The Girls Go Into Business – I Love Lucy episode 68, season 3, originally aired 10/12/1953
The Girls Go Into Business begins with Lucy and Ethel having saved money on the new dresses that the bought at the going out of business sale at Hansen’s dress shop. After Lucy explains her method for not getting in trouble with Ricky for buying a new dress – just hang it in the closet for a few months, and when she finally wears it when he asks if that’s a new dress, she replies that it’s been hanging in the closet for months. The girls begin wondering why the dress shop is for sale.
Later, Ricky begins complaining about the crazy people that he has to deal with in show business (a wonderful moment in itself, as Ricky becomes more agitated and louder as he goes on, ending with shouting “Why can’t they be quiet and even-tempered like me?” ) the girls suggest that they can invest in the dress shop. Fred and Ricky laugh at the idea, but the seed of an idea has been planted in Lucy’s mind.
Buying the dress shop
Lucy and Ethel go to Hansen’s dress shop, where the ‘sweet little old lady’ Mrs. Hansen takes them to the cleaners, coercing them to raise their offer from 1,500 dollars to 3,000 dollars with a story about how her mother needs an operation, after her grandmother smashed the car, and the mortgage … and even goes so far as to hire two ladies to pretend to be customers purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of goods. Lucy and Ethel take the bait, purchasing the shop … with a post-dated check.
Selling the dress shop
Lucy is expecting to put the money from their first few days of sales into her checking account … but there are no sales. Lucy’s check is no good, and Mrs. Hansen tries to call Ricky about it, but Lucy cleverly intercepts the call and fools Ricky about what the phone call is about “El checka es buena”. And Lucy and Ethel attempt to sell the dress shop to someone else, with Lucy using Mrs. Hansen’s trick. By disguising herself as an elderly grandmother, only to find a police officer outside of the shop, with a hilarious bit as the ‘aged grandmother’ gets up and dances when she finds out that the buyer wants to pay them 3,500 dollars – a profit of 500 dollars!
At home, Fred and Ricky share the news that they found in the paper about someone purchasing Hansen’s dress shop for 3,500 dollars – and then reselling the property to a real estate developer for 50,000 dollars!
Funny quotes from The Girls Go Into Business – I Love Lucy
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): That’s where I’ve bought all my dresses since we’ve been married … All three of them.
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): I saved $7 on that dress I bought this morning!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): And I saved $10!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): What?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [realizing that she’s left the cat out of the bag] Never mind, just go on laughing at us.
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Not a penny lower?
Mrs. Hansen: No. [Lucy and Ethel start laughing] What’s so funny?
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): I was going to offer you $1,500.
[all three start laughing]
Mrs. Hansen: I’ll take it!
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): How about we call it “Ethelu’s?”
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): Ethelu’s?
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Yeah!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): It doesn’t really roll off the tongue. I was thinking something more like “Lucyeth’s.”
Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance): Well, that rolls right off your tongue! You couldn’t keep it on your tongue if you tried!
Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz): How can a guy be flat on his back 3 times and still win?
Fred Mertz (William Frawley): Maybe he had a sore back.
Mrs. Hansen: Mrs. Ricardo, you check bounced!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): My check bounced?
Mrs. Hansen: Like a rubber ball!
Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball): [Answering the apartment phone] Ricardo residence, this is the maid speaking. Mr. Ricardo? Yes, he’s here but he doesn’t speak any English. You don’t speak Spanish, do you? Oh, you do?