Me and My Pal
from the blog Caftan Woman
If ever I employ a butler I shall insist he be referred to as “Hives”. Hives (Frank Terry), the butler, brings his master, Mr. Hardy, his morning toast and congratulates him on a fine day for his noon nuptials. Mr. Hardy graciously accepts the good wishes and listens to a radio announcer (Frank Terry) extol the upcoming society wedding of up and coming executive, the same Mr. Hardy, to the daughter of oil magnate Peter Cucumber (James Finlayson). Mr. Hardy is pleased with the publicity. However, when the announcer continues by quoting the bridegroom’s lifelong friend Mr. Laurel, Mr. Hardy becomes annoyed. Anyone with a pretense to good sense would feel the same.
Enter the bridegroom’s bosom pal; purchaser of flowers, keeper of the ring, and bearer of the perfect wedding gift. Mr. Laurel, distressed by Mr. Hardy’s envisioned future of foregoing nights on the town, has thoughtful provided him with a jigsaw puzzle. Mr. Hardy, rightfully so, considers this gift to be a nonstarter. It would not be worth taking the time to explain this to Mr. Laurel as the inestimable Hives has ordered the cab to rush the participants to the ceremony.
Mr. Laurel, whose grasp of time is as tenuous as his grasp of wedding gifts, has become distracted by the jigsaw puzzle. Mr. Hardy as well is drawn into the whirlpool of swirling colours and the search for straight-edged pieces. It is the way of jigsaw puzzles that they seize the mind and soul of all who come within sight of their tantalizing mysteries.
Nonetheless, a wedding is in the offing and Mr. Hardy’s presence is required. Many of us can attest to the difficulties that may be encountered when entering a cab. Think of those difficulties multiplied by the helpful presence of Mr. Laurel. Mr. Hardy eventually takes his seat in the back of the cab, but he is not unscathed. The trip, however, is delayed when Mr. Laurel is sent back into the house to discover what has become of the errant cabbie. Mr. Laurel finds the hired driver immersed in the jigsaw puzzle. Once again Mr. Laurel becomes entangled in the game.
There is nothing for Mr. Hardy to do at this point but try to rouse those jigsaw puzzle addicts to action. Mr. Hardy, alas, also becomes embroiled in the obsession. Perhaps the arrival of a telegram will shake the dust off the puzzle participants. Perhaps we were hoping for too much. The telegram, which must be of some importance, isn’t even read.
Meanwhile back at the manse, Peter Cucumber, oil magnate and father of the bride, is getting annoyed. The guests have been waiting, the bride has been weeping and Mr. Laurel has sent a memorial wreath as his flowery contribution. Peter Cucumber has plans for that wreath and he heads over to Mr. Hardy’s residence determined to get the wedding underway or know the reason why.
Things at the Hardy household have but one focus this day and it is not a wedding. The jigsaw puzzle has taken over and is now the fascination of Mr. Hardy, Mr. Laurel, the cabbie, the inestimable Hives and a police officer. A police officer? Yes. The cabbie had parked by a fire hydrant and his engrossment in the puzzle is such that he doesn’t even mind a ticket.
Peter Cucumber, oil magnate, arrives on the scene and he is the first person to do so without becoming entranced by the jigsaw puzzle. It is just as well because the puzzle has been completed, minus one final missing piece. It is the missing piece that now stands in the way of the Cucumber-Hardy wedding. The police officer insists that everyone must be searched in an effort to discover the mislaid treasure.
Objections are expressed regarding the search and, naturally, these objections lead to a free-for-all. A brawl of epic proportions occurs which involves more police officers. These new enforcers of the law who have arrived on the scene are less interested in jigsaw puzzles than their comrade in blue. Hence, the brawlers are escorted to the local hoosegow with the exception of the well hidden Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy.
It looks like the wedding is off. It looks like Mr. Hardy’s career trajectory as an executive has taken a turn. Oh, and remember that telegram? It looks like a fortune was lost. Never put your trust in horse collar futures, or your closest pal, Mr. Laurel.