Madge looking upset as an estate agent tells her that No. 24 will sell in no time.
Nick is doing his homework at the kitchen table when Todd comes in with a basketball and tells him that there's a ‘For Sale' outside the Bishops'. He adds that Madge looked really sad. He then asks Nick if he wants to come down to the park to shoot some baskets. Nick, however, retorts that he's got three lots of homework to do before tomorrow. Jim comes in and Todd says he might go and ask Mike. Jim, however, tells him that it's probably best not to bother Mike right now. Todd asks why not and Jim explains about Des asking Jane to marry him and how Des told Mike earlier. Todd remarks:
TODD: I know how heavy it gets when someone steals your girl...
Jim warns Todd not to go round saying things like that and stirring up trouble.
Driveway of No. 22
Paul is unloading a big flat-pack box from the boot of his car. Gail offers to give him a hand, but he declines. Gail sighs in bemusement:
GAIL: How embarrassing...!
PAUL: Why embarrassing?
GAIL: The President of the Robinson Corporation going off to some buyer sale to pick up an el-cheapo chest of drawers!
PAUL: Don't forget, darling: the reason there *is* a Robinson Corporation is because I know a bargain when I see one – and *this*... *this* is a bargain, all right?
Gail muses that someone will have to put it together. Paul says *he'll* do it, but Gail suggests that he should get Joe in. Paul, however, insists that he'll make time to do it himself. Gail asks how long it will take him! She adds:
GAIL: You're a wonderful businessman, Paul, but tools just aren't your thing!
Paul puts his hands on Gail's arms and says sincerely:
PAUL: Look, this is for the nursery where my kids are going to grow up. I want to do this myself, OK?
GAIL (smiles): That shut me up!
There's a knock on the front door and Madge opens it to a woman who introduces herself as Mrs. Carlyle. Madge stares at her blankly and Mrs. Carlyle asks if the estate agent didn't telephone. Madge explains that she wasn't expecting anyone quite so soon – but she invites Mrs. Carlyle in anyway. Mrs. Carlyle comments:
MRS. CARLYLE: The estate agent said that you and your husband are moving to Scotland.
MRS. CARLYLE: I envy you: *we're* planning to travel in a few years, as soon as our youngest starts university.
MADGE (murmurs): Yes, well, my husband's looking forward to it.
With that, Madge takes Mrs. Carlyle out to look at the back yard first.
Todd is sitting on a chair at the kitchen table, bouncing his basketball on the table. Nick, however, is trying to work, and he snaps at Todd to cut it out: he'll play basketball when he's finished. Todd sighs and asks Nick what's giving him so much trouble. Nick explains that it's Comprehension: he doesn't know what they're on about. Todd takes Nick's text book and, after a quick scan, exclaims:
TODD: These are simple. *Katie* could get them right!
Looking annoyed, Nick grabs the book back as Todd tells him that, if he's really stuck, *he'll* give him the answers. Nick, however, retorts that he doesn't want some little jerk who thinks he knows all the answers telling him what to write. Todd snaps:
TODD: Yeah, well, do it yourself. It'll probably only take you to midnight, then I bet you get them all wrong.
Jim marches in and demands to know what's going on, as he's trying to watch the football. Todd apologises to him. Jim returns to the lounge room as Todd says to Nick coldly:
TODD: I feel sorry for you, Nick: the way *you're* going, you're gonna be stuck with schoolwork 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – for all the *good* it's going to do you.
Nick buries his head in his hands, looking annoyed.
Paul has unpacked the flat-pack chest of drawers on to the lounge room floor. Gail joins him and says she'll keep him company. She adds:
GAIL: It's just occurred to me that these are our last days as a couple – I mean with the babies and everything.
Paul smiles that he can't wait to get up at two o'clock in the morning to warm formula... change nappies... Gail then tells Paul that there's always a catch with bargains like his chest of drawers, such as a piece of wood being missing. Paul, however, says he'll check that first, once he's read the instructions. He tips the instruction booklet out of the box. The pages are stuck together, though, and as Paul tries to open them, he does a good job of ripping the booklet apart!
Sometime later, Gail joins Paul – who's still hard at work – and tells him that she's put some champagne on ice, as he's going to need a drink when he's finished the chest of drawers! Paul smiles:
PAUL: The first thing I'm going to teach our children is that their mother has a malicious sense of humour!
He lays some pieces of wood down on the floor and Gail asks what they're supposed to be. Paul explains that they're one of the drawers. Gail asks if it wouldn't make more sense to build the framework first, but Paul tells her that you build the drawers first so that when you *do* build the framework you can adjust them to get a perfect fit. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Gail goes to get it. She finds Jane on the step, and Jane tells her that she's been waiting to see her all afternoon. Gail invites her in and tells her that she's glad she's there, as she needs a witness. She indicates Paul and grins:
GAIL: By day he's mild-mannered businessman, Paul Robinson, but on the weekends he's more powerful than a three-speed drill; able to leap timber-yards in a single bound!
PAUL (wearily): Gail, why don't you just sell tickets out the front, hey?
JANE: Looks complicated, Paul...
PAUL: *This*, my dear Jane, is going to be a work of art!
Gail then asks Jane what's happening. Jane replies with a smile:
JANE: It's sort of personal...: Des and I are engaged!
Gail throws her arms round Jane and exclaims that that's great! Paul just looks at Jane in astonishment! He then asks where Des *is* and Jane explains that he's at home; she's keeping clear of No. 28 because of Mike. Paul declares that this calls for a celebration – and Gail did say she had some champagne on ice! He goes to the ‘fridge as Gail sits down with Jane on the couch and asks how Des proposed. Jane tells her:
JANE: In the lounge, dripping wet, with a cup of tea!
GAIL: How romantic!
Madge and Mrs. Carlyle are having a cup of tea at the kitchen table. Mrs. Carlyle comments that it seems like a quiet street. Madge nods that it is, although the neighbours never mind their business, of course. She adds that sometimes you can be grateful for that. Mrs. Carlyle stands up and goes and looks in some of the kitchen cabinets – and is almost hit by a plastic container which falls from the cupboard above the oven. Madge quickly apologises, saying things are a bit higgledy-piggledy. Mrs. Carlyle, however, tells her:
MRS. CARLYLE: I think you cope very well, considering the space you've got.
MADGE (frowns): Space?
MRS. CARLYLE: Well, I know you don't see it when you live with it, but if we *did* take the place, this would be the first room I'd remodel.
MADGE (looking astonished): What's *wrong* with it?
MRS. CARLYLE: Space, like I said. I'd clear the whole thing out and start again – and I'm afraid I've been spoiled: I'd have to employ a dishwasher.
MADGE: Oh. I've never felt the need.
MRS. CARLYLE: And the room needs more natural light. I think a skylight might work. There are all kinds of tricks you can use to make a room like this less poky.
MADGE (aghast): *Poky*?
MRS. CARLYLE: Is the *entire* house this inconvenient?
MADGE (mutters darkly): You'd better have a look.
Gail and Jane are watching Paul putting together the chest of drawers. Jane suggests that Paul should ask *Joe* to come over, but Gail smiles that this is macho stuff: a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do! She suggests they give the master builder some space, and the two of them head through to the kitchen, where Gail asks if she's going to be Matron of Honour before she gets too huge! The two of them sit down at the table as Jane replies that she and Des haven't talked dates yet, but, huge or not, Gail's it! Gail muses that she guesses who's *not* going to be Best Man. Jane nods:
JANE: Mike. Joe said he saw him earlier this morning and he said he *seemed* all right about it, but, um—
GAIL: You're still worried, huh?
JANE: I just don't want anything to spoil it. I mean, every other relationship I've had, sometimes it's been wonderful, sometimes awful... mostly awful! But this just feels so *right*. I've never felt so sure about anything in my life before.
Gail exclaims that that's great! Jane then says she must go, as she and Des are having dinner with Kerry and Joe tonight. She adds:
JANE: I don't think Des has *thought* about having Joe as an in-law!
Gail sees Jane out. When she's gone, Paul tells Gail that he's not going to let the chest of drawers beat him: all it needs is a little bit of logic. Gail shrugs:
GAIL: All right – but I really don't want to have to sit by our children's bedside and say: “Once upon a time, there was this chest of drawers...”
PAUL: “That daddy built.”
GAIL: “Well, *tried* to build!”
Nick is getting himself a drink from the ‘fridge. Jim comes in and tells Nick that he should take a break and go down the park with Todd. Nick, though, mutters that he won't go out ‘til he's finished. Jim then tells Nick that Todd is *good* at schoolwork: he doesn't realise that his abilities are a gift that he can't really take the credit for. Nick sighs:
NICK: I feel like an idiot sometimes.
JIM: Well *don't*. You have to *fight* for a result; in *my* eyes, it earns you a lot of respect. I know how much this competition with Matt means to you, and it's Helen's opinion that matters most, isn't it? Of course she wants to make you an effort, but she doesn't want you stressed-out or depressed.
NICK: It's depressing to be slow on the uptake...
JIM: Listen, the best tradesman I ever had was the slowest worker in the factory – but I knew I could depend on everything he turned out. It's results that count.
Jim adds that what school tests are really about are attitude and application – and he'd give Nick an A in both of those. He goes on that Nick has proved his point – and if he wants out now, Helen will understand. Nick, however, insists that he's made a deal and he's going to stick to it.
Madge is standing outside one of the bedrooms, asking in irritation:
MADGE: What's wrong *this* time.
Mrs. Carlyle emerges from the room and tells her that the whole place is impractical; for a house of its age, it's surprisingly old-fashioned. She adds that the rooms are too small, especially the kitchen – and considering how much work needs to be done, the price the Bishops are asking is too high. Madge says coolly:
MADGE: That's *your* opinion. Now, I'm sure you're anxious to get back to your family.
MRS. CARLYLE (looking surprised): Don't you want to discuss it?
MADGE (bluntly): No, I certainly don't.
MRS. CARLYLE: Well, I'd talk to the estate agent, if I were you. I think you're being very optimistic, asking that much.
MADGE: Mrs. Carlyle, maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned too, but I find it very difficult to put a price on this house: it's kept me and my family safe and warm for quite a long time. There's been a lot of laughter in these poky little rooms and a lot of tears, too, and I remember them all. I'm sorry, but I'm just not prepared to haggle over my memories.
Mrs. Carlyle apologises for upsetting Madge, saying she didn't realise how much the house meant to her. Madge, however, sighs:
MADGE: Oh, you shouldn't be apologising. I'm sorry. It's just that you're the first person to come through and I'm not used to it, yet.
MRS. CARLYLE: Feeling the way you do, I can't understand why you *want* to move.
Madge stands there looking as if she's wondering the same thing.
Mike comes into No. 28 through the back door to find the place empty. He picks up a note from the table, on which Des has scrawled that he's eating with Joe and Kerry. He puts the note down and then goes and picks up his saxophone from the couch. He sits down on the arm of the couch and plays a few notes.
Gail is lying on the couch, dozing, when Paul bends down next to her and says:
Gail stirs and opens her eyes to find a completed chest of drawers standing on the lounge room floor! She exclaims that she's speechless! She then adds that it looks perfect – and she takes it all back: he's brilliant! She then spots a screw lying on the floor by the drawers. She picks it up and hands it to Paul, who insists that it's probably just a spare! Gail stands up and comments that the chest looks so *big*. Paul tells her to try it, so she goes to open the top drawer – but it won't budge! She tries the second drawer – and the handles come off in her hands! Paul sighs:
PAUL: Come on – it's the way you're *doing* it.
He budges Gail out of the way and goes to open the third drawer down – only for the whole front panel to come away in his hands! Gail bursts out laughing! She then puts her arm round Paul and comforts:
GAIL: Oh, darling, your little secret's safe with me! We'll get a little bit of glue and we'll stick it back together!
Nick is sitting at the table, telling Mike that he's sorry to bother him on a Sunday, but he's stuck. Mike assures Nick that that's what he's there for. Before he can go any further, though, there's a knock on the front door and he goes and opens it to find Jim standing on the step. He asks him if he's looking for Nick. Jim, however, replies:
JIM: No, I was looking for Des, actually.
MIKE: Oh – he's gone out to dinner with Joe and Kerry.
JIM (grins): Celebrating already?!
MIKE (blankly): Er... well, I don't think he's got much to celebrate: he still hasn't got his job back yet.
JIM: No, no, no, I meant—. [Realising Mike doesn't know about the engagement] Er... I just thought he might have had some good news, that's all.
MIKE (shrugs): Not that I know of – well, I haven't seen him since this morning. I'll tell him you dropped in.
Jim says he'll see Des tomorrow. He turns to leave, but Mike tells him that he'll walk out with him, as he wants to put his bike away.
As the two men head down the path of No. 28, Mike asks Jim if he heard something about Des getting his job back. Jim replies quickly that he just thought he might've. Paul calls out suddenly and joins them. He tells Jim that he was just on the way over: he's got a slight hassle. Jim asks what's up. Paul explains meekly about the chest of drawers he made falling apart. Jim and Mike burst out laughing and Jim grins:
JIM: Remember the time you tried to build that billy-cart?
PAUL (looking annoyed): Yeah, yeah, yeah, all right!
Jim says he'll have a look and fix it up in the morning. Paul thanks him. He then turns to Mike and says:
PAUL: Listen, *you're* taking it like a man. Good on you, mate.
MIKE (blankly): Good on me for what?
PAUL: What's happened with Jane.
JIM (warns): Paul...
PAUL: No, give him credit, dad: I mean, the way he's handling this is brilliant.
MIKE: Look, Paul, it's *over*, OK? I don't want to talk about it anymore.
PAUL: Yeah, well, it certainly says something about your friendship between you and Des.
MIKE: Look, Des tried to get me and Jane back together, it didn't work, so enough, OK?
Paul looks at Jim in surprise. He then murmurs at Mike:
PAUL: But Jane said that you'd taken it really well.
JIM (quickly): Paul, why don't we just drop the subject, hm?
Mike stares at Paul and Jim and asks what the subject *is*; what are they on about? Paul, taking the hint, tells him quickly to forget it. Mike, however, presses:
MIKE: You thought I knew something. What is it I'm supposed to know?
PAUL (hesitantly): Mike... Des and Jane are *engaged*.
A look of astonishment crosses Mike's face. He then starts his motorbike's engine and rides off down the street. Paul and Jim stand there looking uncomfortable.