and Joe Roberts play farmhands who share a one-room house that is filled
with surprising time- and space-saving devices: the phonograph
doubles as a stove; the bookcase also serves as the icebox; and the bed
converts into an upright piano. Breakfast involves a series of
strings dangling from the ceiling, which pull down to an assortment of
condiments that the two men swing back and forth to each other over the
Buster had built similar Rube Goldberg-like
contraptions as a boy at his summer home on Lake Muskegon, Michigan.
He made them for his own amusement, as well for a lazy vaudevillian
neighbor named Ed Gray, who hated to make any unnecessary movements.
The devices created in The Scarecrow are similar to those he
built as a boy, and this scene is the film's cleverest routine.
Domestic harmony changes to rivalry as the
two men both try to win the affection of the farmer's daughter, played
by Sybil Seely. Buster is soon diverted from romance when he is
chased by a dog (Fatty
Arbuckle's Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Luke) and gets thrown into a
hay-processing machine, which tears away his clothes. Borrowing
the clothes of a nearby scarecrow, Buster kneels down to tie his shoe
when the farmer's daughter encounters him. She mistakes his
kneeling position for a formal marriage proposal, which she accepts.
As the two race off on a motorcycle to elope, they accidentally take on
an extra passenger—a parson who pronounces the couple husband and wife
as the motorcycle is accidentally driven straight into a lake.