Written by Bruce Talkington
Summarized by Roy Neal Grissom
Our episode begins at night to the music of the famous Rescue Ranger romance motif as we behold the patrons and then the screen of a drive-in theater. On the screen we see a couple about to kiss. The scene shifts to show the Rescue Rangers parked in the Ranger Wing enjoying the film.
"This was a wonderful idea, Chip," Gadget says to her companion in the driver's seat of the Wing.
"Thanks, Gadget," Chip replies suavely, "I thought you might enjoy a movie."
"Hey, Chip!" Dale rudely interrupts the romantic moment (well, to Chip it is a romantic moment) from his seat in the back with Monty and Zipper by thrusting his head between the couple (well, to Chip they are a couple).
"Dale? What do you want?" our hero says, understandably irritated.
"You guys want any of this stuff I got from the snack bar?" he asks, leaving us to wonder whether he bought his cache of pizza and gum (prominently displayed) with honestly earned chipmunk currency or STOLE it from the humans in an act of pre-Thorn Valley rodent ethics.
Chip responds with a rude swipe of his arm, knocking Dale back into his seat underneath his food ("gum" is once again prominently displayed). "Just sit back there and watch the movie," he tells him, "if we want something we'll send you a smoke signal! Now . . . where were we?"
We now see Dale and Monty (with Zipper perched on the latter's shoulder) in the back seat where Monty grabs Dale's slice of pizza. "They call this pizza with the works?" he asks angrily, "they forgot the peanut butter!" Oddly enough, there is not a word about the presence or absence of cheese.
"Maybe the chef had good taste," Dale suggests just before prominently stuffing the GUM into his mouth.
"Yeah, but he doesn't know what tastes good," Monty responds in a take-off of the old Starkist tuna commercials.
"Gadget," Chip says as we rejoin the two Rangers in the front seat, "now that we have this moment to ourselves, I'd just like to say . . . what's the big idea?!" For at this point a bubble of gum has begun to come between them. In the back seat Dale is blowing a bubble out of control, as if he has the hiccups or something. Chip thinks he has the solution and produces a pin to burst Dale's bubble. "Careful, lad!" Monty warns, to which Gadget adds, "Chip, no!" But does the headstrong leader of the group listen? NAAAAAAAAAH!!! He bursts the bubble and then finds himself sitting on the wing of the RW covered in Dale's bubble gum. This amuses the others to no end. Dale and Monty are both laughing, the latter saying good-humoredly, "You pop it, you wear it, Mate!" Even Gadget, also known as The Ice Princess, seems amused.
"Well don't just sit there, help me out of this!" Chip commands. It is at this point that Monty's attention is diverted to something else.
"Hey! What's going on up there?" he demands. We follow his and Zipper's GAZES to the screen where the female lead is in a close-up behind what appears to be a formation of lightning bugs. There is a brief cut back to the Rangers, and then we return to the screen (the movie is apparently a representation of Casablanca, despite being in color) to see a slim tongue appear out of nowhere and seize one of the insects.
"Hey!" exclaims Dale, "I didn't know this was a monster movie!"
"I think you'd better check this out, Zipper!" Monty says to his pal who responds with the usual salute. Flying up to the projector, he indeed finds a small group of the aforementioned insects performing shadow puppetry upon the pictures on the movie screen. Zipper's delight at their artistry is obvious as he applauds and then clasps his hands. However, we now pan up to a ledge above where we see the forebody (is there such a word?) of a green checkered snake wearing a red boggin. The reptile grits his teeth evilly and then once again sends his tongue down, grasping one of the hapless lighning bugs. "Uh oh!" exclaims Zipper and at once follows to see what the deal is. We next see a large spider in a derby, sweatshirt, four shoes, and four gloves. One of the gloves is a catcher's mit, and into this the snake spits his captive with a "Ptooey!"
"Heeey Bud," the spider says as he dumps him into another hand and proceeds to unscrew his abdominal lightbulb, "you think this is enough for old Freddie? Huh? You think? Maybe? Huh?" He deposits the bulb in a glowing jar and then rudely blows the lightless bug out of his hand.
"Ah, let's scrounge her a couple more before she gets back, just in case," the snake replies crabbily. "We sure don't want to get her angry."
"Nope, we sure don't want to do that, all right!"
At this point the two hear Zipper's squeaks and then see him spying on them from the ledge. Alarmed, he tries to escape but Bud mistakes him for another lightning bug and grabs him with his tongue as he has been doing the others.
As Zipper struggles inside Bud's mouth the spider asks a question that is absolutely FROUGHT with PORTENT: "So, where's Freddie's other little helper? Wasn't she supposed to assist us on this gig?"
"That airhead?" Bud asks contemptuously after spitting Zipper into the catcher's mit, "she probably got lost in her closet. We're better off without her!"
"Eeeah, that's right; better off without that airhead!" the spider agrees as he tosses Zipper into another hand and precedes to remove his bulb. "Duh, hey!" he exclaims as he realizes Zipper is lacking this wonderful mechanism, "this one's a dud!" He rudely shakes his captive, arousing Zipper's fierce wrath (if he had known at this point the amazing feats of strength Zipper is going to display in this episode, he would have run away screaming) so that the plucky fly bites him viciously on the nose. "Yowch!" he responds understandably as Zipper escapes, "I'll turn that little ceiling-walker into windshield juice!" I am unsure if this is meant to be a humorous reference to the feeding habits of spiders or just a general threat.
"Never mind him!" Bud says as he stops his associate's pursuit of the fly with a coil, having apparently successfully adduced Zipper's gender during their brief acquaintance, "what's next on Freddie's list?"
The spider pats his shirt and finally produces from an invisible pocket a small sheet of paper, exactly the right size for the hands of anthropomorphic cartoon spiders.
"Hmmm. Let's see," the snake says as he examines the paper. "Lobster lips, lightning bug bulbs, . . . ah, here we are! A chieftain's hair!"
"Sounds like a pretty hairy mission to me!" the spider laughs at the first of several bad puns. This annoys Bud as well as us, and he bonks him on the head with a coil, much to our relief. "Sorry, Bud," the spider (you know, he still hasn't been called by name!) says sheepishly.
"Let's just grab some more bugs and not worry about it!" the snake says grouchily.
"Whatever you say, Bud!"
We now return to our heroes, who are standing outside the Ranger Wing. Though some gum is still visible, Chip seems remarkably cleaned up now. Nevertheless Monty declares, "I don't think we're going about this cleanup in the right way."
"What was your first clue," Dale demands testily, apparently forgetting that this mess was all his fault, as are most of them. But before Monty can remind him of this Zipper flies up to Monty and begins squeaking vehemently and tugging at his collar.
"Crikey!" exclaims Monty, "the little fella's awfully excited about somethin'!"
"We'd better check it out," Chip declares, having learned to trust Zipper's judgment, "Rescue Rangers, away!" As Chip joins his companions in the Ranger Wing we see that he still has some of Dale's GUM stuck to his feet.
Meanwhile on the roof above the projectionist's booth, Bud is concentrating on grabbing another bug, even closing one eye to focus--despite the fact that snakes don't have eyelids. It is at this point that the spider (his name's Lou, okay?!!), who is sitting atop Bud's back, notices the approaching aircraft.
"Bud! Heeeey, Buddeeee!" he exclaims, trying to alert his partner. But the snake is far too busy concentrating on the next bug to pay any attention. "I told you not to bug me when I'm aiming!" he says, rudely bonking Lou on the head with his tail. His concentration pays off as his tongue shoots out and grabs another lightning bug perfectly around the neck (if lightning bugs have necks) and upper body. At this Zipper squeaks in alarm.
"Bugnapers!" Chip exclaims in indignation, perfectly acquainted with both the animal criminal code and the correct spelling of the term. "Let's go!"
The Ranger Wing zooms in for action, some GUM still visible. As the snake prepares to spit the insect into Lou's glove, Chip gives an order to Gadget (maybe that's why Julie doesn't like him): "Hit the grappler!"
"Roger!" she responds and pulls a lever, opening a bomb-bay door in the bottom of the plane and releasing a very ugly looking set of iron jaws on a retractable device. The jaws grasp the snake by his delicate tongue, causing the viewer to wince in sympathy as Zipper utilizes the moment to liberate the captive. Poor Bud, in what must be pure torture, is dragged along the top of the building as Lou follows and finally grabs the snake's body. "I got yuh, Bud!" he comforts him as he pulls in the opposite direction. At this point, with the Ranger Wing's grappler holding Bud by the tongue and Lou holding Bud by the tail, the Rangers find themselves on a tether and flying in circles.
"Release the grappler!" Chip commands.
"I can't!" Gadget says, and explains in another bad pun, "the gum's gummed up the controls!" as she struggles womanfully with the lever.
"Look out!" Dale suggests helpfully as he spies a light pole to which they are headed.
Arriving at the pole, the Wing spirals around it, making it look like a barber pole with Bud's unwilling help. Finally at the top the plane is hanging upside down, but the Rangers are blessedly kept from falling by the GUM remaining from their unsuccessful cleanup.
"I gotcha, Bud! I gotcha!" Lou exclaims, still holding on to his partner in crime. As he continues to pull in the opposite direction Bud quite understandably exclaims "Oh! Oh!! OH!!!" and the grappler mercifully releases him at last, causing him to spiral down the pole and land in a heap on whatever surface it is (I think the roof of a building).. Consumed by concern, Lou runs up to him.
"Bud!" Lou calls out as the grabs the snake's nose, "Speak to me! Give me a sign that you're alright, Bud! Just one little sign!" The sign arrives in the form of Bud bonking him over the head repeatedly with his tail. As he rubs his head Lou at last spies something and points to it. "Here comes Freddie!" he says.
"About time!" Bud responds. "Grab the bulbs and get ready to beat it!"
Lou indeed does this and waits beside Bud. We hear the sound of a motor, then Bud's lanky form is lifted off the surface to disappear into the air, followed by Lou and the jar of bulbs. However, the paper with the list of ingredients very noticeably falls from above, indicating a very important plot point. We hear evil laughter and then by the full moon see the evil Winifred herself flying off with her cronies on her vacuum cleaner.
The Rangers, meanwhile, are still hanging from the light pole thanks to Dale's GUM. Seeing the disappearing apparition (well, really more likely, hearing the laughter), Dale asks, "Who was that?"
"Never mind!" Chip answers rudely, "let's get out of this mess you made," forgetting that he is the one who popped the bubble.
"Golly, Chip!" Gadget reminds him as she GAZES upon him, "if it weren't for Dale's bubblegum, we'd still be falling!" Actually this isn't correct, as they would surely have stopped falling by now. But anyway.
"Too right!" Monterey agrees with enthusiasm, "it's a lucky thing ol' Dale 'ere has such a fondness for bubblegum! Eh lad?" And here he pulls himself up (he has been hanging upside down) and gives Dale a friendly pat.
"Yeah. Lucky," Dale says as he begins to descend on the weakening strand of chicle, "then again . . . maybe not." At this point the strands holding Dale break and he begins to fall. Though the mortality rate of cartoon animals from falls is very small, Dale nevertheless screams "Help!" as he falls from the pole.
Is this the end of our hero?
Is he to end his mortal existence as a furry pancake on the pavement below?
NO! THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING!!!
But wait . . .
What is the small brown object approaching from the side?
Now it has disappeared from the screen as Dale falls helplessly upside down to the pavement below!
But no . . . here it is again! And just as Dale has given up his cause as hopeless a small furry form flies by--as it were an angel--and, sure enough, grabs his billowing Hawaiian print shirt in its teeth. The eyes are tightly closed as it is obviously finding its way by some other means than sight. It is a bat! And quite obviously female, at that [eyebrows]!
In the next scene Dale has been transferred to the grip of her feet as he sighs in relief and says "Thanks!"
"You're very welcome," his benefactress replies with obvious interest.
"Uh, did you get something in your eye?" he asks (a question I still don't understand).
She shifts her body position slightly, opens wide her chiropteran eyes, and GAZES upon him. "Only you, big boy!" she says in the line that has rightly made her a legend in the hearts of her legions of admirers throughout the world.
Looking down, they both spy beneath them at their new location a dumpster, such as that made famous by Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie.
"You know," Dale tells her, "I didn't think bats could do this."
"Do what, darling?" she asks mischievously.
"Hang around in mid air like this when they're carrying so much weight."
"Uh oh!" she says, a worried expression forming on her delicate features.
"What's the matter?"
And at this point they wrap their arms around each other for comfort and protection and fall into the soft but odiferous container below.
We now cut to a new scene of the Rangers, their plane, and their new companion all cleaned up and sitting neatly on the roof or ground or whatever it is.
"Thanks for helping us get the Ranger Wing down, Foxglove," Gadget says to her. And thus . . . a NAME is given to this avenging figure . . . a name that is destined to go down in history!
As Foxy gives Dale a very suggestive look, making him feel obviously very uncomfortable, Chip says to Monty, "I don't think we're the reason she hung around to help!" They both have a good laugh about this, but Gadget remains impervious to such aspects of life as she worries, "I wonder what those characters were up to? What good are lightning bug bulbs to anyone but a lightning bug?"
"Smells like a case to me!" Chip declares, pounding his fist into his open hand in anticipation of the chase.
At this point Zipper spies nearby, stuck to some remnants of the GUM (remember the GUM?), the piece of paper containing the list of mysterious ingredients dropped by the scoundrels in their flight. Curious, he pulls at the paper only to be pulled back by the GUM and trapped in the sheet of paper as it rolls together (in light of some of the stuff he is going to be doing later in the episode, this is absolutely incredible). His squeaks attract Monty's attention to his plight.
"What you got, Zipper?" Monty asks his old friend as he relieves him of the paper. "Hmmm. Seems to be some sorta list. Elephant earwax," he begins reading, "lobster lips, lightnin' bug bulbs . . . "
"And all the items are crossed off except the last two!" Gadget observes, though in fact the last three are uncrossed and she really says this before she could have gotten a good look at the list.
"I'll bet that means they haven't come up with them yet!" Chip says, taking a stab in the dark at this cryptic bit of information, "what are they going after next?"
"A chieftain's hair," Monterey reads as Foxglove approaches them.
"Mind if I have a peek?" she says innocently as she takes the list in her wings and GAZES upon it.
"What's a chieftain?" Monty asks unbelievably (well, his ancestors were British, after all), thinking nothing of Foxy's request.
"I only know one chief of anything," Chip answers as Foxglove has now moved off with the list.
"You mean, stake out the chief of police?" Monty continues incredulously.
"Unless anyone has a better idea."
The scene now cuts to show Foxglove looking very satisfied with herself as she continues studying the list. But Dale runs boldly up to her and snatches it from her, once again putting no stock in her interest in it.
"Thanks again for your help, Miss Foxglove," he tells her politely, "but we got work to do!" The Ranger Wing's propellers are already spinning as he joins his fellow Rangers with the list. But before take-off Chip is careful to make a parting invitation to the bat. "Come visit anytime!" he tells her, "we'll all be glad to see you!"
"Chip!" Dale makes his displeasure known at this invitation with a cross look at his friend just before the Ranger Wing lifts off into the night sky.
Foxglove, a look of alarm forming on her beautiful face, takes off after them.
We now cut to an abandoned laundromat (though still with power), obviously that same night. Inside we find Winifred, an unpleasant looking hag of a woman, along with the snake and spider, before a cauldron of boiling liquid.
"This is perfect!" the evil woman cackles, "you've brought all the lightning bug bulbs I need! For once you three [?] have done a good job!"
At his remark the duo lose their satisfied expressions and look at each other in frustration. "Er, but there was only two of us, Freddie!" Bud insists.
Regardless of the number involved, Winifred, on hearing herself addressed by this name, loses it. "I told you never to call me Freddie!" she says, and she points a finger at her two helpers. Some form of energy shoots out of it. In this fashion she runs them in zig zags until they disappear into a pile of buckets and drums and Winifred's evergy bolts fizzle out.
"Ah, rusty buckets!" she exclaims as she examines her zapping finger, "all those late nights in the public library reading books on magic instead of cleaning, and all I have to show for it are a few lousy sparks!"
Bud and Lou, glad at finding her diverted by these thoughts, peek out of the buckets they have found themselves under. "I'd go back to being a cleaning woman," she continues, "except I was fired from my job."
Bud seizes this opportunity to keep her diverted as well as to inform us of the back plot. "But that's why you're casting this spell, Fre . . . e . . . I mean, Winifred," he reminds her (and informs us).
"Yes!" she agrees, "once I have all the ingredients and the spell is cast [she pronounces this "cahst"], I'll show those cretins who fired me some real magic!" She pours the bulbs into the mixture and it sends forth the obligatory explosion and shower of smoke and sparks. "Give me the list!" she commands her two minions.
"Sure thing . . . Winifred!" Bud says in satisfaction, "give her the list, Lou." This is the first time the spider has been called by name, though we have been able to guess it already.
Lou meanwhile has been searching his shirt in alarm. "I can't!" he says, "I musta lost it!"
"You what?!!!" Winifred screeches as the two henchvermin cower in dread of what is to come. But it never does. Instead she says "Well, it's a good thing I remember the final two ingredients. Or I'd be very angry!" she adds, picking poor Bud up and swinging him against the floor (Lou is holding on to her sock or something). She finally tosses both of them into a hamper of clothes. "You two stay here while I get the next ingredient myself!" she says as she hops aboard her vacuum cleaner. "Oh, soggy sponges!" she swears as she kicks on the switch, "some day I'll have a real broom and not this clunky contraption I ordered from Fantastic Mechanics!" Then, giving the traditional and obligatory witch's cackle, she flies around the room a couple of times and out of one of the laundry's heat vents (I assume that's what it is; it looks more like and industrial chimney).
We cut now to a beautiful daylight scene in the Rangers' own park, with tents and various stands set up and a larger crowd than usual. We see the boys relaxing in the branches of their tree as they keep an eye on things.
"This is the life!" Monterey Jack observes with contentment as he holds Zipper in one forepaw, "a stakeout with all the comforts of home!"
Dale is obviously enjoying himself. "Nice of the chief to have the annual police picnic while we spy on him!" he remarks with satisfaction. This satisfaction, however, is short-lived, for immediately a friendly face appears upside down from above him.
"Hello!" Foxglove (for it is she) says in a friendly tone as she GAZES upon him. This causes him to fall with a "Yow!" onto Chip who is on the branch below. This has to be embarrassing.
"What are you . . . ?!" Chip reacts, until he sees the reason, who has now joined them on the lower limb. "Oh."
"Hiya, cute stuff!" Foxy says with obvious affection.
"Here, Dale," Chip says, obviously having decided to take advantage of the situation, "look after your guest. I just remembered something I have to help Gadget with." For whatever reason, Chip is really having the hots in this episode.
Dale looks at Chip resentfully at first, but turns to Foxy. "Uh, hi there," he says as she embraces him.
Monterey meanwhile reacts to something we haven't heard yet, GAZING in alarm at something. "I've heard that noise before!" he says, striding off screen.
"What is it, Monterey?" Dale asks, taking advantage of the situation to get away from the unwanted affections of his rescuer (Dale, you fool!).
We look up to the clear blue sky (did she fly in circles all night or something?) to see Winifred on her vacuum cleaner. "Crikey!" Monterey reacts, and then observes quite logically, "it looks like a cleanin' lady!"
On a dais before one of the tents below we see two pipers playing a traditional Scottish tune in full highland regalia (funny, I thought police were supposed to be Irish). "I hate bagpipe music!" Winifred says in reaction to this, showing the full depths of her depravity. It is unclear whether at this point she has been observed, but she soon makes her presence known clearly enough by flying between the two pipers and sending them and their listeners fleeing in panic.
"It's the machine from the drive-in!" Monty observes to Dale, though just how he acquired so much familiarity with the vacuum cleaner from the brief scene in which they both appeared is a little mysterious.
"Get Chip and Gadget! I'll get the Ranger Wing!" an unusually confident Dale orders Monty. Already Foxy's affection is having a salutary effect on him. Speaking of whom, he then comes upon her as he makes his way to the trusty plane which he now, thanks entirely to the confidence Foxglove has inspired in him, feels competent to fetch himself. But is he grateful? NAW! "Uh, you had better stay here, Foxglove," he tells her, "so I'll--I mean, so you'll be safe!" Please forgive me while I pound my head on the keyboard in sheer frustration at Dale's refusal of the proffered affections of this beautiful and virtuous maiden.
Ahem! Now . . . where was I? Oh yeah!
Despite the strafing of the pipers and the crowd the Chief of Police is now seen striding up to the microphone as though nothing has happened. On the stage behind him are two mysterious little men, possibly take-offs on the Chauncey and Edgar characters of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame, who were in fact used in "To the Rescue!" What are they doing here, I wonder? This is really bothering me! I mean, you know, I never really noticed these two mysterious little men until now when I have my VCR paused at this scene. Now I'm mad at Winifred from preventing us from ever knowing who they are. Civilian police review board perhaps? Citizens of the year? Honorary members of the police force? The Mayor and his **SPECIAL** friend? You know, I'm going to have to write a fan fic to work these issues out!
But at any rate, Winifred has now stopped in mid-air and now aims the vacuum cleaner hose at the chief, sucking his cap and toupee off his head, the latter going directly into the machine. "My toupee!" he exclaims in horror as he places his hands over his cueball head. I mean, there is not even the familiar horseshoe shape of Male Pattern Baldness here. In supreme satisfaction Winifred blows across the opening of her trusty "weapon" and exclaims (here comes another one of those "hair" puns) "Hair today, gone tomorrow!"
Meanwhile, from the bosky foliage of the park the Ranger Wing rises into the air with Chip rather than Dale at the controls. Gadget, sitting beside him, observes in amazement," You were right Chip! She's got the Chief of Police's hair!" Although maybe it should be "Chief's of Police hair" or "Chief's hair of Police." I'm not sure. You know, it really doesn't sound too good no matter how you say it.
But anyway, Dale points in alarm and makes Bad Hair Pun #3: "And hair she comes!" [Boo! Hiss!]
It all becomes very academic, though, for the passing Winifred upsets the delicate flying machine with the pull of her vacuum (perhaps without even realizing it) and sends them spiraling out of control towards the ground. As they plummet inevitably to their doom Chip can only inform his comrades, "It's no use! We're gonna crash!" Then, as the RW continues to plummet after the commercial break he adds, "I can't pull it out!"
At this point Zipper, the World's Strongest Fly, gives his trademark bugle call and flies to the plane's right wing in a futile attempt to stop the descent (once again, a surprise considering his later feats of strength).
"What's he doin'?" Dale asks Monty.
"The little blighter's tryin' to bring us out of this dive!" he answers,
"It's too much for him!"
But just as all seems hopless, as Zipper continues to struggle with the wing with no effect, Gadget spots something approaching them from the direction of the other wing--as it were an angel. "Look!" she calls out, pointing, "It's Foxglove!" And sure enough, our heroine approaches from the port side of the RW, assesses the situation with lightning speed, and then, with a smile on her face no less, grabs the wing of the plane and pushes up with all her might.
Sure enough, the plane straightens up just before hitting the ground, bounces on its landing gear a few times, and then finally comes to a stop when it hits the trunk of a tree at ground level. The Ranger Wing is destroyed, but the Rangers are still among the living.
"Next time I'll take the stairs" is Monty's way of dealing with his close call as Foxy lands nearby to see if all is well.
"Any landing you can joke about is a good landing," Chip reminds him sagely.
"Yeah! And that landing was a joke, all right!" Dale exclaims insensitively, though perhaps understandably.
Upon hearing her efforts dissed in this fashion by the lad who has enraptured her heart, Foxy's ears droop noticeably, and with a forlorn expression she flies off. Zipper notices this and, heedless of the possible danger from an insectivore, flies squeaking after her. Catching up with her, he grabs her by the wing, stopping her forward movement and even dragging her back through the air to his friends.
"Zipper's right!" Monty says with enthusiasm as he embraces her, "if it wasn't for Foxglove 'ere, all our funny bones would be broken!"
"She always seems to be around when we need her, all right," Gadget agrees.
"We just happen to have the right bat bait!" Chip says as he swings Dale around into her waiting wings as she giggles a little shyly.
"But what about the loony lady on the vacuum cleaner?" Monterey asks.
"There's one more item on the list," Chip says, "a piece of the moon."
"One of the rocks brought back from the moon is on display at the local museum," Gadget suggests, "I think we ought to stake it out."
"In what?" Chip asks her, "It'll take weeks to fix the Ranger Wing!"
"I may be able to whip us up a temporary replacement," she says confidently. "Help me pull this bagpipe back to headquarters." She has already begun tugging at it. The others look at one another a little puzzled, but they have learned to trust Gadget's crazy ideas, and they join her. This leaves Foxglove, who is holding the list of magical ingredients. She looks at it a little puzzled, then flies off with it. But to where?
The scene dissolves to the aforementioned local museum. It is obviously after hours, and inside we find Bud and Lou. Lou has just strung up a web accross one of the hallways and is rather clumsily slipping on it, something I doubt real spiders ever do. "Heeeeey, Buddeeeee!" he calls in his distress to his associate, who is coiled atop a Greco-Roman bust, still wearing that red boggin of his.
"What is it this time?" the irritated colubrid asks.
"That's the whole idea! Now hide!" And he snaps the upper strand of the web with his teeth, causing Lou to bounce out of sight.
A museum guard with a flashlight comes up the hall and stumbles into the sticky web with a "Hey! What the?!""
Bud immediately goes into action, slipping off the bust and coiling around the man's legs, upsetting him and holding him helpless. "Get him, Lou!" he calls to his partner.
"I got 'im, Buddy! I got 'im!" Lou answers as he proceeds to wrap the guard in even more webbing.
"Help! Hel--!" the guard cries, but is cut short by Bud's tail wrapping around his lips and holding his mouth shut. The scene that follows is one of those puzzling ones that occur occasionally in RR episodes where a human may or may not understand the speaking of an animal. For Bud faces the man, opens wide his serpent eyes,a nd GAZES upon him, declaring, "If you can't be helpful, be quiet!!!"
We now cut to outside the museum, where we find Winifred on her vacuum cleaner in hover mode in the air above. "Straggly scrubbrushes!" she swears in one of her qaint oaths, "what's taking those two so long?" Then noticing something we do not yet see, she says, "Well, look who's shown up at last. It's about time!" And then our hearts break and every value we have ever held dear seems about to crash into meaninglessness, for none other than our Foxglove has landed panting on the vacuum accessory, still holding the list she got from the Rangers.
"I--I brought you the list of ingredients, Winifred," she says, displaying it to her (without a word about what she has been doing all day, as it was bright daylight when we last saw her). Still only the first two items are crossed out.
"Oh, some helper you are!" the ungrateful woman declares, "I don't need this list any more! Now get in there and help the others before I turn you into a Louisville Slugger!" she threatens in the best pun of the episode as she swats at the hapless Foxy with the rolled up paper.
"Yes! of course, Winifred! Right away!" the poor girl pants with a very distressed expression, and then flies into the museum to join the Bud and Lou.
Menwhile Lou has traced a circle in the moon rock's case with a glass cutter. Nevertheless, when Bud attempts to break it out nothing happens.
"I thought I told you to cut the glass!" he exclaims angrily.
"I did! I did!" Lou assures him, "You gotta hit it harder!"
Bud's reaction to this is to pick Lou up in his mouth and then slam him against the case, breaking it. "Oh!" Not that hard!" Lou says.
Bud now has the moon rock in his mouth and seems very proud of himself as he holds his neck aloft, his nonexistent eyelids clasped shut. It is at this moment that Foxglove flies in, declaring "I'll take it from here, guys!" and then takes the rock from, disappearing once again. This is definitely not appreciated by the duo. "Foxglove?!" Bud says as he and Lou glower after her, "Just in time to steal the glory!"
Flying out the window, Foxglove joins her mistress. Well, well, Foxglove!" Winifred declares, "you succeeded! Maybe you'll make a decent witch's assistant after all!"
"Really?" Foxy says in excitement at the obviously rare compliment, "do you really think so?"
At this point it is very apropos to point out the word used by Winifred. The word was assistant. It was NOT apprentice, which implies something else altogether. Let all those who insist on making Foxy into some sort of witch or magical being take note of my words! I have spoken.
Now back to our story.
"Once I complete my spell and become a real witch," Winifred continues, taking the rock from Foxy, "no one will stop me!" It is at this point that we begin to hear in the distance the very unmistakable strains of bagpipe music.
"Haaaaaaay, look at that balloon!" Lou observes.
We now cut to see Gadget's temporary replacement for the Ranger Wing approaching slowly in the night sky, an inflated bagpipe with a hardhat for a basket. Gadget is fingering the holes in such a way that it is playing the identical tune it played at the police picnic earlier that day.
"Gadget luv," Monty says, pumping furiously with a bellows to hold the bagpipe aloft, "you've done it again! Whatever it is," he adds.
"Golly, thanks, Monty!" she says, obviously taking it as an unmixed compliment, "I call it the Bagpipe Express!"
"Looks like we're almost too late," Chip says from the fore of the hardhat. "There's that crazy cleaning lady now!"
Bud and Lou have now joined their mistress on the vacuum cleaner, but Foxy is still alighted on the end of the hose attachment. Not for long, though. Not wanting Dale or the other Rangers to see her with Winifred she takes off and flies behind the others. "Let's get out of here! Quick!" she cries.
"I'm not afraid of a bunch of rodents in a bagpipe!" Winifred proclaims as she flies forward (causing poor Bud to be the victim of inertia), and proceeds to a fountain from which she vacuums up a quantity of water and stones. "Hold this until I tell you different!" she commands Lou as she hands the moon rock to him. Then she takes off again, with the same effect on Bud.
"What are you going to do?" Foxglove asks in horror as she hangs back from the others.
"She's comin' straight at us!" Dale says in the hardhat. And sure enough, Winifred reverses the pressure on the vacuum cleaner and blasts them, filling the hardhat basket with water and debris. "They didn't do anything to you!" Foxy protests boldly, flying back to face her mistress, "Why are you doing this?"
"Because I enjoy it!" she declares just before aiming another blast of water at her erstwhile helper, soaking poor Foxy and causing her to fall into the water fountain below.
On board the Bagpipe Express, Chip orders "Let's give her a taste of her own medicine!" He and Dale load one of the rocks into a reed of the bagpipe and Chip gives the order to "Fire!" Unfortunately the missile is merely caught by Winifred with no effect whatsoever. "Oh, so you want to play catch, do you?" she taunts, "Catch this!" She fires the rock back at them, hitting the bagpipe balloon and forcing them back a distance.
"Rapid fire!" Chip commands. At this Dale procures a funnel from somewhere (I don't know whose idea it was to bring one along) and they place several rocks into the reed and fire again, producing a michine gun like effect.
Winifred doesn't fare so easily this time, and has to scrunch up to avoid being hit as her flunkies cry out in alarm. "Give me something to shoot!" she orders them.
"B-but I don't think . . . " Lou protests, still holding the purloined moon rock.
""GIVE IT TO ME!"
"O-okay," he says, unable to refute such a cogent argument, and hands it over. She inserts it into the attachment of her vacuum cleaner hose and takes aim, sending a shot that strikes a direct hit on the bagpipe and forcing it out of the sky. Fortunately it is still buoyant enough that it descends slowly in a spiral pattern, so our heroes are unhurt, though a shaken up.
Monterey Jack says "This is gettin' monotonous!" as he and Zipper stick their heads out from under the downed "balloon."
Winifred, meanwhile, is ecstatic. "Now I'll get 'em for good!" she says, "Give me another one!"
"But that was the only rock in the museum," Lou tells her.
"My moon rock!" Winifred exclaims in horror as she realizes just what it was that so neatly took the Rangers out of the sky, "those moldy moppets [mopheads?] have my moon rock! I'll tear them apart!"
"I'll get it for you, Winifred!" Foxglove says as she flutters in front of her boss, having returned from her involuntary bath, "Just don't hurt him . . . uh . . . them!" It is obvious here that her affection for Dale is very genuine, and she is volunteering as much to protect him and the other Rangers from the foul-tempered Winifred as it is to earn merit points.
"All right, sweetie," the woman says with none of the warmth the word implies as she coldly strokes Foxy under the chin [What an act of bravery! I mean, what will happen to her if Foxy bites her?], "you go get it for me."
"I won't fail you!" Foxy promises just before she flies off into the night sky.
"See that you don't!" Winifred warns, "or I'll turn you and them into plant food!" Foxy is no longer there to hear this dire threat, but Bud and Lou grimace in dread at it.
The scene now cuts to the inside of the laundromat at early dawn, with Winifred apparently alone, stirring a vile concoction in a kettle over the fire (lit by a hot plate or something). "It's not that I don't trust you, sweetie," she says, "I just want to make sure you're keeping your promise!"
Presently the fluid yields a view of the Rangers' tree, to which the Bagpipe Express has been somehow moved. Gadget is grunting as she tries to remove something from one of the reeds, and soon she retrieves the stolen moon rock. This gets Winifred's attention big-time. "My moon rock!" she says, "Once again I have to take matters into my own dishpan hands!" She then walks offscreen, her mop slung over her shoulder.
Now it is once again the Rangers' tree and the Bagpipe Express, but this time it is Dale who picks up the rock from where Gadget apparently left it and tries to carry it. But its mass proves too much for him, causing him to stagger backwards and then drop it, whence it bounces in the opposite direction down a limb. Dale follows it onto another limb where it is now bouncing in the opposite direction, right up to the Rangers' front door.
Foxglove is prominently hanging from the limb just above, eyes closed, apparently asleep. But Dale does not notice this. Instead he calls out to the heartless rock, "Whoa there! Stop! Before you run into something!" and then "Hey!" as Foxy's wings reach down and sweep him off his feet (she must have the strength of Zipper to pick him up so easily).
"Hmmm. Good morning, cutie!" she says as she holds him suspended and GAZES upon him benevolently.
"Uh, hi!" Dale answers as he grabs a small branch to lift himself up and take a seat on a limb near her, "What are you doing here?"
Stretching her wings and giving a coy yawn, she answers him, "You might say I was just hanging around."
"I can see that!" Dale says, appreciating the humor, "What I want to know is why you're always hangin' around!" Oh Dale, you fool.
She gives us a glance, looks back at Dale, and then, closing her eyes, flutters off the limb, reappearing to sit beside her beloved. "I thought perhaps a certain chipmunk might find it in his heart to invite a girl to breakfast," she says (though shouldn't it really be supper for her?), snuggling up to him despite his efforts at escape (Dale, you idiot!).
"Oooooh, you don't want to eat breakfast here!" he tells her.
"Why not?" She snuggles up to him once again, only to fall when he moves further away.
"Well, it's Gadget's turn to cook and everything tastes like machine oil," he says with a shrug.
"So when's it your turn to cook?" she asks, vamping and batting (no pun intended) her eyelashes as she does throughout this scene. Her efforts to twitterpate him don't seem to be getting anywhere at this point.
"Oh, I just eat!" he explains, "They won't let me cook. They're afraid I'll break too many dishes." This time when he slides away from her he comes to the end of the limb and falls with a cry to the one below.
"Dale!" Foxy cries, her very real concern breaking her out of her femme fatale routine. She joins him to make sure he is all right, and only then does she resume her attempts at manipulation (though it is obvious that the attitudes she is espousing toward him are true).
"They think I'm clumsy or something," he continues.
Foxy breaks out into a big smile and says her most insincere line of the entire episode: "I can't imagine where they got that idea!" And then, as she dusts him off with her wing, "I'll just watch you finish your morning exercises!"
"My morning what?"
"Sure!" she says flirtatiously as she retreats to the other side of the moon rock and leans over it to continue GAZING upon him, "weren't you lifting weights?"
"Naw! That just got stuck in the Bagpipe Express! We--uh, I--spent all night diggin' it out!" It is obvious that she is now getting to him, and he wants very much to impress her. It takes only a few more bats (no pun intended) of the eyelashes for him to add, "Come to think of it, that boulder was plenty heavy!" and he makes a muscle.
"Oooh!" she says sultrily as she feels his muscle in admiration (real or feigned?). "Do you think I could keep the rock, Dale? You know, as a souvenir?"
"I don't see why not!" he tells her (after all, the Rangers really had no way to know this was the stolen moon rock). Foxy is absolutely delighted at the completion of her mission, in which she has retrieved her boss's treasure and protected the Dale and the other Rangers from the foul-tempered woman's anger.
This feeling of triumph, however, is short lived, for at that moment Winifred emerges from out of the sky on her vacuum cleaner and says, "Because it's mine, you thick-headed little rodent!"
Foxglove at this utters a soft cry of despair, and Dale says defiantly, "I gave it to Foxy, not you!" This makes no impression on our villainess, though, and she merely whips around the hose of the vacuum cleaner and turns it on to suck up the rock. Dale, having promised the rock to Foxglove, clings manfully to it but is himself lifted up.
"Dale, no!" Foxglove says, grabbing onto his feet in a futile attempt to save him. Seeing that she is not strong enough (despite some of her other feats in the episode) she begins shouting for help (actually, it sounds more like "Halp!") from the other Rangers in the tree.
"What's all the commotion out 'ere?" asks Monterey Jack, still in his sleeping clothes, as he and Zipper come out together. Chip and Gadget, also still in their nighties (it was a late night for them, after all) come out now, only to see Dale and Foxglove being vacuumed up by the demented Winifred, disappearing finally into the machine.
"It's the cleaning lady!" Chip states the obvious.
Then with a wicked laugh Winifred speeds off with her moon rock and captives into the clear morning sky.
After the commercial break we see the exterior of the laundromat against the fading sunlight. On the inside Winifred and her assistants are present. "Now that the sun has set," she declares, "I can finally cast the spell that will make me a real witch!" (I suppose this means Dale and Foxy have spent the entire day inside the vacuum cleaner.) "All right!" she says as she opens the vacuum's canister, "Come on out and bring my moon rock with you!" She adds a sneeze at the dust that fills the air.
"Dust off, lady!" Dale tells her. Her reaction is to send a "zap" into the canister to try to make him see reason. She extricates the coughing Dale (who doesn't have the rock) and tosses him onto the floor just in front of Bud and Lou.
"You want us to eat him now, Freddie?" the excited Bud asks, licking his lips.
"No!" she answers, shaking the hapless serpent by the throat, "And don't call me Freddie!"
She now turns her attention back to the vacuum, where Foxglove still has her prize. "All right, dear," she tells her, "give me my moon rock!"
"Don't do it, Foxglove!" shouts Dale, who is being held by Lou.
"Don't be silly, you little twerp!" Winifred says to him as Foxy emerges from the vacuum holding the rock in her wings, "Haven't you realized yet that Foxglove is on my side?" She rudely snatches the rock away from Foxy.
"So that's why you were always around when she came over to clean up!" Dale says, pointing an accusing finger at Foxy. "It was all a trick to get us to trust you!" He is sure now that she never had any real feelings for him.
"You don't understand!" Foxy tells him forlornly, "Winifred was the only friend I had until I met you and the Rescue Rangers!" Her sincerity here is obvious and unfeigned. This is the only reference we have to her lonely existence prior to this point and her motive for helping Winifred. This also tells us that her feelings for Dale were true all along. Hooray!!!
"I'm *not* sorry, you dimwitted dust rag!" the evil woman says cruelly,
"Just holding this chunk of moon enhances my magic! Watch *this*!" Then, pointing a finger at Dale, she does the witch's version of pulling the rabbit out of the hat by turning him into a frog.
Meanwhile, Zipper has now entered the laundromat. One can only wonder what has taken him this long, as it was morning when Dale and Foxglove were brought there and it is now twilight. Whatever the delay, Zipper is horrified to see his friend now in amphibian form.
"*Ribbit*!" is Dale's logical observation. Then "Who said that?" he wonders.
Foxglove now flies down to Dale and stands beside him, as if trying to shield him from the witch's malice. "You promised not to hurt him if you got your old moon rock!" she reminds Winifred, revealing just how little of her heart has been in this whole sorry business.
"And I won't hurt him!" the wicked woman assures her, "All right, boys; it's dinnertime!"
Bud's reaction to this news is sheer ecstasy. He begins shooting at Dale with his tongue, obviously in an attempt to grasp him as he did the lightning bugs earlier in the episode (I suppose this means he isn't a constrictor?). "Yipes!" Dale exclaims and hops for dear life as Bud almost runs right over Foxglove before she flies. Both pursuee and pursuer continue right over Lou as Zipper watches from a railing above.
Taking off, the World's Strongest Fly pushes a huge crate off another and right onto the snake's delicate tongue, causing him to scream in pain.
"I'm comin', Bud!" the spider assures him, "Lou's comin'!" Zipper flies up to the panting Frog Dale only to be grabbed by the latter's tongue and drawn into his mouth. The laws of nature are hard to flout. Nevertheless he hiccups and spits him out. "Sorry, *Ribbit*! I mean, Zipper!" he tells him, "go get the others! Hurry!"
One wonders now why they did not follow Zipper in the first place.
"Yeah!" Zipper says, saluting and taking off.
Lou now picks up the prostrate tongue of his partner. "Bud! Bud, speak to me!" he cries while holding the appendage in four hands, "Speak to me!"
His answer comes in the form of a swipe from Bud's tail. "Don't touch the tongue!" he reminds him.
Winifred now once again approaches Dale and raises her "wand"--a scouring brush--menacingly. "I think I'll try turning you into a jellyfish!" she sneers, forgetting that this will equip him with deadly stingers.
"Don't do it, *Freddie*!"
Winifred turns to see the World's Strongest Bat hovering over her potion in the kettle, holding a brick between her legs.
"No! Foxglove, *Don't*!" she begs.
"Change Dale back and promise to let us go or I'll drop this and ruin your spell!" she threatens. We know now that she wants out of this gang and to be with her newfound love.
"No! No! Don't drop it! I promise! Look! Watch! Are you watching?" Then with a nervous laugh she the terrified would-be sorceress changes Dale back to his old rodentian self with her trusty scouring brush.
"Run, Dale!" Foxy calls to him, "Now's your chance! You know what her promises are worth!"
But the chivalrous Dale refuses. "Not without you!" he tells her. "Friends just don't desert friends when there's trouble!"
"Dale, will you *please* . . . !" she continues, but she is unable to finish her plea, for Bud's now fully recuperated tongue seizes her and her brick tightly, bringing them back with such force that they give him a bad conk on the head.
"*Foxy*!" Dale cries, and makes an attempt to go to her. But Lou now descends on him with his webbing and holds him helpless.
In the next scene Dale and Foxglove are hanging bound back to back in Lou's web as Bud and Lou glower at them. Freddie is once again at the kettle with the moon rock.
"I've decided not to take any more chances!" she declares, "I'm going to let you watch me achieve my destiny before I turn you over to my loyal pets!" At this Bud and Lou fairly lick their lips in delight.
Then she holds up the moon rock and begins her incantation: "Now is the time . . . " But before she can finish she is interrupted by the shattering of a window and a familiar cry: "*Rescue Rangers, away*!"
Accompanied by the bugling Zipper, the Bagpipe Express (whatever happened to the Ranger Plane?) has entered the building!
It is Zipper who dives down and snatches the rock from the wicked woman's hand. "My rock!" she exclaims, "I must have it back!" But Zipper drops it into the BE to Chip's congratulations of "Way to go, Zipper!"
Winifred aims several energy bolts from her brush at the aircraft but misses. All but one, that is, which re-emerges from one of the bagpipe reeds and descends upon her. "Broken broomsticks!" she exclaims, "You'll pay for that!" She aims her wand again but it fizzles. "Oh, no! Not *now*!"
Meanwhile Zipper flies to Dale and Foxy and attempts to loosen the strands of the web that is holding them suspended. "Zipper!" Dale says, "Ho boy, am I glad to see you!" Foxglove also smiles with relief at the sight of her new friend.
"Me too!" This is Lou, who is GAZING upon Zipper in an extremely unpleasant fashion and showing his teeth and poisonous fangs. "I've been waitin' to get you, you miserable little bushwhacker!"
Zipper must now cease his efforts to untie Dale and Foxglove and defend his own life. He flies off, pursued by Lou at such speed that he causes our endearing couple to spin helplessly about in circles.
"What now, cutie?" Foxglove asks when they finally come to a stop.
"I think . . . Zipper . . . loosened this . . . just enough!" Dale says, struggling against his bonds. Sure enough, he breaks free, enabling a smiling Foxglove to hover in the air, though he himself falls to the floor. "Now it's time to play hardball!" he declares as he gets up and walks off, but he doesn't remain on foot for long. For Foxglove follows close behind and swoops down--as it were an angel--and obviously grasps him in her feet again to carry him into the air.
The panting Zipper, still fleeing Lou, has meanwhile stopped to catch his breath on the spigot of a huge drum. "Now I've gotcha, garbage walker!" he hears, and turns to see Lou twirling a lasso of webbing, which he throws with a "You're history, fly brain!" (This is not much of an insult.) For whatever reason, and despite a spider's prowess with its web, Lou misjudges his throw and instead snares the spigot of the drum on which Zipper has been sitting. What follows may be easily guessed as Fearless Fly (a segment of the '60's "Milton the Monster" cartoon show about a superhero fly) pushes the drum off the shelf to the floor below, Lou following it helplessly. "Buuddeeeee!" he cries as he crashes to the floor, unseen by us. This is the last we see of him, so perhaps Victoria was right after all.
Bud meanwhile is trying to capture the Bagpipe Express. He finally decides to seize it with the coils of his tail and bring it down.
"Look out, Monty!" Chip cries.
Monty, as before, has been propelling the BE with a bellows. As Bud looks him over he calmly inserts the bellows into the snake's mouth and begins pumping, which according to cartoon physics inflates the victim like a balloon. At the appropriate moment he withdraws the bellows, causing Bud to become airborne, ricochet off the walls, and finally fly out the broken window. "Always knew that bloke was full o' hot air!" Monty observes with satisfaction.
"Hang on!" says Gadget, as the Bagpipe Express is now caught in the pull of Freddie's vacuum cleaner. "It's an ill wind that blows no one any good!" Winifred observes menacingly as she snatches the moon rock out of the air and then proceeds to finish vacuuming the Rangers out of their aircraft and into the vacuum cleaner's canister. The back of the canister immediately pops open, depositing them on the floor before the looming form of Winifred, whose powers are once again enhanced by the moon rock. "Farewell, small fry!" she says menacingly.
"Not so fast, Freddie!" This time it is Dale's voice.
She turns to find Foxglove once again hovering over her precious potion. Dale is holding onto one of her feet with one hand and prominently displaying a bolt in the other. "It's time we added a little spice to this spell!" he says.
"*Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo*!" Winifred screams, dropping the moon rock onto the floor. But too late. Dale drops the bolt into the kettle with the greatest satisfaction. The screen fills up with a bolt of magical energy and the scene then shifts to the inside of a penitentiary.
"And when you're done scrubbin' the floors, you can start washin' the windows!" a guard with a slight Irish accent tells Winifred, who is now wearing prison stripes and standing once again with a mop and bucket of water. "If I were you, Freddie, I'd get busy."
"Don't call me *Freddie*!" she says after he has left, "Ummm, flubberin' floor polishers!"
Thus, we do not know the details of Freddie's final capture by the police or her trial. We do not even know for sure the immediate result of the magical energy that flashed across the screen when Dale dropped the bolt into the potion. These are all passed over and left to the imagination.
We are now back at the Rangers' tree where Gadget is making some final adjustments on the repaired Ranger Wing. Chip approaches her.
"Hi, Chip!" she greets him.
"Hi, Gadget. Uh, do you know where Dale is?" He is looking about as if expecting another interruption.
"Foxglove's teaching him to hang glide!" she informs him as she opens wide her mousine eyes and GAZES upon him.
"You mean, you and I are alone?" he asks, almost unable to believe his good fortune.
"Looks that way," she tells him as she finishes with the RW.
Chip is having another hot flash. He takes her delicately by the hand, opens wide his chipmunkian eyes, and GAZES upon her. (Well, he doesn't really open them wide. Okay? I just like the sound of the phrase!)
"Gadget," he begins, "there's something I've been wanting to tell you . . . "
"Gangway!" Dale's voice warns. As Chip looks up Dale glides down on a chipmunk-sized hang glider with bat-like wings and grasps his friend much as Foxglove has done him throughout this episode, holding him somewhat suggestively between his (Dale's) hind legs.
"Hey!" Chip demands, "What do you think you're doing?!!"
"Sharing my new hobby with my best friend!" Dale tells him with the greatest sincerity.
"Dale!" Foxglove's voice cries out, "Remember what I told you!" She is flying beside him and keeping an eye on him.
Dale has obviously forgotten whatever it was she wants him to remember, and engages futilely in a little deep thought. "What?" he askes innocently.
"The glider won't carry two passengers!" she reminds him.
The two chipmunks assume the most hangdog expressions of the entire series and then plummet from the sky, the wings of the glider giving helplessly away.
As she watches them fall (they are obviously in no danger of serious injury) Foxglove stops flapping her wings to hold them coyly up to her face. "What a guy!" she exclaims, her eyes closed in sheer delight. Then she too plummets downward and out of the picture.
Although she appears to have established a healthy relationship with her heartthrob, we will never see her again. Of course, most RR guests are one-time-only shots (except for the Pi-rats and Canina LaFur). I personally consider this a tragedy, and I make no bones about feeling that way. However, thanks to our fanfics, these two lonely but deserving souls can now share an eternal "now" of a lifetime with each other in the greatest happiness and fulfillment.
Rescue Rangers and all characters and episodes copyright the Walt Disney Corporation and used without permission.
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