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Never do business with friends

Never Do Business With Friends – I Love Lucy season 2, originally aired June 29, 1953

Never Do Business With Friends begins with Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) doing the laundry in the kitchen, hanging up all of the laundry in the kitchen, turning it into a maze of wet clothes. After her husband Ricky (Desi Arnaz) leaves for the day, her best friend Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance) comes over to visit, and Lucy decides that she absolutely has to have a new dryer—leaving Ethel to complain that her old washing machine is even worse. Later, in a very funny moment where Lucy goes on and on about how she needs a dryer, she totally misses Ricky having told her that he’s bought her a new washer and dryer—and this sets the stage for the conflict, as Fred Mertz (William Frawley) offers to buy the Ricardo’s used washing machine for $35.00.

Ricky, however, relies on the wisdom of his father who said (translated from Spanish) “Never Do Business With Friends” since it can cause hurt feelings and ruin friendships. Never Do Business with Friends - Ethel Mertz with her 'new' washing machine in the backgroundHowever, Lucy, Ethel and Fred all convince him that it will be okay, and Ricky gives in. The next day, Ethel is happily doing the laundry in her ‘new’ washing machine and the Ricardo’s come over for a visit. At just that moment, in a moment of prop slapstick, the washing machine dies a violent death—leading Fred and Ethel to be grateful that they hadn’t paid for the machine yet, and so it still belonged to Lucy and Ricky. Needless to say, that’s not how Ricky and Lucy see it.

Lucy and Ethel start pushing the washing machine back and forth on their back porch, until Mrs. Trumball intervenes, and has her nephew come by and repair the washing machine for $1.50—and who mentions to Ethel, in Lucy’s absence, that he could sell it for $50.00. She rushes off to tell Fred, and later Mrs. Trumball mentions it to Ricky and Lucy—so now the couples are fighting over who owns the washer for the opposite reason. Eventually, as the couples are fighting over the washing machine on the back porch, the machine breaks through the rail, and crashes to the ground below. Everyone breaks up over the silliness of the argument, and agree to split the cost of fixing the railing, as well as the cost of the broken machine, and all the friendships are now restored.

A very funny, and very human, episode, recommended watching. Never Do Business With Friends is available as part of the I Love Lucy season 2 DVD collection.

Funny quotes from Never Do Business With Friends – I Love Lucy season 2

Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): All right, Old Man River, would you dry up?


Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Aren’t they sweet? Like a couple of lovebirds.
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): What are you, a bird watcher?


Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Ethel, would you like a new washer?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Oh, Fred, do you mean it?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Sure, I can buy their old washer for $35.00.


Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): You’ll be doing me a favor. I’ll never get a new washer from second-hand Louie here.


Mrs. Trumball: Mrs. Ricardo, your temper is as hot as your red hair!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): What about her?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): My temper is as cold as her dark roots!


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