Madge telling Henry to fix the problem with the outbreak of fleas at No. 24 or *she'll* fix *him*!
Bronwyn hands Mrs. Mangel a cup of tea in the lounge room and as she takes it, Mrs. Mangel muses that shopping with Sharon is quite an exhausting experience! Sharon, who's sitting on the couch, comments that you have to do the rounds to get what you want. Bronwyn adds that it certainly did *Jamie* good – he was sound asleep when she took him back to Des's. Sharon sighs:
SHARON: Half his luck. That dripping tap in there [she indicates the kitchen] kept me awake half the night. Wasn't Joe supposed to be coming round today to fix it up, Mrs. Mangel?
MRS. MANGEL: Yes – he should be here any minute.
The front door opens suddenly and Henry dashes in. Mrs. Mangel glares at him and comments tersely that she didn't hear him knock. Henry explains awkwardly that it's kind of urgent. Mrs. Mangel tells him to get to the point. Henry says hesitantly:
HENRY: It's nothing to panic about. Um... we've got a flea plague at our place.
MRS. MANGEL (gasps): A flea plague? How *dare* you come into this house! You're probably *covered* with the beastly things. Take yourself off at once, young man!
Henry, however, explains that it's not that simple: while he was minding the kittens, they would have picked up the fleas and brought them over to No. 32... Mrs. Mangel, looking aghast, exclaims:
MRS. MANGEL: Vermin? In my house? [To Bronwyn] I *knew* I should never have allowed you to bring those wretched kittens in here.
HENRY: It's not *Bronwyn's* fault; it's your son – Joe.
MRS. MANGEL: Typical Henry Ramsay: you always blame someone else for your irresponsible acts.
HENRY: It's *true*: that carpet he sold me was crawling with fleas.
MRS. MANGEL: He sold you that carpet in good faith. Now, this whole disgusting situation is your fault and I expect you to rectify it immediately – *and* meet the costs involved.
Henry starts heading for the door, saying they'll sort things out later. Mrs. Mangel, however, snaps:
MRS. MANGEL: We'll do nothing of the kind. Now, I'm sick to death of your irresponsible behaviour and I expect you to take action immediately.
Bronwyn protests that it's not Henry's fault; how was he to know there were fleas in the carpet? Henry suggests that everyone come over to No. 24 in about ten minutes and they'll sort things out – but they'd better give themselves a good spray first! Mrs. Mangel stands there scratching!
Driveway of No. 32
As Henry leaves the house, Joe has pulled up in the driveway in his ute. Henry tells him curtly that he's got a bone to pick with him about that carpet he sold him. Joe retorts that Henry got a good deal there. Henry says tersely:
HENRY: Oh yes – no extra charge for the *fleas*.
JOE (shrugs): Your carpet, your problem, pal.
HENRY (pointedly): This is a very friendly street, Joe, and these are very friendly fleas. Your old lady wasn't a bit impressed to find out she's *also* got a houseful of little visitors. Now, you *owe* me, Joe.
JOE (shrugs): You don't get a warranty on a lump of second- hand carpet.
HENRY: Maybe not – but at least you could come clean with the cash to put things right.
Joe tells Henry that he hasn't got that kind of money. Henry says:
HENRY: Mrs. Mangel knows who's responsible for bringing these fleas to Ramsay Street. It'd be an awful pity to get on the wrong side of her again, just when you've finally got together.
Joe hesitates and then sighs that he has got *some* connections in the business. Henry tells him that they're going to *need* them.
A few minutes later, Mrs. Mangel is at No. 24 with Madge, Harold, Henry, Bronwyn, Sharon and Joe. As she goes round with a flea spray, looking everywhere for fleas to zap, Madge snaps at Joe:
MADGE: How the hell could you not know the damn carpet was flea- infested?
Mrs. Mangel tells Madge curtly that *her* son was helping *Madge's* son get out of yet another disastrous harebrained scheme. Harold suggests that they should all keep an open mind here – but he adds that Henry *did* instigate the initial problem with his unfortunate attempt at garden sculpture. Madge glares at him and asks him how he could side with Mrs. Mangel. Bronwyn chips in that it's ridiculous to suggest that Henry would buy a carpet if he knew there were fleas in it. Mrs. Mangel snaps at Bronwyn that she compounded the problem by bringing those wretched kittens back into her home. Sharon says they couldn't leave them at No. 24 because of Harold's allergy. Madge just cries:
MADGE: Somebody's going to have to do *something* – and *fast*: Harold and I are being bitten to pieces.
Everyone begins to talk at once. Joe, however, says eventually that they've got a problem and they've got to fix it. Henry tells him that it'll cost a packet. Joe, however, says:
JOE: Look, I've been in the business for a while and I've still got me licence to spray insecticides – so we hire a bit of equipment, Henry gives me a hand, we can get this place done in an arvo.
MRS. MANGEL (smiles): I *knew* my son would come up with an intelligent solution.
Joe goes on that there's one catch, though: the stuff's pretty toxic, so they'll have to get out of the houses overnight. Everyone starts protesting, but Joe just insists that they're going to have to work something out. Mrs. Mangel declares that it's simple: Henry got them *into* this situation, so he will have to pay for the accommodation. Henry stares at her and murmurs:
HENRY: Have a heart...
Harold mutters that it's all very inconvenient. Madge says she'd normally ask the Robinsons, but the way things are with Beverly at the moment, she couldn't possibly. Mrs. Mangel says she doesn't want her friends knowing there's vermin in her house. Sharon says suddenly:
SHARON: I've got it: why don't we just all stay at No. 30?
Madge exclaims in horror that they'd freeze to death! Mrs. Mangel adds that there's not a stick of furniture in the place. Harold, however, declares that it would be like a Scouting expedition; a challenge: they can all stand shoulder to shoulder, facing adversity. Joe adds that it won't be hard to move a few things in – and *he* can rig up some electricity. Bronwyn, however, points out:
BRONWYN: There's just *one* thing: Des manages the house for Aunt Edie. All we've got to do now is convince *him* it's a good idea...!
Des is sitting on the lounge room floor at No. 28, holding Jamie and saying:
DES: What do you reckon your mum would think about this going- out- with- other- women stuff, eh?
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Des puts Jamie down to go and answer it. He finds Jane standing on the step and he says a muted g'day. Jane asks awkwardly if she can come in. Des steps aside and asks her what he can do for her. She tells him:
JANE: You probably feel like belting me one, and you'd be entitled to. Des, I'm really sorry – it's *your life*: I had no right to talk to you like that.
DES: That's OK. I didn't handle things too well between us; I just hope we can go on being friends.
Jane insists that she just wants him to be happy and that she really hopes things work out for him and Penny. Des, however, says:
DES: Penny and I have called it quits.
JANE (looking surprised): Oh.
DES: It's probably for the best – I haven't got myself worked out yet.
JANE: It didn't *look* that way. [Guiltily] I messed things up, didn't I...
DES: No, you just got me thinking, that's all. Don't worry about it.
Jane *does* look worried, though.
Bronwyn is sitting on the lounge room floor sprinkling flea powder over the kittens. Sharon comes in with a big pile of clothes and Bronwyn laughs that they're only going to be away for one night! Sharon packs the clothes in her bag, saying as she does so that Bronwyn should see what *Mrs. Mangel* is taking: you'd think she's moving out *permanently*! She goes on:
SHARON: Did you see the look on her face when Henry told her there were fleas in here?!
BRONWYN (frowns): Yeah. Trust her to blame Henry, though.
SHARON (grins): Yeah, you really got steamed up over *that* one, didn't you!
BRONWYN: It wasn't *fair*!
SHARON: *And* you've got a thing going for Henry, right?
BRONWYN: Wrong! We're good friends and that's all.
Sharon points out to Bronwyn that Henry took out her out to dinner last night and then she spent half the day helping him with the carpet... Bronwyn, however, insists that she's already had *two* disasters; she's not buying into a third. Sharon just smiles:
SHARON: Sure, Bronny – we'll see! I was right about Mike and I bet I'm right about Henry.
Henry and Joe are standing in the front doorway of No. 28, Henry telling Des that they've got no option but to fumigate. The three of them head inside and Henry explains to Des that they want his permission to use No. 30. Looking puzzled, Des says:
DES: Why ask *me*? It's not *my * place.
HENRY: Mrs. Chubb left you in charge when she went back home, didn't she?
DES: Just to keep an eye on the place. I don't think she'll take too kindly to this idea.
HENRY: It's just for one night, Des. Anyway, Sharon and Bronwyn are her nieces – they've got to have a place to sleep.
Des says he'll give Mrs. Chubb a call and let her know what's happening. Joe smiles that both places will be fine to move back into tomorrow. Des looks at him and says:
DES: Sorry, mate, I don't think we've actually been introduced.
Henry introduces Joe to Des, grinning:
HENRY: Des, this is Joe Mangel.
DES (staring): Mangel.
DES (shaking Joe's hand): G'day (!)
Mrs. Mangel walks into the lounge room holding a pile of sheets and blankets. She tells Sharon and Bronwyn to make sure everything is vermin- free: they don't want to transfer the wretched flea plague next door. Jane arrives home and Mrs. Mangel tells her wearily that she's just in time to witness their forced evacuation. She adds that it's fortunate for Jane that she's going to be away overnight. Jane doesn't really respond. Sensing something's wrong, Mrs. Mangel asks Bronwyn and Sharon to go and wrap up the cucumber sandwiches she's just made. The two of them head off to the kitchen. When they've gone, Mrs. Mangel comments to Jane:
MRS. MANGEL: You seem very depressed, I must say.
JANE: It's been a long week. I'm tired.
MRS. MANGEL: Even so, I'd expect you to be a little excited about your trip.
JANE: Well, the truth is, nan, I've done something really awful. Because of me, Des and Penny have broken up.
MRS. MANGEL: Oh, I'm sure they had their *own* reasons. It couldn't possibly be *your* fault.
JANE: I don't know what came over me. I saw them together and I just got all mixed up and jealous and then I said all these awful things to Des...
MRS. MANGEL (exclaims): Oh for goodness' sake, Jane, I thought all that nonsense with Des Clarke was over long ago.
JANE: It *was*. I guess I didn't realise how much it still hurt.
MRS. MANGEL: Oh dear. Well, I expect you'll just have to apologise and let them work it out their own way.
JANE: I've already apologised to Des. I went over to the hotel to try and apologise to Penny, but she'd checked out. I just feel dreadful about the whole thing.
MRS. MANGEL: I don't wish to lecture you, Jane, but you should know better than to interfere in other people's affairs.
JANE (mutters): That's pretty amazing coming from *you*, isn't it?
MRS. MANGEL (coolly): You're not going to take that tone of voice with me *again*, are you?
Jane sighs that she's not in the mood for arguments, nor does she have the time: she has to leave in a few minutes. With that, she heads off to her room. Bronwyn and Sharon come back in, Bronwyn telling Mrs. Mangel that they've put the sandwiches in the esky, so they'll keep nice and fresh. Mrs. Mangel nods that now all they have to do is wait for her son to arrive to fumigate. Bronwyn offers her a cup of tea, but Mrs. Mangel declines, saying she's put everything safely away and she doesn't think they'll risk leaving anything exposed to the fumes. Sharon smiles that she's got the best video for them to watch! She goes to the TV and puts a video in the player.
Madge and Harold are packing in the kitchen. Madge says to Harold:
MADGE: Do we really need the first- aid kit? I know I'm not looking forward to spending a night under the same roof as Nell Mangel, but I don't think we'll actually come to blows!
Harold just retorts that he likes to be ready for any emergency – and he adds that he finds Madge's attitude less than friendly. Madge asks Harold what's wrong with him: he keeps on saying what a wonderful holiday they had, but he's been nothing but an old misery- guts since they got back. She goes on:
MADGE: It seems to me that it all started when Lou Carpenter organised that reunion for you with all your old schoolmates up in Brisbane.
HAROLD (sighs): Yes, well, as usual, you've hit the nail right on the head. Well, I keep thinking what a success they've made of *their* lives: they're all in senior management or running their own companies and doing very nicely, thank you. What am *I* doing? Running a small- time coffee shop in Erinsborough. Huh!
MADGE (soothingly): And making a very good job of it. Anyway, you ran your own successful business for *years*.
HAROLD: Oh yes – what did I do? Sold up, made a very silly investment and then lost everything I'd worked so hard for – and that adds up to failure.
MADGE: Not to *me*. I love you just the way you are.
HAROLD (sadly): I should be able to give you so much *more*, Madge...
MADGE: Harold, I'm perfectly happy. Anyway, there's a lot of responsibility involved in running a shop, even a small one.
HAROLD: Well, yes, but it's not the same after having run your own ship.
Henry bursts in through the back door suddenly and beams that it's time to go, as Joe will be arriving any time to start fumigating. Harold groans that he'll go and get his pillow. Henry bursts out laughing! Madge, however, glares at him and warns him not to say it!
The video is playing and Sharon exclaims that it's unreal. Mrs. Mangel, however, muses that, personally, she finds all this nonsense about extraterrestrials invading the Earth quite ridiculous. Bronwyn says she thinks there probably *are* people on other planets. Sharon comments that she wishes they'd visit *there*, but Mrs. Mangel murmurs that they have *enough* unwelcome visitors at the moment. The doorbell rings and Mrs. Mangel says:
MRS. MANGEL: *I'll* go. I think I've had enough outer- space experiences for one day.
With that, she opens the door – to find a weird- looking bug- eyed creature standing there! Her face drops in horror! The visitor is actually Joe, dressed up in his full mask and gear for fumigation!
A short time later, Joe is in the lounge room with Henry, helping him put his mask on. Mrs. Mangel says they mustn't forget to take the folding chairs, but Joe says he already took them over. Mrs. Mangel mutters that this will undoubtedly be the longest night of her life. She turns to Joe and adds:
MRS. MANGEL: Now, you *will* be careful, won't you?
JOE: I'll be *fine*, mum. I've done this before.
MRS. MANGEL: I was really thinking of all my beautiful furniture – but of course, *you* must be careful too.
She then asks Joe warily if it wouldn't be better to have a *professional* assisting him. Henry, however, tells her:
HENRY: Like you said, Mrs. Mangel, they're Ramsay fleas so it's up to a Ramsay to get rid of them.
With that, Mrs. Mangel, Bronwyn and Sharon head out. As she goes, Bronwyn tells Henry to be careful too. Henry watches her go. After a few seconds, Joe tells him to come down off cloud nine, as he's got to give him some instructions. He goes on that they've got to be fair dinkum now: when they get the masks on, Henry won't be able to hear a word he says, so keep an eye on him at all times; and the stuff is really toxic, so they don't want any accidents. Henry puts on his mask and suggests they get at it.
Outside No. 30
As they head up the path towards No. 30, Sharon is saying excitedly to Mrs. Mangel that this should be fun! Mrs. Mangel, however, retorts that it may be fun for *Sharon*, but *she's* finding the whole thing something of an ordeal. She drops one of the blankets she's carrying and bends down in annoyance to pick it up. Bronwyn follows a few yards behind them, holding the box of kittens. They're mewling pitifully, though, and so she puts the box down on the ground, saying to them that she bets they wonder what on earth's going on. She takes the lid off the box – to find one of the kittens is missing. She looks around and then says to herself:
BRONWYN: I bet the little devil wriggled out before Sharon gave me the box, huh?
A short time later, the front door of No. 32 opens. The house is visibly filled with fumes, and Bronwyn starts coughing as she calls for Trixie. She heads into the empty lounge room and starts hunting for the missing kitten.
Everyone is unpacking in the lounge room. Mrs. Mangel tells Harold that she's brought some camomile tea for them, and some cucumber sandwiches. Sharon says she and Bronny are going to go out and get a pizza later on. Madge says she and Harold are going to sleep in the bedroom next to the kitchen: Charlene's blow- up mattress will fit in there quite nicely. Mrs. Mangel says curtly:
MRS. MANGEL: *I* had planned to sleep in that room.
MADGE (shrugs): Well, you're just going to have to change your plans, aren't you? What's wrong with the front room?
MRS. MANGEL: It's obviously much *noisier*.
Harold suggests to Madge that perhaps they *could* reconsider – Mrs. Mangel *does* need her rest. Mrs. Mangel, however, says:
MRS. MANGEL: It's all right, Mr. Bishop. As you said, in times of adversity, *good* neighbours must help each other and make the best of things.
She then tells Sharon and Bronwyn that they'll be sleeping in the third bedroom. Sharon takes some candles out of her bag, but Mrs. Mangel says that, thanks to her son, they have temporary power in all the rooms. Madge muses that it's completely illegal, no doubt. Sharon says she'd rather crash out in the lounge, but Mrs. Mangel tells her that Henry and Scott have to use that. She then tells Sharon wearily to go and put her things in her room. Sharon says:
SHARON: I wonder where Bronny's got to.
MRS. MANGEL: She's probably fiddling around, playing with those wretched kittens instead of being *here* making herself useful.
Bronwyn is coughing as she crawls along the lounge room floor, trying to stay below the level of the fumes. She starts calling for Henry, asking him to please turn the spray off for a sec. There's no response, though. She crawls out into the hallway and calls for Henry again, but then collapses and passes into unconsciousness...