Reading is a Fundamental Case

List Number(s)
11 December 2008
Written by
Directed by

Reading is a Fundamental Case

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Reading is a Fundamental Case is the 12th episode of Season 4 of My Name Is Earl, and the 81st episode overall. While reading to the children of Camden County, Earl reminisces about a recent list item that he and Randy righted. It all began when Earl found his old friend Raynard, living in the wild and keeping company with a raccoon.

Episode guide Edit

Earl brings the Camden County book mobile to the Pimmit Hills Trailer Park, Darnell notices something wrong with the books Earl tells him that the Camden library couldn’t afford actual classics so they bought knock offs, then Earl read a book called Trazan the ape man.

The reason Earl was reading to the trailer park was because of something he did before he wrote his list, he and Randy were forced to do some community service for the “Humiliate to rehabilitate” where they meet Raynard who let them crash with him when their dad drove them out for the eighth time. Raynard was a strange man: in his house there was a bath tub in the living room, he let outside plants grow inside and he put the globe upside down, Raynard gave some strange reasons for why he did them and Randy learned that the globe is the earth. Earl, Randy and told some girls at the Crab Shack they were in a band opening for U2, then Earl stole the bookmobile as it was the first tour bus like thing he could find so they could party in the old abandoned Camden scout camp and told the girls the next morning they needed to practice, then Earl, Randy and Raynard walked away because they didn’t want anyone to see them drive a stolen bookmobile.

Earl and Randy went to get the book mobile back so they could cross it off the list when Raynard jumped out at them when Earl recognise him Raynard ran back inside, Earl realised that it was his fault as the last time he saw Raynard he wanted crash with him for a while, but Earl wouldn’t let him because of Joy, Raynard was homeless for days until he remembered the bookmobile so he began living there. Earl decided to help Raynard and reminded him who he and Randy were, but they realised Raynard had gone crazy when he thought a racoon was his wife then Earl recognised the hallucinogenic berries Raynard was eating when he remembered Joy ate the same berries too. The berries caused Raynard’s vision to go funny causing him to get scared and run off, Earl and Randy couldn’t catch him so they set up a trap using Catalina as bait, then Earl and Randy took Raynard back to Camden and gave him a gastric lavage Catalina lent them in order to let him be back in his right mind.

After that, Earl found Raynard some works at Camden foreign food, the Palms Motel and the trailer park but he always got into troubles, Earl went to pay Raynard’s bail to discover he was taken into a psychiatric hospital. The therapist told Earl that Raynard had APD and showed him a tape of Raynard talking, Randy points out to Earl the therapist looks Santa and thinks it’s him but Earl tells him Santa wouldn’t work in a psychiatric hospital, then when Earl asks to talk to Raynard the therapist got his assistant to take him, when the assistant turns out to be a short woman Earl admits to Randy that was creepy. Raynard tells Earl he wants to leave and go back to the woods as he didn’t belong with other people, Earl refuses as he think he’ll start hallucinating again but Raynard promises he’ll won’t eat the berries, so Earl tricks the other patients into thinking one of the doctors was full of candy and got Raynard back to the woods.

Earl apologises to Raynard for taking the bookmobile but Raynard is fine with the tent and thanks him for everything, Earl and Randy then watched Raynard walk away. Back in the present Earl finishes reading Trazan the ape man to the children, a girl asks where Trazan lived, Earl tells her Africa and points on the map where it was, Randy is surprised when he learns a map is also the Earth.




  • Introduced and crossed off in this episode:
    • -#219 Stole a Bookmobile

Featured musicEdit

  • "Oh Susannah" by Dan Coscino's Band
  • "Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow" by Strawberry Alarm Clock
  • "Jump Around" by House of Pain
  • "Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO
  • "Colours" by Donovan

Memorable quotesEdit

  • Raynard: Married to a racoon! Those must be some powerful berries, it was a girl racoon right?




Guest starringEdit

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