Lovelorn Carla takes desperate measures to improve her dating situation: placing a singles ad in the local paper. Her ad isn’t exactly attracting the menfolk – and the reason apparent to Sam and the boys: it’s too brutally honest. They hatch a plan to write their own response from made-up airline pilot, complete with fake picture (it came with Norm’s wallet), in order to boost Carla’s morale, stopping the ruse before the two ever plan to meet. Immediately, she is smitten with her new pen pal, and even rejects Vinnie Claussen, a real person who answered her ad, in favor of her fictitious respondent. Sam finally fesses up, much to Carla’s ire, but after Diane’s level-headed explanation she decides to give Vinnie a try… as long as he’ll pretend to be a pilot just for one night.
Funny script about a well-intentioned act gone wrong (don’t they all?) presages the era of dating websites by 20 years (complete with texty numbers as letters in the title); it’s hard to imagine a time when it was all done through newspapers. Subplot is just as good, involving a mine friend of Diane’s who wants to entertain the crowd at Cheers. Only problem is – Sam hates mimes!
Cold open: Diane references music from the 50s and 60s, and Sam recalls the classics: “Who Put the Bomp in the Bomp She Bomp She Bomp” and “Yakety Yak,” but Woody is befuddled, as he considers “old” music to be Devo.
Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.