Perfect Strangers Episode Guide

EPISODE 117 - A Catered Affair

First Air Date: March 22, 1991
Nielsen Rating: 15.2 HH

Co-Producer: Alan Plotkin
Created by: Dale McRaven
Written by: Tom Amundsen
Directed by: Judy Pioli

Bronson Pinchot: Balki Bartokomous
Mark Linn-Baker: Larry Appleton
Melanie Wilson: Jennifer Lyons
Rebeca Arthur: Mary Anne Spencer

Guest Cast:
Mary Pat Gleason: Betty
Alfred Dennis: Gunther
Newell Alexander: Billy Joe Bob
Noreen Reardon: The Cowgirl

cateredaffairgrab02.jpg (47359 bytes)Dimitri Appearances: Dimitriís photo can be seen sitting on the bookshelf.

" . . . and theyíre gonna be wiggliní their yellow toes of Texas."
"Itís just kind of fun talking in a Texan drool."
" . . . most of me stopped growing when I was sixteen although I donít think my nose got the message."
"Okay, okay, maybe Iíve let my belt out a couple of notches."
"Heís sort of my . . . tormentor."
"I hope Iím not breading myself too thin."
"Cherish the thought!"
"Now weíre up the creek without a poodle!"
"You think I have ESPN?"
"Cousin, we are running this kitchen like a well-soiled machine."
"Well, thank you.  Now how was the food?"
"I guess itís true what they say: you canít separate the Texan from his ribs."

Donít be ridiculous: Said once in this episode (with a Texan accent)

Other catchphrases used in this episode:
"Oh, go on with you!"
"Oh, right!"
"Well, you got that right."
"Oh my Lord!"
"Well, I hope youíre happy."
"I have . . . "  "Oh God!"  " . . . a plan!"

Other running jokes used in this episode:
Larry sniffs at the air
Balki laughs at his own joke
Jokes are made about Larryís height
Larry grabs Balki by the shirt

Songs: "Iím An Old Cowhand" - sung by Balki as he cooks western food in the kitchen
"The Merry Old Land of Oz" - sung with different lyrics while Balki and Larry cook at Gormanís Banquet Hall
Larry also performs an impromptu square dance number

Interesting facts:
The title of this episode comes from the title of a Paddy Chayefsky television drama which was then adapted into a 1956 movie called
The Catered Affair.
cateredaffairgrab03.jpg (47735 bytes)- When Balki hands Larry the bowl of chili to try, the spoon has a kri kri tassel on it!
- Bunky McDermott, who had been mentioned in the series before and appeared in the earlier season six episode, The Sunshine Boys, is mentioned once again in this episode.
- When Larry tells the story about his friend who wanted to sell ice cream and says that if heíd gone along with the idea it would have been Baskin-Appletonís 31 Flavors is a reference to the popular Baskin-Robbins ice cream franchise.  Larryís story falls apart, though, when you realize that the founders, Burton "Burt" Baskin and Irving "Irv" Robbins founded their ice cream empire way back in the late 1940's.
- Balki had been cooking throughout the series, from as far back as the second episode.  It really seemed as if this was culminating into a future business, brought to fruition with him running his own catering business.  But while Balki continued to cook past this episode, never again was it mentioned as a professional sideline.  Maybe this experience with catering put him off working in the food industry forever!
cateredaffairgrab04.jpg (53771 bytes)- As Cousin ThePepper on YouTube pointed out, when Larry is taking the message from Mr. Gorman you can see The Jimi Hendrix Experience album, Axis: Bold as Love sitting on the bookshelf (oddly enough, laying on its side with the opening down).  Who would have figured Larry as a Hendrix fan?  Or perhaps itís Balkiís album?
- Balki mentions that there is a Garfield stuck to the window of his car.  Back in the fourth season episode, Car Wars, Balki was admiring a red car in the parking garage and one of the features he notes was that there was a Garfield stuck to the window.  Looks like Balki finally got his Garfield!
- Balki and Larry sing a version of "In the Merry Old Land of Oz" in this episode while preparing food at Gormanís Banquet Hall.  There were many references to The Wizard of Oz throughout the series, most likely because Bronson is a huge fan of the movie.
- When Balki says Gunther is experiencing fahrvergnŁgen itís a reference to the 1989 Volkswagen advertising campaign in which the term meant "driving enjoyment."
- Mary Pat Gleason, who played Betty in this episode, has enjoyed a very long career in film and television.  She worked as a writer on the soap opera, The Guiding Light, and has made appearances in countless television series, including Full House, Mamaís Family, Murphy Brown, Quantum Leap, Highway to Heaven, Life Goes On, Whoís the Boss?, Night Court, Saved By the Bell, In the Heat of the Night, Murder, She Wrote, Coach, Friends, Step by Step, ER, Daveís World, Suddenly Susan, Will & Grace, Sex and the City, General Hospital, Nip/Tuck, Desperate Housewives, and a recurring role in The Middleman.  Her many film appearances include Defending Your Life, Soapdish, Basic Instinct, Lorenzoís Oil, A Walk in the Clouds, Traffic and Bottle Shock.  You can visit her official website and find out more about her one-woman show about coping with bipolar disorder, Stopping Traffic, by clicking here.
- Alfred Dennis, who played Gunther, also has had a very long and successful career in television and film, appearing in The Monkees, Batman, I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, It Takes a Thief, The Bill Cosby Show, The Flying Nun, Nanny and the Professor, Kojak, The Rockford Files, Fantasy Island, Cagney & Lacey, Simon & Simon, Knots Landing, L.A. Law, The A-Team, The Golden Girls, Whoís the Boss?, Murphy Brown, Suddenly Susan, Caroline in the City, Party of Five, Touched by an Angel, Monk, Judging Amy, Gilmore Girls and Reba.  He also had a recurring role as Miller on Life Goes On and as Justice Bernstein in The Court.
- Newell Alexander, who played Billy Joe Bob in this episode, would return as the voice of newscaster Ken Wiley in the series finale, Up, Up and Away - Part Two.  His long list of credits include appearances on ChiPs, Battlestar Galactica, Too Close for Comfort, Little House on the Prairie, Designing Women, Quantum Leap, Dallas, Evening Shade, Murder, She Wrote, Walker, Texas Ranger, Team Knight Rider, Chicago Hope, Charmed, Judging Amy, Days of Our Lives, and a recurring role on Sordid Lives: The Series.  He has also worked extensively in voice over acting for film and television and co-founded the ADR (additional dialogue recording) group The L.A. MadDogs. You can visit his and his wifeís official website, Prank Productions, by clicking here.
- Noreen Reardon, who appeared briefly as The Cowgirl that hit on Larry, has also done work in voice over acting, for such films as What About Bob?, Scream, Election, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Night at the Museum, Lilo and Stitch and Happy Feet.  She also appeared in episodes of Riptide, Full House, Homefront and the Days of Our Lives 35th Anniversary.

Bloopers and Inconsistencies:
cateredaffaircomp.gif (159997 bytes)-
When Larry comments on how many jobs Balki has had in five weeks and Balki says he could have had a sixth, look closely at Larry's shirt.  The wet patches are not as dark as they appear in the other parts of the scene.  Also the sky outside seems much lighter during that small exchange of dialogue.  And the spoon with the tassel is not in exactly the same place.  This is because these two lines of dialogue were refilmed as a pickup after the episode Great Balls of Fire was filmed.
When we see the outside of Gorman's Banquet Hall, it's clear the valet and cars are completely separate footage from Gormanís Banquet Hall overhang, since they are moving independently of each other.
- Melanie removes her cowboy hat completely before putting on the German hat, but Rebeca simply pushed hers back off her head so it is still behind her when they serve the Germans.  Weíre not sure which way it was actually supposed to be done.
- As Jennifer and Mary Anne run into the kitchen after gathering plates from the Texan party, you can see Gunther through the window of the door leading to the German party.  Obviously the actor is waiting for a cue and isnít supposed to be in the shot, because a second later he ducks down out of sight!

The episode begins in the apartment. Balki is in the kitchen cooking.  He is wearing a western-style outfit complete with boots, blue jeans, a fringed shirt and a cowboy hat.  As he cooks, he sings in a Texas accent, "Iím an old cowhand from the Mypos land and I learned to ride Ďfore I learned to stand . . . "  Larry walks out of the bedroom and stops by the counter, saying, "Balki, Iíll see you later.  Jennifer and I are going to a movie."  Larry is about to leave when he stops and sniffs at the air.  "Whatís that smell?" Larry asks.  "Iím glad ya asked," Balki says, still talking with a western accent as he dips a ladle of chili from a large pot on the stove and puts it in a bowl which he hands to Larry, "Thatís my rootiní, tootiní, high falootiní Texas chili.  Yee-haw!  Iím making it for the western barbecue Iím cateriní for this Saturday night at Gormanís Banquet Hall."  Balki spins the ladle around on his finger as if he were twirling a gun, then points it and "shoots," adding a "ching" sound as he pretends to watch the flight of the bullet.

"Good for you, Balki," Larry says, "Theyíre gonna enjoy chili."  Larry takes a spoonful of chili and tastes it.  "Mmm," he smiles, then he reacts to the spiciness and gasps, "Hot!  Hot!  Hot!"  Balki hurries to the sink and returns with a seltzer water bottle, which he sprays at Larryís mouth.  Unfortunately he sprays Larryís whole face and gets most of Larryís upper body soaked as well.  "Nice shot," Larry says sarcastically.  "Thank you, partner," Balki replies, blowing on the nozzle of the seltzer bottle as one would a gun they just fired.  Balki sets the bottle back in the sink and throws Larry a towel.  "Well, who are you cooking for?" Larry asks as he wipes himself off.  "Well, uh . . . a herd uh Texans have mosied on up here to Chicaguh," Balki explains, still using the western accent, "Theyíre uh gettiní together for some big wingding Saturday night at Gormanís Banquet Hall and theyíre gonna be wiggliní their yellow toes oí Texas."  Balki laughs at his own joke.  "You know, I . . . I never thought Iíd say this but . . . could you talk the way you usually do?" Larry asks.  "Well, of course I can.  Donít be rye-diculous!" Balki says in the Texan accent.

"Balki . . . " Larry urges.  "Okay, okay," Balki sighs, "Itís just kind of fun talking in a Texan drool."  "Drawl," Larry corrects, "Texas drawl.  Well, Balki, your . . . your catering business is really taking off.  I mean, what is this . . . your fifth job in five weeks?"  "Well, I could have had a sixth but with all the overtime Iím doing at the newspaper I didnít want to do two jobs on the same night," Balki smiles.  "Well, why not?" Larry asks, "Balki, if . . . if you want your business to succeed youíve gotta grow."  "Well, I donít know, Cousin," Balki sighs, "I . . . most of me stopped growing when I was sixteen although I donít think my nose got the message."  "No, Balki, I . . . Iím talking about expansion," Larry explains.  "Okay, okay," Balki says in a hurt tone, "Maybe Iíve let my belt out a couple of notches.  No reason to get personal, Shorty."  "No, Balki, wh . . . what Iím saying is . . . is if you want your catering business to succeed you gotta start taking more jobs," Larry explains.  "Oh, well I . . . you know, Iím just starting out," Balki says, "I want to go slow."  "Well, Balki, youíve got to seize the opportunity when it presents itself," Larry states, "Uh, if I may use an example from my own life . . . "  "Iíll put on some coffee," Balki says, starting to turn away.

Larry stops him and says, "No, no, no . . . no, no.  No, this . . . this one is short."  "Is it shorter than your Bunky McDermott story?" Balki asks.  "Yes, itís shorter than my Bunky McDermott story," Larry assures him.  "Probably a little longer than your Grandmama Appleton story," Balki guesses.  "Yes, itís . . . itís a little longer than my Grandmama Appleton story," Larry confirms.  "Okay, so itís approximately between the Bunky McDermott story and the Grandmama Appleton narrative . . . " Balki continues.  "Yes, yes, right," Larry nods, then he interrupts with, "All right, Balki, if youíd let me tell the story Iíd be done by now."  "Okay, okay, tell the story," Balki insists, "Whoís stopping you?"  "Uh, when I was eight . . . " Larry begins.  "Should I sit down for this?" Balki asks.  "When I was eight," Larry begins again, "uh, my friend and I had this . . . this little, uh . . . lemonade stand.  And, uh, my friend suggested that we expand and sell ice cream cones.  And I said, uh, ĎNo, no, letís . . . letís take it slow, weíre not ready.í  And uh, he went off and sold ice cream cones.  And if Iíd listened to him, uh . . . today it would have been Baskin-Appletonís 31 Flavors."  "Well, thatís a very nice story, Cousin," Balki nods, "And it explains why regret eats up so much of your day.  But, uh, Cousin, when Iím ready for more work Iíll let you know."

Balki switches back to the Texan accent and says, "Now if youíll excuse me, partner, I gotta hightail it down to the general store and rustle up some fixinís for my Myposian western grub."  Balki heads for the door then stops and adds in his regular accent, "We use real grubs, you know."  Balki heads for the door again, pounding on his chest to imitate horse hoofs running then stopping at the door and letting out air through his lips like a horse before leaving.  Larry starts to walk away from the counter when the phone rings.  He turns and picks up the receiver.  "Hello?  Mr. Gorman.  Oh, Mr. Gorman of . . . of Gormanís Banquet Hall.  Yeah, well . . . Iím sorry, uh . . . Balki just rode out . . . uh, went out.  Oh, uh . . . you . . . you want him to cater a . . . another party on Saturday?  Well, whoís it for?  The Calorie Counters Club.  Well . . . yeah, I . . . I think he could handle that.  Yeah, well, all right . . . let me take down the information."  Larry takes a pad by the phone and a pencil and starts to write as he listens.  "Uh, all right . . . go ahead.  Uh huh.  Uh huh.  Uh huh.  Uh huh.  Okay, now . . . now thatís, uh, low salt, low fat, low calorie.  I got it.  Yeah, Iíll make sure Balki gets the information.  Yeah.  No, thank you.  Bye bye."  Larry hangs up the phone and looks at the pad, which he then sets in front of the phone.  "He is gonna thank me for this," Larry smiles, and he walks away.

Some time later, Balki returns to the apartment from the store and enters with his arms full of groceries.  The phone is ringing and Balki is trying to get inside quickly, dropping groceries from the bags as he struggles with the door.  "Donít hang up . . . donít hang up . . . " Balki urges as he closes the door and kicks the fallen items toward the kitchen, still saying, "Donít hang up."  Balki reaches the counter but canít grab the phone and hold the grocery bags at the same time, so he runs around to set the bags down inside the kitchen.  Finally he throws the last bag and his cowboy hat aside and picks up the phone receiver.  "Hello . . . Bartokomous / Appleton residence.  How may I direct your call?  Why yes, this is the Balki Bartokomous who caters parties for Gormanís Banquet Hall.  Oh, go with you!  I am not the best caterer in Chicago!  Oh, no Iím not!  Oh, no Iím not!"

Balki starts pushing at the phone the way he pushes at Larry when they are arguing in a similar fashion.  "Oh, no Iím not!  I . . . okay, okay . . . maybe Iím in the top three.  Um . . . uh . . . how can I help you?"  Balki listens and responds, "A German party?  For Saturday?  Well, eh . . . let me tell you, Gunther . . . you see, I already have a job for Saturday and I try never to take two jobs on the same night . . . .  Really?  Well, uh . . . thatís what Cousin Larry says.  Cousin Larry.  Well, heís my . . . my . . . my best friend and advisor.  Heís, uh . . . heís sort of my . . . tormentor.  Well, maybe I could take two jobs on the same night.  Well . . . well, okay.  I would love to cater your party.  Danke schoen . . . thank you for all the love and pain.  Um . . . let . . . let me just get something to write on."  Balki takes the pad that Larry left sitting in front of the phone and turns the page without looking at it to start writing on the next page.  "Okay . . . okay, shoot!"  Balki starts writing down the information.

Saturday night at Gormanís Banquet Hall, we see a valet outside the front door as a car stops.  Inside the facilityís kitchen, Balki is sawing apart ribs in preparation for the Texan barbecue.  Larry brings over a stack of plates as Balki sighs, "Oh Cousin, I hope I did the right thing taking two catering jobs on one night.  I hope Iím not breading myself too thin."  "Oh, Balki, relax," Larry urges, "Everything is fine.  Weíve got all the food unpacked, easy access to the two banquet rooms . . . everything is perfect.  Iíll help in the kitchen and Jennifer and Mary Anne will serve."  Jennifer and Mary Anne enter, carrying a pan and a pot of food.  They are dressed in frilly serving outfits with aprons.  "Yeah, this is gonna be fun," Mary Anne smiles, "I was a waitress in high school but itís been a long time since Iíve served people food and drinks."   "Mary Anne, you do that every day," Jennifer reminds her, "Youíre a stewardess."  "Oh, right!" Mary Anne remembers.  "Uh, why donít we put out the silverware?" Jennifer suggests.  She looks around and asks, "Um, whereís the silverware?"  "Oh, okay, the silverware is in the car," Balki explains, "Uh, the forks and knives are in the glove compartment and the spoons are in the back next to the Garfield stuck on the window."  Balki makes a face like a stick-on Garfield.

"Well, you see, you have everything under control," Larry points out, "I knew you could do it."  "Come on, Mary Anne, letís get the silverware," Jennifer says, and the girls leave.  Larry walks over to the pot on the stove and lifts the lid to look inside, commenting, "Balki, the food for the Texas barbecue smells delicious."  "Oh, thank you," Balki smiles.  "So what are you making for the second party?" Larry asks.  "German food," Balki answers.  "German food?" Larry asks with confusion.  "Uh huh," Balki confirms.  "Well, isnít German food a little rich and heavy for Calorie Counters?" Larry asks.  "Oh boy, you got that right!" Balki agrees, "The sauces alone would pack on the pounds.  I would never serve German food to Calorie Counters.  Ha!  Cherish the thought!"  "Good.  So weíre in agreement," Larry checks.  "Well, you got that right," Balki confirms.  "So what are you really serving to the second party?" Larry asks.  "Um, wiener schnitzel and sauerbraten with goatwurst patť."  "Wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten with goatwurst patť?" Larry repeats worriedly, "Isnít that high in calories?"

"Not to mention loaded with cholesterol," Balki adds.  "Then why are you serving it to Calorie Counters?" Larry asks.  "Cousin, Iím not serving it to Calorie Counters, Iím serving it to Germans," Balki says, "Havenít you been paying attention?"  "W . . . w . . . w . . . w . . . wait," Larry stops Balki before he can take the ribs to the oven, "L . . . letís concentrate for . . . for just a minute here.  Party number one is . . . "  "Texans," they both say, pointing to the dining room to their left.  "Party number two is . . . "  "Germans," Balki says, pointing to the room behind them.  "Calorie Counters," Larry answers at the same time, pointing to the room to their right.  They both repeat their answers, pointing to the same rooms.  Then it clicks, and Balki asks, "Calorie Counters?" as he points to Larryís room as Larry asks, "Germans?" and points to Balkiís room.  They each run to the door the other one pointed out and look through them, hearing the sounds from the German party and the Calorie Counters meeting.  They hurry back to the middle of the kitchen and both exclaim simultaneously, "Oh my Lord!"  The scene fades to black.

Act two begins where act one left off.  "Well, I hope youíre happy," Balki scolds, "Now weíre up the creek without a poodle!  How could you book a party for me without telling me?"  "I left you a note!" Larry insists, "You said you were catering a second party.  How was I to know it wasnít the party I booked for you?"  "Well, I didnít see your note," Balki cries, "How am I supposed to know you leave me a note?  You think I have ESPN?"  Jennifer and Mary Anne enter carrying a tray.  "Okay, we have the silverware.  Everythingís ready," Jennifer smiles.  "Everythingís ready for two parties but unfortunately we have three," Balki informs the girls, "Cousin Larry booked another party for me without telling me."  "Larry!" Jennifer scolds.  "Well, donít worry," Larry says, "I have . . . "  "Oh God!" Balki, Jennifer and Mary Anne sigh.  " . . . a plan!" Larry finishes, "Weíll just cut down on the portions and serve all three parties using the food for two."  "Cousin, we cannot give the Calorie Counters this food," Balki points out, "It wouldnít be good for their diets."

"Well, so we serve them some food with a little salt and a little fat," Larry sighs, "Have you seen them?  What difference will one meal make?"  A man wearing a western-style outfit and cowboy hat steps into the kitchen from the Texas barbecue party.  "Balki!" he exclaims, "You got a bunch Ďo hungry cowpokes and cowgals in there just ready to chow down."  "Well, Billy Joe Bob, donít you go gettiní yer chaps in a bunch," Balki says in his Texan accent, "The grubs are on their way!"  Balki laughs along with Billy Joe Bob, who throws a friendly punch at Balkiís shoulder and knocks him back against Larry and the girls.  Balki steps forward again, only to have Billy Joe Bob yell, "Yee haw!" at him and make him fall back again against everyone.  Billy Joe Bob leaves the kitchen.  "Weíll serve the Texans first," Larry decides, "Whereís the costumes?"  "Oh, girls, your hats are right under there, under the counter," Balki says, pointing under the counter where theyíre working.  Jennifer and Mary Anne go to retrieve the red cowboy hats and put them on.  Larry pulls out a bunch of plates for Balki to fill.

"All right, remember, Balki, small portions," Larry says.  "Okay," Balki says as he puts food on the plates.  Larry hands the plates to Jennifer and Mary Anne.  Balki then starts tossing segments of corn on the cob over his shoulder to Larry, who catches them and places one on each plate.  Balki continues to throw the corn cobs even after the plates are fulls.  "Balki!" Larry calls trying to get Balkiís attention, "Balki!"  Balki keeps throwing the cobs so Larry finally grabs Balki by the shirt and says, "Stop!"  The girls take the plates into the Texan party.  "All right, weíll serve the Germans next," Larry says.  "Okay, well what about the Calorie Counters?" Balki asks.  "All right, weíll . . . weíll . . . weíll drain the juice from the sauerkraut and serve it to the Calorie Counters," Larry suggests, "Weíll tell them itís a new low-cal vegetable cocktail."  "Oh . . . okay, Cousin, weíll try it," Balki says without confidence, "Weíll try it your way.  Because surely out of three-hundred and forty-seven plans youíve had . . . one should work."  Larry looks offended.

Some time later, Balki and Larry are singing as they prepare some plates of food for the German party.  The song they sing is to the tune of "The Merry Old Land of Oz."  "Bratwurst here," Balki sings as he puts a bratwurst on Larryís plate.  "Goatwurst there," Larry sings as he places a goatwurst on Balkiís plate.  "And a schnitzel on the side," the both sing as they place schnitzels on their own plates through interlocking arms, "Thatís what the Germans eat tonight and we serve it up with pride."  "We can serve the second course without a lapse," Balki sings.  "Can we even do the strudel und the schnapps?" Larry sings.  "Uh huh!" Balki responds, and they both sing, "Clever young chaps!"  Balki places parsley on the plates as they sing, "Parsley here, garnish there."  "ĎCause presentationís all," Balki sings as he puts a sprig of parsley in Larryís mouth, which Larry spits out.  They finish together, "Thatís how we laugh the night away for the cowboys, Germans, Calorie Counters Gormanís Banquet Hall."

They continue to dance and laugh when the door to the Texans party opens and Jennifer enters with Mary Anne, pulling her behind with a rope that is lassoed around Mary Anneís waist.  "Thanks, Jennifer," Mary Anne sighs as she removes the lasso, "I got away just in time."  "All right, time to feed the Germans," Larry says.  "Okay," Balki says.  "Oh!" Jennifer and Mary Anne say as they remember to remove their cowboy hats and reach under the counter to get out the next hats.  "Now remember, Balki, go easy on the sauerkraut and the wiener schnitzel," Larry reminds him.  "Okay," Balki says.  The girls take German style hats and put them on, then unroll two long, fake blonde braids from the hats to hang down so they look like German girls.  Larry hands them the full plates.  "Okay, now this time letís not get separated," Jennifer suggests and they exit into the German party.  "Cousin, we are running this kitchen like a well-soiled machine," Balki observes.  A heavy-set woman named Betty enters from the Calorie Counters meeting and approaches them timidly.  "Excuse me," she whispers, then she moves closer, repeating, "Excuse me."  When Balki and Larry donít respond she shouts, "Excuse me!" causing them to jump.

"We Calorie Counters are getting quite hungry," Betty explains, "Weíve finished with our Tart and Tangy Tropical Nectar . . . it was very good but it tasted a lot like sauerkraut juice.  When do we eat?"  "Soon!  Soon!" Larry promises, escorting her to the door, "Very soon!"  As Betty passes a tray of cornbread she stops and picks up a piece, gasping, "Oh!"  Balki slaps her hand, causing her to toss the bread up as Balki catches it.  "Uh, remember," Larry says as they stop by the door, "one of the tricks to losing weight is to eat slowly."  "Well, please hurry," Betty urges, "Some of us havenít eaten since lunch!"  She exits back to the meeting.  Jennifer and Mary Anne enter the kitchen, followed by an older man in a German outfit.  "Balki, my little freund!" the man exclaims as he hugs Balki and lavishes praise on him in German, including, "Wunderschoen" and "Ausgezeichnet."  "Oh Cousin," Balki says, "Uh, Gunther seems happy.  I think . . . I think heís experiencing fahrvergnŁgen."  "Ja, fahrvergnŁgen," Gunter laughs as he walks over and hugs Larry as well, saying, "Ja, und the party is wunderbar.  Und the food, wunderbar.  Now we are ready for more food . . . und more frauleins!"  Gunther pinches Jenniferís behind, causing her to jump and gasp.  "Va va va voom!" Gunther smiles, then he leaves, calling behind him, "Auf wiedersehn!"

"All right, Mary Anne, Jennifer . . . take care of the Germans," Larry says.  "Stay away from the guy with the pointed helmet," Jennifer warns Mary Anne, and they carrying more plates of food into the German party.  "Well, Balki, all we have to do is serve the Calorie Counters, then weíre home free," Larry says, "My plan is working beautifully."  Balki starts to look around them with concern, then informs Larry, "Cousin, thereís just one itsy-bitsy little problem with your plan."  "Whatís that?" Larry asks.  "I only rented enough plates and silverware for two parties," Balki says, "We donít have nothing to serve the Calorie Counters on.  Oh, catering is so much easier on Mypos.  You just toss the salad and everyone runs under it."  "Well, Balki, we can handle this," Larry says, "Weíll just get the plates back from the Texans, wash them and serve the Calorie Counters.  This is gonna be easy!"  Larry pulls Balki along and they enter the Texan barbecue party.  There is a stage set up with a band, although they are not playing when they enter.  Larry motions to the different tables and he and Balki head out to try to get some of the plates.

As Balki passes Billy Joe Bobís table, the man lassos him and pulls him back.  Larry hurries over to them.  "Balki!  Ha ha!" Billy Joe Bob laughs, "These are some fine vittles you conjured up for us."  "Well, thank you," Balki says, "Now how was the food?"  "Balki, he loves the food," Larry explains.  "Oh good," Balki smiles as he removes the lasso.  "Yee haw!" Billy Joe Bob shouts, causing Balki to jump a mile.  "All right, Balki, the plates," Larry says urgently, "Get the plates!"  "Okay!" Balki says, and he runs to another table.  Larry approaches a table and asks a Cowgirl, "Uh, excuse me.  Uh . . . are you done with the ribs?"  "Yeah!" the Cowgirl says as she gets up and steps closer to Larry, "And Iím ready to start on your buns!"  She cozies up to him.  "Oh!" Larry gasps uncomfortably, "Ooh, uh, oh . . . well, maybe later."  At another table, Balki is pulling on a manís plate as he hangs on to it.  "Give me that steak before I get ugly!" Balki shouts before he is pushed away from the table by some men.  Balki stumbles back against a woman at another table and then turns to a man at the table who is eating.  "Now you didnít eat all your beans," Balki scolds, "Donít you want to be a member of the Clean Plate Club?"

The man stands up, revealing that he is gigantic.  Billy Joe Bob runs over and warns, "Balki . . . I wouldnít be tryiní to take food away from Bubba.  Heíll rip your heart out through your back pocket."  Balki picks up Bubbaís fork and hands it to him, saying, "Much obliged, Mr. . . . Mr. Bubba, sir.  Uh, you know, um . . . back on Mypos I knew a Bubba who was about your size.  Of course, he had hooves."  Billy Joe Bob urges Balki to move away, and Balki meets Larry in the middle of the room.  "Balki, I canít get the plates away from these people," Larry sighs.  "Neither can I," Balki reports, "I guess itís true what they say: you canít separate the Texan from his ribs.  Cousin, if we cannot get the plates away, how are we going to serve the Calorie Counters?"  "All right, we . . . weíll just let the Texans finish eating and then weíll feed the Calorie Counters," Larry says, "They wonít starve to death if they have to wait another few minutes."  Larry and Balki return to the kitchen just as Jennifer and Mary Anne enter.  Theyíre all met with the sight of Betty holding back a mob of heavy people trying to break through from the Calorie Counters meeting room doors into the kitchen.

"If weíre not fed immediately, they say theyíll take hostages," Betty warns.  Larry urges Balki and the girls to hurry into the Texan barbecue room.  "Okay, weíve got to find some way to get them away from the tables so we can get their plates," Larry says.  "Cousin, are you thinking what Iím thinking?" Balki asks, "A game of Twister?"  "Wait, Iíve got it!" Larry exclaims, "Iíve got it!"  Larry runs into the middle of the room and calls, "All right, attention!  Everybody!  Youíre attention . . . all right . . . "  Larry runs up onto the stage and stands amongst the musicians and speaks into the microphone.  "Youíre attention, please!  Itís time for a square dance!"  Larry starts to clap out a rhythm and tap his foot but the musicians just stare at him.  "Here we go!" Larry keeps trying, "Time to dosey-do!"  Everyone just stares at Larry as if heís crazy.  "Time to yippi-i-o-ki-yay!" Larry continues, "Keep them doggies rolliní."  Finally Larry stops and motions the band, asking, "Please?"  The band members shrug and start playing a square dance tune.  "Time for a dance, if youíre able!  Get up off your chairs and leave your table!" Larry calls.

A number of people get up and gather in a circle to start a square dance.  "Grab your girl, before itís too late.  Kick up your heels and leave your plate!" Larry calls, motioning to Balki and the girls to start gathering the plates.  Balki starts out to get the plates but is grabbed by one woman who starts swinging him around in the dance.  "Skip to the left and girl to the right, walk her in a circle and hold her tight!" Larry calls.  Balki is completely caught up within the dancers now and keeps trying to break free to get to the plates on the tables.  "Strum that guitar and pluck that fiddle, take two steps out and run to the middle," Larry calls.  Jennifer and Mary Anne are able to get some of the plates from the tables.  Balki is tossed out of the dance to the side where he is caught by Bubba and thrown back into the middle of the dance.  "Swing your partner round and round, any way you can Ďcept upside down," Larry calls, "Allemande left and swing your dates, while the Mypiot collects your plates!"  Balki finally breaks free of the dance and runs to the tables, distracting the few people still sitting by pointing away and then dumping food from the plates and running away with them.

Balki meets the girls at the door to the kitchen and motions for them to go on inside.  The girls carry their plates in and see Betty still holding back the mob of Calorie Counters who are shouting, "We want food!  We want food!"  "Youíd better hurry up!" Betty cries, "Theyíre using Bertha as a battering ram!"  Back in the Texan party, Larry is in the middle of another call.  " . . . swing, and in and out with the pretty little thing."  Balki has gathered a large stack of plates, trying to get back through the party to the kitchen.  "If youíre hungry and want another Ďtater, give your plate to Balki, heíll bring it back later," Larry calls.  Balki manages to grab the plate from in front of another man and moves away.  "Swing your partner Ďcross the floor, donít let go Ďtil youíre out the door," Larry calls.  Balki grabs Billy Joe Bobís plate and makes a run for the kitchen doors.  At that moment Mary Anne pushes on the door, which flies open and hits Balki, knocking the plates from his arms and throwing him back to land, face first, against a large cactus.

Balki screams out in pain as the action in the room stops.  All eyes are on Balki as he slowly pulls each hand away from the cactus and then his face.  Balki stumbles back and heads for the kitchen when Betty throws open the door, hitting Balki and knocking him backwards into the cactus again.  Balki screams with pain and then pulls his bottom free from the cactus.  Balki holds out his arms and walks to Mary Anne for comfort.  Betty, who was knocked back into the kitchen when the door hit Balki, enters the room followed by the other ravenous Calorie Counters.  "Food!" she exclaims, and they all rush into the room.  A moment later Gunther and the Germans enter through the kitchen as well.  Gunther shouts, "Wunderbar!  Letís party!"  The band starts up the square dance number again as everyone starts to dance, including Balki and Mary Anne.  "Calorie Counters grab a German, squeeze Ďem tight and feel Ďem squirminí!" Larry calls out.

Later that night, Mary Anne, Jennifer, Larry and Balki are cleaning dishes and pans in the banquet hall kitchen.  "Well, e . . . everything seemed to turn out all right," Larry notes.  No one responds.  "Everybody got fed," Larry points out.  The other continue cleaning without saying a word.  "I . . . I liked the music," Larry adds.  Still no response.  "Didnít you?" Larry asks.  Nothing.  "Good food, good friends, good fun," Larry smiles.  Nothing.  "Okay, okay," Larry sighs, "Maybe Iím . . . Iím . . . partially to blame for what happened tonight."  The others give Larry a look of disbelief.  "Mostly to blame," Larry amends.  He still gets a look.  "All right, it was totally my fault," Larry admits, "I . . . I . . . I shouldnít have butted in to Balkiís business.  I . . . I . . . I shouldnít have pushed him before he was ready."  The others continue to clean dishes.  Larry smiles again slyly and says, "But you know . . . when you all get a chance to think about what happened . . . I think youíre gonna thank me for what I did tonight."  Mary Anne, Jennifer and Balki each drop what they are cleaning and pick up a seltzer bottle, spraying Larry with them.

Continue on to the next episode . . .