M*A*S*HCast #102 – The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan

M*A*S*HCast -  Season 5, Episode 6: The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan

Special Guest Star: Stephanie Kice

Air Date: October 26, 1976

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9 responses to “M*A*S*HCast #102 – The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan

  1. A great show on a great episode – always great to hear two people taking passionately about their favourite subject!

    Re: Doctor’s terrible, TERRIBLE handwriting. Yep. It’s a fair cop.

    When I graduated from medical school, I took the plunge and got my first credit card. This was before the days of universal PIN entry, let alone contactless payments. I dutifully and proudly signed my brand new card with my very best handwriting.

    After three months of actually doing the job – signing many thousands of charts, blood test request forms, X ray orders and prescriptions, the quality of my signature had deteriorated to the indecipherable squiggle it is today. One weekend when I wasn’t working, I went into a clothing store and had to sign to buy a new shirt with the card. The shop assistant took one look at the pristine signature on the back of my credit card, then at the scrawl on the sales receipt, then back to the card… and asked if I’d like to have another attempt! To this day – when I have any new card to sign – I make sure I use my scruffiest signature!

    In UK General Practice, our medical notes have been computerised since the mid 1990s, but we still have 3 floor-to-ceiling filing cabinets filled with little beige “Lloyd George” envelopes retaining the record cards & paper letters that predate the time when everything was recorded on the computer. The Department of Health is forever promising to get the old notes digitised, but that would be a truly Herculean task, so it’s hard to see how or when that is ever going to happen! Stephanie is absolutely correct that our notes have historically contained some Latin, and continue to be filled with lots of technical jargon and acronyms. As patients in the UK are allowed increasing online access to their own medical records, the medical culture might start to move away from specialist language, but sometimes the technical words are more useful & concise than explaining everything in plain English.

  2. Thank you for this, I really loved listening to the conversation.
    I know I am in the minority with this – but I don’t like Flagg! The type of humour he brings to the show just isn’t for me. Edward Winter is perfection, though, and I do enjoy how the rest of the characters react to him. And in this episode, their reactions are really entertaining.
    I am probably in the minority with this too, but I have always really disliked BJ’s line -“Speak a few”, when Frank is going on about what the Chinese might be doing to Margaret. It just rubs me the wrong way, how nice, sweet, family-man BJ is sort of into it. Yuck.

    I was thinking about how you mention that the show is always respectful, and Hawkeye, BJ and Trapper “punched up”. I agree for the most part, except in some occasions when it comes to Margaret… There is that whole set up in “Bananas, Crackers and Nuts”, for example, that even sweet, innocent Radar is in on. Margaret absolutely had her bad sides, but she did not deserve that trauma. But that was in an earlier season, and by this point of the show, the characters have started to evolve in a way I really love.
    Thanks again!

  3. The Reader’s Digest joke has to be because of how conservative it is. DeWitt Wallace was a big anti-communist and large backer of the Republican party. He was a big supporter of Nixon who gave him the presidential medal of Freedom. So it’s just to show even more the stupidity of Flagg.

  4. What a great podcast about such a great episode! I just LOVE this one, and couldn’t help but laugh as you, Rob and Stephanie, enjoyed talking about it!
    I agree with Stephanie, the line, “So, naturally, you shot Captain Hunnicutt” is just comedy gold!

  5. Great episode, great discussion.

    My favorite joke is the Reader’s Digest one, a line I still say today. But this is a million laugh episode.

    As for writing, Chris is right on. When I was a resident, everything was written – notes, discharge summaries, orders, everything. And as a resident, when you were working (back then) 36 straight hours running around, you simply didn’t have time to write slowly and legibly. You wrote fast. And as long as YOU YOURSELF could read it when you saw it again, you were fine. My signature is very very consistent. But it is a sigil of a sort with no discernible letters. Thankfully, we are now on electronic health records where you type or dictate. No more worries.

  6. Rob, I don’t have much to add regarding the great episode and great work by you and Stephanie, but here’s a few points:

    Margaret going off the camp without clearing it with anyone other than Klinger is a shocking violation of procedure and one we would never do today — except of course, when it’s really, really necessary. I admit to nothing. I’ll just say, I have mad respect for Margaret.

    Radar’s response when COL Flagg asked him how he recognized COL Flagg was A+ level sucking up to get out of trouble. Seriously, that was worthy of a service academy graduate.

    Regarding Flagg, I hereby formally request a special episode of MASHcast wherein a panel of experts discuss and rank the Flagg episodes from greatest down to merely outstanding. What say you, Iron Guts?

  7. Radar’s explanation to Flagg as to how he recognized him is a masterpiece of convoluted gobbledygook, wonderfully delivered by Gary Burghoff. 🙂

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