Todd telling Jim and Beverly that he and Katie aren't going to grump around and run away anymore. Beverly declaring to Jim in relief that she thinks the kids like them!
Henry is standing on a trolley, fanning himself with a place mat, as Scott wheels him from the storeroom out into the main bar! As he does this, Scott groans:
SCOTT: I don't know, mate... I mean, once upon a time, when I was just a schoolkid, Saturday mornings were for sleeping in.
Henry tells him that, at least with the two of them working, they can have the afternoon off. Scott nods that he doesn't want to miss Mike's farewell, that's for sure. Henry smiles that it's going to be a great party. Scott, however, points out that it isn't *supposed* to be a party! At that moment, the bar door opens and Mrs. Mangel comes in. She looks at Henry sternly and asks him what he's doing there, as he's not rostered on. Henry explains that he promised his mum they'd stack kegs in the cellar. Mrs. Mangel accepts this. She then says:
MRS. MANGEL: Now, about Mike's send- off this afternoon. I want your word of honour that there'll be no hanky- panky.
HENRY (grins): Us? Come on!
MRS. MANGEL (firmly): Especially *you*, young man. I've already told Jane that I won't have alcohol in the house.
Henry tries to protest, but Scott assures her that it'll be soft drink only. Mrs. Mangel adds that she wants them to bring their own glasses as well. She looks for the dirty bar towels before giving up and heading out again. When she's gone, Scott smiles:
SCOTT: Like you said, Henry: should be quite a lively little rage, shouldn't it!
Charlene is sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. Madge is making some food for the party and she asks Charlene to iron a dress for her. She then sighs that she hates working on a Saturday: it throws everything out of whack and she never seems to get the housework done. Charlene says:
CHARLENE: What'll it be like when you and Harold get married? He's not going to like it if the housework takes a back seat!
MADGE: Ha! I wouldn't worry about *that*. By the time Harold gets around to setting a date, I'll probably have reached retirement age!
CHARLENE: Oh, you never know – he might prove us *all* wrong. He might write a bestseller and make a fortune over night!
MADGE: I doubt it. Can you think of anything more boring than an article called ‘The nuisance of dogs'?
Harold is sitting at the writing desk in the lounge room, a sheet of paper in front of him with the heading ‘Twenty years as a stock and station agent'! Jane is dusting, and she asks him if he could just move to the couch for a while. Harold stands up reluctantly and mutters that he doesn't know why Mike needs a going- away party: he'll only be gone a few weeks. Jane retorts:
JANE: Because we'll miss him, that's why.
Harold apologises for sounding a little uncharitable and explains that he had planned on having the house to himself this morning, as he has to finish his article. Jane asks him warily if he shouldn't wait to see if the newspaper likes the *first* one he wrote. Harold just retorts in astonishment:
HAROLD: What?! A good, strong, topical piece of writing like that? Of *course* they'll like it. I expect the cheque in Monday's mail.
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Jane goes and answers it. She finds Mike standing on the step, and he tells her that he thought she might want a hand setting up – and he brought the tapes she wanted to hear. The two of them head into the lounge room and Mike puts on one of the tapes. Loud music starts blaring from the stereo and Harold stands up from the couch in annoyance. He turns the tape off and says to Jane curtly:
HAROLD: This party of yours is this afternoon, right?
HAROLD: Good. Then by my reckoning, there is a good three hours of morning left and I would appreciate it if it could be spent as quietly and as peacefully as possible. Now, do you think that could be arranged? Hm? Eh?
He heads out of the room, leaving Mike to ask Jane what's eating *him*. Jane replies that she thinks it's writer's block. Mike asks if Harold's going to be there this afternoon. Jane says she hopes not. Mike tells her to try and get him out of the house.
Sally is doing some stretching as Tony stands around and suggests they run 15 laps of the oval. Sally retorts that she thinks they should stick to 12; it's not a race. Tony tells her that a bit of friendly competition doesn't hurt. Sally says tersely:
SALLY: It does if you push yourself too hard when you're not fit. Remember that cramp you got?
TONY (dismissively): Oh, that was just a salt deficiency. Come on, I'll prove it: whoever loses has to do the dishes for a week. What do you say?
SALLY (hesitates before responding): I say that, come this time next week, you'll have a bad case of dish- pan hands!
With that, the two of them crouch down. Sally says ‘go' and they start running. They keep up a steady pace initially – before Tony speeds up and starts racing ahead, calling back:
TONY: We'll see who ends up with dish- pan hands!
Charlene is cleaning the oven. Loud music is playing and she's dancing around in time to it. She thus doesn't notice as Harold comes in through the back door, and she almost hits him with her arm as it flails about wildly! Harold glares at the stereo and snaps that the next generation will be born with ear- flaps! He turns off the stereo as Madge joins them. Harold mutters that Mrs. Mangel's is like a madhouse and No. 24 isn't any better. Madge suggests to him that he come to the Waterhole with her: it's like a morgue until lunchtime. Harold says he'll go and get the car. Madge, however, tells him that they should walk – she's trying to get fit for Sally's aerobics classes. Harold sighs heavily and mutters:
HAROLD: Sally's aerobics class. I am sick to death of hearing about them.
Madge turns the music back on and says she feels so much better since she started. She then starts touching her toes in time to the music! Charlene calls over to Harold that she bets *he* can't do that! Harold, looking annoyed, starts jigging along with the music. He then reaches down and touches his toes – but groans in pain as he does so! Madge stands there laughing!
Sally is running along at a steady pace. Tony runs up behind and overtakes just as they reach their end point. As Sally comes up behind him, Tony asks what took her so long. Sally just comments that she thought he'd had it by the end of the 9th lap. Tony pants that he could easily have done another 15. Sally mutters that he's a glutton for punishment. She then says tersely:
SALLY: Why do you have to turn everything we do into some sort of competition?
TONY: I don't!
He then pauses before he admits:
TONY: I guess I was looking for a little recognition. All my usual never- fail techniques for impressing a beautiful woman failed dismally.
SALLY (snaps): Yeah, well, nearly giving yourself heart failure doesn't impress me either.
TONY (sighs): Oh come on, Sal, what's a guy have to do?
SALLY: You really want to know?
SALLY: All right, then, I'll tell you. Forget about me – ‘cos I meant what I said, Tony: if you keep putting the pressure on, you'll be looking for a new flatmate. I told you: I'm not interested in a steady relationship with you or anyone else – so for both our sakes, why don't you look for another girl?
TONY: Like who? There's no one else like you around here.
SALLY: Then look for someone *different*.
With that, she walks off, leaving Tony looking confused.
Jane and Mike are sitting on the couch, Jane saying to Mike sadly that she wishes he didn't have to go away. Mike tells her that he has to if he wants to be a teacher. Jane says:
JANE: Just don't go and fall in love with someone else like you did when you went to Canberra, OK?
MIKE: Hey – of course I won't!
He then adds that he's kind of sorry he invited all the other guys over this afternoon: they don't get much of a chance to have the place to themselves. The doorbell rings at that moment, and Jane muses that it's too late now! She goes and opens the door to Charlene, Sally and Tony. They head inside and Mike asks where Scott and Henry are. Charlene replies that they're not back yet; they must still be gardening. Mike says he hopes they don't forget the glasses. Tony goes and turns the stereo up. He then grabs Charlene's hand and asks her if she wants to dance. The two of them start dancing around the middle of the lounge!
Harold is sitting working at a table in the Waterhole when a man in his 50s comes in. He approaches the bar and in an English accent asks Madge for a beer. Madge smiles:
MADGE: Warm or cold?!
MADGE: I'm just teasing – your accent gave you away!
The man says he'll take his chances and have a cold one! Madge then asks him what part of England he's from. The man smiles:
MAN: You're the expert!
MADGE: Well... let me guess. Um... London?
MAN: Right again!
Madge then asks him if he's there on holidays. The man, however, explains that he's on business and is off to Brisbane this afternoon. Madge remarks that he hasn't had much time for sightseeing. The man says that's why he thought he'd pop into the Waterhole: to soak up a little of the Outback atmosphere. Across by the window, Harold is still working when Mrs. Mangel comes in and remarks in surprise that the Waterhole is the last place she'd expect to find *him* on a Saturday morning. Harold explains that he's trying to write and there are far too many distractions at home. Mrs. Mangel muses:
MRS. MANGEL: I'd have thought a public bar would be the worst possible place for distractions. Drunken carousing and Madge Ramsay getting in your way...
HAROLD: Yeah, well, Madge has gone out of her way to stay out of *my* way...
Mrs. Mangel looks across at the bar and sees Madge talking. She says to Harold:
MRS. MANGEL: I do see what you mean. Who is that gentleman?
HAROLD: Just a customer, no doubt.
MRS. MANGEL: Hmm... Not the *usual* sort of riff- raff this place seems to attract – and Mrs. Ramsay does seem on very friendly terms with him.
HAROLD: Well, it *is* part of her job.
Mrs. Mangel mutters that she'd be *delighted* to see Madge's dedication and enthusiasm! She walks over to the bar and says to Madge wearily:
MRS. MANGEL: Mrs. Ramsay, what *have* you done with the used towels?
Madge grabs the towels and throws them down on the bar. Mrs. Mangel picks them up and walks out. Harold sits staring at the bar, looking slightly perturbed.
Jane and Tony are dancing with each other in the lounge room. Sally and Mike are also dancing! Scott and Henry arrive and Scott apologises for them being late. Mike asks where the glasses are, as he's dying for a drink. Henry looks at Scott and tells him that he was supposed to remind him! Scott grabs Henry's arm and they dash back out to the Waterhole to get them. When they've gone, Mike walks over to the stereo to change the music. Sally and Tony collapse onto the couch and Sally smiles:
SALLY: You really took notice of what I said to you this morning, didn't you.
TONY: I'd hate to lose the best flatmate I ever had. Anyway, plenty more fish in the sea! Jane will be at a loose end while Mike's away...
A look of disbelief crosses Sally's face.
Madge and the Englishman are still talking and laughing as Harold watches them, a stern expression on his face. Henry and Scott come in, and Henry stares at Harold in astonishment and exclaims:
HENRY: Don't tell me you've taken to the demon drink!
Harold assures Henry that he hasn't – although it's at times like these that he's sorely tempted. He indicates Madge and the Englishman and asks Henry and Scott if they don't look a little too intimate. Henry nods that the Englishman does look a bit keen. Harold tells Henry to go and tell his mother that she's making a spectacle of herself. Henry, however, says he doesn't think Madge would take much notice of him. He suggests to Harold that *he* tell her, but Harold retorts that he's done everything he can to get her to come over to have a private word, but she's ignored all *his* signals. Henry murmurs reluctantly that they'll see what they can do. He and Scott head to the bar as the Englishman tells Madge that she'd love springtime in the Scottish Highlands. Madge hands Henry a box containing glasses, soft drink and coasters. She then introduces him and Scott to the Englishman, Graham Clifford. The men shake hands and Henry tells Madge that Harold wants a word to her about something. Madge nods that he'll want another glass of water. She pours out a glass and tells Scott to give it to Harold on the way out. She then turns back to Clifford and asks him about Scotland. Meanwhile, Scott comments to Henry that Harold's not going to like this. Henry, however, replies:
HENRY: Just let him stew for a while – he's mucked mum around enough lately.
Scott puts the glass of water down on Harold's table as Henry says:
HENRY: I'm sorry, Harold, mum's just too busy to talk to you at the moment. We'll see you later.
With that, he and Scott dash out, leaving Harold looking highly annoyed!
Back at the party, everyone is laughing as Henry tells Charlene that she should have seen the smoke roaring out of Harold's ears! Scott says he hopes Harold doesn't try and punch Graham whatsisname out: it could be pretty embarrassing for Madge. Sally chips in:
SALLY: If I was your mum, I wouldn't *let* him.
TONY: No, you'd string the poor guy along and make him *really* jealous.
SALLY (exclaims): I suppose you think that's what I've been doing with *you*.
TONY: Calm down, I was only kidding!
Henry, looking thoughtful, remarks that making Harold jealous isn't a bad idea. Mike nods that he might finally get himself into gear and set a date for the wedding. Charlene comments that it'd never work: there's no way Madge would string him along on purpose. Henry, however, smiles:
HENRY: Maybe *she* doesn't have to do *anything*...
Graham Clifford is showing Madge a photo taken in Hyde Park and he points out a squirrel up a tree. Harold walks up to the bar suddenly and puts his glass down firmly. Madge exclaims that surely he doesn't want more water. Harold retorts tersely:
HAROLD: Yes, more water. I've a rather sour taste in my mouth.
Madge introduces Graham Clifford. Clifford offers him something a little stronger than water, but Harold mutters that he never touches anything stronger than water. Clifford turns to Madge and offers *her* a drink, but before Madge can respond, Harold tells Clifford that her employer takes a very dim view of her drinking with patrons. Looking annoyed, Madge frowns at Harold:
MADGE: Why don't you run along and finish your article? The afternoon crowd will be along soon.
Clifford looks at his watch and tells Madge that she must excuse him: he has a ‘plane to catch and he hasn't even started to pack. He shakes Madge's hand and tells her that she's been wonderful company. He then tells Harold that it was nice to meet him too, and he heads out. When he's gone, Madge growls at Harold:
MADGE: Really, Harold, I always knew you had faults, but I didn't for a minute think that lack of manners was one of them.
HAROLD: Well... *somebody* had to put that oily foreigner in his place.
MADGE: He happens to be a very nice man.
HAROLD: Oh yes, yes, oozing charm from every pore; I know the sort.
MADGE: Yes, and I know *your* sort, Harold Bishop. You're far too taken up with your own affairs to pay me any attention at all, but you can't stand it if somebody *else* does. All I can say is I think you should take lessons from someone like Graham.
Harold stands there looking most put- out!
Tony is sitting at the writing desk, transcribing words that Henry is giving him onto a sheet of writing paper. Henry says:
HENRY: ‘My visit to Australia has been made all the more pleasant—‘. No. No, no, that's not English enough! Make that ‘...all the more delightful for having met you.'!
He then asks how they should sign off. Jane suggests that they just use ‘sincerely' and Henry tells Tony:
HENRY: Yes. Yes, that's good. Put ‘Sincerely, Graham'.
Sally, who's looking over Tony's shoulder, muses that for someone who can't even make his own bed, his handwriting's pretty neat! Tony says that Mrs. Ramsay just has to believe that it's from that English guy. Henry says she will – and more importantly, so will Harold. With that, Tony puts the letter in an envelope. Mike suggests that they get on with the party, and he turns the music back on. Tony asks Henry to pass him a can. Henry grabs a can of soft drink and throws it across the room to Tony – who fumbles it. It lands on a plate of potato chips, which tips up and lands on the floor. Tony then opens the can and the drink sprays everywhere. Everyone bursts out laughing – but Mrs. Mangel comes in suddenly and yells in horror:
MRS. MANGEL: What is the meaning of all this?
Everyone turns and stares at her in silence. Jane murmurs in surprise:
JANE: Oh, nan, you're home...
Mrs. Mangel just glares at her.
Madge is sitting on the couch, taking her shoes off, pleading with Harold to spare her the lecture. Harold, however, snaps:
HAROLD: I will not stand for this behaviour, Madge. You're engaged to me. I should be able to trust you when my back's turned.
MADGE: Of *course* you can trust me. Anyway, Graham's probably on his way to Brisbane now, and I'll never set eyes on him again. Now, can we drop the subject?
Charlene, Henry and Scott come in suddenly and Madge comments in surprise that the party can't be over already. Charlene explains that Mrs. Mangel threw them out. Madge says she thought she was at a bowls tournament. Scott tells her that apparently Mrs. Clarke was supposed to turn up to be her partner and Mrs. Mangel was in this foul mood. Scott adds in annoyance that Mrs. Mangel reckoned *they* wrecked the place. Harold snaps:
HAROLD: Oh, I see, right, yes. Acting like hooligans again, were we?
HENRY (indignantly – and doing an impression of Harold!): No we weren't!
Charlene then tells Madge that, while they were returning the glasses to the hotel, Mandy from reception came down with a letter for her. Madge exclaims in surprise:
MADGE: A *letter*? Did she say who it was from?
CHARLENE: Some guest at the hotel?
HAROLD: An Englishman?
CHARLENE: Yeah! Yeah, that's what she said. Is he a friend of yours too?
HAROLD (growls): No he is not.
Madge opens the letter and Charlene asks her to read it to them. Before Madge can do so, Henry grabs it and starts reading it aloud as Madge chases him round the lounge room! Henry then grins at Harold:
HENRY: You have got competition, baby!
Harold just snaps at Madge that he wants a word with her – in private. Madge tells him not to be so silly. Harold, however, retorts that it's time that they got something straightened out. The two of them head outside, leaving Henry to beam at Scott and Charlene:
HENRY: Break out the champagne: there's going to be another wedding in the Ramsay family!