Everybody knows that one day Gidget had just a little too much fun on the beach with Larue, Moondoggie, and Siddo, so Dad packed her off to a convent in Puerto Rico, where she learned to fly and became the Flying Nun for three solid years on ABC. And they say NOW is a golden age of television?
An embarrassment to pretty much everyone involved, at least The Flying Nun delivered a steady paycheck to legions of TV writers, TV producers, TV nuns, and the staff at Western cranking out TV tie-in comics like this one.
Here's Sister Bertrille lecturing a group of fine young KIDS! KIDS! KIDS! on, uh, the fine points of theology, or Bernoulli's Principle, or how to more carefully choose TV projects, or something like that. What wonderful, nun-related things will happen when she throws a party?
First up for the party planning committee is dealing with what your local neighborhood cop would call "a domestic," as the firey Marta attempts to inflict bodily harm on the body of Señor Carlos Ramirez, who as we all know from years of watching "The Flying Nun," is the local casino owner and playboy. Carlos was raised at the orphanage Sister Bertrille's order is in charge of, and consequently is always finding himself caught up in Sister Bertrille's crazy schemes, and yet, even though he's a hunky rich playboy who's always chasing the girls, he'll never make goo-goo eyes at Sister Bertrille, due to a strict prohibition from Cardinal McIntyre of the Los Angeles diocese.
I don't blame Marta at all, though. You can't promise a girl the best Valentine ever and then say "That Valentine? It's *me*, baby!" NOBODY is going to fall for that one.
This is just the lesson we need to be teaching our impressionable comic book reading youth, that women are insane, vindictive creatures who demand tribute, or they'll hurl vases and lamps.
Meanwhile around the corner these Sisters are Acting like Nuns On The Run! And now I'm out of 90s nun movies to reference. Why is Bertrille walking? Face into the wind and just start flying, you flying nun!
One of Cardinal McIntyre's other injunctions is that our titular Flying Nun would be a novice, since no actual fully invested nun would dare involve herself in the wacky hijinks and kooky escapades that the former Gidget would involve herself in during the course of this TV series, like, say, busting into a casino like Sinatra and Martin busting up Sammy's act at the Copa.
"Don't worry buddy, when the firey wrath of God Almighty rains down upon this den of iniquity, there will be no mistaking the holy punishment you'll be suffering, to be certain!"
Yup, that's what hippies do, they hurl bouquets of flowers through the air. That's Hippie 101!
Poor Carlos! Why is it always women? Why do the women always torment Carlos? Is it his rugged good looks? His snappy fashion sense? His bottomless reserves of cash? Oh, why must Carlos suffer so?
Well, Carlos managed to get Marta out of the room without a fractured skull, and all it took was an intervention by the poorly drawn face of Sally Field.
Bertrille mentions some names and Carlos immediately assumes these names are the names of famous celebrities, and that's the perfect Valentine for Marta, a party filled with celebrities. He will do it! "It" being "leap to conclusions," that is. I know, this is hackneyed, tired sitcom writing, but hey, this is a comic book based on a hackneyed, tired sitcom!
Not only does Carlos immediately accept that all these grown adult celebrities will want peanut butter sandwiches and ice cream and balloons at their party, but he's already assigning very specific snack preferences to very specific celebrities. He's obviously given this a lot of thought.
I think Sister Bertrille knows full well Carlos is misinterpreting the guest list and she's just going to let him be mistaken, and that's a sin of omission. Just wait until your next confession, Sister! You can't fly away from 1500 Hail Marys!
Hurry children, hollers Sister Bertrille. Only 48 hours left to make some construction paper hearts! Is there enough time?
All over San Juan, all anybody can talk about is the amazing party Señor Ramirez is holding, of the wonderful cake and ice cream and peanut butter sandwiches and graham crackers that these glittering stars of the stage, screen, racetrack, and whatever it is they call the place where fencing matches take place will be enjoying. What a party it will be, and how bored we must be if a bunch of swells eating ice cream is astounding us so much!
Look at this huge house Señor Bineri the FENCEMASTER owns! And a whole kitchen staff too! Fencing must be pretty lucrative!
Later at a sidewalk cafe in Manhattan... I mean, San Juan, Puerto Rico, which is where you want to wear big overcoats and fur wraps while you enjoy your sidewalk coffee amidst the skyscrapers of Park Avenue... I mean, the, uh... (checks Google Maps) Parque Luis Muñoz Marín, that's what I mean. Totally Puerto Rico here.
Geez, those kids worked their kid fingers to the bone making this convent the gayest convent ever, and here comes Señor Casino Man to make all their work meaningless!
I'll say one thing for the late 1960s, it's the golden age of that gigantic American muscle car, these enormous V8 powered wide body roadsters, bench seats, leather interior, 8-track player, dual carbs, yeah, you don't wanna ride in one of those things Sister Bertrille, you might start forgetting your vows in a car like that, I'm just saying, you give Señor Ramirez a mustache and we'll be filming Smokey & The Bandit a decade earlier, is all I'm saying.
to think that I'd see an ice cream truck and immediately think that my hero, the boxer Lorenzo Calabasa, would eat ice cream on a stick, well, that's not a thought any reasonable person would have, but this isn't a reasonable comic book. It stars a Flying Nun, who so far in this story is determinedly earthbound, sorry
That's a good idea Carlos, don't tell the nun you're abusing the frienship you're assuming she has with all of Puerto Rico's top celebrities in order to please the capricious whims of your violent lady friend. Don't tell her that.
WAIT A MINUTE WHEN SHE SAID KIDS SHE MEANT "KIDS!" I don't know why I didn't just figure this out already, knowing as I do that she runs an orphanage full of kids who would really enjoy a party with ice cream and cake and graham crackers. Maybe the graham crackers aren't quite so festive. But still.
The mere presence of children sends Señor Ramirez into a child-avoiding frenzy, and only the arrival of carloads of Puerto Rico's most famous personalities can get Sister Bertrille back into party mode.
Turns out that pro race car drivers and actresses and Olympic-level fencing champions love nothing more than entertaining orphans while eating ice cream on sticks. Who knew?
Here's Marta, with a lamp in one hand and a bunch of crockery in the other, ready to smash Señor Ramirez's skull like an eggshell if her Valentine demands are not met, and... and they are! The impromptu celebrity/orphan party is a smash success, just what Marta needed to take her homicidal rage down a few notches.
Oh, too bad, Señor Carlos, instead of getting little chalky Valentines candy with the funny messages, he's running for his life. Well, Puerto Rico is an island, Carlos, you can't run too far! Marta will find you!
Well, that's our Flying Nun story for today, and I'm sorry it doesn't actually contain any scenes of the Flying Nun actually flying, but as silly as those scenes are, they seem positively logical compared to this nonsense about celebrities and parties and ice cream and domestic partner abuse. And if you think Sister Betrille might be shy about putting the fear of The Big Boss into everybody, check this out where even the US Navy gets the "hint hint, we work for God" treatment.
Yup, they're taking that whole busload of awkwardly posed orphans onto one of America's mightiest aircraft carriers, crewed by America's awkwardly posed naval officers. Join us next week for wacky hijinks and hilarious nun-related goings-on, and stay tuned for Bewitched on this ABC station!
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