Ummm... that's not the town's water tower. It's the railroad water tank at the Petticoat Junction water stop and used to fill the Cannonball's tanks - it's a steam engine. The Shady Rest gets its water from a well, not the tank. The hotel sits about half way between Hooterville and Pixley (~25 miles from each).Episode Commentary
"Kate's Recipe For Hot Rhubarb" (S1E8)
I was never too much into "ruralized" sitcoms like Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, Real McCoys, et al--and yet I avidly watched Hee Haw every week. Why? Probably because I'm from Indiana and farm girls just have a certain earthiness that city gals can't duplicate. Give me a sweet girl in Daisy Dukes over a Christian Dior-clad sharpie any day. So consider me contradictory in thought and words as you read this commentary.
I must admit I was always intrigued at the opening credits in which Billie, Bobbie and Betty (all Jo's) are seemingly floating naked in the town's water supply. Apparently health officials decided the water was safe to drink as long as the individuals contaminating it were pretty. In this episode, Billie Joe (Jeannine Riley) has a hot date for the evening, but needs additional arm candy for her date's tagalong buddy. Against Billie Jo's wishes, Kate (Bea Benaderet) insists she insert Bobbie Jo (Pat Woodell) into the foursome. But instead of an evening of hubba bubba, brainy Bobbie Jo would rather stay at home and read something thrilling like Pilgrim's Progress. Kate will hear none of it. "You need to know about boys in case you trip over one", she explains to her doubting daughter, whose blouse is buttoned all the way to her neck as if to emphasize her cocoon-like libidinous innocence. Kate won't be happy until Bobbie Jo's amorous strings have been...uh...plucked.
Kate likens the experience to cooking rhubarb--you might not like it at first, but after a while you get used to it. Thus is written Kate's doctrine on sex.
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Bobbie Jo sluts up: But not nearly as well as Billie Jo; Bobbie Jo and Kate discuss Rhubarb since no one else will
Anyway, the girls' dates arrive. The lucky one, Junior (Russell Horton) gets dress-busting Billie Jo, while friend Roger (Jack Bannon) is "stuck" with blind date Bobbie Jo. Roger is a big city boy from Wilke's Corner--the hub of international finance, industry and part-time manufacturer of checker boards. Roger and Bobbie Jo's date is initially a bust since he's more smitten with Billie Jo's bust. Kate's solution is to significantly 'slut up' Bobbie Jo for her follow up date with Roger. It works.
The moral: A large IQ doesn't stand a chance against a large bra size.
Billie Jo was well stacked but I *always* liked Bobbie Jo (Pat Woodell, and especially Lori Saunders) much, much, better!