Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 6 - Anniversary Gift - full transcript

Myra Jenkins has quite a menagerie in her home: birds, a turtle, a monkey, a chameleon and on and on. She is quite devoted to them, usually at the expense of her husband Hermie. Their neighbor, George Bay,is always telling Hermie how much he misses his late wife and that since since she's died, all he ever does is travel, go fishing and drink beer. All of this sounds pretty good to Hermie who hatches a plan to get his wife a new pet that that may not be very cuddly and lovable and may give him the way out that he desires. Little does Hermie realize the predicament he is getting himself into.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

I am sending this beautiful
plant to a dear friend.

I believe it's feeding time.

These carnivorous plants
get quite hungry.

This one has been quite useful
around here as a garbage disposal.

I shall hate to part with it.

But I know my friend
will love it.

And I am sure,
it will love him too.

Shut your stupid beak.

A dog gets housebroke
at three months.

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Where's your pride?

You're worse than a pelican.

Hermie! Hermie!

Yeah? Did you feed
Romeo his banana?

I'm gettin' to it.

Don't keep him
waiting too long.

The poor thing
must be ravenous!

How'll you have it,
stupid? Sliced?

Slice it for him, Hermie!

Hermie, did you hear what I said?
I heard you!

You marry a woman the mental
age of 10 and you wind up

bedroom steward to
a blasted Noah's Ark.

You are the cutest little
chameleon I ever did see.

What's the matter, precious?

Upset because you can't
turn polka dotted?

Hermie, that's the mailman!

Hope you choke on it.


I never in my life saw a fish
stand on its tail like that one.

Bang, he hit!

Then I set the hook,
swish, and up he went,

right on his tail, six, eight
foot, just like a rocket.

Like to pull me
out of the boat.

Hi, henpeck.
How's the menagerie?

You shut up about
Hermie, George.

He's the best little zookeeper

on Bougainvillea Street.
Ain't you, Hermie?

You both through?
You can give me the mail.

All right. All right.


Hermie, I think they made up.

Well, good for them.

Wasn't a serious
quarrel after all.

She probably
got to nagging him.

A seahorse can't take that day
in and day out, you know.

Gets up every morning,
looks at the same old face.

Sits around all day, listens
to a lot of yakety-yak.

How do you know?

I read a book once.

Here, you want to endorse this,

I'll take it over to the
bank before it closes.

Do you know what I think
about the seahorses, Hermie?

What? I think it was the food.

He don't like her cooking?

Oh, be serious, will you?

I think he was under-nourished.

It's the vitamin D in that new baby
brine shrimp you got last week.

Come on, sweetheart.
Get some more today.

Okay. Oh, be sure, now.

Ah, let's see.

$200 for deposit.

$50 for grocery money.

And $10 for your allowance.


Now, Hermie, we have been through all
that before, I am not made of money.

Okay. And remember
the brine shrimp.

Yeah. The vitamin D.

And Hermie? Yeah?

One beer!

Well, how long have you and
Myra been married, Hermie?

Fifteen years.

Fifteen years. Oh, I envy you.

Why? Well, I...

A home ain't a home
without a woman in it.

You got yourself a home,
Hermie. A real home.

You got your roots down deep.

You got your own little family.

I ain't had that for,
let me see now...

Nine long years.

Yeah, she's been gone
nine years this month.

How'd you manage that?


Uh, what took her off?



How do you get pneumonia
in Florida, George?

Kansas City. Oh!

Myra wouldn't move
to Kansas City.

Who wants to move
to Kansas City?

I mean, in case
anyone was to ask her,

"Would you move
to Kansas City?"

It's an 11-to-one shot
she'd say no.

Nothing wrong with Kansas City.

Oh, I never said there was.
My wife loved it.

She said there was no place in
the world like Kansas City.

She was a good woman, Hermie.

Life ain't been the same
since she took off.

I suppose not.

Well, she...

She left me pretty well fixed.

I don't want for nothing.

But life just ain't the same.

I wandered around for more than
two years, trying to forget.

Hawaii, Acapulco,

Las Vegas, Monte Carlo.

But life just ain't the same
without a woman in the house.

Everything so...

So quiet. I suppose so.

Have a beer? Sure.

Since she's been gone, my life
is nothing but beer and fishing.


I got to get her some brine
shrimp, for the seahorses.

So long, George.

Come on, baby doll. Come
on out and play with mama.

Whatever is wrong
with Franklin?

Got a load of bad
sunflower seed, I guess.

Here's the shrimp
with vitamin D.

Put it down. I'll get
to it in a minute.

The article says
they're affectionate,

he seems kind of
self-centered to me.

What'd I tell you?

For heaven's sake, Hermie,
don't say I told you so.

Well, I did, didn't I?

Well, look what the article
says, on the couch.

Page 16.

It says turtles make
very intelligent,

interesting and
affectionate pets.

You see it, Hermie?



Baby doll, you still in there?

Sure he ain't dead?

Don't be silly. But I don't
think he feels well.

Baby, come out.

Maybe he's got hives.

He's coldblooded.

When they're coldblooded, I guess
they don't ever get real fond of you.

Oh, I don't know.

After all,
a snake is coldblooded.

What does that prove?

Well, a snake is the most
affectionate pet in the world.

Everybody knows that.

Look at that. He's been
in there for 15 minutes.

You know, I've been thinking.

You know what
you ought to do, honey?

You ought to get
yourself a snake.


Well, a snake wouldn't pull
that kind of stunt on you.

How could a snake go inside?

Where would it go? And if it
could, it wouldn't want to.

You get the right snake,
you got yourself a real pal.

You think so? Sure.

Well, people say they can't
stand the sight of snakes.

Oh, that's a lot of prejudice.

Besides, everyone
don't think that way.

People that know
snakes in person

don't think that way at all.

Remember that act in Tampa
you wouldn't go to see?

The snake dance striptease?

Well, that dame had 'em
twining all around her.

There was a picture of
it on the billboard.

You remember that.

What do they eat? An egg.

All you do is whistle
when it's dinner time

and they just sit
right up and beg.

What you want is
a nice little snake.

I could carry it
around with me.

Down the front of your dress.

Well, that's where
they carry 'em.

Right where it could
peek out at people.

Be cute as the devil.

Well, I don't like snakes.

Okay, okay,
don't have one then.

No snakes, snakes out.

I'm not trying to sell you
a bill of goods, so forget it.

Let him kill it.

Skin it.

Make a pair of shoes
for a midget.

You mean you know a snake?

Well, this pet shop fella in Miami is
stuck with this cute little snake.

And he don't know
what to do with it.

Does he have to kill him? Yup.

You know what the price
of eggs has gone up to.

Would he give him away
to a real good home?

Nope. The snake skin
is worth money.

This guy's got to eat.

All the same, he can't hardly
face up to killing him.

It's so darn loyal.

He said this snake's got
eyes like a cooker spaniel.

What if I went to
the pet shop to see him.

Oh no, no! That's where you
went wrong with the turtle.

He still connects you with the pet
shop where he was so miserable.

Look at him,
he's all withdrawn.

Listen, if I was a snake,
I'd like to be put in a box,

and not know where I was going.

And find myself being unwrapped
by someone just like you, Myra.

In a nice, quiet room,
with the door shut.

You would? Yeah.

Really? Yeah!

You know something, Myra?

He told me, it takes all
day for a snake to die.

Hey, kid. Is this
place called Melodie?

Yeah. You want to make a nickel?

Show me where this fellow
hangs out, this snakeologist.


Yeah, Herpet... Uh, yeah.

Snakes, lizards,
gators, turtles, mice.

I'm lookin' for the
fellow that runs this ad.


Herpetologist. That's me. You?

Hansel Eidelpfeiffer.

Naturalists, pet shops, medical
schools, and museums supplied.

Live reptiles
for scientific purposes.

And rare collectors' items.

What are you doin' there? Frogs.

For my aquatic species. Oh.

You want to buy something?

Well, I tell you, Hansel.
I'm a professor.

I'm, uh, involved in
some crucial research

on the, uh,
Cape Canaveral thing.

Professor, huh?

Now, what we want is a tiptop,
high powered, poisonous snake.

A real stinger. Hmm.

Well, let's see. Crotalus?

Crotalus adamanteus? Horridus?

Or what about Ancistrodon?

No, no. Nothing imported.

Just a decent, straightforward
American snake

like you'd come on
in your own backyard.

Those are copperheads
and rattlesnakes.

I was just giving you the
Latin names, Professor.

Why sure.

Don't know what
I was thinkin' of,

what with these mosquitoes
buzzin' around me all the time.

Look, kid, I ain't
interested in a rattler.

What I need is something with a
lot of class, little and cute.

With plenty of zing.

How about Tyrannosaurus rex?

Look, Hassenpfaffer, I came
here for a yard of snake,

not a yard of highbrow talk.

You got somethin' like I
said, let's do business.

If you ain't, say so, and don't keep
me standin' around here gettin' bit!

How about a coral snake?

How's it for size?

Twenty inches.

Packs a high grade of poison?

It certainly does.

Good lookin?

It's got bands around it,

black and red and yellow.

It looks like
the scarlet king snake,

handsomest of American reptiles.

Here, read what it says.

Deadliest type of poison
in North or South America.

Akin to that of the cobra.

That's my baby.

What you want it for?

They've got no right lettin'
a kid like you advertise.

Here the country's
needin' scientists

and my time is being wasted drivin' all
the way down here to a little punk

who don't know
a snake from a tapeworm.

Keep your snake and I'll keep my top
secret information and my dough as well!

Listen, pal.
Let's make ourselves a deal.

A little bitsy one like that can't come
so very high, I guess. Three bucks?

Four? Ten.

Ten? That's what I said.

Look, Hassenpfaffer, I'm gonna let you
in on this top secret information,

even though you ain't showin'
a very patriotic attitude.

Our scientists over
at Canaveral

want to see if we can beat the
Russians puttin' a snake on the moon.

Five bucks?


Split the difference.
Make it 7.50.


Want it wrapped? In a carton.

Make it a good, strong one.

Hermie, you remembered.

Our 15th anniversary.

Listen, you can
hear him in there.

Hermie, you went out and bought
him with your own allowance.

Well, honey, I...

Oh, Hermie, sometimes you
just surprise me to pieces.

You used your own money,
just for me.

Let's open him. Wait, hold it.

What's the matter? Well, uh,
that's a trained snake, Myra.

He's tame, affectionate.

He does an act.

He does? Sure.

You can tie him around
your leg for a garter,

or around your neck,
or anywhere.

You just stick his tail in his mouth
like the two ends of a necklace.

How darling!

The guy told me all about him.

He said you got to love him up,

you got to make a pet of him,

you got to let him do his stuff
right from the very start.

And he'll be
just crazy about you.

Let's undo him. Oh, wait.

Now, let me get out of here.

See, I don't want
him seeing me first.

He might take to me,
instead of you.

That's herpetology.

Herpe-what? Snake psychology.

Now, I'll just go
for a little walk

and give you some
time to love him up

and get real friendly with him.

Well, go to it, sweetie.

He's all yours.

Thank you, Hermie.


One word and tomorrow
you're a feather duster.

The way I see it, Hermie,
you got two problems.

You got to find a hotel for that livestock
and you got to train Myra to drink beer.

You get them two things settled...
What's the matter?

Uh, it's almost 6:00.
I gotta go.

Ah, sit down and relax.

Here, I'll split this one with you.
It's the last one.

Ah, no thanks, George.

Yeah, you get that dame
to drink beer with you,

and the next thing you know,
she'll wanna go fishing

and after that, there's no
telling what she'll do.

Might even raise
your allowance.

Can't even keep gas in your
tank on 10 bucks a week, boy.

Well, thanks for the beer, George.
I got to go.


Yeah? Put the bite on her!

Shorty. Huh?

Here's a nickel.
Gimme a loan of the bat.

What for? Never mind what for.
A nickel for five minutes.




I'm in here, Hermie.


In the bedroom.

Hermie, I'm hurt.


Come here, Hermie.



He doesn't like me.

What do you mean,
he don't like you?

That fellow must've fast
talked you into a bad deal.

That's a cold snake
if I ever saw one.

I'm really hurt, Hermie.

What'd you do with him?
I put him to bed.


What's that for? Hmmm?

The bat? Oh!

I've been popping
flies to the kids.

I'm really discouraged, Hermie,
it's just like I told you.

He's a coldblooded thing and he just
can't work up a love for people.

I could fix him an egg.
He might be sweeter to me.

You hold him.

He bit me. He bit me.

Well, you scared him, Hermie.

How can we ever catch him now?

Myra! Myra!

I'll put some
Mercurochrome on that.

Never can tell where
their teeth have been.

They've been in me!


Oh, what's the matter, Hermie?

Myra, I'm gonna die.

Get a doctor, it's
a poisonous snake.

Oh, Hermie, you wouldn't
give me a poisonous snake.


Mr. Bay!

George, come quick!

I'm going to get rid of all the
animals, every last one of them.

Because every time
I look at one,

I'll think of Hermie.

You've got to go on,
Mrs. Jenson.

I'm going to sell the house,

go away.

Europe. Hawaii.

The South Seas.

But you know,
it won't be the same.

Here he is.

Alive and kickin'.

Well, I was right. Sure.

He's not poisonous?

Of course not.

Hermie never would
slip you a hot snake.

This is a king snake,
that's not a coral.

They just look alike.

As I told you, Mrs. Jenkins,

your husband died of a heart attack.

Poor Hermie. Right up to
the last, he was kidding.

Always kidding.

I'm attempting
to improve on nature

by giving this flower
a more inviting scent.

I want my friend
to get quite close.

This perfume has
such a suggestive name

I'm not even allowed
to mention it on the air.

The saleswoman told me it's
infallible in attracting men.

This was the last
bottle they had.

Their entire supply was bought up
by the Army recruiting office.

I shall return next time
with another story.

Until then, goodnight.