Joe and Kerry discovering to their astonishment that Mary has bought some chooks!
Back yard of No. 32
Joe gasps that there really are chooks there! Mary indicates one chook - Walter - and says she reckons *he'll* be a great breeder. Joe, however, says he's sorry, but they're going to have to go. Mary cries that she paid for them herself out of her race winnings; they didn't cost Joe a penny. Joe just retorts:
JOE: I don't care. I don't like chooks: they've got beady eyes!
Kerry tells him that they'll have fresh eggs every morning. Joe, however, insists that they've got to go. At that moment, Toby comes in through the gate. Looking excited, he exclaims that he's *always* wanted chooks! Kerry tells Joe that they'll be good for Toby. Toby adds:
TOBY: And if you make them go away, we'll cry!
Joe gives in! Kerry gives him a loving kiss!
The next morning, Matt is in the kitchen when Hilary comes in. There's a crowing outside and Hilary mutters that being able to sleep in on her day off doesn't seem *too* much to ask, but apparently that's not the case. Matt remarks that she heard the rooster too, eh? Hilary sighs that just when she thinks Joe has reached the limit of his capacity to annoy her, she finds out how wrong she is. She then adds that, anyway, it must be against council by-laws to keep fowls: she'll ring and find out. The rooster crows again. Changing the subject, Hilary asks Matt if it isn't time he got to school. Matt, however, sighs that he just can't seem to get himself organised. Hilary then comments that he hasn't sent in his acceptance for the school dance. Matt asks her how she knows and she explains that she's to be one of the supervisors. Matt tells her:
MATT: It's not that I've forgotten; it's just that I can't decide whether I want to go or not.
HILARY: Oh Matthew, you *must*. School dances are marvellous occasions to look back on.
Matt sighs and admits that he *wants* to go, but just doesn't know anyone to take. Hilary smiles that a good-looking boy like him will have no trouble finding a girl to take. Matt points out that he's not exactly beating them off with sticks. Hilary smiles that he's too modest.
HILARY: It's a nice quality. You remind me of your father.
Nick and Sharon emerge from No. 26, Nick enthusing about the exhibition. Sharon asks him if he'll still be able to make the school dance, but Nick tells her:
NICK: No way.
SHARON (sharply): What?
NICK: Look I *can't*, Sharon. I'm not going to have any free time as it is, and I don't want to waste it going to something I won't enjoy. I'll make it up to you - I promise.
Kerry is playing with Jamie and Sky when Mike comes in. She tells him that she was thinking how romantic it would be if Jamie and Sky fell in love when they grew up! Mike, however, mutters:
MIKE: That's *all* the street needs: another happy couple.
Kerry apologises, saying she didn't mean to be insensitive: she knows he's still upset about Bronwyn. Mike retorts that *she's* the one who's lost out, deciding to stick with that clown Ramsay for the rest of his life. He adds coldly:
MIKE: He's such a moron.
KERRY (coolly): He is *not* - and apart from anything else, at least Bronwyn will get a few *laughs* out of Henry, which is more than anyone can get out of *you* right now.
MIKE (mutters): That's your considered opinion, is it?
KERRY: No, not just mine. You've been coming down on *everybody* lately, Mike. Right now, you really are a pain in the neck.
MIKE: Yeah, well, thanks for the character analysis.
With that, Mike storms out.
Joe tells Toby to turn the TV off and get to school. The 'phone rings and Joe answers it in the kitchen. The caller is Jim, who's calling to complain about the rooster. Joe tells him that they're looking into it. He hangs up as Henry comes in through the back door. The two of them sit down at the table and Henry says *he's* not there to complain; he's there because they're both getting married and he thought they could have a bit of a yarn about how terrific life is!
JOE (sighs): Yeah, well, it *would* be, if I hadn't been conned into those chooks out here.
HENRY: Look, now that you mention the chooks, they *are* a small part of the reason I came over here.
JOE (rolling his eyes): Let's have it...
HENRY: Joe, I like chooks - you know, it's not me: I like them, especially when they're roasted! It's mum and Harold: they wanted me to have a friendly word with you about your rooster.
JOE: *How* friendly?
HENRY: Well, they hate it - with a passion.
Mary comes in through the back door at that moment and beams that the chooks will be laying soon! She introduces herself to Henry, who tells her that he's heard a lot about her! She then asks Henry if Joe has told him how much money they're going to save now they've got their own chooks. Henry just glances at Joe. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Joe mutters that it's probably another complaint about the rooster. He goes to answer it. A few seconds later, he comes back in with Hilary, who's saying curtly:
HILARY: ... but by-laws are by-laws, and they clearly state that roosters must not be kept in residential areas under any circumstances, and hens only when they are contained.
MARY (demands): Who says?
HILARY: The council.
JOE: So what if they do. They *are* contained.
JOE: In the back yard.
HILARY: Mr. Mangel, that's not good enough. They should be in properly-constructed hen-houses.
MARY: Then Joe will build one - won't you, Joe!
Joe stands there looking momentarily nonplussed. He then declares:
JOE: Yeah, yeah, too right I will - 'cos the last I heard, Hilary, this is a free country, where a bloke can keep his own chooks... grow his own veggies... look after his family the best he can. Now, if you think I'm going to deprive my little boy of a freshly-laid googy for brekkie, well you can think again, Hilary!
Hilary stares at Joe in astonishment.
It's after school, and Sharon is complaining to Nick that Mike was such a pain today. Hilary and Matt come in and Hilary stumbles over Sharon's bag, which is in the middle of the floor. She asks her angrily to take the bag to her room. She and Sharon head out, leaving Matt and Nick alone. There's an air of awkwardness between them. Matt says to Nick eventually that he's sorry for making hassles for Nick lately: it's not much of an excuse, but he didn't mean to. He goes on that he was wondering if they could make a fresh start.
NICK (shrugs): I can't see us ever being mates again, but if you don't tread on my toes, I promise I won't tread on yours.
Sharon and Hilary come back in and Nick tells Sharon that he's got to go and get on with his painting. Hilary mutters that it'll be a change to see him doing something constructive. Sharon goes to see Nick to the door. Left alone with Matt, Hilary asks him if he's given any more thought to who he might take to the school dance. Matt, however, replies that he doesn't really know anyone well enough to ask them, so he might just stay at home.
HILARY: You *can't*.
MATT: What's the alternative?
Hilary sighs heavily.
Back yard of No. 32
Joe, Toby and Mary head down the steps into the back yard, Joe telling Mary that Walter the rooster will have to go. Mary tells him that she'll get a couple of chooks instead, so she won't have lost out after all. With that, Joe and Toby start trying to catch Walter - but they find themselves chasing him all over the yard, as he keeps flapping out of the way of their attempts to grab him! Eventually, Toby and Joe try a pincer movement, but it's no good! Joe sighs at Toby that they've got to apply different tactics! The two of them head over back to the house - to find Mary sitting on the steps, holding Walter in her arms! Joe demands wearily:
JOE: How did you do that?!
MARY: Simple! I just told him to come here and he came!
Henry is sitting on the couch, strumming his guitar, when there's a knock on the front door. He goes to answer it and looks surprised to find Mike standing on the step. Mike hands over some papers, explaining coolly that they're Bronwyn's: she left them over at Des's.
HENRY: Ta. I'll, er, give them to her.
MIKE (shrugs): Do what you like with them - I just don't want them hanging around; I don't really need any reminders of her - not that I really care.
HENRY: Oh come on, we both know that isn't true.
MIKE (tersely): Henry, why don't you wise up? I was only feeling sorry for her because she was stuck with *you*.
HENRY: Thanks very much!
MIKE: Well, it's the way it was, you know? And I also thought I could help her improve herself - which was one big mistake. After all the study, she just showed me what a dumb blonde she was by going back to you.
HENRY (warns): Now you watch it. You ever insult her again...
MIKE: Henry, you're such a loser.
HENRY: Oh really? Well if I'm such a loser, how come I've got Bronny and you haven't? Goodbye, Michael.
With that, Henry closes the door in Mike's face.
Matt and Sharon are studying at the kitchen table when Hilary comes in and tells Matt that she's just had a thought about the school dance: he doesn't have to take anybody at all: she'll be there as supervisor so can take care of him herself. Sharon sniggers at Matt! Matt says to Hilary quickly that he doesn't think that's such a good idea, but Hilary tells him that she'll introduce him to anybody he doesn't know... she'll make sure he always has a nice girl to dance with...; he'll have a marvellous time. Matt, however, sighs:
MATT: Thanks but no thanks. If the only person I can find to take to the dance is my own mother, then, well, I'd rather not go.
Hilary mutters that she's obviously wasting her time. Sharon says to Matt suddenly:
SHARON: What about me? Would you come with *me*?
MATT: *Sure* I would - but you're going with Nick, aren't you?
Sharon explains that all Nick wants to do is paint. Hilary chips in that she thinks Matt would be a much more suitable escort for Sharon than the loutish Nick. Sharon retorts that he's *not* a lout.
HILARY: Well, whatever the appropriate term is: undisciplined... ill-mannered...
Sharon rolls her eyes at Matt!
In the kitchen, Mary, Kerry, Joe and Toby are trying to design a pen for the chooks. There's a knock at the front door suddenly and Kerry goes to get it. She comes back a few moments later with a man in his 40s. Mary stares at him in shock as he says:
MAN: Hello mum.
Joe turns to the man and says in surprise:
JOE: You're Mary's son?
MAN: That's right - Darryl Crombie.
Joe asks Darryl suspiciously how he found them, and he explains that the local police told him. He then walks over to Mary and says softly:
DARRYL: I think you've imposed on these good people long enough, mum. It's time to take you home.
Mary sits there looking upset.
A short time later, Kerry walks into the kitchen and tells Darryl that Toby's helping Mary get her things together. She sits down with Joe and explains that Mary isn't very happy about going. Joe adds:
JOE: And the thing is, mate, we're not happy about *you* taking her, because she's been telling us stories about you giving her knock-out pills.
Darryl, however, explains that Mary hasn't been herself since his dad died: they were close and she just crumbled without him. Kerry exclaims that that's no reason to just dump her at a nursing home. Darryl insists that he *didn't*: Mary simply wandered off one day - and heaven knows how she managed to get to Erinsborough.
JOE: So she's been making all this up?
DARRYL: I'm afraid so. Look, if I was so keen on deserting her, I wouldn't have spent the last few weeks trying to *find* her. I mean, I'm just glad she found people who were so willing to take such good care of her.
KERRY: But I still don't think Mary's senile - she's been no trouble at all and the kids think she's terrific.
DARRYL: Of course they do - because she thinks on their level; I mean, she's got far more in common, now, with children than with adults; in fact, *my* children are missing her *terribly*.
With that, Darryl heads off to check on Mary's packing. Kerry looks at Joe and tells him that she doesn't like this. Joe, however, points out that there's nothing they can do about it: Darryl is family, and she should be with him. He adds that he's going to miss her, though.
Henry comes into the kitchen with Matt. Sharon is cutting up some vegetables, and she goes and gives Henry a hug and congratulates him warmly on the engagement. She adds that she loves Bronny's ring: it's beautiful! Henry says he's glad to see *someone's* happy about it. Matt asks who isn't, and Henry explains that Mike's been giving him a hard time. Sharon tells him that Mike's not worth talking about. She then goes on that what she *really* wants to know is whether Henry's going to be the DJ at the dance again this year!
HENRY: Well... I don't know... I think so; I haven't been asked yet!
SHARON: You will be!
With that, Sharon says she's heading over to see Nick. Left alone with Henry, Matt tells him that if he *does* end up being DJ, he has some tapes Henry can borrow. Henry thanks him.
MATT: Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it, actually - and if the girlies know I'm friends with the DJ, I'll be fighting them off!
HENRY: With a stick, no less! Mate - you stick with the coolest dude in Erinsborough, life will be *so* sweet!
Nick is telling Sharon that he knows it sounds like he's boasting, but he really thinks some of the paintings he's doing now are the best he's ever done. He suggests that they go out and have a party on Saturday night to celebrate. Sharon, however, explains that she can't.
NICK: How come?
SHARON: Well, I promised Matt that I'd go to the school dance with him.
NICK (sharply): You what?
SHARON: Well, Nick, you said *you* couldn't take me.
NICK: Sharon, we nearly *always* go out Saturday nights.
SHARON: Yes, but I thought you'd be busy painting. That's what you *told* me.
NICK: But now I figure I can spare the time - and just because I don't want to go to some crummy school dance, it doesn't mean I don't want to go out at *all*.
SHARON: Well, I don't know why you didn't tell me this before. What are you so upset about anyway? It's not like there's anything *between* Matt and me: I'm just doing it as a favour.
NICK (insists): You're not going out with him.
SHARON: Why not? *You* won't take me.
NICK: Anyone else I could handle, but not Matt.
SHARON (demands): What difference does it make?
NICK (coolly): Sharon, it makes *every* difference - and if you still want to go out with him, then you think good and hard about it first - 'cos if you do, that's it with you and me.
Sharon looks at Nick in astonishment.
Joe, Toby and Kerry are all sitting in the kitchen, looking upset. Darryl comes in with Mary and thanks Joe and the others for looking after his mother. Mary walks over to Joe and cries that she doesn't want to go; she wants to stay *there*. Darryl, however, reminds his mother that she can't impose any longer, and they don't want to bother the police. Mary gives Kerry a hug. Kerry tells her softly:
KERRY: If there's anything that we can do for you - anything at all - you just call us, OK?
Toby, in tears, thanks Mary for all the cakes and biscuits. Joe tells Darryl:
JOE: Look after her, mate: she's too old to be wandering the streets.
Darryl takes Mary's arm gently and tells her that it's time to make tracks. Mary turns to Joe and sobs:
MARY: The chooks: you will look after them, won't you?
JOE (nods): Like royalty.
With that, Mary takes one last look at Joe, Kerry and Toby and walks off with Darryl. An upset Kerry murmurs:
KERRY: Oh Joe...
Joe, with tears in his eyes, kisses her on the top of her head.