Bouncer having to choose between Mrs. Mangel and Mike.
Front Garden of No. 32
Mrs. Mangel is gardening when Mike and Jane walk over with Bouncer in tow. Mike tells Mrs. Mangel that Bouncer is all hers, fair and square. Jane asks Mike if he's sure he wants to go through with this. Mike says he isn't going to pretend this is easy for him, because it isn't - but he knows it's the best thing for Bouncer, and this is what he wants. Mrs. Mangel assures Mike that she'll take very good care of the dog. Jane asks her nan if Mike can come and see Bouncer - and *her* - whenever he likes. Mrs. Mangel muses that she supposes so, seeing as Mike has been so reasonable. Mike turns to head back to No. 28. As he walks off, he turns and calls:
MIKE: Bye, Bouncer.
Bouncer gives him a wave with his paw!
Harold is working at the dining table when Madge arrives home, weighed down with shopping. Harold takes it from her and tells her to sit down and he'll get her a nice drink. Madge sits at the table and then asks what's for dinner. Harold beams that it's lentil casserole! He adds that he'll serve it up when he gets back. Madge asks:
MADGE: Get back from where?
HAROLD: Um... Mrs. Mangel's.
MADGE (gasps): What?!
Harold tells Madge that he has to go over and practice for the church solo. Madge groans:
MADGE: Tonight of all nights. I thought you'd want to be here when Scott and Charlene got home.
Harold sighs that he forgot all about that. He adds that he'll pop over to Mrs. Mangel's and put off practice until tomorrow. He then sits down with Madge, who takes out a parcel. She smiles that he's going to be *so* proud of her: she's got them one of those wonderful terracotta cooking pots. Harold asks blankly what he's got to be proud of. Madge smiles that kitchenware was half price: she saved them $50! Harold buries his head in his hands and then groans:
HAROLD: Madge, you haven't *saved* us $50; what you *have* done is *cost* us $50.
MADGE (shrugs): I can buy a cooking pot if I want to. It's my money.
HAROLD: Uh - no, it isn't. No, it's *ours*. No, you let the team down, Madge.
MADGE: Says who?!
HAROLD: I do. And I'm the captain!
MADGE (bluntly): Oh! *Are* you?!
HAROLD: Well of course I am!
With that, Harold stands up and points out that *he's* wearing the pants (trousers)! He goes on that all they have to do is stick to the traditional marital agreement: he banks his money, Madge's money and the kids' board money, and then he looks after the household bills. He adds that they can work out the housekeeping too: he'll give Madge a very generous - if not prudent - amount each week. Madge snaps:
MADGE: But what if I want to buy something that I like - like a cooking pot?
HAROLD: Well, if my little pet wants something special then all she has to do is ask.
MADGE (coldly): You want me to ask permission to spend my own money?!
HAROLD: Um... Yeah, well, in a way.
MADGE (angrily): Well I won't!
HAROLD: Keep your voice down, Madge - the neighbours will think we're having an argument.
MADGE (snaps): Good - because we *are*. Harold Bishop, I have fought hard for my independence, and marriage or no marriage, I'm not going to give it up.
With that, Madge storms off, leaving Harold looking most put- out!
Des is feeding Jamie at the dining table as Mike asks him to keep an eye on the steaks he's cooking as he has to get ready for a work session at uni. Des sighs that he should have checked earlier: the bank's having one of those social things tonight, so who will look after Jamie? Mike points out that anyone in the street will babysit; Jane won't mind looking after him. Des gives in and says he'll go then. Mike tells him that it'll do him the world of good. As Mike heads to his room, Des says:
DES: Hey, mate.
DES: You feel all right about Bouncer, don't you? You don't feel bitter or anything?
MIKE (shrugs): No. Why?
DES: I don't know. There's nothing worse than losing a good mate - don't you reckon?
MIKE (shrugs): I guess not. Haven't really had time to think about it.
With that, Mike heads into his room, leaving Des to murmur:
DES: *I* have, Jamie. It's *all* I've been thinking about for the last couple of months...
It's evening- time and Harold is at Mrs. Mangel's, apologising for having to postpone his rehearsal. Mrs. Mangel sighs that she'd hate to make a slip- up in front of that bowling group from church. Harold tells her that Scott and Charlene will be home soon, so he'll be spending the whole evening at home - Madge expects it. Mrs. Mangel remarks:
MRS. MANGEL: Yes, well, I hope you don't mind my saying so, but it seems she's expecting rather a *lot* of you now you're married.
MRS. MANGEL: A little *too* much, perhaps...?
Jane warns her nan to be quiet. Harold, however, says he doesn't think he's being disloyal to Madge by conceding that they're having a few difficulties in adjusting to their new situation; it's only to be expected after all; he's sure the whole household will eventually realise that *his* way of doing things is best. Jane muses:
JANE: I'm sure they will...!
With that, Harold heads out, Mrs. Mangel saying to him as he does so:
MRS. MANGEL: Now don't let them undermine your authority. Every unruly mob needs a leader - and you're a titular head if ever I saw one.
She heads back into the lounge room where Jane sighs and asks her if she really had to stir Harold up like that. Mrs. Mangel, however, insists:
MRS. MANGEL: I wasn't stirring, Jane, merely advising. Can I help it if there's trouble in paradise...?
Madge is sitting on the couch, reading a magazine, as Harold sits in an armchair and says coolly:
HAROLD: I'm disappointed in you, Madge. Very disappointed indeed.
MADGE (tersely): I'd like to say I'm sorry, Harold, but I'm *not*.
The front door opens suddenly and Henry bursts in, beaming that he's had a great day! He takes out some cash, explaining that Mrs. Jenkins gave it to him for pulling her old chook shed down. Madge, however, warns him to put it away or Harold will want it: he wants *everyone's* money. Henry - quickly tucking the money into his overalls - exclaims:
HENRY: He *what*?!
Harold tells Henry that he doesn't want his life savings; he simply wants his board money so he can put it in the bank and then look after the household bills. Henry shrugs that if that's all, he doesn't mind doing it one bit. Madge, looking annoyed at Henry's disloyalty, mutters:
MADGE: Thanks, Henry.
Henry points out that looking after the budget is a lot of work; *let* Harold do it if he wants to. Harold stands up and declares:
HAROLD: See, Madge? Henry is right: it *is* a lot of work. Only this afternoon, I worked out that Henry, Scott and Charlene's contributions were not on a par with their share of the expenses - so I adjusted it.
HENRY: Hang on... do you mean we're going to have to pay more board if you're in charge?
HAROLD: Oh... fractionally.
HENRY: Then forget it, bucko! My money's on mum!
Madge taunts Harold:
MADGE: There you go, Harold: you lose - Henry and I both think you're mean!
Mrs. Mangel is standing with Jane in the lounge room, exclaiming:
MRS. MANGEL: Me? Snoop? Jane, how could you *say* such a thing?
JANE: Fairly easily. Nan, your face lit up like a beacon when Mr. Bishop said they were having some trouble at home.
Mrs. Mangel says quickly that it must have been a hot flush! Before Jane can press things further, there's a knock at the front door and Mrs. Mangel goes and answers it to Mike. He heads inside and tells Jane about how he and Des both have plans... Jane asks if he wants her to babysit Jamie. Mike thanks her. Mrs. Mangel warns her not to be too late. As she then heads out to choir practice, Jane says to her:
JANE: Nan... keep yourself nice, huh?
MRS. MANGEL (gasps): Always!
Henry is laughing that the next thing Harold will be doing is keeping a note of how many cornflakes they put in their bowls every morning! Harold snaps that what he was *trying* to say is that this stance of his has very little to do with money and more to do with the family unit - and like every ship's crew or football team, the family unit needs a leader. Henry trumpets:
HENRY: Captain Casserole!
Madge bursts out laughing! Harold snaps at Henry that he wishes he'd stop these inane comments. Henry retorts:
HENRY: Why should I? You just want to be a dictator.
HAROLD (retorts): I do not! And if you'd been paying attention for once in your life, you'd have realised that. That was a very unkind thing to say, Henry. Very unkind.
Madge tells Harold tersely that she's not going to ask permission to spend her own money. Harold retorts that all he wants is a little respect; he wants this family to work as a *team*. Madge exclaims:
MADGE: A *team*? Who elected you captain, anyway?
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Henry answers it to Mrs. Mangel, who steps inside as Madge and Harold continue to yell at each other. As soon as Harold and Madge spot her, Harold stops his yelling and says cheerily:
HAROLD: Oh, hello, Mrs. Mangel. We were just, um...
MRS. MANGEL (gleefully): Oh, no need to apologise. I don't mind at *all*...
Des is putting breakfast cereal in a plastic tub. Jane offers to help, but Des murmurs that he doesn't know why he's doing it, to tell the truth. Jane asks about the bank do, but Des sighs that he doesn't really feel like going. Jane asks him if he's sick. Des murmurs that he's just a bit down, that's all. Jane suggests that maybe going out would cheer him up, but Des tells her:
DES: No... It'll just be the same old faces wanting me to tell the same old jokes. I couldn't handle it.
JANE: Yeah, I understand.
Jane says she'll get going home, then - but Des asks her to stay, as he'd really appreciate the company. Jane asks him if he wants to watch TV. Des shakes his head. Jane remarks:
JANE: There's no going out, no talking and no watching TV. You got any games?
DES: Trivial Pursuit. I'm not very good, though.
JANE: It might help take whatever's depressing you off your mind.
Des hesitates and then says he'll go and get it.
Harold is in the kitchen with Henry, asking him why he doesn't wait and have dinner with everybody else. Henry retorts that he wouldn't eat that grisly green gloop Harold makes with a ten- foot pole! Harold calls over to Mrs. Mangel to ask if camomile tea will be all right. Mrs. Mangel smiles that that will do splendidly. Over in the lounge room, Madge asks Mrs. Mangel coolly if that's the only reason she dropped in: for camomile tea. Mrs. Mangel, however, smiles that she simply thought she'd get the music for Mr. Bishop's solo over to him in case he wants to practice in his own time. Madge mutters:
MADGE: Very thoughtful.
MRS. MANGEL: Well, one does one's best to be a good neighbour, Mrs. Ramsay.
MADGE: Mmm... and I've told you before: the name's Bishop now, not Ramsay.
MRS. MANGEL: Oh, silly me! And how are you finding married life anyway - even if it is the second time around?
MADGE: Oh, fabulous, actually! Mind you, anything's better than being a spinster, isn't it!
MRS. MANGEL: Well, depends on the person, I think. Some do find the family a bit of a strain, apparently.
MADGE: Oh, there's no strain in *this* house. We all get along famously, don't we, boys!
Harold emerges from the kitchen and smiles in agreement! Henry joins him and adds that the joint runs like a well- oiled machine! At that moment, the front door opens and Charlene comes in - alone. Henry runs over to her and gives her a hug, asking her how the holiday was. Charlene, however, snaps:
CHARLENE: Don't ask.
Madge asks what's happened. Henry asks where Scott is. Charlene snaps:
CHARLENE: I don't know and I don't care.
With that, she storms off to her room. Mrs. Mangel muses:
MRS. MANGEL: Well, it might be a blessing having a mechanic in the house. It appears your well- oiled machinery has broken down!
At that moment, Scott runs in, carrying a suitcase, yelling:
SCOTT: Thanks for all the help with the bags, Charlene.
Madge looks at him and asks what's *wrong* with Charlene. Scott retorts:
SCOTT: What is *right* with her? You know, she wrecked our entire holiday?
Harold tells Mrs. Mangel nervously that he's sure Scott is exaggerating! Scott, however, snaps:
SCOTT: No I am not, Harold. She told me to get lost, and that suits me just fine. I have had *enough* of her.
Henry laughs - for Mrs. Mangel's benefit - and asks Scott if he and Charlene don't ever give up?! Scott, however, snaps angrily:
SCOTT: Henry, for your information, this is not a joke. In fact, it couldn't be further from it.
Henry looks at his mother and murmurs:
HENRY: Ut oh.
MADGE: You can say *that* again.
She then clamps her hand over his mouth to stop him from doing so! Mrs. Mangel stands there in delight!
A short time later, Harold opens the front door to let Mrs. Mangel out. She suggests that perhaps she can help sort things out, but Harold assures her that it's probably just best if she leaves. He closes the door and then snaps at Scott - who's re- emerged from the bedroom area:
HAROLD: I hope you realise how embarrassing that was for me. Now, as head of this household, I demand an explanation.
Scott, however, just goes and slumps in a chair and doesn't respond. Madge pleads with him to tell them what happened. Scott snaps that they fought all the time, he had a rotten holiday and he wishes he hadn't gone. Henry reminds him that he said on the 'phone that they were going to the beach and surfing the whole time... Scott retorts that he fell asleep on the sand, he got sunburn blisters on his back and his spent the rest of the two weeks face down on a bed at Dan and Edna's place. Madge remarks that it's no wonder they both fought: he must have been as irritable as anything. Harold comments:
HAROLD: Stuck inside... pain every time you moved... Even *my* patience would've been tested.
SCOTT (coolly): It had nothing to do with sunburn. You just ask Charlene.
MADGE: Why? Was it *her* fault?
SCOTT: You ask *her*. I am not saying another word about this.
Madge looks at him in concern.
Des and Jane are playing Trivial Pursuit, but Jane complete her piece of cheese with the sixth wedge and Des sighs that he might concede defeat. Jane says she'll put the game away, and Des tells her that it goes in the top cupboard in the nursery. She heads through there. Des walks over to the kitchen sink - where tears suddenly well- up in his eyes and he sobs:
DES: Oh Daph...
Jane emerges from the nursery and, seeing Des crying, asks him in concern if he's all right. She realises:
JANE: Daphne, hm?
DES (sniffs): I feel like such a sook, Jane... Today was going to be a very special day for us... It was our anniversary. It was exactly two years ago that I proposed to her. Just marched in there, threw her over my shoulder and I told her that we were going to get married. I knew she was the only girl in the world for me, even then. That's all the time we had together... not even two lousy years...
He breaks down.
Harold, Madge, Henry and Scott are sitting in front of the TV, but Madge turns it off, muttering that she can't stand this anymore: she can't relax with all the tension - Scott's sitting there not saying a word and Charlene won't come out of her room. Harold suggests that they let them sort it out themselves, but Madge mutters that she can't cope with it: something happened while they were away and she intends finding out what it is. With that, Madge heads towards Charlene's room - closely followed by Henry. Scott asks Harold to tell Madge to leave it, as it'll just create a scene and won't solve anything. Harold, however, tells him that Madge is right: you mustn't let the sun go down on an argument. Henry dashes back towards them suddenly and warns everyone to block their ears! They then hear Madge yell:
MADGE: Charlene? Charlene! Either you come out or I will break the door down and *drag* you out - and don't think I don't mean it, young lady!
A few seconds later, Madge drags her daughter into the lounge room, warning her that if she's got a problem, talk to Scott about it. Charlene just retorts that *she's* not the one with the problem; it's *him*. Scott stands up and snaps:
SCOTT: Oh don't you make it sound as though it's *my* fault, Charlene. You known damn well I was laid up the whole time. I didn't go out. I didn't do a *thing*.
CHARLENE: And what am *I* meant to have done?
SCOTT: You played up with that Steve guy - and don't you start denying it.
CHARLENE (indignantly): I did not! You weren't even *there*!
Harold interjects to ask Scott what he means when he says Charlene 'played up'. Scott retorts that she met this guy called Steve and spent the whole time with him - all day, every day. There's a stunned silence from everyone. Scott declares angrily:
SCOTT: There. See? You wanted to know what happened; now you do. Charlene found herself another bloke. I mean, isn't that great.
Madge looks at Charlene in astonishment. Charlene stares at Scott furiously.