“Pardon me, but could you spare me a moment of your time?”
The ladies get out of the car, Thelma half dragged by the cop played by James Burtis, and attempt to explain, flatter, and flirt their way out of a ticket. Thelma Todd, a beautiful, and typical platinum blonde of the era, is the more street savvy of the two. Zasu Pitts, while not exactly a dummy, is more naïve and passive, which makes it funny that Thelma is always urging Zasu to do the flirting so that she herself can make with the fast talk.
Flirting is a tough chore for the well-meaning but socially inept Zasu, however she’s a game girl and does her job as best she can, with hilarious results. In real life, Miss Todd was about 12 years her junior, but in this series, the girls are shown as being contemporaries with Thelma Todd taking a protective manner over Zasu. To be sure, they are always there for each other.
They worm their way into the cop’s good graces when Thelma tells him Zasu is the daughter of the police superintendent. They were driving like maniacs because they desperately need to get to a department store sale to buy three sets of bed sheets. But, since the 67 cent-sheets are only one to a customer, the cop agrees to go along and by the third set for them.
Yes, he’s not that bright, but he’s a good egg.
But, the charade is over when the real police lieutenant shows up, and the cop is fired. In the interrogation, poor Zasu keeps getting referred to as a “palooka”.
The girls feel badly for causing the cop to lose his job. And, as they do pretty much in all their shorts, they turn their energies to helping those less fortunate. They take him into their home. When they trudge home from work, he is there in an apron, like a houseman, not a very good houseman, but somebody who earnestly tries to pay his way. He sets up a series of Rube Goldberg-type alarms to ward off intruders, because after all, they are girls living alone. A siren screams when they open their door. A Morris chair is rigged to dump a person on his head.
In the funniest gag, Thelma opens the closet door, and a boxing glove mounted on the end of an extending scissors arm belts her in the side of the head. Yes, it’s crude, but the unexpected cartoonishness is a hoot.
But, the cop is not a reliable cook, for all his inventiveness, and Zasu is sent to fetch some grub from the deli downstairs. Here she meets Billy Gilbert, dressed in a sea captain’s uniform.
Billy carries her back to the apartment. Since she thinks he is not a sea captain, but a police captain, she and Thelma hope to butter him up to get their cop friend his job back. Billy is invited to join them for ice cream.