Harold proposes to Madge.
No 24, where Madge is all of a fluster
HAROLD: I want you to marry me, Madge. Will you have me?
MADGE (turns her back and moves away): I don't know what to say.
HAROLD: Well … yes?
MADGE (turns to Harold ): It's very flattering of you to ask me, Harold, but …
HAROLD: I've given it a good deal of thought. I still love you, Madge, as much as I ever did when I proposed to you all those years ago. (Madge doesn't answer and he continues) I'll be a good husband.
MADGE (turns away again): I know that. It's not just that. There's Henry and Charlene to consider as well.
HAROLD: You think they'll object?
MADGE (with a little laugh): No, no! I think they'll be thrilled, but they're still my responsibility…
HAROLD: (earnestly): And you've done a good job in bringing them up! But I still think that I can contribute in that direction, too. What do you say?
MADGE: Oh, Harold, it's wonderful of you to ask me, and it's the biggest compliment a woman can have but...
HAROLD: (softly) But you don't want to marry me.
MADGE: No! No! I didn't mean that! What I meant was
HAROLD (interrupts): No, no. Don't apologise, Madge. It's my fault entirely. I thought … no, I assumed that you felt the same way as I did.
MADGE: Well, I'm not saying I don't, but
Enter Henry and Charlene by the kitchen door.
HENRY: G'day, Harold.
CHARLENE: Mum …
MADGE: Do you mind? I was trying to talk to Harold.
HAROLD: No – that's all right. I was about to leave, anyway.
MADGE: What about dinner? I thought you were staying.
HAROLD: Oh, yes … dinner…
Henry and Charlene go to watch television and Madge tries to resume the conversation, but Harold cuts her off, saying he will go and watch television with the others.
The Robinson garden, where Helen is reading an art book
Enter Jim. Helen looks at him over her glasses.
HELEN (laughs gently): You look as if you've just done ten rounds with a revolving door!
JIM: Save your sympathy for Des. (Looking over her shoulder at the book) He's a little worse for wear, like the bloke in that portrait.
HELEN: Well I hope Nell Mangel doesn't look worse for wear after I've painted her portrait.
JIM: You couldn't have chosen a more unlikely model, that's for sure!
Enter Scott, who's finished his homework. He says his dad looks tired, but Jim says that's nothing a hot shower won't fix and Scott should save his sympathy for Des.
SCOTT: Yeah! I bet Des regrets doing two workouts with you!
JIM: That's what the goose asked for. That's what the goose got. I've no sympathy for him. I haven't even started on him yet! (He leaves.)
SCOTT (to Helen): Poor old Des, hey?
HELEN: Well, it's Daphne I feel sorry for. She has to pick up the pieces.
No 28, where Done-In-Des is being ministered to by DespairingDaphne and Mike.
Daphne is fussing, while lifting LimpDes's feet onto cushions on the coffee table. Mike tells her not to fuss, but Daphne is not pleased. She tells Mike off for not keeping an eye on Des and Des complains that she obviously has no faith in him. He'll do it if it's the last thing he ever does. Daphne mutters that it probably will be. He groans as Daphne massages his shoulder and points her to the sore place.
No 24, where it is dinner time
Charlene carries juice glasses to the table while Madge takes the casserole from the oven. She asks Charlene to tell Henry, and Charlene promptly shrieks that dinner is ready. Madge is not impressed and tells her to go and tell Henry. She tells Harold that it is bean casserole, one of his favourites, but Harold thinks he should go home. Madge hoped he would stay so they could chat after dinner and clear up any misunderstandings, but Harold says he has begun a migraine, to which Madge replies that in that case, he should go home.
HAROLD: Perhaps some other time, ok?
Harold is leaving as Henry and Charlene come in. Madge quickly explains that Harold is going home. Harold apologises and leaves. Henry asks if they've had a fight and Madge denies it. Charlene pushes for the truth.
MADGE: If you must know, Harold's asked me to marry him.
CHARLENE: Mum! That's terrific!
Madge explains that she didn't accept and they want to know why. Madge says that she was taken by surprise and wanted time to think, but Harold didn't understand that.
CHARLENE: You might have been surprised, but no-one else is! We've been expecting it for weeks!
HENRY: It's cos of Dad, isn't it?
Charlene yells at Henry that he thinks it's always ‘cos of Dad'. But they want Madge to sort it out with Harold. Madge replies that she isn't sure she wants to marry him. She just wants more time to think. The kids encourage her to go and tell him, but she thinks he is too hurt to listen. Also, Mrs Mangel would be there… an excuse blown away by Charlene, who says all Lassiter's staff have had to work late, so she won't be there (but isn't Madge one of Lassiter's staff???)
No 32, where DespondentHarold sits alone with tea and toast on a folding table in the sitting room
The doorbell rings. With a sigh, he puts the table to one side, heaves himself out of his chair and answers it. Enter Casserole-bearing-Madge. She says she thought he might like something when his headache is better.
He invites her in, saying that the casserole was a kind thought. Madge puts him right by admitting that the casserole was an excuse to come and explain. Harold says there is no need, but Madge ploughs on. Harold jumps ahead of things, thinking that she is saying yes, describing the sort of ring he'd like to buy her – a diamond, as he's a traditional sort of chap, but she can choose…
Madge manages to break into his raptures and says she isn't saying yes – yet. She wants time to think. Harold says she may have all the time she needs, so long as there is hope … and kisses her gently.
Henry has prepared a breakfast tray for Madge, complete with toast, OJ, and a white rose – oh, and a pink envelope.
Enter SleeplessMadge, fastening her dressing gown. She ahs had a poor night. Henry says he is glad that she's sorted things out with Harold, and hands her the pink envelope, saying she wasn't really in pressie-receiving mode the evening before. They sit at the table, Henry leaning forward anxiously, while Madge takes out … loadsa money! Henry says that it isn't all that he owes her, but it's a start.
SuspiciousMadge asks where he got it. It's the reward money from the bank. All of it? Yes, all of it. Henry hasn't kept any for himself, and Madge insists that he does, handing back some notes. Henry promises that as soon as he can, she will get the rest. Madge pats his cheek, saying she is sure he will.
No 24, where Daphne and Mike are getting breakfast
She hasn't slept well because of Des's night-long groans. Enter VeryStiffDes, ready to go for his run. Mike laughs and Daphne snaps that it isn't funny. Mike apologises. Daphne persuades Des to have a hot shower to loosen him up before his run. Daphne has another go at Mike. Why didn't he stop him? Mike says he can't.
Robinson garden where Jim is doing stretching exercises and WetHairedHelen is emptying the garbage.
Helen asks, isn't it silly to go on with this just to prove a point, but Jim says he's just a bit stiff. He calls to Scott to hurry before assuring Helen that he isn't planning to do any fast stuff today. Scott sort-of backs him u before saying that the state Des will be in, even Lucy would be able to beat him. They head off, Jim clutching his back and Helen shaking her head as she watches them go.
Mike joins Jim and Scott, and they wonder where Des is. Mike says he's coming. Scott says he will stay with Mike as he may need a hand to carry Des to the Oval. Jim goes ahead and Scott and Mike indulge in friendly needling over their respective champions.
No 28, where Des and Daphne are playing hide and seek
Actually, Des is trying to creep out and Daphne is hiding behind the pillar watching. She speaks to him and goes on to say that she is quite resentful about all this stuff. (They move to the sofa) Daphne continues that it was the case that mornings were a rush, with the two of them fighting for the bathroom and rushing breakfast before going to work. Enter JR, and he's up with the lark and off before she has even had a ‘good morning' kiss.
He apologises and kisses her gently. TemptressDaff kisses him back… Des is tempted… Enter Mike to scupper that little ploy. Des says that he won't go, but Mike says they'll think he's gutless if he doesn't. (Me, I think they'll think, “Lucky Des!”)
DES (gets up): I'm going, Daff.
DAPHNE (resignedly): Yeah. I know. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
He kisses her and leaves with Mike.
The Oval where Mike and Scott are egging on their champions.
Jim crosses the line looking comfortable, just ahead of a hot, stumbling Des. Refusing to accept defeat, Des wants another lap, but it is not to be.
JIM (claps him on the back and almost sends him staggering): Well done, Des. You're a lot fitter than I thought.
DES: Let's do it again at the weekend (Now, hang on. I'm confused. I thought this was the weekend? Checks back, Yup. It's Saturday!)
SCOTT: Aww, give it a rest! You could train for the next five years and Dad'd still beat you. Wouldn't ya, Dad!
Jim agrees to the next race, but adds that he doesn't have time to run a marathon very weekend. Des says, five … no, TEN laps at the weekend. Mike is not happy.
No 28 where the doorbell has just rung
Daphne goes to answer the door carrying a heat lamp. Helen is there. Is this their paper, as they have had two delivered. It is. They discuss the situation with Jim and Des and it turns into a needling match in which Helen has the last word. She offers Daphne the use of Jim's plentiful athletes' first aid equipment, which Jim never uses.
The Gym, where Des is using dumbbells and finding it tough, while Jim is using the rowing machine…
Mike and Scott are needling each other, but Mike calls a halt as he wants to get on with his own training. Scott asks why he is so keen.
MIKE (now on his back, lifting weights): Because I want to ensure my position in the Uni swimming team. I mean … with me out of the way, you've got more of a chance at school, haven't you.
SCOTT (indignant): Ey! Listen. I made State finals at Manly last year.
MIKE: Yeah – after I was chosen for the team.
Scott says that Mike may be a good diver, but he's the better swimmer. Inevitably, they challenge each other to a race – ten laps of the Ramsay's pool. Jim tries to get them to cool it, but the boys protest. Scott says the loser will mow the winner's lawns from now until Easter. Mike agrees and the race is set for the weekend.
No 26, where Jim wants a shower before breakfast, to stop him stiffening up
Helen wants the whole thing called off. Jim says it is just friendly rivalry.
HELEN: Tell that to Daphne! I feel so ashamed of myself. I dropped in to see her and before I realised what I was saying, I was taking your side against Des. Well, naturally, she's going to be loyal to Des. Then we both got … Well, we both got a bit catty. Friendly rivalry? That's a laugh!
JIM (looks at her with wry affection): I think you're making mountains out of molehills.
HELEN: Am I? I doubt it. It seems to me that at the rate this family's going, we stand to lose some very dear friends.