mr.-ratburn

Arthur Recap Season 7 Episode 7 Part 2 Buster’s Amish Mismatch

AKA The One Where Buster Tries to Be Amish and Everyone is A Douche To Him

Arthur tells us that on every field trip, Buster always somehow manages to bring back a souvenir. Sometimes said souvenirs are illegal, like the time Buster took that fossil footprint from the state park (I’m glad that episode was referenced btw) or the time the class visited a police station and Buster accidentally took an officer’s badge.  And other times, Buster’s souvenirs are not so great. For example, one time the class visited a fudge factory and Buster got indigestion from eating too many free samples.

Still worth it. 

Anyway, anyone ever notice how Arthur’s class gets to go on all these cool field trips? I’ve only been to the local museums and once to an IMAX movie on my school field trips. Where is this magical fudge factory that allows class trips and hands out free samples? TELL ME.

Arthur wonders what Buster is going to bring back from this field trip. Well, it’s sure going to be interesting, i can tell you that.

The kids are going on a field trip to the country. As they drive past the wheat fields, Buster imagines driving the tractor and making crop circles…to summon aliens and play tag with them. 

This is literally Buster’s fantasy. I worry about Buster’s marijuana usage a lot.

Before their arrival, Mr. Ratburn explains to the kids that they are going to visit the Amish. The kids are amazed that there is a group of people that has willingly given up modern technology and wonder why the Amish live this way. Brain takes over and explains that the Amish just believe in living simply without technology.

I wonder if Ratburn ever gets annoyed that Brain takes over his class discussions. I mean, Mr. Haney could slip Brain some money under the table and just fire Ratburn and class would carry on like normal.

The kids visit the Amish settlement and let me tell you, even as a kid, I never understood why Buster gets so enamored of the Amish lifestyle. The Amish woman there explains that that the Amish don’t believe in playing musical instruments and think buttons are too fancy.

Like, Jesus. It’s like living in the tiny town in Footloose, but Kevin Bacon will never arrive to save you with his sweet 80s tunes.

Anyway, Buster befriends Daniel, an Amish kid. Buster becomes fascinated about the Amish lifestyle and convinces Mr. Ratburn to let the class stay to help with the barn raising. “I’ve never made anything with my own hands before,” Buster tells Daniel. “Boy, you guys really know how to live!”

Daniel tells Buster that he doesn’t have to be Amish to live like an Amish person. He even gives Buster his hat to help Buster get in the mindset! 

Aw, that’s really nice of Daniel to do for a kid he’ll never see again. Why couldn’t Daniel be a recurring character instead of Ladonna?

On the bus ride home, Buster declares that he live the Amish way, but no one believes he’ll be able to do it. Brain warns Buster that it’s impossible to live like the Amish in the modern world but Buster is confident that he’ll be able to.

So far, he’s on the right track. Buster walks home instead of riding in his mom’s car, insists on eating by candle light, and suggests starting a garden to make their own ingredients. Bitzi likes the candlelit dinners but is not interested in joining Buster’s plans, pointing out that she has too much work to carry out all of his ideas. She tells Buster that he can be Amish…in his room.

“I bet Amish families stick together,” grumbles Buster.

Bitzi gives Buster a manual powered flashlight before he goes to bed and tries to convince him one more time to just be “a little Amish” instead. Buster is stubborn and insists on going all in, even though it’s much more difficult than he anticipated.

Very few of his clothes don’t have buttons or zippers, Brain points out (rather condescendingly I might add) that the food cooked in the cafeteria was probably made with electric ovens so Buster can’t eat anything decent, and he has to walk home in the rain because he still refuses to ride in the car.

Bitzi checks in on Buster in his room and goes ballistic when he shows her that he was trying to make butter in his room. “Well, I was trying to make butter but I think I made mayonnaise,” says Buster. “YOU ARE NOT MAKING MAYONNAISE IN YOUR ROOM!” shouts Bitzi.

For some reason, that lines makes me laugh so hard. To be fair, I would get furious if I found out my child was making non-FDA approved butter/mayo. She puts an end to his Amish plans and declares that he will start sleeping with the heat and wear buttons and dance like everyone is watching.

Somewhere in Amish country, Daniel’s heart hurts a little and he doesn’t know why.

At school the next day, Buster is miserable trying to live the Amish way. Mrs. McGrady sits down with him at lunch and reveals to him that he isn’t living the Amish way. She tells him that Amish people can ride in cars and do whatever they want. Huh. So much for the “rejecting modern technology” bit.

Mrs. McGrady explains that the Amish are able to live like the way they do because they are a community. Well, that and the fact that they tend to live in rural, isolated areas and have struck a deal with a government to have very little interference in the lives. But sure, just stick with the “they are a community!” explanation.

Buster realizes that he can’t be Amish alone and decides to give up his Amish ways. However, he still insists on doing one Amish thing: building a dog house for Pal with his friends! Bitzi even makes homemade pizza to celebrate their semi-Amish activity and Buster saves a slice so he’ll always remember the day. Buster no longer has an Amish mismatch.

Grade: B- (First off, this episode was educational. I’m 95% sure this episode was where I first learned about Amish people and their ways. Anyway, people were a lot less douchey to Buster than I remember. Brain is the only one who is condescending, but, you know, that’s Brain. I’m trying to decide if Buster’s failure was the fulfillment of Brain’s warning that it’s impossible to live without modern technology or if he was being semi-sabotaged. Bitzi certainly was no help by telling Buster he could only be Amish in his room and even then, she was regulating what he could or couldn’t do.

I don’t know, there’s not much about this episode that is remarkable besides the premise.)

Rating: 29% intense. Trying to be Amish is intense.