be honest. When he returns, sans bottle, the others ask him what happened to the champagne and he claims he was asked to christen a ship on his way back to the Minuteman. This time, EVERYONE lunges at him and Kirk has to run out the door as everyone chases after him.

ALSO IN THIS EPISODE: A maple syrup salesman talks Dick into buying 144 jugs of maple syrup for the inn – and now Dick has to figure out a way to get rid of them.




ANDY: Dick, Dick, Dick. Let me explain something to you. This is Vermont.
DICK: I’m with you so far.

DICK: You think I was had?
JOANNA: Why? Because you bought 144 jugs of syrup?
DICK: I guess not.

DICK: You said yourself, you’re an habitual liar.
KIRK: And you believed that??

JOANNA: George, how’s it going?
GEORGE: Can’t complain.
JOANNA: I mean the inspection!
GEORGE: So far, so good. He’s not what you’d call real sharp. Half of the things he found wrong, I had to point out to him.

KIRK: I saw the inspector’s car out front. Has he said anything about coming to my place?
DICK: No, but thanks for your concern.
KIRK: Yeah. You know, I tried to get into his car to see where he’s headed next, but the paranoid clown locked it!
JOANNA: Kirk, I’m sure if your place was on his schedule, you’d know it.
KIRK: Not if the mailman is withholding my mail.

DICK: “I ate a ton at the Minuteman Cafe.” You sell these?
KIRK: I tried. Now I just go out and stick them on their cars while they’re eating.

KIRK: (about the Minuteman Burger) That’s a burger I cook in one minute. My motto is, “If I can cook it in a minute, you can eat it in a minute.”
DICK: Interesting challenge.

KIRK: I bought this place for a woman. Victoria. She was beautiful, witty, intelligent. Leslie, this isn’t making you uncomfortable, is it?
KIRK: Anyway, it was a few years back. She was a young coed, headed for Middlebury College. I was posing as a brilliant young internist with a promising future. And then I decided to throw it all away, to follow her here from Nebraska.
DICK: I didn’t know you were from Nebraska.
KIRK: Okay, South Dakota.
DICK: Kirk, you don’t have to lie. If you’re from Nebraska, just say Nebraska.
KIRK: It was Big Sky country.
DICK: That’s Montana.
KIRK: What is this? An inquisition? The point is, I followed her here because we had a dream. We were on our way to Middlebury when she spotted this place from the highway. Then suddenly she said, “Wouldn’t it be incredibly bohemian if we bought this place and opened up a little cafe? You know, the kind of place that sells pastries and antiques, and everyone sits around drinking herb tea and listening to poetry. And on cold winter nights, we’d wrap ourselves in a down comforter and sit in front of the hearth, sipping hot spiced wine and reading Proust. And upstairs, our children, Adrianne and little Francois, would be snuggled in their beds, dreaming the dreams of the innocent.” Well, at least that’s the way it was supposed to have been.
JOANNA: What happened?
KIRK: We were at the real estate office. I had just put down every penny I had on this place and signed all the papers. I turned to her, she looked at me, and I said, “Well, what do you think?” And she said, “I think I like someone else more than you.” And she walked out the door, climbed in MY car and drove away.

KIRK: Besides, I’m not so sure I want to sell it, not as long as there’s still a chance that someday she’s going to walk through that door, carrying her suitcase and say, “Jean Carlo, I’m back!”
DICK: I can see where that would be worth waiting for.

JOANNA: Dick, before you even start, remember you told me one of the reasons we moved here was for the sense of community. Neighbors helping neighbors! Remember that story you told me about the old days, how when somebody’s barn would burn down and everybody would just jump right in, and pitch in, and help rebuild it?
DICK: You wanna burn this place down, fine.

KIRK: Before we start scraping off the grime, can I make you something to eat?

DICK: If you really value our friendship, you can prove it.
KIRK: How?
DICK: Stop lying. No more excuses, no more phony stories. Just stop lying.
KIRK: To you, or everyone?

JOANNA: Where’s the champagne you said you were going to get?
KIRK: I got it!
DICK: Don’t start, Kirk.
KIRK: No really. I bought the best bottle I could find. $65.
DICK: I’m warning you.
KIRK: The guy let me charge it.
DICK: Where is it?
KIRK: Wouldn’t you know it? I was on my way back, and what do you think I was stopped and asked to do? Christen a ship!


* This is the first episode that shows the interior of the Minuteman Cafe.

* The title of the episode is a reference to the 1946 play and its 1966 film adaptation This Property Is Condemned.




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