Summary: This "Larabee's wife" one-shot was inspired by a funny story that I heard on an episode of the 1980s American game show The $25,000 Pyramid. There are also allusions to Arthur episodes "D.W.'s Perfect Wish" and "Brain's Shocking Secret." Set during my idea of season 6, assuming that season 5 is set from September 1969 to August 1971.
In memory of Dick Clark
Not as Easy as One, Two, Three
The date was Thursday, January 27, 1972. The time was 8:00 am. Agent Larabee clocked in on time at Control Headquarters in Washington, D.C. His job as secretary and aide to the Chief of Control was routine: taking phone calls, dispatching Control agents, arresting KAOS agents, and organizing the files of Control and KAOS agents. But that's what he liked about it. It was the paycheck he wasn't too crazy about. Not even the raise he got back in August after hitting the gong was enough. Larabee was often confused about idioms, but there was one that he was familiar with that applied to his situation: "His head wanted one thing, but his heart wanted another." His heart wanted him to do the same job for the rest of his life, but his head—or rather, his wife's head—wanted him to focus on getting a promotion. Throughout the years he had been a Third Class Agent, Larabee had been going over the pros and cons of remaining in Third Class and moving up to Second Class. That day, Larabee was in a "Second Class Agent" mood.
"It would be nice if I had my own number," Larabee thought out loud, sitting at his desk. Just then, Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, entered Larabee's office. Larabee, unaware of Max's presence, continued his out-loud thinking. "Speaking of numbers..."
"Who's speaking of numbers?"
Larabee turned his head to the right. "Oh, hi, Max. I was speaking of numbers."
"Why?" Max asked.
Not wanting to repeat what he said, Larabee decided it would be better to continue his thought. "Well, you see my wife has been having trouble falling asleep lately."
Max walked over to the desk and stood at the edge that was opposite of where Larabee was sitting. "Really? Well, on the one hand, it shouldn't surprise me because she has so many jobs it would be incredible if she had any hours left in the day for sleep. But on the other hand, it should surprise me because I figure that after hours spending the day driving a truck, some nights babysitting, and other nights wrestling, she would fall asleep like that." Max snapped his fingers.
"She's usually good at making and following schedules, so she does have enough hours to get a good night's sleep. But..."
"But when she lies in bed at night, she has a lot of anxious thoughts."
Larabee took a piece of ruled paper from a notepad and wrote something on the paper, which he handed to Max. We owe a lot of money, it said.
"Larabee," Max said, "you didn't have to write this down. It's not—"
Larabee put his index finger to his mouth, hoping that Max would get the hint. He took the sheet of paper away from Max and wrote something else under it. Then he handed it back to Max. If Melnick had Sonja pose as 99, KAOS may have a look-alike or a master of disguise, like the Chameleon, pose as me.
Larabee gave Max a pencil and a blank sheet of paper. Max wrote something on the paper and handed it back to Larabee. It said, But your wife isn't a spy. Is she?
Larabee wrote, I don't think so, Max. She wouldn't have the time. But whether she's a spy or not, I still think KAOS can use this information for their benefit.
Max wrote some more on his paper. What I don't understand is how you could possibly be in debt. You're the most frugal person I know.
Larabee wrote, How do you think I got to be so frugal?
Then Max wrote, Is it okay with you if we talk again?
Larabee wrote a simple, Yes.
"Good," Max said. "Are you getting enough sleep, Larabee? You seem anxious, too."
"Yeah, I'm getting enough sleep. I do most of my worrying during the day, when I'm on duty."
"So what exactly does this have to do with numbers? Do you mean hours? Dollars?"
"What?" Max asked in the way he often did under the Cone of Silence.
"Sheep. Counting sheep. That's what one of my wife's co-workers at the department store suggested yesterday. Imagine that you're counting sheep that are jumping over a fence."
"But it didn't work?"
"She didn't try it."
"She was too embarrassed to tell her co-worker, but she told me, and she gave me permission to tell you and 99."
I'm afraid to ask, Max thought. "All right, Larabee, what possible reason could your wife have for not counting sheep that she's too embarrassed to admit to her co-worker?"
"She didn't know what a sheep looked like."
I was right to be afraid.
"Do you have any suggestions, Max?"
Max thought for a moment. Finally he suggested, "Why don't you go to the library and borrow a book that has pictures of sheep in it?"
Larabee's normally stern facial expression quickly turned into a grin. "That's a great idea, Max! Except that I won't be able to go to the library until tomorrow, and some kid stole my wife's library card."
Max thought for a little while longer. "Maybe if you told her to imagine that she's counting fat poodles..."
Larabee grinned again. "I get it, Max! Yes, that should work. She knows what poodles look like. She babysits for a family that owns one."
Excited, Larabee dialed his desk phone. When the dial tone stopped, he said into the mouthpiece, "Hello. Max said to imagine that you're counting fat poodles." Larabee listened for a second, and said again, "Hello. Max said to imagine that you're counting fat poodles."
Immediately after that, the Chief said through the intercom, "Larabee..."
"I'll talk to you later," Larabee said into the phone. "I have some business to attend to." Then Larabee hung up the phone and said into the intercom, "Yes, Chief?"
"Don't tell me you thought that you dialed your wife."
Larabee remained silent. Max shook his head.
"You thought that you dialed your wife."
Then Larabee said, "You asked me not to tell you that."
It has been about two years since I last saw that particular episode of The $25,000 Pyramid. I don't remember which contestants or celebrities were playing. I think that the year was either 1985 or 1986. I think the story went something like this:
Dick Clark's wife was having trouble falling asleep. I think that Dick was the one who suggested she count sheep. She asked if it would be okay if she counted rabbits instead. Dick asked her why. And she said, "I don't know what a sheep looks like."
Even though I am a Get Smart fan, I am not a Get Smart expert, and this is my first Get Smart prose. This story was betaed by Get Smart fanfic author Foxcat93. If you think that I need to make any corrections, please tell me via PM instead of via review. Thank you for reading!