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Building a Bar-B-Q

Building a Bar-B-Q, I Love Lucy season 6, originally aired April 8, 1957

Building a Bar-B-Q begins with a (nearly) still sleeping Ricky Ricardo coming down the stairs, with his wife Lucy putting his hat on him, etc. and pushing him out the door … only for Ethel Mertz to pop her head in and ask how Ricky’s enjoying his first day of vacation! Once back inside, Ricky begins driving Lucy crazy by criticizing her housework, even complaining that she takes off her ring to do the dishes.  Lucy finally gets him out of the house with Little Ricky to fly a kite.

In self defense, Lucy and Ethel decide to start Ricky and Fred on a project — building a back-yard Bar-B-Q (or barbeque, as we call it around my house). How to do it? By starting to do the project themselves, until Ricky sees how they’re doing it “wrong” and takes over. Their plan works well — until Ricky decides that they get to be helpers. In the process of mixing the cement, Lucy takes off her wedding ring, and puts it on a bench.

Soon, the bar-b-q is completed, and Ricky finds her wedding ring on the bench, and decides to “teach her a lesson” by putting her wedding ring in his pocket. Shortly afterward, Lucy realizes that she’s lost her ring — and soon, she fears that it’s been accidentally lost in the cement of the still-drying bar-b-que.  That night, when Ricky and Fred are asleep, Lucy and Ethel disassemble the still-drying bar-b-q — only to not find her ring. They then have to reassemble the mess of bricks, with Ethel initially leaving — until a mixture of guilt and friendship brings her back to help.

Building a Bar-B-Q - Ricky expresses his displeasure to Lucy about the barbeque, visible in the background

Building a Bar-B-Q – Ricky expresses his displeasure to Lucy about the barbeque, visible in the background

After spending the entire night disassembling and rebuilding the bar-b-q, Lucy is more than half asleep while walking, when Ricky goes outdoors to check on the bar-b-q, and his scream brings Fred, Ethel and Lucy to look at the comedic mess that is the bar-b-que. After a moment of trying to hide the truth, Lucy confesses — and Ricky realizes that the mess was all his fault.

So, where is the ring? In the pocket of the shirt that Ricky was wearing yesterday … which Lucy used as a rag, gave to Ethel, who gave it to Fred, who tore it into a tail for Little Ricky’s kite … which has flown away.

Later, the four adults and Little Ricky are eating in the back yard, and Lucy is inconsolate, despite Ricky’s promise to replace the ring. Ricky forces her to eat a hamburger — and Lucy finds her ring inside the burger! The ring had fallen out of Ricky’s pocket into the hamburger mix yesterday, and in a sweet moment, the episode ends with Ricky slipping it back on Lucy’s finger.

Building a Bar-B-Q is available on DVD as part of the I Love Lucy season 6 collection.

Funny quotes from Building a Bar-B-Q

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Honey, why don’t you call little Freddie Mertz and ask him to come play with you?

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): It’s a piece of lint — you must have missed it with the carpet sweeper.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Yeah.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): What do you want me to do with it?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Why don’t you buy a scrapbook?

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): When we got married, you said you would never take this ring off.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): When we first got married, you said that these lily-white hands would never wash a dish.
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): Well, I bought you a pair of rubber gloves, didn’t I?

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Yeah, go fly a kite.

Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): If I lost my wedding ring, I wouldn’t have to buy a new one … I’d just have to buy another box of Cracker Jacks.

Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [Ethel returns to help rebuild the bar-b-q] Oh, thanks Ethel, it’s times like this that you know what a friend is for!
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): If I’d known that this is what friends are for, I’d have signed up to be an enemy.

[Ricky screams at the site of his wrecked brick grill]
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): AHHHH! What happened to my beautiful Bar-B-Q?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [nervous] Uh… I don’t know. An earthquake?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): They don’t have earthquakes in Connecticut!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): A tornado?
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): They don’t have tornadoes in Connecticut!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Boy, this is a dull state!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): I’ll tell you what it was. I think it was a couple of hurricanes. Hurricane Lucy and Hurricane Ethel!

Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Where you in on these shenanigans, Ethel?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): [getting angry] Yes, I was. I was up all night, taking the bar-b-que apart, hefting heaving bricks, looking for the ring, and putting it back together. And if I hear one word from you, Fred Mertz, I’ll take you apart and put you back together!
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): [cowed] I was just asking, honey bunch.

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