Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"The Rabbit Died"

I've been watching "The Dick Van Dyke Show" on Netflix this week. I'm completely inlove with the old shows lately, (probably because I can't find a whole lot on TV right now..) but I also have a great sense of nostalgia while watching them.

There are favorites, like the "Hypnotist" episode, or the "Giant Woodpecker" episode.. but one the really caught my attention was the "Rosebud" one, not only because of the hilarious plot and remarkable writing, but because of a scene I had to watch twice.

Rob and Laura are trying to explain to Richie why his middle name is "Rosebud"- but not really, because it is an acronym for "Robert Oscar Sam Edward Benjamin Ulysses David." But they show a flashback of when Laura told Rob she was pregnant. She told him she drove herself to the Doctor that morning. He was nervous that she had gotten the car in a wreck, and said "is the car ok?" and she replied "well, the rabbit died!" and he stopped and excitedly asked "the rabbit died?" then they began celebrating.

Dumbfounded, I sat there rewinding it to see if I missed something. But nope, it was the same when I watched it a second time. My mom, being a huge fan of the show was the only person I thought I could call to find out what this meant. She told me that back in the day, they tested for pregnancy in a matter that ended up killing a rabbit. So- to Google, and Wikipedia.

Wiki explained that in 1927 they would test for pregnancy by injecting the potentially pregnant women's urine on a female rabbit, and then check the ovaries of the rabbit. But the misconception is that ALL the rabbits died, because they had to cut them open to check the surgeries.

MY, how far we have come since the 20's, that all these poor rabbits had sacrificed themselves for the progression of humankind.

The fact that this expression was used for awhile after newer and better forms of testing were discovered was so funny to me, that after a woman told her husband "the rabbit died" immediate joy would follow.

You learn somethin new everyday.


Laura Lee said...

That is bizarre. And sad. Poor rabbits. Given the context of the rabbit dying,a car wreck, and recent events, I was afraid this post was going to go in a different direction...

Kyle and Alli said...

That is so completely interesting. I have never even heard of such a thing. Thanks for the piece of cultural history!

Annie said...

I knew that from an episode of MASH. Margaret Houlihan thought she was pregnant and they had to convince Radar to let them use one of her rabbits to do a pregnancy test. Luckily they didn't have to kill the rabbit, but Radar was pretty upset that she could never have babies.

I faintly remember your sister giving me strange looks when I rented season 1 of the Dick Van Dyke Show.

Kell's Belles said...

That is SO weird! Poor little bunnies.