Jim announcing that the Bishops and the Robinsons are finalists in the ‘Good neighbours, good friends' competition and a reporter is coming round to interview both families.
Harold hangs up the ‘phone and tells Madge and Henry that it's most awkward: it would seem that the Robinsons and the Bishops have been selected as finalists in the ‘Good neighbours, good friends' competition and the magazine wants to interview both families tomorrow. He suggests to Madge that perhaps this would be a good time to put aside their differences. Madge, however, retorts:
MADGE: I would rather have a tooth pulled, Harold. I trust you told that magazine to forget it?
Harold replies that he thought that should be *her* decision, as she entered them. Madge snaps that he should have heard the way Helen and Jim spoke to her. Henry suggests that they shouldn't burst a blood vessel for a prize that's probably a year's supply of marmalade or something. Harold, however, explains that the prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to Disneyland for both families. Henry stares at him in surprise.
Toby runs into the lounge room at No. 32. Joe and Noelene are sitting there awkwardly, and Joe tells his son that there's something they want to talk to him about.
JOE: You know how you've been staying here because your mum couldn't find a job? [Toby nods] Well... she's found one.
TOBY (to Noelene, excitedly): Good on ya!
NOELENE: Thanks, Tobe. It's a bit of a problem, though: it's in Darwin – and...
JOE: In a big hotel where there's a casino and tourists... and it's not much good for a kid.
TOBY (his face dropping): Oh yeah?
JOE: So we were wondering if you wouldn't wanna stay *here*. What do you reckon?
TOBY (shrugs): No probs. Can I get some cordial?
Toby goes to walk out of the room. Noelene stops him and says that if he's unhappy about her going away, she won't. Toby, however, tells her at Joe's prompting that she can't pass up a chance like this. He doesn't look happy, though.
Katie is exclaiming in horror:
KATIE: What do you *mean* we can't go to Disneyland?
Jim tells her that it would've been nice, but there'll be other chances. Helen adds that she knows Katie is disappointed, but there's no guarantee they would've won. Katie pleads with Jim to change his mind. Helen, though, asks her if she knows what the word ‘hypocrite' means.
HELEN: Well, that's pretty close. So you see, if we pretended to be friends with the Bishops just to win a prize, that's what we'd be. Do you understand?
KATIE (sighs): I guess.
Helen goes on that she thinks Jim understands too – which is why she can't understand why he didn't withdraw when the magazine rang up. Jim retorts that he didn't know *what* to do – but they're ringing back tomorrow morning to set a time so he'll tell them then. Katie insists that if they won the trip, everyone would be happy and they would all be friends again. Helen, however, smiles sadly that it doesn't always work out that way. Katie huffs:
KATIE: I'll *never* understand grown-ups. Gosh!
Back garden of No. 22
Paul is doing some office work at the table in the garden when Gail emerges from the house and joins him, telling him that she's been making a list of baby names. She asks what he thinks of ‘Robert James'. Paul, however, muses:
PAUL: ‘Rob Robinson', eh? Hmm...
Gail admits that she hadn't thought of that. She then goes on that ‘Coleen' is pretty for a girl. Paul, however, snaps suddenly that he's got more important things on his mind at the moment. He then apologises and says he's sorry. Gail asks if he's still trying to work out how to get the money for the structural repairs, and Paul admits that he is. Gail asks for a look at the figures, to see if she can see something he's missed.
Henry is giving Bertha a wash. Katie joins him and teases that she's forgotten what the car looked like clean! Henry turns the hosepipe on her and grins:
HENRY: You picking on me?!
Katie just retorts in an annoyed tone that everyone *else* in the street's fighting, and because of it she doesn't get to go to Disneyland. Henry nods that they've been robbed. Katie sighs that they'll make up *one day*. Henry, however, suddenly appears to think of something. Katie asks him if he's got an idea.
HENRY (grins): Just a hint; the smallest germ, Katie, but it's growing – and it's going to be big!
Paul, Gail, Jim and Katie are seated at the kitchen table as Helen clears the plates after dinner. Jim suggests to Paul and Gail that they take in a partner to help with the capital for the repairs. Helen adds that Rosemary could help, but Paul points out that Rosemary just sold out to *him*; she'd hardly be interested in buying back in. Jim suggests Mr. Udugawa, but Paul replies that he's always dealt from a position of strength; *now*... Jim sighs that he understands. Gail admits that the Robinson Corporation isn't exactly an attractive proposition at the moment, what with their debt burden and their major asset crumbling around their ears. Helen suggests they stop talking about money for a while and have a game of cards. Paul, however, says glumly that he'd rather go home and brood. With that, he and Gail head off, leaving Helen to comment to Jim that she really wishes there was something they could do for them.
KATIE: You're really worried, huh?
HELEN: Yes we are, darling, but it's nothing for *you* to get upset about.
KATIE: I won't – I'll be really good, I promise; and I won't even hassle you about the ‘Good neighbours' competition anymore.
JIM: That's very thoughtful of you, sweetheart.
KATIE: Besides, I think you're right: Mr. and Mrs. Bishop *are* stinkers!
HELEN (warns): Now, Katie, arguments between adults should have—
KATIE (interrupting): You know what Henry said this afternoon? He said that the Bishops would've done the interview but it's all your fault that they can't.
Helen looks at Jim before then asking Katie sharply:
HELEN: And why's *that*?
KATIE: Because you're too... um... petty? What does that mean, Uncle Jim?
JIM (retorts): It means that Henry Ramsay doesn't know what he's talking about. If *anyone*—
KATIE: He reckons his family always has to make the first move because you're too stubborn.
JIM (irritatedly): Did he, now? I suppose he's going to blame us for missing out on the major prize?
Katie nods her head. Helen mutters that it sounds like Madge playing the martyr to *her*. Jim adds that he's got a good mind to go through with the interview.
HELEN: Yes, let's. I'm dashed if I'm going to be called petty.
JIM: Yeah, we'll show them, won't we?
Katie stands there looking pleased with herself!
Madge and Harold are sitting on the couch, looking at magazines, when Henry tells them that, historically, the Robinsons have always blamed *them* for everything. He goes on that he was talking to Katie earlier and she reckons all her lot are gung-ho about this ‘Good neighbours' competition and reckon *they're* too petty to do the interview.
MADGE (gasps): Too *what*?
HENRY: Katie told me they're over there now, whinging and complaining about what pikers we are doing them out of a trip to Disneyland.
Harold remarks that he thinks it's most unfair of them taking that attitude. Madge adds furiously:
MADGE: Helen Daniels playing the martyr for the modern family? I don't *think* so.
Henry says he doesn't think there's much they can do about it. Madge, however, declares:
MADGE: Twaddle. When that magazine ‘phones back, we tell them that the Bishops are raring to go – and *then* we'll see who the pikers are.
Henry sits there with a grin on his face!
The next morning, Joe hands Noelene a suitcase. Noelene thanks him, saying she reckons her old one's about done for. Toby is sitting in one of the armchairs, looking glum, and Noelene asks him if he'll give her a hand packing. Toby doesn't respond. Noelene heads off to her room. Joe suggests to Toby cheerily that they go down to the park this afternoon and kick a footy around. Toby just shrugs. A female voice suddenly calls out from the front door:
VOICE: I'm home!
It's Jane! Toby runs out to the hallway and hugs her warmly. Jane beams that if she knew this sort of welcome was waiting, she'd have come home earlier! Joe asks how his mum is, and Jane smiles that she's good as new – and wants to know when he's sending that video over. Joe chuckles:
JOE: That's sounds like her: long-distance nagging!
Toby heads off to help Noelene pack, leaving Joe to tell Jane about how Toby's going to be staying with them for six months or so. Jane laughs that things sure move fast round there! Joe tells her to put her feet up, but Jane replies that right now she wants to unpack a few things, have a shower and head off to the office. Joe remarks that she's keen!
JANE: Paul and Gail were really good about giving me time off, and they've been stuck with a temp all this time, and, well, lord knows what sort of mess the place will be in!
Madge opens the front door of No. 24 to find Helen and Jim on the step. She mutters:
MADGE: Oh, it's you. I suppose you might as well come in.
Helen and Jim just stand there, though, and Helen tells Madge that they spoke to ‘Modern Family' this morning. Madge mutters that they've reneged on the interview, have they? Jim, however, retorts that, on the contrary, they've arranged to meet their reporter this afternoon.
MADGE (tersely): Wasn't that a bit high-handed of you?
HELEN (sharply): Well, we don't want anyone blaming *us* if they miss out on a trip to Disneyland.
MADGE: Nor do *we*.
JIM: Then you'll be in it?
MADGE (shrugs): Why not? I suppose we can pretend to like you for half an hour or so.
Joe, Noelene and Joe are standing on the street outside No. 32. Noelene sighs that she hopes she didn't forget anything important. She then bends down to Toby and tells him to be good for his dad, and to write to her every single week. A cab pulls up and Joe carries Noelene's bags over to it. Noelene tells Toby that six months will go really quickly, then she'll be home again. She throws her arms around her son and cries that she's going to miss him. After a few seconds, she stands up and climbs into the cab. She smiles up at Joe and tells him through the open window that he's been beaut. She leans out through the window and Toby kisses her.
NOELENE: I love you, Tobe.
TOBY: Me too.
NOELENE: Bye. Bye, Joe.
Tears in her eyes, Noelene waves Joe and Toby goodbye as the cab heads off down the street. An upset Toby stares after her. Joe tells him that he'd better be going to school before he's late. Toby, however, pulls away and runs off into the house, tears streaming down his face. Joe puts his hand to his face and mutters in annoyance at himself:
JOE: Flamin' heck.
A few moments later, Joe walks into the house and calls for Toby. He finds him sitting on the floor behind the couch. He joins him and asks him how he's feeling.
TOBY: I'm sorry, dad – I didn't *mean* to be a baby.
JOE: Oh, we all open the floodgates now and then.
Toby cries that his mum comes and goes and leaves him all the time; sometimes he doesn't know if she's coming back. Joe tells his son that he's the most important bloke in Noelene's life; she's only gone up to Darwin for *him*. He then smiles that it looks like the two of them are stuck with each other! He adds that he's still pretty green at this parenting caper, but he's working at it.
Madge, Henry and Harold are sitting at the kitchen table and Henry is encouraging Madge to smile! Madge, however, retorts that they shouldn't be doing this interview: they're going to make complete fools of themselves. The front door opens suddenly and Joe walks in. He announces that he heard they were doing this interview this morning and thought he'd tape it for his mum.
MADGE: Oh no, Joe, please – your mother and I never did see eye to eye.
Joe, however, teases that she wouldn't deprive a sick old lady, would she?! There's suddenly a commotion at the front door and Jim, Helen and Katie come in. Madge leaps up from the table and says warmly:
MADGE: Come on in, come in!
Jim introduces Pam Lucas, the interviewer, to Madge, Harold and Henry, their ‘dear neighbours'! Henry introduces Joe and explains that he'd like to tape the chat to send to his mum in England. Pam comments that she can see the Bishops and the Robinsons aren't the *only* good neighbours here! She then suggests that they all sit down and get started. Madge tells Helen to sit next to her. Everyone takes a seat – Katie on Harold's lap, much to his obvious surprise! Pam Lucas starts by saying to Jim that she understands that his son married Mrs. Bishop's daughter, and she asks if that has brought the two families closer together.
JIM: Well, I personally thought they were a bit young—
MADGE: But of course, *we* were absolutely thrilled because Scott's a charming young man.
HELEN: And Charlene's a very charming young lady!
Pam Lucas comments that with children in common, there must be a lot of coming and going between the two households, and she asks if that ever annoys them.
HAROLD (shaking Katie gently!): Oh, only if those little devils from next door appear over our fence from their cubby house, you know?!
Helen smiles that Henry's often at their house, but he's always welcome! Pam asks if any of them share hobbies. Madge tells her that Jim is a very keen gardener. Jim adds:
JIM: And Madge, recently, has been taking an interest in my trees – pruning and so forth!
Pam asks what they'd say would be the secret to being good neighbours. Everyone suddenly seems stumped. Harold suggests eventually:
HAROLD: Perhaps... um, learning to live with each other's little foibles.
PAM: Tolerance, then?
HAROLD: Oh yes, yes, yes, definitely.
MADGE: *Lots* of tolerance.
HELEN: Yes, lots...!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul and Gail are working when there's a knock on the door and Jane comes in. Paul and Gail leap up and hug her and Gail asks how her grandmother is. Jane smiles that she's snapping at everyone in sight, so she thought it safe to leave her! She then comments that, from the state of her desk, Paul and Gail can't have missed her too desperately, so they must have found a pretty good temp! Paul replies that, in fact, he's keeping him on permanently.
JANE (looking surprised): Him?
PAUL: Yeah, yeah, that's right: Kevin Harvey.
JANE: And what about me?
GAIL: Don't worry: you're still on the payroll, but we're just shifting the responsibilities round a bit.
Paul explains that Kevin's got more strings to his bow than just secretarial skills, so he's going to make him his Personal Assistant. Gail adds:
GAIL: And you'll be taking over quite a lot of *my* work.
Jane, looking puzzled, comments that she doesn't understand. Gail explains that she's going to have to lighten her workload pretty dramatically... because she's pregnant! Jane, looking ecstatic, throws her arms round her!
Katie is helping Pam Lucas pack her camera and other equipment into her car, and she asks if they're going to win. Pam just smiles that she thinks they're in with a very good chance. She suddenly notices that she's missing her lens cap. Katie runs off up the driveway of No. 24 and says she'll get it.
Inside No. 24, Madge is snapping at Helen and Jim:
MADGE: Of all the mealy-mouthed hypocrites: ‘We haven't had a crossed word in *years*'.
HELEN: Well it was better than Harold rabbiting on about tolerance.
The front door opens and Katie and Pam come in, just as Helen snaps at Madge and Harold:
HELEN: If you weren't so obsessed with winning this trip to Disneyland—
Pam Lucas stands there, a look of disbelief on her face as the argument continues and escalates. Katie tries to stop them, but they suddenly all notice Pam watching them from the doorway. She says coolly:
PAM: I've seen some underhanded tricks in my time, but this is the *best*.
Madge tries to protest, but Pam snaps:
PAM: You've lied about your friendship, you've wasted my time and you've disqualified yourself from the competition. Good day.
With that, Pam picks up her lens cap and storms out, leaving the Robinsons and the Bishops standing there sheepishly. Joe, who's filmed the whole debacle, declares:
JOE: Mum's going to *love* this!