Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?Edit

===Episode #604===

"Muffy's Soccer Shocker" / "Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet?"

Synopsis by KorraIsBack -- I thought this would be all about the Great Depression.

Comments by Dave, Esmeraude, and George4Browne.


Binky comes to Arthur's door and gives Arthur a box wrapped in wrapping paper and a bow. Arthur's surprised to get a present off Binky, as Arthur's birthday isn't for seven months... Binky knows this -- the present is just to pay Arthur back for being such a good friend.

The wrapping paper on the present is a butterfly and flower print which Binky made himself. Arthur's surprised when Binky informs him of this fact. Arthur tells him the paper is great.

Binky waves and leaves.

Arthur closes the door.

Arthur: Sometimes I just can't figure Binky out.

Arthur says it's like Binky has a split personality. Sometimes he's "Bully Binky", and sometimes he's "the other guy" -- i.e. nice. Arthur illustrates this by setting down a number of small picture frames one in front of the other.

  • "Bully Binky", making a face.
  • "That other guy" -- a smiling Binky holding a present...

The scenes in the framed photographs are acted out as Arthur puts them down.

  • Binky putting a bug on Muffy's head. He's behind her back, puts something on her head, and starts laughing. She turns around and screams when the bug jumps off her head.
  • We see Binky helping a fly out of a spider's web.
  • We see Binky scattering a flock of birds that was sitting in a parking lot by running at them going "Arrrrrr".
  • ...and finally, Binky playing his clarinet with a bird perched on his head and on the park bench beside him.

Arthur: I think I like "The other guy" best.

Arthur opens the present from Binky, and has a pie on a spring hit him in the face. Binky's peering in through the window, having been waiting for Arthur to unwrap it.

Binky: What a doofus!

Arthur gets tense and starts to quiver.

Binky tells Arthur to be careful with the wrapping paper -- Binky recycles his.

* * * Brother, Can You Spare a Clarinet? * * *

Binky's bubble gum ensnares him in the circle.

Written by: Dietrich Smith

Storyboard: Jeremy O'Neill & Stefanie Gignac

Music class. The class is all playing. Binky's having trouble playing his clarinet properly. He sounds lousy -- all squeaky.

The teacher, Ms. Krasny, tells them they played very nice, and even comments specifically that Binky played well. Binky's frowning, because he knows he did a crappy job. Ms. Krasny goes on to say that she's got some special news. The Young Person's Symphony is holding tryouts next weekend. One of them could end up playing for a year in one of the best youth orchestras around...

This immediately starts everyone whispering to each other about how wonderful this would be. All apart from Binky, who thinks that everyone is whispering about him. Binky wheels around in his seat.

Binky: What!?

Everyone looks away from Binky.

* * *

Outside, after school, Buster, Francine, and Arthur are talking. Buster's borrowed a tuba from the the school's collection of band instruments to practice on at home. This is allowed -- there's a sign in the music room that said that instruments had to be signed out.

From grade five onwards, we could sign out band instruments at my school. Then again, we were a pretty small school. Then again, Arthur's school isn't all that big...

Francine says she's going to play a Souza march. Buster says he's going to play one too, Seventy-Six Tubas. When Francine points out that the songs actually called Seventy-Six Trombones and is neither a Souza march, or about tubas, Buster says he'll adapt it.

Arthur sees Binky come down the stairs and asks him what piece he's going to play. Binky says he's not going to play anything. He's not even bothering to try out.

This starts Buster, Francine, and Arthur chattering, as Binky's the "best musician in the school".

Rumor has it, I thought that was Sue Ellen?

Binky growls at them, and stomps off furiously.

Francine: Sheesh! What's wrong with him?

Binky's in his pajamas in his bedroom. He tries to play his clarinet. He plays ok, but then it starts sounding off again, and he hurls his clarinet on the floor. As he does so he yells that "Music stinks!".

At music class the next day, Muffy's showing off her Stradivarius violin, which is the finest violin made. Buster and Brain have "here we go again" expressions on their faces. She goes on to say that her violin is worth more than everyone else's instruments combined. {C Muffy: If you want to make it into the big leagues, the proper instrument is a must!

Buster taps it and wisecracks that being able to play it is a must as well.

A security guard that Muffy hired is grinning, but he puts his hands on Buster's shoulders. Buster gasps.

Ms. Krasny comments that private security guards aren't allowed in class. Muffy complains by saying that if the school is prepared to pay her father if the Stradivarius if it gets stolen... Ms. Krasny is willing to argue against her will, but Muffy changesthe subject by ordering the guards to (there are two of them) check the perimeter instead.

With the security guards out of the way, the class can begin. They're going to be playing Mozart's Clarinet Concerto.

Which they do, to a certain extent -- Muffy's kind of terrible. What's more noticable is that Binky is supposed to be doing the clarinet solos. Which he isn't doing. He's just sitting in his chair smiling, with his arms crossed.

Ms. Krasny: Binky, it's not a clarinet concerto if nobody plays during the clarinet passages

Binky(humoriously): Guess you'd better find somebody to do that then, lady!

Gasps all around.

* * *

Binky is sent to Mr. Haney's office. Mr. Haney looks over Binky's "LIST OF OFFENCES", which has been typewritten and signed by Ms. Krasny.


  1. Binky refuses to play in class
  2. Binky does not bring his clarinet to class
  3. Binky talks back in class.Ms. Krasny

Binky has his elbows on Mr. Haney's desk holding his head up. He looks quite the rebel. Mr. Haney comments to Binky that this is "quite the episode of misbehavior".

Binky: It's a start

Mr. Haney: Pardon me?

Binky gets up and starts pacing with one arms behind his back and the other in front of him, lecturing.

Binky: Who am I, Mr. Haney...

Binky is getting philisophical, but Mr. Haney think's it's a direct question, not a rhetorical one, and starts going through his files, trying to find out what Binky's name is. He admits that he doesn't know...

Mr. Haney: Well, I'm not sure, actually... there are so many students here...

...which is dumb. Try looking at the LIST OF OFFENCES... I guess all that head trauma has finally scrambled Mr. Haney's brain.

Binky says he'll tell Mr. Haney who he is. A doofus. Mr. Haney, still searching his records says that they don't have anyone by the name of "Doofus" at the school. He's not really listening.

Binky isn't listening either. He says he used to be a rebel; he used to own recess. He looks out at the kids playing on the field -- Fern was talking to Jenna, and then she went and swung on the climbing frame.

Binky believes that he's "just another guy who plays the clarinet"... Well, that's going to change.

Binky: It's time to say goodbye, wimp, and hello Binky... and I mean the real Binky.

He turns around and looks rather mean.

Mr. Haney: Well, there you go, you're Binky. Now that we've straightened that out, I hope...

Too late though -- Binky's storming out the door of the principal's office to regain his evil status.

Binky: See you at detention, Mr. Haney...

Mr. Haney: That's right, young man! Detention!

He smiles as he says it, as if he thinks Binky's helping him out by suggesting it -- but Binky's not heard anyway, and has shut the door. Mr. Haney immediately starts to question himself, thinking that it's a bit harsh. Binky comes back in, still not listening to Mr. Haney.

Binky: I'm sorry, but this was driving me crazy.

Binky rearranges the flowers in the vase on Mr. Haney's desk for him.

Binky comes barging across the playground to find the Tough Customers lazing about with a stereo. The Tough Customer contingent is made up of Molly, Rattles and oddly enough, a new recruit to the Tough Customers -- Slink, who I thought went to Mighty Mountain.

Since when did Slink start hanging out with the TC? Maybe he is Molly' s brother! I wonder if Slink will be a permanent Tough Customer now?

They are pleased to see Binky's returned to the fold. They discuss strategy on top of the climbing frame.

Rattles:Yeah,it seems like ages since we pulled anybody's pants down.

It sure is. I can't remember such a time -- but if it's underwear you want to see, Binky's made an appearance in front of the class in #20501 - "Arthur's Underwear".

This “pulling anybody’s pants down” remark was reminded me of a Daria”episode when Daria and Jane watch some hostess speaking to a French-accent model… Hijinx Issues!

We don't know what "bloodbending" means to us? But there's more bloodbending action you want to see, see E#9S012 "Out Of The Past".

Binky says he has bigger plans than pulling down pants. He has a plan that "bullies will be talking about for the next millennium. They eagerly ask what the plan is.

Binky(slyly): Let's just say, "Silence is Golden".

The Tough Customers go around to the kids in Arthur's class, under Binky's orders, taking the instruments they signed out from them so they can be "refinished". The instruments are then taken to a closet at the school with a sign on it reading "SILENCE IS GOLDEN".

Always, always make the location of your secret base obvious by mounting a big sign on it.

The Tough Customers are able to take everyone's instruments, including Francine's drum kit -- that is, everyone's instruments except for Muffy's violin, which has an alarm fitted to it. This tells Slink to "Step away from the Stradivarius". If that wasn't enough, the two guards approach. Slink slinks away.

The "refinishing" done, the instruments get returned to Arthur and the gang.

The thing is, the instruments have been sabotaged rather than refinished -- they do have new finishes though. When Arthur and his friends try to play in music class, they struggle to make any sounds with their instruments.

  • Francine's drum kit has been wrapped with newspaper.
  • Brain's cello has elastic bands for strings.
  • Sue Ellen's saxaphone looks like it's been dipped in grease.
  • Buster's tuba has had flowers planted in the bell.
  • All the keys on Arthur's piano have been all taped together.

Binky is laughing.

Muffy of course is still able to play, but she sounds lousy. Everyone else looks at their instruments in surprise, as if they didn't notice what had happened to them. Binky plays dumb -- he says somebody's been taking their instruments and "refinishing" them. Ms. Krasny asks who. Buster is about to spill the beans when Binky glowers at him.

Buster: They... were just like that when we got 'em out of our lockers!

Brain, Buster, and Arthur walk home, past the comic book shop, Brian's parents ice cream shop, and the joke shop. Buster and Brain are lugging home their instruments -- Buster's tuba still sporting its flowers. Buster's explaining how the reign of Binky's evil scheme, entitled "Silence is Golden", is to wipe out music. Buster says that Binky's said that his ultimate goal is to rid the world of music.

Ever since Amon's speech about being "The Revelation", which had been a "Legend Of Korra" referrence (the episode "The Revelation" to be exact) to Binky's plot to destroy music once and for all....

Buster: You know what he said? Today Elwood City, tomorrow the world!

Brain says that a nine-year-old couldn't do it. It's not scientifically possible. Buster points out that Binky's getting other nine-year-olds to help him.

Buster stops to water the flowers in his tuba at a drinking fountain. He can hear clarinet music, and comments that it reminds him of how Binky used to play.

It is. Inside a music shop, Binky is trying out a clarinet. His parents are with him, and the music shop owner is looking on. Binky thinks the clarinet he's playing is great, and would like his parents to get it for him. Unfortunately, the clarinet is $1000. Binky's parents can't afford that -- Binky's old clarinet will have to do for the time being. Binky shows them that his current clarinet "stinks". He plays it and sounds lousy. It makes Binky's Dad and the music shop owner squirm.

Mr.Barnes: I wish we could afford it, but we just can't.

Binky comes barging out of the store and throws his clarinet into a garbage can.

Binky: No real musician would be caught dead with this thing!

Arthur and his buddies have been watching all this unfold from around the side. Binky and his parents don't see them as they walk off. Arthur states the blatantly obvious -- Binky doesn't actually hate music -- he's been misbehaving because his dumb clarinet.

Brain says he has an idea.

On TV, Bionic Bunny is sitting inside watching TV and eating a TV dinner. Outside, there are some bad guys in suits. The leader, a bull-person, tells his henchmen to turn on the "anti-bionic machine" on his signal. This machine will remove Bionic Bunny's powers. The bull-person puts in earplugs, and the machine is turned on. It shoots rays into the ventilation duct vent on the ground floor of Bionic Bunny's apartment. The waves waft up and come out of the vent in Bionic Bunny's apartment. Bionic Bunny's muscles shrink.'

Bionic Bunny: Oh no! An anti-bionic sound wave!

Nice to see a bull-person, even if he's just on Arthur's TV.

Binky is sitting watching this, jotting down notes.

Binky: Bingo...

Just then, Arthur and his friends ring Binky's doorbell. They have a present for him. In a scene that's familiar, Binky says his birthday is next month. Binky unwraps the present to find his clarinet, which Brain fixed. Binky starts playing it and it sounds good for a little while. Then a paperclip and some gum fly out of it. These are what Brain fixed the clarinet with.

Binky gets angry at them, but doesn't have time to do anything to them, as he has an evil scheme to plan. He slams the door on them.

Buster and Arthur don't think much of Brain.

Brain: You try fixing a clarinet with paperclips and chewing gum!

Poor poor Brain. He's gone from building teeth extraction machines and robotic parents to being baffled by not having a spare wheel for his model plane, and now being unable to humiliate a clarinet.

It's the morning of the tryouts at Lakewood Elementary. There's a fair number of people who have shown up, notes Arthur.

  • Arthur's sorry they messed up -- looks like Binky's not coming.
  • Buster's worried that Binky will unleash his evil scheme. He wonders what it might be.
  • Brain tells him not to worry -- there's nothing Binky could do here.

Meanwhile, in the room marked "Silence is Golden", Binky is explaining his tactic to the Tough Customers. He's made a map, as the key to the plan is the location. He points out the locations to his cronies.

  • Plan A is "here, in the closet".
  • Plan B is "over here, in the Boy's room".
  • Plan C is in the gymnasium.

{C Rattles: Brilliant plan, boss.

Binky continues, calling for the "anti-music machine" to be brought in. Molly rolls it in. It's a children's wagon with a magaphone attached to the front with electrical tape. Behind the mouthpiece of the megaphone is a metal stand with Binky's old clarinet attached. Binky puts in earplugs, as do his henchmen, and proceeds to test the machine -- He blows into the clarinet.

The megaphone amplifies the harsh sounds of Binky's worn-out clarinet.


Arthur's playing Beethoven's Fifth reasonably well on stage in the auditorium, on the piano, which is back to normal, while a panel of three judges rate his abiltity. There is a ventilation grille behind them, just like at Bionic Bunny's apartment. On the other side of the wall happens to be the closet which the Tough Customers have been using as their base. Rattles calls out that the machine is in position.

Binky calls for them to open the ventilation shaft. They open the vent.

One of the judges asks the one closest to the vent, Mary, to shut it, as there's a draft. She does so, just as Binky was taking a deep breath. This foils Binky's plan. Binky punches into his open fist. They have to go to "Plan B".

Binky and the Tough Customers with their machine in tow, sneak up to the washroom door. Binky opens the door a tad to make sure the coast is clear. Inside, Mr. Morris, the janitor is using the sink. Binky, Rattles and Slink start whistling, standing at the entrance.

Back in the auditorium, Francine's playing the drums, which no longer are covered in newspaper.

Mr. Morris dries his hands with a paper towel, and watches the Tough Customers, who are still loitering around the door.

Brain plays his cello. Yes, the cello is back to normal as well.

Mr. Morris is now gargling at the sink. He spits out, and then starts drying his hair with a hairdryer.

Binky elects to go with "Plan C". They move out.

Rattles locates the ventilation shaft and calls it out to his "boss". Binky instructs the others to position the machine quickly. They do so. The machine in place, Binky orders the shaft to be opened.

Inside the auditorium, Muffy is playing her expensive violin badly. On stage, she is flanked by her security guards, both of whom are cringing.

In the gymnasium, the sound of Muffy's playing is making Binky and the Tough Customers cringe as well. Rattles: I guess someone else had the same idea, boss!

Binky picks up his machine and exits the gymnasium. This surprises the Tough Customers.

Even the judges are cowering from the sound of Muffy's playing. They thank her.

Suddenly the door of the auditorium is flung open. Binky interrupts what's going on. Binky: That's not music, and I'll beat up anybody who says it is!

The judge who wanted the vent shut earlier stands up. Rabbity Judge: Now listen here, young man...

Binky retorts that they should listen. He unfastens the clarinet from his machine, and starts playing. For the most part, he sounds good. At the end, he waves his fists. Binky: Now if you'll excuse me, I have an evil scheme to finish.

The judges were smiling throughout Binky's impromptu performance. They think he's good. They stop him. Binky thinks they're going to insult him. Binky: I know... my clarinet stinks.

The judge says that that is the case, but anyone who can make a clarinet in that condition sound as good as that is a true musician. The judges have their candidate for the Young Person's Symphony Orchestra!

The symphony practices every Saturday at 10. Binky says he can do that. They shake his hand. Then they tell him they'd like to provide him with a better clarinet. Binky has it made in the shade.

Both the Tough Customers and Binky's classmates crowd around him. Buster's impressed -- Binky's the only one in the school who got in! Muffy says it can't be much of an orchestra if they can't appreciate a Stradivarius.

Rattles: What about "Silence is Golden", boss?

Binky walks off. {C Binky: Don't be a doofus, doofus. Silence stinks!

Binky goes walking off into the sunshine down the hall.

Buster: There goes a true musical hero.

Binky deliberately knocks down George, who's coming the opposite way down the hall, knocking him to the ground. Binky just keeps on walking, and George just lies on the ground. Binky laughs wickedly.

Arthur: No Buster, there goes Binky.



Ok, Binky acts like a jerk all the way through this episode, comes out a winner, and everyone's pleased? By the end of this episode, Binky's kicked off not only his "friends" in class, but he's wimped out on the Tough Customers yet again. Binky's due for a pounding. Too bad Ms. Krasny didn't step in and say that Binky wasn't allowed to be in it.

Picture the Tough Customers "vandalizing" the instruments -- "We're bad dudes. We're so bad, we stick flowers in a guy's tuba, and then give it back to him".

The threat of Binky glowering at you is enough to keep you from telling the teacher? What's Binky going to do? Glower some more?

I'm no musical expert, but to me it sounded like Binky could have gone a long way to improving the sound of his clarinet by buying a new reed, retail value about $2-3 at the most, or at the worst, a new mouthpiece, which still would cost a lot less than $1000.

Speaking of money, if Binky's parents can't afford to buy a new clarinet, I'd like to see them pay for a classroom full of damaged instruments. That'd teach Binky.

I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if Binky's plan was successful. "Oh no, dreadful clarinet playing is coming from the vents. Oh no. Gee, I wonder who is responsible? Perhaps the only clarinet player in the whole school?"

It's the Dietrich Smith curse, I do not like her episodes. She's the writer I love to hate.

I liked the mellow Binky better!