TERMITES OF 1938 (1938)
[The short opens up in Muriel’s house. Mabel is sitting down on a chair. Arthur walks in.]
MABEL: Oh, hello Arthur. Hope you catch something.
ARTHUR: The same to you and I don’t mean fish. [walks away]
[Muriel walks in]
MURIEL: Oh, hello Mabel.
MABEL: Why Muriel, what’s the trouble?
MURIEL: Well, it looks as if I can’t come to your party. Arthur’s gone on another one of his famous fishing trips. And I won’t have an escort. [sits down on the table]
MABEL: Why don’t you call the escort bureau and have them send over a nice young man?
MURIEL: Well, what do you mean?
MABEL: Well, from what I understand, the Acme Escort Bureau is thoroughly reliable. Mostly college boys from Harvard and Yale. Perfect gentlemen. Why don’t you try it?
MURIEL: Well, I don’t think that I---
MABEL: [stands up] Well, you don’t want to miss the opportunity of meeting Lord Wafflebottom, do you?
MABEL: Well, I must run along, dear. I’ll be expecting you. [leaves]
[Mandy, the maid, walks in]
MANDY: You’re going out tonight, Mrs. Van Twitchett?
MURIEL: Yes! Get me the Acme Escort Bureau on the telephone.
MANDY: Yes, ma’am. [sits down on the couch and looks through the phone book]
MURIEL: Oh, I do hope they’re discriminating.
MANDY: [shocked] Scriminatin’?
MURIEL: [chuckles] Yes, Mandy.
MANDY: [looking at the phone book] Scriminatin’. Acme. E-x--- I guess this must be it.
[Mandy finds the “Acme Escort Bureau” in the phone book. When she moves her finger to the right to point to the phone number, she accidentally looks at the phone number for the “Acme Exterminator Co.” The scene ends.]
[A new scene begins at Acme Exterminator Co. The glass window reads: “Acme Exterminator Co. If you got ‘em, we’ll get ‘em”]
[The stooges are lying on the floor and they are setting up an exterminator invention near a mouse hole in the wall. Moe is setting up the strings on the floor. Curly sticks his hand out and Moe slaps it.]
MOE: Well, that’s it!
CURLY: That’s what?
LARRY: What’s the idea?
MOE: That’s my new invention. The simplex rodent exterminator.
CURLY: I thought we’re supposed to catch a mouse.
MOE: Listen, you jughead. When a mouse comes out of there, he’s bound to touch one of those strings. When he does, the cannon goes off. [points to the cannon that’s aimed at the mouse hole]
CURLY: Oh, I get it! The noise wakes up the cat and the cat catches the mouse.
MOE: Yea--- [does a double take] See that. [sticks his fist out]
[Curly slaps Moe’s fist and Moe hits Curly on the head]
[Moe gets ready to hit Curly again, but Larry interrupts]
LARRY: Wait a minute. The old fashioned way is good enough for me. [walks off-camera]
MOE: [to Curly] He ain’t progressive. Now listen. If we don’t get him with the strings, we get him with the hangman’s noose. [points to the noose hanging above the mouse hole] Right around the neck ‘till he’s dead.
CURLY: Oh. [looks through the mouse hole] Come on. Come on.
[Moe slaps Curly on the head]
CURLY: Oh. Wish I had my putty blower here. I’d get him.
MOE: If he sees you, he’ll never come out.
[Larry takes out a fishing pole. On the end of the line is a piece of cheese. He throws the end of the line on the floor near another mouse hole. When the mouse comes out, he eats the cheese and it tugs on Larry’s fishing line]
LARRY: [struggling to pull his fishing line] I got it! I got a bite! Ohh!
[The mouse pulls Larry and Larry falls on the floor]
MOE: See! That’s the old fashioned way. That’s why I laid awake nights figuring out this safe plan. I’ll show you how to get one.
[The stooges stand up]
MOE: Now, if we only had a mouse.
CURLY: Why didn’t you say so? That’s a cinch.
[Curly takes out a piccolo and gets ready to play it, but Moe stops him]
MOE: What’s the idea?
CURLY: I’ve been reading up on it. [takes a book and shows it to Moe] See?
[The cover of the book says: “The Pied Piper of Hamelin” by Robert Browning]
MOE: So what?
CURLY: If a pie eyed piper can call them out, I guess I can sober.
[Curly plays a tune on the piccolo]
CURLY: [stops playing] Ah! Did that come out of me?
[Moe gets ready to hit Curly with the book, but Larry stops him]
LARRY: Shh. Look! [points to the mouse hole. A mouse is crawling out]
[Curly starts playing “Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair” on the piccolo. Moe taps Curly on the head as he plays]
[The mouse crawls on the strings, but the cannon never goes off]
LARRY: That’s a swell idea.
CURLY: For the mouse.
MOE: I know. The strings are too loose. We’ll get down there and tighten them and get him on the way back.
CURLY: I don’t know if I can play that twibble, that--- tune.
[The stooges bend down over the mouse hole to tighten the strings. A mouse crawls over a string that’s attached to the back of the cannon. The cannon goes off and shoots Moe in the rear. Moe’s head gets pushed through the wall]
MOE: Ow! Get me out of here! Help me out! Ow! Ow!
[Moe gets his head out and he is now hard of hearing]
LARRY: Answer the phone!
MOE: You wanna go home? You just got here.
LARRY: No, the phone is ringing. Here. [hands the phone to Moe]
MOE: Oh, the phone!
[Moe takes the phone]
MOE: [on the phone] Hello!
MURIEL: [on the phone] Hello, is this the Acme?
MOE: [on the phone] Yeah, this is the Acme. You’ll have to talk a little louder, lady.
MURIEL: [on the phone] I want to engage one of your best men.
MOE: [on the phone] We’re all pest men.
MURIEL: [on the phone] You see, a friend of mine is giving a dinner dance.
MOE: [on the phone] Ants! [to Larry and Curly] She’s got ants.
MURIEL: [on the phone] By the way, what are your fees?
MOE: [on the phone] Fleas! [to Larry and Curly] She’s got fleas too, boys. [on the phone] What else ya got, lady?
MURIEL: [on the phone] What?
MOE: [on the phone] What’s the address, lady?
MURIEL: [on the phone] Meet me at Mrs. Sturgeon’s home at 1-3-2-0 Laurel Canyon Drive. It’s semi-formal.
MOE: [on the phone] Tails! Alright. [hangs up the phone]
CURLY: Has she got snails too?
MOE: No, you lunkhead. You don’t expect to go to a classy joint and catch pests in those dirty overalls, do ya? Come on.
CURLY: As long as I got my piccolo here, I can get anything.
[The scene ends]
[A new scene begins outside of Mabel’s house. A car drives up. Clayhammer, the butler, walks up to the car and opens the door. Mabel gets out of the car.]
CLAYHAMMER: How do you do, Mrs. Van Twitchett?
[The stooges drive up. Curly is driving the car and he hits Mabel’s car]
MOE: Hey! Get that thing outta there.
[Curly honks the horn. Mabel’s car drives away.]
CLAYHAMMER: [approaches the stooges] Why! Why the very idea? Get this disgraceful thing outta here!
MOE: Keep your shirt on, big boy! We were sent for.
MURIEL: Oh Clayhammer. It’s quite alright. We’re expecting them.
CLAYHAMMER: [to Muriel] Oh, very well, Mrs. Van Twitchett.
[Clayhammer tries to pull the door open, but can’t. Curly walks up to him and smacks his hand]
[Curly lifts up the door. Larry and Moe get out of the car. Curly gives the door to Clayhammer]
CURLY: Hold this, sledgehammer.
[Clayhammer dumps the door inside the car. The scene ends]
[A new scene begins inside Mabel’s house. Muriel and the stooges enter]
MURIEL: Hello Mabel!
MABEL: Oh Muriel. I’m so happy to see you.
MURIEL: [introducing the stooges to the guest] May I present, uh---
MOE: And Howard.
[The stooges huddle. Curly then bends down and moves both of his hands back and forth]
LARRY AND MOE: At your service day and night. We do the job and do it right. [Curly moves his hands over Larry and Moe’s face and they follow it] Aaaaccccme!
WAFFLEBOTTOM: [to Mabel] Why, say! What of?
MABEL: [in a nervous manner] Oh, it’s their college yell.
WAFFLEBOTTOM: College? Oh, ripping. [laughs]
[The butler walks out of the dining room and announces dinner]
BUTLER: Dinner is served.
MOE: Certainly. They always feed you in these high-class joints. You don’t want to work on an empty stomach, do ya?
CURLY: Oh, I should say not.
MOE: Alright, go ahead.
[As Moe and Larry walk into the dining room, they give their hats to the butler. Curly keeps his hat on. As he walks by, the butler takes the hat off of Curly’s head]
CURLY: Mmm! [grabs the hat from the butler]
[Curly takes a cigar out from his hat and starts smoking it. Moe pulls Curly in the dining room]
CURLY: Cut it out!
MOE: Get rid of that heater.
[Curly puts the cigar in his pocket]
CURLY: [sees the silverware on the table] Look at all that silver. What’ll we do with them?
LARRY: I’ll show you what to do with it. [grabs a bunch of silverware from the table and starts putting them in his pocket]
MOE: [grabs Larry’s hair] No, ya don’t. You eat with ‘em.
CURLY: But why so many? All we need is a knife.
MOE: Can’t you see how they’re laid out. You start at the far end and work your way down. Ready, go!
[The stooges sit at the table. A crowd of people enter the dining room and they start seating themselves on the table]
CURLY: Don’t crowd folks. There’s room for everybody.
MOE: [to a woman] Sit down, shorty. Stuff’s here and it’s mellow.
MOE: Hey, I ain’t got no serviette.
CURLY: Take part of mine. [rips his serviette in half and gives it to Moe]
WAFFLEBOTTOM: [to Mabel] Oh I say. Look here, my dear. This is my first visit to America, you see. And I want to be sure that I observe the proper table etiquette. Now, what shall I--- [looks at the stooges] Oh, I have it. I shall keep my eyes on those college chaps.
CURLY: Nyuk nyuk nyuk.
[Moe and Curly take their serviette and tuck it in the collars of their shirts. Wafflebottom sees them, so he does the same thing. Mabel has an embarrassed look on her face]
[Moe cleans his small spoon with his serviette. Curly sees him, so he grabs a small spoon, blows some hot air on it, and cleans it with his serviette. Moe and Curly eat their soup with the small spoon. Moe eats his soup with his pinky sticking out]
[Wafflebottom sees Moe and Curly. He puts his soup spoon to the side and grabs the small spoon. He sticks his pinky out and eats the soup with the small spoon. Everyone on the table does the same thing when they see the stooges]
CURLY: [sees a cup of peas] Mm.
[Curly throws a pea up in the air and tries to catch it with his mouth, but he misses. He does this again. Moe sees Curly and imitates him. Wafflebottom sees this, so he does the same thing. Everyone else at the table do the same thing as well.]
[A waiter comes by and serves the entrée. Moe takes some mash potatoes with his knife, mixes it with the mash potatoes and eats it. Wafflebottom sees him, so he does the same thing as well. Curly does the same thing]
CURLY: [as he eats] Nyuk nyuk.
[Everyone imitates Moe and Curly. Everyone looks eat each other all puzzled as they eat their peas and mash potatoes with a knife]
[Moe takes his fork and knife and rubs them together. He’s about to cut his chicken with the utensils, but he sees a pair of corn skewers. He takes the skewers out of the corn and pokes them into the chicken]
CURLY: [looking at his chicken and says to Muriel] Snowshoes.
[Curly sees Moe eating the chicken with the corn skewers]
CURLY: Oh! [he imitates Moe and eats the chicken with the skewers]
[Wafflebottom sees Curly and Moe eating the chicken with the skewers, so he does the same thing. Everyone else on the table does the same thing as well. Wafflebottom chuckles and looks at Mabel as he eats the chicken with the skewers. Mabel just looks at Wafflebottom and giggles in a nervous way]
[The scene ends]
[A new scene begins outside the dining room where we see an orchestra playing. Everyone walks out of the dining room]
CURLY: [to the flute player] Hey buddy! You ain’t gonna get any mice with that tune. You gotta swing it. [takes the flute]
MOE: [grabs the flute from Curly] Wait a minute, ya big chump. You gotta wait ‘til the guests are all gone.
CURLY: But I had my pizzicato all ready---
MABEL: Oh, do you boys play too?
MURIEL: Oh, we’d love to have you play for us.
LARRY: [whispers to Moe] Hey, the phonograph! [points to the phonograph]
MOE: Sometimes I think you got part of a brain.
MOE: [pinches Larry’s face] Don’t mention it! [slaps Larry’s head] Get out.
MOE: Say, I gotta tune a B-flat. [gives the flute to Curly] There you are, maestro.
[Moe and Curly grab a part of the flute to see who will play it. Curly’s hand ends up to top.]
MOE: [annoyed] Ah! [to Curly] You blow the gas pipe. [to Larry] You get the little fiddle. I’ll take the overstuffed one. [to the orchestra] Alright fellas. Scram! [to the piano player] Hey, piano player! You stay and take the tempo from my body.
[A man passes by Moe and ends up shoving himself]
MOE: [to the man] Don’t shove.
MOE: [to Larry and Curly] Man the instruments, boys.
[Moe secretly turns on the phonograph]
MOE: [to the guests] We will now play “Romananese Synpodines” by Leindercranz.
[The guests look all confused, but they applaud anyway. We suddenly hear a marching band. Larry and Curly bow at each other and they bump heads. The stooges begin their performance. Moe plays the cello, Larry plays the violin, and Curly plays the flute. They all pretend to play as the phonograph plays the marching band song.]
[Suddenly the record starts skipping. Moe taps on the phonograph a couple of times and it stops skipping. Curly separates the flute]
[After Curly separates the flute, he blows on it and it squeaks]
[Moe accidentally grabs a big saw thinking it’s a bow. He uses the saw to play the cello and he ends up cutting it in half. Mice starting crawling all over the place. The guests scream and run away]
[Curly falls on the floor to catch the mice. He starts spinning around]
MOE: Hey hey!
MOE: Come on up here. [Curly gets up] The place is infested! We better forget society and get to work. You guys handle the termites, I’ll handle the moths.
[The stooges separate and then they reconvene again]
STOOGES: At your service day and night. We do the job and do it right. Acme!
[Curly walks in the wrong direction. Moe whistles at him, so Curly turns around and walks the right direction]
[A new scene begins in a different part of the house. Larry is holding an electric drill while Curly is using a stethoscope to locate any termites.]
LARRY: Do you hear anything?
CURLY: Quiet!! I’m on their trail.
[Curly walks towards the wall and he hears something on his stethoscope]
CURLY: I found ‘em.
[Larry drills a hole in the wall]
[Cut to the other side of the wall]
MAN: [to another guest] It’s disgraceful. They should be put out of the house.
[The man turns around and sees the drill sticking out of the hole. He has a shocked look on his face.]
[Curly squirts some liquid into the hole and it squirts on the man’s face]
[Cut to Moe, who has just hung a rug on a clothes line. Moe is spraying some liquid on the rug. He is also holding a broom. Mabel walks in.]
[Mabel walks around the rug to see who is behind it. As she walks behind it, Moe walks to the other side of the rug, so Mabel doesn’t see him.]
MABEL: [yelling] Clayhammer---
[Moe hits the other side of the rug with a broom and Mabel ends up getting hit in the rear]
MABEL: Oww! Oh! Oh!
[Mabel walks around the rug to see who is behind it. As she walks behind it, Moe walks to the other side of the rug, so Mabel doesn’t see him again.]
MABEL: [yelling] Clayhamm---
[Moe hits the other side of the rug with the broom and Mabel ends up getting hit in the rear again]
MABEL: Ow! Oh!
[Clayhammer walks in and approaches Mabel]
CLAYHAMMER: Yes, Madame?
MABEL: Take this thing out of here immediately!
CLAYHAMMER: But Madame! [stands with his back to the rug]
[Moe hits the other side of the rug with the broom and Clayhammer ends up getting hit in the rear. Mabel walks around the rug and sees Moe hit Clayhammer]
[Just as Moe is about to hit the rug again, Mabel stands by the rug and gives Moe a dirty look. Clayhammer kicks the rug from the other side and accidentally hits Mabel in the rear]
MABEL: Oh!! [falls on Moe and her arms end up getting wrapped around Moe[
MOE: Aw, lady! [starts chuckling and drops the broom]
[Cut to Curly and Larry. As Curly tries to locate more termites with the stethoscope he sees a sculpture]
CURLY: [to the sculpture] Ruff!
[Curly walks up to a wall and listens to it with his stethoscope]
CURLY: [to Larry] Try here.
[Larry drills a hole in the wall]
[Cut to the other side of the wall]
WAFFLEBOTTOM: [to Muriel] Oh! A blooming hole. [looks through the hole]
[Curly squirts some liquid into the hole and it squirts in Wafflebottom’s face]
WAFFLEBOTTOM: Ah!! What the! Have we a shower bath over here?
MURIEL: It’s those escorts. I’ll shall call the Acme and report this.
WAFFLEBOTTOM: By all means. Phone the Acme immediately.
[Muriel walks into the phone room and dials a number on the phone, but there is a busy signal]
[Larry and Curly approach the outside of the phone room.]
MURIEL: Oh dear, dear! [looks through a phone book]
[Outside the phone room, Curly hears the busy signal with his stethoscope]
CURLY: Mmm. A nest of ‘em. Put it in here.
[Larry starts drilling a hole in the wall of the phone room. As Larry drills, Curly taps him on the head]
MURIEL: [screams] Ahh!
[Muriel’s head breaks through the staircase, which is above the phone room]
CURLY: [to Muriel] Quiet! You wanna scare ‘em away.
LARRY: We better give ‘em a shot from the other side.
CURLY: [talking in his stethoscope] Ok
[Larry and Curly leave]
[Arthur and his friend enter]
MURIEL: Oh Arthur!
[Arthur walks up to Muriel, whose head is still stuck in the staircase]
MURIEL: Oh Arthur, I’m so glad you’re back.
ARTHUR: Forgive me, honey. I’ll never go fishing again.
MURIEL: Oh, it’s terrible.
[The stooges enter]
MOE: [to Curly] Did you see a female moth fly through here?
CURLY: Was it a white one?
CURLY: No, I didn’t see it.
[Moe throws a moth ball on Curly’s head]
ARTHUR: I know where three moths are going.
[Arthur runs after the stooges]
CURLY: Woo woo woo woo!
[The stooges run away. As Arthur runs after the stooges, he trips over a bag of gopher bombs]
CURLY: Woo woo woo woo woo!
MOE: Hurry up!
[The stooges run outside and get inside their car. Arthur lights up a gopher bomb. As the stooges drive away, Arthur throws the bomb at the stooges and their car blows up. The stooges slowly get out of their car all burnt up from the explosion.]