Madge and Harold catching Scott holding Poppy in his arms.
Scott leaps up from the couch and tells Madge that it's not like she thinks it is. Poppy adds quickly that it's *her* fault: she had a blue with her dad and Scott's the only person she's got to talk to. Madge, however, snaps:
MADGE: Don't waste your breath, either of you: I'm going to 'phone Charlene.
Scott tries to stop Madge going to the 'phone, but Harold holds him back. Scott pleads that they've at least got to let him *explain*. Harold, though, retorts that *Charlene* is the one who's owed explanations. Poppy yells suddenly:
POPPY: Stop it! Just listen - please - you're all being so silly.
MADGE (furiously): Don't you *dare* speak to me like that!
Poppy ignores the interruption and goes on tersely:
POPPY: You don't trust me? Well, fair enough; but why don't you trust Scott? Do you think he doesn't love your daughter? Well I tell you: he does - and believe me, there's no way he's going to be unfaithful. If you can't see that, you must be crazy.
HAROLD (warns): Now just a minute, young lady...
POPPY: What sort of family *is* this, anyway? Why don't you try to understand instead of creating scenes? You're just like *my* family and I'm sick of it. You always think the worst because you never bother to listen.
With that, Poppy storms out.
It's evening-time. Des is practicing his Japanese in front of Kerry and Mike and Kerry remarks that it doesn't sound bad. She asks how the pottery is coming along, and Des smiles that he's really pleased with his last batch. He shows her the most recent pot he made and she beams that it's great: his technique's really improving. He adds that he's got a pot for her - it's in the kiln. The 'phone starts ringing suddenly and Des goes to answer it. Kerry sits back down with Mike, who asks her if he told her that he's got a gig tonight with a new band down at the jazz club. Kerry remarks that it sounds interesting. Des hangs up and Mike asks who was on the 'phone. Des explains that it was Hemmings: he wants the key to the office filing cabinet; he said he'd drop it round tomorrow. He then adds that he'll take it off the ring now, so he doesn't forget. He reaches into his pocket for his keys, but discovers that the key he's looking for has *gone*. Mike suggests to him that he ring Hemmings and explain that he can't find it. Des, however, sighs:
DES: The man already thinks I'm an incompetent - and if I tell him I've lost the key, he'll *know* I am; and there's no way I'm going to give him that satisfaction.
Reception area at the Robinson Corporation
Paul helps Gail to a seat in the reception area and tells her to take it easy: he'll only be a minute. Gail, looking bemused, insists that she's not sick - just pregnant, she hopes. Paul asks when they'll know.
GAIL: If the eggs have taken? About two weeks.
PAUL: Fingers crossed, eh?
Paul heads into the office to fetch some papers. Gail calls out to ask how things have been going, and Paul admits that they've been chaotic with her and Jane away. Gail reminds him that they've talked about getting a temp. Paul, however, insists that there is no need to get outside help. He then adds:
PAUL: Do you remember the day we went horse-riding?
GAIL (grimly): And lost the horses? Yes!
PAUL: Apart from that! Do you remember how efficient his computer system was? That's the way for *us* to go. I figure I can use modern technology to streamline all our office operations. It still needs a bit of working out, but it'll mean big gains in productivity for us.
Gail smiles that she'll help him set it up. Paul, however, points out that the whole object of the exercise is to lighten *her* workload, not just his. Gail muses that she'll try and be good!
The next morning, Jim and Helen are sitting at the kitchen table when Scott comes in through the back door, looking worried. Jim offers him a cup of tea, but he declines. Helen remarks that he looks as though he won the Lottery and lost the ticket. Jim asks what's up. Scott, sitting down at the table, sighs that he's got himself in a mess with Poppy: Madge thinks there's a big romance going on. He continues that he thinks she could ring Charlene at any minute. Helen asks if it would help if *she* talked to Madge. Scott, however, sighs that it probably wouldn't - this is something he has to sort out for himself. Jim assures him:
JIM: We're here if you need us, mate.
Mike emerges from No. 28, carrying his school case and his saxophone case - so that he can practice at lunchtime - and joins Des on the street. Des asks him if he's coming home from school or going straight to the jazz club. Mike explains that he'll be coming home first, as the gig doesn't start 'til 9pm. Des explains that he might need some help finding the key. Mike assures him that he can count on *him*. He heads over to his motorbike.
Across the way, Henry and Bronwyn climb into Bertha in the driveway of No. 24. Henry tells Bronwyn that he'll drop her off at the Coffee Shop and then he's going to go and put the bite on Paul and see if he can do some more gardening around Lassiter's; then he's got to go down to the motor registry and try and fix up the rego on Bertha. He looks in his rear-view mirror and spots Mike. He tells Bronwyn that he wanted to have a quick word, and he reverses down the driveway and into the street towards No. 28 - where he drives straight into Mike's saxophone case, which is resting on the ground by the bike. Mike walks over to Bertha's driver's-side window gasps at Henry in horror:
MIKE: You idiot! I can't *believe* you sometimes. Look what you've done.
The case and the saxophone have both been squashed.
A short time later, Mike carries his saxophone and its smashed-up case into No. 28. Henry and Bronwyn follow him, Henry insisting that he didn't see the instrument there. Des asks what happened and Mike explains angrily:
MIKE: Henry has just trashed my sax.
Bronwyn tells Mike that they're really sorry: they were running late and Henry didn't see it. She adds that *she* has to go because she's late for work. She heads off. Mike asks bitterly what he's supposed to do tonight, as the band wants him to play a saxophone, not a heap of junk. Henry asks if he couldn't borrow one.
MIKE: Off who? All the musos I know are playing. Not *me* - thanks to *you*.
Henry asks Mike if he could buy a new one. Mike, however, retorts that even a second-hand one's going to cost $500. Henry looks shocked at the cost. He then says he's got $390 to cover the rego for Bertha... Mike just snaps that he's not interested in taking the money - and what's Henry going to do about his rego? Henry shrugs:
HENRY: Oh, you know me: I've always got a back-up plan. Look, just take it, will you?
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul finishes speaking into a Dictaphone. Gail comes in and asks how things are going. Paul smiles that they should have done this months ago: automating the office is going to speed up a whole raft of transactions. Gail says she's going to head to the front desk to answer the 'phones. Paul, however, tells her to relax: he's set up the answering machine to take all incoming calls - there's no cost and interruptions, and when they want to make the return calls, all the information's there. Gail, looking dubious, asks if it doesn't make the office seem a bit impersonal?
GAIL: Next thing I know, you'll be wanting to change me for an electronic wife.
PAUL: Yeah, probably - but they haven't got the software right, have they?!
Kerry emerges from the bedroom area at No. 28 and comments to Des that Sky and Jamie are safer in there for the moment as the main room is a disaster area. Des, however, retorts that he doesn't care about the mess - he's just got to find the key. Kerry asks if he can remember the last place he knows he had it. Des recalls that it was the day he made all the pots for the neighbours. Kerry asks where the key was then.
DES: I was going to drop it off at the bank and... I put it in my pocket!
KERRY: Which pocket: pants? Jacket? What?
DES (thinks): A shirt... the black checked one.
Kerry asks where the shirt is. Des indicates the washing basket and Kerry goes through it until she finds the shirt. She looks in it for the key, but it's not there. Looking annoyed, Des mutters that Hemmings is never going to let him live this down. Kerry, however, tells him not to give up just yet. She goes on:
KERRY: You said you were making pots, right?
KERRY: Well... it could've fallen out of your pocket when you were working the clay.
DES: You reckon?
Kerry nods at him, adding that if it was in the *base* of one of the pots, they were so thick he'd never be able to tell it was there. Des points out that he made *dozens* of them; how will he be able to tell which one's got the key?
KERRY: Only one way *I* can think of...
DES (sighs): I'm gonna have to break the flamin' lot...
There's a knock on the front door of No. 24. Madge answers it to find Poppy on the step. She tells the girl curtly:
MADGE: Scott's not in - not that I'd let you talk to him, anyway.
Poppy, however, tells Madge that she wanted to see *her* - to apologise. Madge hesitates and then suggests Poppy come in for a minute. Poppy steps inside and says:
POPPY: I only had a go at you because I didn't think you were being fair to Scott - *or* your daughter. Did you ring her?
POPPY: I'm really glad. I don't want her hurt. Look, Mrs. Bishop, I have to be honest with you: ever since I met Scott, I've been really attracted to him, and I know he... feels something for me too.
MADGE: But he's *married* for goodness--
POPPY (interrupts): When he saw what was happening, he backed right off, because he loves Charlene and he wasn't going to spoil that. I guess that's what I like best about him: his loyalty.
MADGE (shrugs meekly): Maybe we've misjudged you.
POPPY: There's nothing to judge. All I did was fall in love - is that so wrong?
MADGE: No, but it *is* dangerous. Charlene's up in Brisbane, Scott's down here alone... he's lonely and he's vulnerable. Now, you may not *intend* for anything to happen between you, but can you be sure it wouldn't?
POPPY: I think so...
MADGE: Scott is a very warm and caring person; I can understand why you care for him - but I owe it to Charlene to put a stop to it right now. Now, that may seem hard to *you*, Poppy, but Charlene's not the *only* one who might get hurt: Scott could get hurt, and so could *you*.
POPPY (murmurs): Yes, I know.
Harold emerges from the kitchen and remarks to Bronwyn on what a good job she's done cleaning the counter. Bronwyn thanks him and then asks if he knows how long Hilary's going to be in Adelaide. Harold, however, says he's not really sure. He adds that she went without telling him why she left or when she might be returning - he honestly doesn't understand people sometimes. With that, he announces that he's going to give the kitchen a clean and he leaves Bronwyn to it. A few seconds later, Henry comes in and Bronwyn remarks to him that he's still in one piece: Mike can't have been *too* mad about his sax. Henry, however, tells her that he's lucky to be alive: he had to shout Mike a new one and it cost every cent of Bertha's rego dough. Bronwyn, worrying about their finances, sighs that at this rate they're going to be begging in the streets to make enough money. Henry looks thoughtful suddenly, and he asks Bronwyn if she can get some time off today, as Mike is not the *only* muso round there. He adds excitedly that they're going to clean up!
HENRY: Busking! It'll be a cinch! *I'll* play the guitar, *you* dress up in your belly-dancing outfit and do your snake-dance and all that stuff. It'll be wild!
BRONWYN (dubiously): You want me to do a snake-dance?
BRONWYN: In the middle of town in that... in that costume?
BRONWYN: The one you hated when I was delivering messages?
HENRY (warily): Yes...
BRONWYN: Henry Ramsay, you are the pits!
With that, Bronwyn throws Henry out of the shop!
Helen is painting in the kitchen, telling Jim as she does so that she's pleased to see Beverly smiling again. Des comes in through the back door and tells Helen and Jim that he thinks he dropped the key to his office filing cabinet into a pot he was making: the bank wants it back in a hurry and he hates to ask, but he needs the pot back and he needs to smash it open just in case. Helen heads through to the lounge room to get it. Jim goes and finds a hammer! A few moments later, back in the kitchen, Des holds the pot over the rubbish bin and smashes it. The key isn't in it, though. Helen sighs at Des:
HELEN: Oh, what a shame - such a waste of your work.
JIM: Yeah, you don't see many like it...!
Des, however, insists:
DES: Don't worry about it - I can replace it. As soon as I find that key, I'll make you both a new pot!
Office/Reception area of the Robinson Corporation
Paul finishes speaking into a Dictaphone in the office as Gail comes in and apologises for taking so long, explaining that the bank's falling apart without Des, and the queues were a mile long. Paul tells her to take it easy: she's supposed to be *avoiding* stress. He adds that the dictation for Prue is all done and all they have to do now is casually stroll out and check the answering machine for messages. The two of them head out into the reception area and Paul looks at the machine and smiles:
PAUL: Look at that, blinking its little heart out. Now what's the bet that half those messages on that machine are a waste of time? This way, we just deal with the important ones.
Gail smiles at him:
GAIL: Congratulations on a successful office revolution!
Kerry emerges from the bedroom area and tells Mike - who's working at the dining table - that Sky has crashed out. Henry comes in and asks Mike if he got a new sax. Mike nods that the music shop he normally goes to put him onto a guy who wanted to sell one: he picked it up at lunchtime. Henry asks Mike if he's had a chance to practice much yet.
MIKE: Er, no.
HENRY: Then have *I* got a golden opportunity for *you*!
MIKE: Like what?
HENRY: You need to get used to the sax, right, and I need to recoup its cost. Two problems, one solution: we go busking.
MIKE: Uh-uh. No way. Forget it.
Henry tries to insist that it would be fun, but Mike retorts that he's got a gig tonight, school tomorrow and assignments to mark; he'd like to help out but he just doesn't have the time. Henry shrugs that he'll have to go it on his own. Kerry says quickly that *she'll* be in it - although she doesn't play an instrument or anything. Henry assures her quickly that he can still use her - and it will be big! With that, he dashes out, looking pleased with himself. When he's gone, Mike comments to Kerry:
MIKE: I hope you realise what you've let yourself in for...
KERRY: Oh Mike, what could go wrong?
Mike just gives her a look!
Madge is sorting through some washing while Scott types up an article at the table. There's a knock on the front door and Madge asks Scott to get it, as she wants to put the washing on the line. She heads out to the back yard and Scott goes and opens the front door. He finds Poppy on the step. She asks softly if they can talk. Looking worried, Scott says he doesn't know if it's such a great idea, but Poppy insists that it'll just be for a minute. Scott lets her in and she tells him:
POPPY: I just came to say goodbye.
SCOTT (looking shocked): What?
POPPY (sighs): I'm leaving for Greece in the morning. I'm going to stay with my cousin, Melina - I told you about her, remember?
SCOTT: That's a bit sudden, isn't it?
POPPY: I've made a mess of *everything*: you... Stavros... my family... I think it's best to get away for a while. Greece seems the logical place, and dad's really pleased. Don't blame yourself, Scott: I didn't see things very straight. You're a wonderful person, and the time we spent together was so special. If things were different...
SCOTT (murmurs): But they're not.
POPPY: I know. I'd better go. I'll send you a postcard!
SCOTT (fondly): I'll look forward to it.
With that, Poppy kisses Scott on the cheek and leaves. Scott stands there and sighs heavily.