Boo! It’s Day 20 in Bonanza City and it’s Halloween for the rest of us. What tricks will the production crew try to pull on us this week? Will we be treated to some real drama? Will Taylor be as witchy as last week? What ghoulishly ugly shirt will Jonathan wear this week? Ok, enough Halloween jargon. Grab your candy corn and a cup of witches’ brew and let’s do this.
Trump Would Be Proud
To make extra money, Divad has opened a snack shack. Using food that she gets from the kitchen, she prepares it and the kids pay for the convenience. In the other stores, snacks are expensive but in hers, nothing is over ten cents. Kids can get peach cobbler, pickles, jerky, apple kabobs, and even free samples of cinnamon bread. She’s quite the entrepreneur. Since she pays nothing for the food she gets from the kitchen, she clears 100% of the profit. Sophia, however, is angered that she’s taking food from the kitchen, food that the kids could get there for free, and making a profit. Divad argues that kids may not want to waste a whole can of apples when they can come to her and get just one or all the apples they want for just 5 cents. Laurel agrees that as part of the upper class red district, Divad does not need the extra money.
Jared also thinks it’s unfair. He feels Divad could use a little competition and tries to set up his own snack business. Kelsey argues with him that he’s being unreasonable and simply does not want Divad to make any money. Jared responds with “screw you” and in frustration, he turns over Divad’s snack table spilling her snacks everywhere. An annoying and excited Kelsey runs to tell Divad. Divad responds very calmly that she is okay and proceeds to clean up the mess that Jared made. She recognizes that jealous people will try to do things to get her off track but all it does is make her work harder. Divad goes in search of Jared. She says that she doesn’t hold grudges the way adults do because it hurts her conscience. I think we as adults can learn something from Divad. Jared apologizes, admits he was wrong, and confesses he’s been greedy. Divad forgives him and they share a hug. In a tie-dyed shirt, Jared proclaims that we could all use a little peace and love.
To the Batcave
The pioneer journal conveniently addresses how scarce money is in Bonanza City. The town’s clairvoyant forefathers left a treasure map for the council members that leads to hidden treasure up in the hills. Laurel is a little hesitant but the others convince her to go find the treasure, see what’s there, and then decide what to do with it. So, they sneak out of town in search of the treasure.
Up in the hills, they find a spooky mine and luckily, lanterns are hanging by the entrance. Lanterns that appear to be battery operated. Hmm, how lucky indeed! With their miracle lanterns to light the way, they venture into the passageways of the mine to discover bats. Eek! Bats on Halloween, a nice touch from the production crew. They’re so creative, those guys.
Sophia must be a little bored. She’s noticed that people are a little desperate for money so she decides to toss coins in a pot filled with a bunch of nasty stuff resembling vomit to see how many kids will dig for them. In the pot goes baked beans, condensed milk, potatoes, and rotting vegetables. It looks disgusting, it stinks, and according to Sophia, it’s perfect! She calls the kids out into the street and lets them dig into her pot of vomit in search of the coins.
Sophia : "People never fail to entertain me. They do the darndest things."
Meanwhile, the council braves the dark corridors and creepy bats to find a treasure chest full of buffalo nickels, 375 to be exact. It’s the combined salary of all the kids in Bonanza City. It's all very anticlimactic actually. Here it is Halloween and all we get is a glimpse of a couple bats and one scream. No real drama, no suspense. Nada. The council members all agree that if they give the money to the kids, they’ll just blow it all on root beer and junk. They plan to go to the store and buy things to distribute to the kids. The kids are surprised when the council arrives with their purchases and announces the discovery of the treasure to the town. The kids are all happy that they can have some fun even though they didn’t have a say in how the money was spent. They play baseball, fly kites, jump rope, and play guitars.
Nathan leaves the fun because there is a lot of work to be done. He busies himself with the laundry while Laurel talks to him. She’s concerned that he’s working too hard and wants him to be a little more laid back. He tells her that he’s homeschooled so she recognizes that they are different. Still, she wants him to have a little fun. Later that day, he’s working on hauling water. He asks Greg and Blaine to help but Greg insists he help out with the dishes and forget about the water. It turns into an argument over how to do things basically because Greg is acting like a big jerk. According to Sophia, the two argue everyday. Eventually, Nathan walks out and cries in his bunkhouse. He bounces back quickly because going home over Greg’s taunting would only weaken him.
Pharaoh has been helping out in the kitchen. He’s working hard at dishwashing and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Greg plans to nominate him for the gold star. Pharaoh feels his family could use the money and if he wins it, he’ll give it all to his mother.
Divad proclaims that she’s the richest person in Bonanza with a dollar and twenty-five cents. She got it from selling fried potatoes in her snack shack. In the process, however, she was splattered by a little hot grease and suffered a small burn on her face. She tells the others that a little grease won’t stop her and she plans to continue helping the town in whatever way she can.
Which goose laid these golden eggs?
Showdown time and Jonathan is looking very Halloweeny in his orange and white plaid Western shirt and black jeans. Sorry, but the wardrobe people have really dropped the ball with Jonathan’s apparel. Of all the things they could do with this Western/pioneer/ghost town theme, they disappoint. Anyway, on to the fun. Jonathan knows that the kids have been thinking a lot about money because after all, those thoughts are placed there by the producers. So, the competition is all about collecting gold. Golden eggs, that is. District members are to slingshot golden eggs to team members who need to catch them on huge cushions. They need to be careful though because the eggs are raw. District leaders will be atop platform to direct their teams. Teams have 15 minutes to catch as many golden eggs as possible. The district with the most eggs will be the upper class, followed by the merchants, cooks, and laborers. If they can collect 4 dozen eggs between them, they’ll win a reward for the town.
Eggs are flying and breaking everywhere. Anjay quickly develops hand signals to help his blue district catch the eggs. Zach is also doing a great job with the yellow district. Both the red and green districts, however, suck at catching eggs. Time’s up and Jonathan, clad in his ugly shirt, counts the eggs. Red only caught 5 eggs and drops from upper class to laborers. Green only upped them by 2 to become the cooks. Yellow collected 18 eggs, making them the merchant class. They need 19 more eggs to win reward. No worries though. The blue district has 38 eggs. They are not only upper class but win the reward.
Choice number one is revealed and the kids applaud wildly. It’s coin operated washers and dryers. The applause is cut short when Jonathan tells them it’ll cost them 20 cents a load. Choice number two is revealed and now I know why it costs 20 cents a load. They want the kids to choose this one. It’s a new outfit for each kid and pioneer style washing machines to wash their clothes…..for free. The council debates and it’s a tough one. They ultimately go with the free laundry. Taylor is happy with that choice because the outfits are “pretty cute.”
The Bill Gates of Bonanza City
Jared is still itching to make some money of his own. He cleverly uses a magnifying glass to burn “Bonanza City 2007” onto pieces of wood that he makes into a souvenir necklace. Sophia says this is the best enterprising she’s seen yet. She even buys two more for her brother and sister. He quickly sells them all and has a whopping $2.90 burning like a “bonfire” in his pocket. In the store, he buys a duster, shoes, hat, and giant lollipop. Dressed in his new pioneer garb and swinging the candy, he struts his stuff in the street for Migle and dubs himself the Bill Gates of Bonanza City.
Pharaoh and Zach discuss the gold star and Pharaoh campaigns hard. He fills Zach in on all of the bills that his mother has and how much the gold star would help his family. Honestly, I’m sorry if his family is struggling financially but I hate to see the kids tearfully campaigning this way.
Guylan finds Nathan washing clothes at night and tells him to go to bed. Nathan refuses because he doesn’t want the laundry to pile up so Guylan, as a council leader, orders him to stop washing clothes and go to bed. I would like to personally extend an invitation to Nathan to spend a week in the lildago house. My laundry has piled up and in no one in my house is as concerned about this situation as you would be. Once in the bunkhouse, Greg apologizes to Nathan for the way he’s been treating him. Nathan thanks him because it means a lot to him. Greg acknowledges that Nathan is a little different from the others but he’s a good kid who deserves the gold star.
Divad makes it known that she wants to be a doctor and the twenty grand would go a long way in starting her education. She makes posters encouraging people to nominate her. Again, I hate to see the kids campaigning this way. She hands out snacks to the kids in the nomination line in an attempt to snag nominations. Once inside, Divad even nominates herself. Laurel hopes the rest of the council can see through her attention seeking ploy. Zach says he nominates Pharaoh and she quickly tells him to wait and see what the rest of the town has to say. Pharaoh has cleaned up his act and received several nominations from the kids. Greg enters and nominates Nathan. He admits he’s given him a hard time and even been rude to him but thinks he’s deserving of the prize.
The council is torn. Zach adamantly stands by his decision to give the star to Pharaoh. Looks like Pharaoh’s sympathy speech worked. Guylan feels Pharaoh only started working when he learned the star was worth twenty grand.
Cinderfella Takes the Prize
At the Town Hall Meeting, Jonathan wears a simple denim shirt and I approve. Surprised? I know. Me too. Greg calls Divad out for tooting her own horn when all she does is fry potatoes. Divad is upset because she has done some laundry and scrubbed toilets. The others haven’t noticed. Laurel says that the council takes note of those who are actually working and doesn’t need to be told.
Jonathan asks if anyone is ready to call it quits and leave but no one speaks up. All 38 kids decide to stick out the remaining 20 days. He then moves on to the business of the gold star. A quick huddle of the council and the gold star is awarded to Nathan. He’s speechless. When Jonathan asks how the money will be spent, Nathan shares his love for music, particularly the piano. The gold star means his family can afford music school. He’s excited to call his mother since she calls him “gold star” when he does something good. His mom and sister are excited to hear his news. Mom says he’s an independent kid who doesn’t care what others think. Nathan doesn’t plan to stop working now that he’s won the star but wants to continue working hard for Bonanza City.
Tune in next week to see how the bored pioneers entertain themselves. What I’d really like to know is how they plan to entertain us. As much as I’ve complained about the bratty beauty queen, I admit that the show was lacking this week without her. We need a villain, someone to criticize and dislike. Not even the spooky bats in the phony mine worked to keep my attention.
What would you do for kicks in a ghost town? PM me.