Mike catching Nick and Sharon taking Nick's skateboard from Mr. Muir's office
Mike says coolly to Nick and Sharon:
MIKE: You two sneak into the Principal's office, take something that's been confiscated for a really good reason and you expect me not to say anything about it?
NICK: Well if you do, I'll get expelled again - and Sharon too, probably.
SHARON (pleads): Please, Mike.
Mike sighs that he shouldn't, but if they put the board back and get out of there now, he'll forget they ever saw them. Sharon insists that Nick needs the board on Saturday. Mike, however, snaps at Nick to put the board back and get out of there before he changes his mind - and that's final. Sharon tells Nick meekly that he'd better do it. Nick does as he's told. As he and Sharon walk out of the office, he mutters at Mike bitterly:
NICK: Some friend...
Harold arrives at the Coffee Shop with a box of vegetables. Bronwyn tells him straight away about the note and the money that was returned, and Harold reads the note and remarks that the thief had a conscience after all. He then asks if the woman just walked in and handed the money Bronwyn. Bronwyn, however, explains that she left it behind the counter. Looking suspicious, Harold says:
HAROLD: Behind the counter?
BRONWYN: She must have put it there when I was serving or something.
HAROLD (angrily): Well then it's a good thing she didn't decide to help herself to *today's* takings, too, isn't it?
Bronwyn hangs her head in shame as she realises what Harold is saying. Harold tells her that when he goes out, he needs to know that the place is going to be safe; he just can't let this sort of thing continue.
HAROLD: I'm sorry, Bronwyn, I'm going to have to let you go. You can finish tomorrow.
BRONWYN (looking shocked): You're *firing* me?
HAROLD: I'm afraid so, yes.
Bronwyn tells Harold that Hilary starts her new job on Monday; he'll *need* someone. Harold, however, just retorts that he'll look after the place by himself: he's done it before and he'll do it again.
Hilary is giving Gloria another lesson in deportment. She tells her to pretend that she's at Dean's office and has to make smalltalk with the Head of his legal firm. Gloria goes to the doorway and then, re-entering the room, says in a clipped tone:
GLORIA: Mr. Mason? I am Gloria Lewis, Dean's mother. Er... how do you do?
HILARY: Mrs. Lewis. How very nice to meet you. [They shake hands]
GLORIA: Er... What nice offices you have here.
HILARY: How very kind of you to say so, Mrs. Lewis. You must be very proud of your son.
GLORIA: Oh yeah! [A frown from Hilary] He is my pride and my joy.
HILARY: A very fine boy, Dean. Mrs. Lewis, tell me a little about yourself.
GLORIA: Well, I am in the hospitality industry and my husband is a... automotive engineer.
HILARY: That sounds fascinating.
GLORIA: Not as fascinating as the law business, I would think.
Hilary smiles at Gloria that that's very good. She then goes on.
HILARY: Mrs. Lewis, tell me what you find so *interesting* about the law.
GLORIA: Ah... well... it's, er, it's so... legal!
Hilary sighs that that will do for now: Gloria's conversational topics need work, but her deportment was very good.
It's evening time and Sharon and Nick are doing the washing-up. Nick tells Sharon that he'll have to pull out of the contest, but Sharon suggests that he use *Todd's* board - he didn't take it to Adelaide. Nick, however, retorts that Todd's board's all right, but it's not *his*. Sharon suggests that he practice on it for a while, but Nick tells her that *his* board is *special*; sort of lucky; without it, he's *gone*. Sharon asks if he couldn't just have one try - for *her* sake. Nick gives in and sighs that he'll give it a shot, but he reckons it's a waste of time.
Des is practicing his Japanese when Kerry emerges from the bedroom area and tells him that the kids are dead to the world. She goes to the counter and spots an envelope on there, postmarked Germany. She comments that she didn't know Mike knew anyone there. Des explains awkwardly that it's from his mum - it's probably just a birthday card, as he turns 21 next week. Kerry smiles that that's a good excuse for a party! Mike comes in at that moment and Kerry asks him if he had a good night. Mike nods that it wasn't too bad. Des hands him the envelope and he opens it and takes out the contents. Des asks:
DES: From your mum?
MIKE (flatly): Yeah.
KERRY: Birthday card?
MIKE (bitterly): You've gotta be joking - she wouldn't even remember what *year* I was born, let alone what *day*...
The next morning, Mike puts on his trainers and heads out for a run, leaving Kerry and Des to have breakfast with Jamie and Sky. Kerry asks Des how a mother can *do* that: just forget her son's 21st. Des explains:
DES: She's a funny woman: I mean, she was happy enough to let Mike move in here with Daph and me after his father was knocking him around; after his old man died, she didn't want Mike back. She's been travelling around for years. Occasionally she sends a note like the one last night. Mike doesn't usually let it show, but I know it hurts - especially at times like this.
Kerry suggests that it's up to *them* to make sure that Mike's 21st is something out of the box. She then asks Des if he's going to invite Joe, adding bitterly that her dad's got a lot to answer for. Des nods that he certainly could've done without Harold's two bob's worth. Kerry appears to make a decision suddenly, and she asks Des if he can look after the kids for a moment. She heads out. When she's gone, Des goes to the 'phone and dials. When the call is connected, he asks the operator for a number in Germany.
Kerry walks into No. 24 through the back door and tells Harold - who's making a cup of tea - that she wants a word with him. She goes on:
KERRY (curtly): I can't get over what you told Joe about Des and me.
HAROLD (shrugs): Oh dear... a harmless observation.
KERRY: But it's not *true*.
HAROLD: More's the pity. When it comes to choosing between a fine, upstanding member of the community like Des Clarke and a person of... well, dubious moral character like Joe Mangel, whose feet do you throw yourself at?
Kerry snaps that doesn't throw herself at *anybody's* feet - and for Harold's information, Joe has asked her to *marry* him. A look of shock crosses Harold's face. Kerry goes on that Joe loves her and wants to marry her - so what has Harold got to say about *that*? Harold murmurs that there's obviously more of Joe's mother in him than meets the eye. He then admits that perhaps he *has* misjudged him. He asks Kerry if she's accepted Joe's proposal, but she replies that she's still thinking about it. Harold invites her to sit down with him at the kitchen table, and she does so. He then tells her:
HAROLD: I'm a great believer in the institute of marriage, Kerry - as you know. It can be a great joy - and it would be very good for Sky if you married him; I mean, she does need a father; Joe is obviously making a very good fist of things with young Toby.
KERRY: Oh dad... I know you only want what you think's best for us.
HAROLD: That's right, love - because I *do* love you; *both* of you. And if you choose Joe Mangel - if you think he's the best man for you and Sky - then you have my blessing.
Kerry smiles at her father gratefully.
Sharon is telling Hilary curtly that she wants to go and watch Nick in the skateboard competition. Hilary, however, retorts that she has to do the cleaning - and she's not to forget the curtain rails. Sharon looks annoyed.
Nick is sitting on the edge of the kerb, rolling Todd's skateboard back and forth with his left foot. Kerry wanders over and asks him how he's doing. Nick mutters:
NICK: Don't ask.
He then explains about how he entered a skateboarding competition and his board got confiscated at school. He adds that he's got Todd's board, but it's not *his*: you get to know a board and what it can do; it gives you confidence; an extra edge. Kerry sits down with him and asks him if he knows the story of Dumbo. Nick muses that he missed out on that one! Kerry explains that Dumbo was a flying elephant. She goes on:
KERRY: He believed that a feather he carried in his trunk gave him the power to fly ... then one day he lost that feather - and he was also convinced that he'd also lost the ability to fly ... until a friend convinced Dumbo it wasn't the feather that made him fly, it was something within himself - and once he realised that this was true, Dumbo could fly again.
NICK: So I'm Dumbo, right?
KERRY: Well... I'll leave it with you!
Sharon opens the front door of No. 30 and finds Bronwyn on the step. She greets her enthusiastically, but Bronwyn murmurs coolly that she just came round to say thanks: Harold gave her the sack and today's her last day. Sharon mutters that she thought things would be all right now the money's been returned. Bronwyn, however, explains that it made things *worse*: the woman must have been able to get behind the counter again and now Harold thinks she's *totally* useless. Sharon cries:
SHARON: I'm sorry, Bron—
BRONWYN (angrily): Why? It's what you *wanted*, isn't it? If you hadn't started this whole thing by getting your stupid friends to mess up their orders, Harold would never have doubted me in the first place.
SHARON: Bronnie, I tried—
BRONWYN: So, now's your chance. Job's there - why don't you go for it? I just hope you don't want *me* to give you any references.
With that, Bronwyn turns and storms out, leaving Sharon looking worried.
Sometime later, Sharon is watching as Nick performs various moves on the skateboard ramp, using Todd's board. She looks distracted, though. When Nick has finished, he makes his way over to her, and she smiles weakly that he looks great. Nick enthuses that if it hadn't been for Kerry, he'd still be sitting in that gutter. Sharon just murmurs that it's lucky she came along. Nick asks Sharon if she's all right. Sharon explains that she was thinking about Bronnie; she might go down to the Coffee Shop and talk to her.
A short time later, Sharon walks into the Coffee Shop. Harold is standing by a table at which Hilary is seated. Bronwyn is behind the counter. Sharon tells Harold that there's something she wants to say to him. She calls Bronwyn over as well before then saying to Harold:
SHARON: Most of the things that you've been blaming Bronnie for have been *my* fault.
HAROLD (looking puzzled): I don't see *how*.
SHARON: I organised my friends to make it look like Bronnie got the orders mixed up... and it was me who left the money behind the counter.
BRONWYN (exclaims): Shaz...!
HILARY (tartly): That explains selling Matthew that frightful ghetto machine.
Harold listens, but then says that this doesn't change the fact that Bronwyn was still incompetent: she didn't see Sharon put the envelope behind the counter. Sharon insists that that's because she's Bronwyn's *sister*; Bronwyn *trusts* her. She then tells Harold that he can't sack Bronwyn for just one mistake - and he'll be on his own when Hilary starts at the school on Monday. Harold pauses before giving in and telling Bronwyn that she can stay. Bronwyn thanks Sharon gratefully.
Des is telling Kerry that he's glad she set Harold straight. Kerry laughs:
KERRY: As long as he doesn't go too far the *other* way - I think Joe would get a bit of a shock if dad started calling him 'son'!
Des then says he's going to ask Joe to the party: there's nothing to be embarrassed about. He adds that he's also organised *another* surprise for Mike's birthday: he rang his mum in Germany and reminded her that his 21st is coming up. Kerry asks if she'd remembered. Des replies that she didn't say, but he reckons she'll put in a call. He then asks Kerry not to say anything, in case it doesn't come through. At that moment, Mike arrives home from a run. As he heads off to have a shower, Des says:
DES: Mike... um, about your 21st next week.
MIKE: Des... Des, it's no big deal, OK?
DES: You kidding?! Your 21st is as important as Jamie's *1st* was. This family is going to celebrate in a big way!
MIKE (grins): Any excuse for a party, eh?!
Nick is practicing on the ramp again. Sharon returns to watch him, and he stops briefly to give her a wave. A short time later, he completes his practice and joins Sharon by the fence. He asks her how she went, and she replies happily that Bronnie's not on the dole queue and the two of them are talking again. She then holds out a packet of sandwiches and tells Nick that it's his lunch. Nick, however, asks her to watch him perform a backside aerial first. He adds that Zadro doesn't stand a chance! With that, he returns to the ramp and starts skating from one end to the other. As he reaches one end, he takes a leap - but his board suddenly falls away from him and he crashes down onto the hard surface. As Sharon runs over to him, he grabs his leg and starts crying out in pain...