Season 9, Episode 197: Cementing Relationships
Original Air Date: 12/1/80
Written by: David Pollock and Elias Davis
Directed by: Charles S. Dubin
After a number of patients come down with staph infections, the doctors determine who--or rather what--the culprit is: the wood floor in OR, which, after years of use, is loaded with germs in its cracks.
They turn to the Army Corps of Engineers to put in a cement floor, which would solve the problem. But the engineers say no, because that kind of floor would not be able to be packed up in the case of a bug-out.
Klinger gets an idea around that: after telling them a totally made-up story, he gets the engineers to deliver enough cement to make the floor. The only problem is, the doctors are going to have to put in the floor themselves.
Hawkeye, B.J., and the rest hunker down and spend a day of backbreaking labor mixing the cement to the proper proportions. After laying it all down in the OR, they realize they've made a fatal error: following Klinger's cement recipe, which has too much water in it--they've just laid down 240 cubic feet of oatmeal!
Everyone, exhausted, prepares to just lay down a new wood floor and call it a day. But after Hawkeye reminds them all that, if they do that, some future patient will die from an infection. Can they live with that?
Of course, they can't, so they redouble their efforts, using the correct recipe this time, leaving them with a perfectly seamless cement floor.
Later, they bring one of the patients that inspired all this to cut a ceremonial ribbon on the new floor. During a session in OR, everyone comments how nice it is to be working on the new cement floor, with Hawkeye dropping an instrument on purpose just to hear the sound it makes.
Fun Facts: There's a B-plot in this episode about an Italian soldier named Ignazio (Joel Brooks) who falls for Margaret, despite her protestations. Its very cartoony, mostly in the performance of Brooks.
Favorite Line: B.J.: "You know, Charles, this floor is a lot like you: full of culture and breeding that nobody can tolerate."