S5 E11 Requiem For A Wino

Welcome back friends and fans to another review of GT. This episode resolved around a local wino named Fish Bone who is believed to have been killed by a truck. Hope you enjoy the review.

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Michael came out with a box of food for the family, Willona and Penny to bring to the football game to have for lunch. They were expecting to go see the Chicago Bears against the Detroit Lions. Penny questioned why they had to go in person instead of watch on TV. She also questioned why all these were named after wild animals. Willona answered because they punch and kick each other and other uncivilized behavior. She then stated she hasn’t seen behavior like that since she was on the bus the previous night. J.J. came home with six tickets for the game, he mentioned he was bringing his girlfriend, Boom Boom Belinda.

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J.J. also announced that he heard Fish Bone, a wino, was back in the area. Ironically, he came to the door to say hello. He claimed to have a job delivering samples. He also stated his last job was selling mouthwash, but was fired because it contained 2% alcohol (ouch). When he sat down to relax, he lamented how he didn’t have any real friends. In fact, his birthday was a few days prior and nobody wished him a happy birthday (he even claimed to send himself a birthday card and never received it). He stated that Ray the bartender made him wash dishes as a tab for drinks. J.J. said his friends were The Ripple Brothers, Paul Masson, Lana Cheviots?. Willona stated that they should have changed their plans and invite him over for dinner.

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Fish Bone was down at the bar with another wino. Ray, the bartender, asked him to watch the bar while he went to do an errand in the back. When Fish bone excused himself to go to the bathroom, his drinking buddy took his wallet, which he left on the counter of the bar, and left. J.J. and Thelma came in to invite him to the football game, while the thief was run over by a truck and killed on the spot. A police officer came in with his wallet and identified him by his real name of Theodosius Johnson and everyone left the bar in bewilderment. Fish Bone emerged from the bathroom and overheard everyone believing he was dead. He drank all the liquor everyone left on the bar and said “may I rest in peace”.

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Willona, Penny and the Evanses were at home grieving over the loss of their friend and Bookman came in with a briefcase that Fish Bone slept on in the basement. It had pictures of people from his past. They also decided they should give him a funeral and something they can all remember him by, as opposed to putting him in a paper sack and burying him in an unmarked grave. They had the wake at the bar and Wanda came in with a wreath. Bookman came with the ashes of the deceased, thinking it was a good idea to have the dearly departed there. Lootin’ Lennie walked in showed Wanda what he had in his coat, he then went up to Bookman and gave him one of his sales pitches. Willona decided to get things started and just as that happened, Fish Bone came in disguising himself as a woman. J.J. got up to deliver a eulogy and when we went on to how he wished Fish Bone can hear them when they say how much they loved him. Finally, he got up incognito and then everyone’s grief turned to anger. He then explained that the whole thing was about love and that you should tell people you love them before it’s too late (why didn’t they demand who the other dead person was?). They all had a party in Fish Bone’s honor with dancing and singing, and Willona said to him “as long as you are alive, don’t ever die on us like that again”.

Original airdate December 14, 1977

Written by Lloyd Turner and Gordon Mitchell

Directed by Gerren Keith

Guest stars Robert Guillaume, Bill Henderson, Cal Gibson, J. Christopher Sullivan, Helen Martin (4th appearance), Dap Sugar Willie (3rd appearance)

Another good episode with a realistic theme, and a spectacular performance from Robert Guillaume as our beloved wino, Fish Bone. I do agree with him when he said you should let your friends and family know you love them before it’s too late. One important thing they left out was that they never found out who the dead person was.

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