Sharon and Nick run over to Madge and try to help her up. Harold snaps at them to give her some space. The three of them help Madge to a seat in the lounge room as the other kids at the party quietly sneak out the front door. As she sits down, Madge asks what happened. Sharon admits:
SHARON: I'm really sorry, Mrs. Bishop, it wasn't meant for *you*.
NICK: It was meant for *Mike*.
MADGE: What was?
SHARON: It was a joke... a sort of booby trap.
HAROLD (explodes): Booby trap? Of all the stupid, ridiculous, imbecilic—
Harold breaks off as Madge asks him to shut up, as her head is throbbing. Nick shows Harold and Madge the bag of flour, explaining that they thought it would burst open. Harold glares at them and snaps furiously:
HAROLD: This is disgraceful. My wife is almost killed and you tell me it was meant to be some sort of a joke?
He then helps Madge to her feet and says she's taking her to see Beverly and then they're heading straight home. As they head out, he warns Sharon and Nick not to think they've heard the end of this. Nick and Sharon go and sit down, looking worried and upset. At that moment, Mike comes in through the open front door and asks what's going on, as he just saw Madge and she looked drunk! Sharon just tells him that she hit her head. Mike asks if she's all right. Nick murmurs that he hopes so. Mike then asks what the problem is with their homework.
SHARON (admits): Nothing.
MIKE: Nothing? But you said that—
He breaks off as he notices the bag of flour in Nick's hands, and he asks him if he's making a cake...
Des is still failing to get to grips with his chopsticks! Kerry gives him a demonstration and goes to feed some Japanese food to Jamie. Des, however, warns her not to give the kid too much of that stuff. Kerry suggests to Des that he try using a knife and fork. He does so, but when he finally manages to put some food in his mouth he exclaims that it tastes like it came out of a lab, not a kitchen!
Mike is holding the bag of flour, saying to Sharon and Nick curtly:
MIKE: So this was meant for *me*, was it, just because I said I wouldn't give you any preferential treatment at school tomorrow?
SHARON (cries): It was meant to be *funny*.
NICK (snaps at Mike): Look, the bag was meant to burst. I thought if you got covered in flour, it would bring you down off your high-horse.
MIKE (retorts): Nick, I am not *on* any high-horse; besides which, Sharon, it was a really stupid stunt: you really could've hurt Madge.
Nick insists that *he's* as much to blame as Sharon. Mike, however, retorts that this is Sharon's house and she has to take responsibility. Sharon points out that Madge only got a bit of a fright. Mike, however, snaps that she could have concussions or neck problems. He adds:
MIKE: Listen, I'm warning you: there'd better not be any stunts like this pulled at school tomorrow.
He goes on that any fooling around and he's going to come down on them like a ton of bricks. With that, he marches out, leaving Sharon to cry that Mike's going to be on her back at school and Harold will be hassling her at the Coffee Shop: it's going to be one hell of a week coming up...
Bob Landers is telling Todd and Katie about how while working as a postman he was almost attacked by a wolf hound – which nearly licked him to death! Jim and Helen sit down with the three of them at the kitchen table and Jim tells Todd and Katie that they must go and do their homework. Todd asks his father if he can help him with his Geography. Bob replies warily that it was never his best subject, but he'll give it a go. The kids dash off to get their stuff. When they've gone, Bob remarks that it feels funny being a father again: he'd forgotten how. Jim assures him that he's doing fine.
BOB: Yeah... better make the most of it: it could be the last visit for a while.
JIM: Don't say that.
BOB: They're going to put me in jail for what I did, Jim; could be gone for *years*.
Jim points out that there's no need to expect the worst, and he asks Bob if he'd like his solicitor to represent him.
Madge is sitting on the couch with her feet up. Harold hands her a cup of tea and asks her if she wants something for her headache. Madge, however, reminds him that Beverly said a good night's sleep will fix it.
HAROLD (angrily): If you ask *me*, Sharon should be horsewhipped.
MADGE: It was a prank.
HAROLD (snaps): It was a juvenile and totally irresponsible act.
MADGE: Oh come on, Harold, it was a mistake. I'm not going to carry a grudge about it.
HAROLD: Yeah, well, your forgiveness does you credit, Madge, but I do not intend to dismiss the matter so easily.
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Harold sighs heavily at the interruption. He goes to answer it and finds Sharon standing on the step. She asks if Madge is all right.
HAROLD (snaps): What a nerve! You bash her over the head with a flour bag and then ask if she's all right!
SHARON: I came to apologise.
HAROLD: Well it is a bit late for apologies, Sharon.
SHARON: It was an *accident*.
HAROLD: You accidentally put a booby trap above the doorway? Right!
Harold goes on that it's always the same when young people get together: trouble and *more* trouble, and he's had enough. Madge calls over to Harold suddenly and tells him to ask Sharon in. Harold lets Sharon past, reluctantly. She asks Madge what Dr. Marshall said. Madge tells her that she'll live; she's just a bit woolly-headed. Sharon says in relief:
SHARON: Thank goodness it's not serious.
HAROLD (furiously): Well *I* happen to view it as being *extremely* serious – and I do not intend to forgive and forget as I've done so often with you. In fact, you needn't turn up at the Coffee Shop tomorrow: you're fired.
SHARON (aghast): What?!
HAROLD: The girl can get a job elsewhere where she can wreak all the havoc she wants. At least you and I will not be in fear of our safety.
SHARON: Mr. Bishop, you don't—
HAROLD: No, I'm sorry, I've made up my mind. I hope it serves as a lesson to you.
With that, Harold indicates the front door and Sharon walks out, meekly.
Harold is preparing breakfast the next morning as Madge sits at the kitchen table. He asks if Scott isn't working this morning. Madge replies that he has some interviews, but fortunately they're not Greek, so he won't be tempted to ask Poppy for help. Harold points out that Scott said he wouldn't see Poppy again, so they should give him the benefit of the doubt. Henry emerges from his room and goes to start cooking breakfast. Madge asks suspiciously what's going on! Henry changes the subject, though, and asks Madge how her head is.
MADGE: All in working order.
HENRY: That's an improvement!
Madge mutters that she'd just like to forget the whole thing happened. Harold, however, retorts that *he* can't. Madge pleads with him to give Sharon another chance, but Harold tells her curtly that he will not: Sharon can suffer the consequences of her own stupidity. He adds that he's going to look for a replacement today.
Mike is packing his case for school when Des emerges from Jamie's room, sighing that Jamie is still crook in the tummy. Mike asks what he reckons it is. Des mutters that he has an idea, but he'll see what Beverly says. With that, Mike goes to head out – and as he opens the front door he finds Kerry on the step. She steps inside and asks Des cheerfully if Jamie's up yet. He retorts coolly:
DES: Nope. He's asleep.
Kerry then asks Des if he's feeling any more Oriental this morning. Des, however, retorts that he feels just the opposite: Jamie's crook and both of them have hardly had a wink of sleep all night. Kerry asks in concern what's wrong with him.
DES (tersely): Can't you guess? After feeding him all that stuff, he's got food poisoning.
Kerry points out that she and Sky ate plenty of food and if there was anything wrong with it they'd have reacted too. Des, however, tells Kerry that Jamie ate *more* than Sky did – and with all that alternative-lifestyle, hippy food they eat, they probably have cast-iron stomachs. Looking astonished, Kerry asks Des what he's talking about.
DES: All that steamed seaweed and stuff.
Kerry insists that this is crazy: they didn't *eat* any seaweed, and what they did eat was perfectly fresh and healthy vegetables with natural sauces and spices.
DES: Yeah, well let's just see what Bev says about that, later; but if you ask me, kids shouldn't be eating sauces and spices and all that: it's no good for them.
Kerry stands there awkwardly and then murmurs that it's time to go. She tells Des that she's sorry Jamie's sick, but she thinks he'll find he's wrong.
Nick is talking on the ‘phone while Helen hands Todd and Katie their lunchboxes. Nick hangs up and Jim warns the kids to give Mike a fair go. They head out, leaving Jim to ask Bob how he's feeling today. Bob sighs that he's not so good: he's been having nightmares about going to jail. Helen points out that he's seeing George Reed, the solicitor, this morning. Bob murmurs that he hopes he can help. Jim suggests that he drop him off on the way to work. Des comes in through the back door, suddenly, and asks if Beverly's there. Jim explains that she had an early appointment. Des says he'll take Jamie down to the surgery. Helen asks what's wrong with him, and Des says he reckons it's food poisoning. He explains about the Japanese food that Kerry brought over, before cursing:
DES: Flamin' hippies...
Kerry is tidying up in the front garden of No. 32 when Henry walks over and asks if there's any news from England.
KERRY: Mrs. Worthington's still hanging in there.
HENRY: She's a tough old bird!
Kerry then asks Henry what he's up to today, and he tells her that he's in the Waterhole: his mum needs a hand, as some of the kids were messing around and she copped one from a bag of flour. Kerry asks if she's OK and Henry assures her that she is. Kerry then asks hesitantly how her dad is.
HENRY: Missing you both.
KERRY (coolly): Well, he knows where to find us.
The two of them suddenly spot Des walking from No. 26 to No. 28 and Henry calls out to him. Des just ignores him, though, causing Henry to murmur to Kerry:
HENRY: I guess Des don't like Mondays!
Kerry, however, explains that it's *her* Des doesn't like at the moment. Henry assures her that he'll come round: he's a good bloke.
Helen is talking on the ‘phone, telling Gail that she'll be at the office soon: one of her old art students came to visit and half the morning was gone before she left. She hangs up just as Bob comes in. He looks surprised to find her there. She asks how he went with George and he tells her.
BOB: Pretty much as I expected.
HELEN: What did he say?
BOB (grimly): However hard-up I've been, Helen, it's still extortion. I'm going to go to jail.
Bob goes on that there have been a couple of similar cases recently and the courts are cracking down. Helen suggests he might get a lenient judge, but Bob just sighs that pigs might fly. With that, Helen says she has to head out. As soon as she's gone, Bob heads over to the desk and dials a number on the ‘phone. When the call is answered, he says:
BOB: Yeah – have you got a bus going to Cairns? ... Today, yeah...
Helen walks into the Waterhole with the stock lists. Madge is standing behind the bar, cleaning glasses, and Helen asks her how her head is. She replies that she's feeling a little bit fuzzy, but she thinks it's shock more than anything else. Henry brings round a box of glasses. Madge asks Helen how things are at *their* house. Helen explains about the court case and about how Bob is starting to realise the serious trouble he's in.
MADGE: So he should – it was a dreadful thing to do.
Helen sighs that she's so worried about the kids.
Outside the Coffee Shop
Sharon and Nick are sitting with Todd, who's wolfing down his packed lunch. Nick asks what the rush is and Todd explains that he forgot his Geography homework. Nick comments to Sharon that *she'll* have more time for her homework now she's unemployed. Sharon, however, insists that she hasn't given up hope yet: Harold needs her and all she has to do is crawl. Todd looks round and dashes off as he sees Harold approaching. Sharon stands up and asks Harold if she can have a word.
HAROLD (curtly): You may.
SHARON: Um... I just want to say that I deserved to lose my job; I mean I don't blame you for sacking me: you had no choice.
SHARON: The trouble is it puts us both into a bit of a spot – you see, *you* really need the help and *I* need a job, and even if you did hire someone else you'd have to spend all that time training them—
HAROLD (coolly): Oh, I see, so you're suggesting that I give you another chance?
SHARON (eagerly): That would be fantastic! I promise I'll never do anything stupid again.
HAROLD: Yes, very commendable, Sharon, but unfortunately I've already found a replacement.
Sharon's face drops and she asks who it is.
HAROLD: Not that it's any of your business, but I gave it to your sister.
SHARON (looking astonished): My *sister*? You've given my job to Bronwyn and she's *accepted* it?
HAROLD: It worked out very well for her, with Des not working.
Sharon mutters that she can't believe this. Harold replies slyly:
HAROLD: Come on, Sharon, try and be a little charitable.
He then walks off. Sharon turns to Nick and snaps:
SHARON: Tell me it's a dream, Nick: he sacked me and gave my job to my *sister*? How could she accept it? Wait ‘til I see her...
There's a knock on the front door and Des opens it to find Kerry standing on the step. There's an awkward silence which Kerry breaks by telling Des that she thought she might be able to give him a hand with last night's washing up. She asks how Jamie is and Des replies that he's sleeping again: he got him some medicine, which seems to be working. He then apologises for being so horrible to Kerry. Kerry points out that he was upset about Jamie. Des, however, explains that he was off the mark.
KERRY: So it wasn't food poisoning?
DES: No. No, it's just some infection that's going round. Bev said he could've picked it up anywhere. He'll be all right – it's just a 24-hour thing – but, um, nothing to do with the food.
Des then asks Kerry meekly if she thinks she can forgive him. Kerry grins:
KERRY: Of course I can, you big oaf!
She adds that she knows how upset she gets when *Sky's* sick: he was just letting out the tension.
DES: You know, you're OK – for a hippy!
KERRY: Well I'm very flattered!
Todd is running up the street, towards No. 26 – but as he reaches the driveway, his father emerges from the house, holding a packed holdall. Todd stares at him and asks what he's doing. He then realises:
TODD: You're leaving; you're skipping bail, aren't you?
BOB: I *have* to, mate: I can't face going to jail.
TODD: Yeah, but if they catch you it'll be even *worse*.
BOB: Yeah, well they won't – I'm going up north where nobody knows me; start again; make a new life.
TODD: You were going to leave without saying goodbye, weren't you?
Bob puts down his bag and sighs that it seemed the best thing; he's caused *enough* trouble. Todd cries:
TODD: Don't go, dad - *please*?
Bob insists that he has to. He then adds:
BOB: You can come with me, if you want.
TODD (surprised): What?
BOB: Can't take Katie, but you and I'd do all right. Well – what do you say?
Todd stands there looking unsure what to do.