Bronwyn's assignment falling into the water under the bridge at Lassiter's.
Radio station studio/A public ‘phone
Joe and Henry are in the middle of another gardening ‘phone-in. Henry has to cut Joe off mid-stream, though, because he won't shut up. Henry tells him that he's sure he's given the listeners enough to ‘mulch over'! Another caller rings up and starts talking about marrows.
The caller is an elderly man with white hair, who's standing talking on a public ‘phone inside a building somewhere, and he tells Joe and Henry that he has a marrow of 15ft in size! Henry thanks him for ringing! He then realises that the man is Stan, who rang before about UFOs. Stan says he hopes Henry doesn't mind the ‘phone calls from him and his mates: they were just having a bit of fun; they don't get out much in the retirement village and Henry's show has given them the best laugh they've had in years. Henry muses that they certainly know how to spin a good yarn! Stan smiles:
STAN: We all stick together down here in the Golden Years Retirement Village. Why don't you come down and have a chat some time? Bring that gardening bloke!
He suggests this afternoon. Henry tries to get out of it, but Stan hangs up on him! Henry then tells the listeners that they'll be back soon with some more advice from old green thumbs! Joe sits there shaking his head!
Bronwyn, Sharon and Matt have spread the wet sheets of Bronwyn's assignment out on the kitchen table and are using a hairdryer and iron to try and dry them. Bronwyn, however, snaps that it's useless: weeks of work down the drain. Sharon mutters that at least she'll only have to do a little bit of rewriting here and there. She goes on:
SHARON: What about *me*?
BRONWYN (snaps): What *about* you?
SHARON: Tess's top: it's wet, it's got ink stains all over it; I'll never get it washed and dried in time for tonight. In fact, I think it's been ruined.
SHARON: My date with Brad. Action man. I really wanted him to see me in that top.
Bronwyn screams at Sharon angrily that she's incredible. She storms off to her room.
Kerry opens the front door to find Hilary on the step. She invites her in, and Hilary says she was actually looking for Matthew: she thought he might be there, working on his assignment. Kerry explains that he finished that yesterday. Hilary says she hopes he didn't make too much of a nuisance of himself. She adds that *she'd* have helped him, but it seems he found Kerry's experience a little more interesting. Kerry smiles:
KERRY: I really enjoyed it. Brought back a lot of memories. And it was great being able to rave on to someone as interested as Matt.
HILARY (disapprovingly): Mm, well, it's a great shame he doesn't find his *other* subjects quite as interesting.
KERRY: Well, I'm sure when it comes to things like English or History, you'd be a *great* help.
HILARY (sighs): Not really. Matthew's always been reluctant to come to me. I've offered my help repeatedly, but he just doesn't seem to want it – so I suppose that was the reason I was a little resentful when he came to *you* for help. However, I suppose I *should* thank you for the trouble you went to.
KERRY: Like I said, it was a pleasure.
Hilary opens the front door to leave. Kerry stops her, though, saying gently:
KERRY: Hilary... maybe you're too *hard* on Matt; not deliberately, of course, but, you know: being his mother and wanting the best for him. All of that. You might be expecting too much of him. If you took more of a laid-back approach, he might find it easier to ask you for help.
HILARY: Yes. Perhaps you're right. Well, it's worth a try.
Golden Years Retirement Village
Henry and Joe have turned up at the Golden Years Retirement Village, and as they walk down the corridor with Stan, he enthuses that the others will be so excited to see them! Joe looks around at several old people who appear to be half-asleep and remarks that they look really stoked! Stan goes on that George is particularly keen to meet them. He then explains that he and George were in Changi prison and it was in there that they started to tell yarns to each other; took their minds off their belly! Henry smiles:
HENRY: Certainly livened up my show, that's for sure!
STAN: Ah, well, you look the sort of bloke who can take a joke, you know!
Henry then asks Stan what they do there when they're not spinning yarns. Stan shrugs that there's not much *to* do: they're the sort of the leftovers – the rest of the world's passed them by. Joe asks in concern if this is one of those places where they keep you locked up and pinch your pension cheque. Stan, however, assures him that it's nothing like that. He then tells Henry and Joe to come and have a cuppa and he'll show them around. He walks off ahead. Joe lingers with Henry and comments:
JOE: Real old digger, eh?
HENRY: Yeah. You thinking what I'm thinking?
JOE: Yeah. Yeah. About time someone pepped up their day, eh?
HENRY: And we're just the team to do it!
Bronwyn is sitting at the kitchen table with Matt and Sharon, but she picks up some sheets of dried paper and throws them in the air, muttering that she gives up: it'll take her longer to decipher everything than to do the whole assignment again. Sharon asks her not to get upset. She adds that she's happy to look up references and copy them out. Bronwyn nods:
BRONWYN: Yeah, that'd be a help, at least. If we go down to the library now and get some books out, I might just get it done tonight.
SHARON (aghast): *Tonight*?
BRONWYN: Yeah, well, it's due in tomorrow.
SHARON: What about my date with Brad?
MATT (warns): Sharon...
BRONWYN (sadly): I don't believe *you*...
SHARON (quickly): I was only joking. I'll ring him and tell him I'll meet him later.
Bronwyn gives Sharon a look and she sighs:
SHARON: All right, I'll cancel it altogether. Anything for my favourite sister.
Matt chips in and says they'll *both* help her. Bronwyn snaps in irritation:
BRONWYN: Yeah, great. My airhead sister and a guy who can't even read—
She breaks off suddenly as she realises what she's said. Matt looks down at the table. Bronwyn starts trying to apologise, but Matt demands to know:
MATT: Who told you that, Bronwyn? Who told you I couldn't read?
SHARON: No, Matt, what I said was that you have difficulty when you're trying to study—
MATT (bitterly): Yeah, I *thought* it might have been you.
He goes on that he supposes he's the laughing stock of the whole school; and everyone in Ramsay Street must feel sorry for ‘poor old Matt'. With that, he stands up and storms out. Bronwyn sits at the table looking annoyed with herself.
Sometime later, Bronwyn is kneeling by the coffee table in the lounge room, various papers spread out in front of her. Sharon joins her and shows her a sheet of paper, asking if it's the graph that goes with the page Bronwyn is looking at. Bronwyn takes it and says it is. Sharon smiles that at this rate they'll get it fixed up in no time. Bronwyn sighs:
BRONWYN: Easier than fixing up my friendship with Matt. It was a stupid thing to say...
SHARON (agrees): Not brilliant.
SHARON: He'll be all right. It's bigmouth here he's upset with, anyway.
Sharon asks if Hilary said when Matt would be back, but Bronwyn replies that she didn't have a clue: she's been looking for him as well. The front door bangs suddenly and Henry charges in. He gives Bronwyn a sloppy kiss and she asks him why he's so late. He explains that he's been performing his duty as a celebrity! Bronwyn returns to her study, not really listening as Henry tells her that he was hoping Harold would be able to help out with some food, as they're taking the old people out on a picnic tomorrow. He then asks her what she thought of Stan's story about marrows, but Bronwyn sighs that she's sorry: she missed it. She asks what happened. Henry, looking disappointed, says he'll tell her later.
Joe and Kerry are sitting watching TV, and Kerry asks Joe what happened after Stan showed them around. Joe tells her that they had a few beers – in a teacup! – then a bit of a jaw and he and Henry promised to take them to the beach tomorrow for a picnic. Kerry smiles that that's a lovely thing to do. Joe asks her if she wants to come along. Kerry says of course she would, although she's got to be home before Toby and Lochy get out from school. Joe says there'll be about a dozen of them, so they thought they might hire a minibus. Kerry asks warily who's paying. Joe, however, says:
JOE: Oh, Kez, come on... it might cost a bit, but it's a small price to pay for someone's happiness and—
Kerry gets up and hands him a credit card bill. He stares at it and exclaims in horror:
JOE: Crikey! They're Ned Kellys, aren't they, this mob? Interest on the interest?
He goes on that he can't even afford to hire a tricycle, let alone a bus! Kerry remarks that it would be a shame to disappoint those old people. Joe, looking suddenly thoughtful, declares:
JOE: Hang on... where there's a will, there's his brother!
JOE: You know what they say: a friend in need is a friend that owes you one!
With that, he dashes out to the hallway and picks up the ‘phone!
Sharon is standing with Hilary in the lounge room, telling her about the disaster with Bronwyn's assignment. Hilary comments that that must have been why Bronwyn was looking for Matt earlier. Sharon, however, says that wasn't the reason she was looking for him; she was looking for him because Matt—. She breaks off as Matt comes into the room. Matt glares at her and says:
MATT: Sharon, please, go on. Don't let me stop you talking about me; I mean – I seem to be your favourite topic of conversation lately.
HILARY: What's all this about?
MATT (coolly): Oh, nothing much. It's just that bigmouth here thinks it might be a good idea to tell everyone how stupid I am. [Turning to Sharon] Right? How I can't even read properly?
SHARON (protests): No, Matt, I *didn't* say that.
HILARY (tersely): Sharon... Sharon, you have no right to say such things about Matthew.
MATT (to Hilary): *You're* one to talk, aren't you? I mean, who told *Kerry* about the dyslexia?
HILARY (retorts): It was totally different circumstances. She was helping you with your schoolwork – she had a *right* to be told.
MATT: What – so she could make allowances for me? Is that what you're trying to say? Listen, mum, I don't want to be treated any differently. I don't want sympathy... people feeling sorry for me; so in future just butt out.
HILARY (sharply): Matthew, I will not be spoken to like that, thank you.
MATT (murmurs): I'm sorry.
HILARY: Now look – this is all very understandable. I can imagine how it must feel to think people are talking about you behind your back... well, *I* should know. Come and sit down.
Sharon leaves the room. Hilary and Matt sit down and Hilary says:
HILARY: Matthew, I know I'm not the easiest person to talk to – but, if you were willing to give me a chance, we may *both* get something out of it. Now, is it worth a try?
Matt smiles weakly and nods:
No. 32/Golden Years Retirement Village
The next morning, Henry is sitting with Joe and Kerry in the lounge room at No. 32. He has his guitar with him! He asks Joe if he organised the transport and Joe nods that he did. Henry asks what it cost, but Joe beams:
JOE: Not a brass razoo! Got onto a mate's brother's mate; be here any time!
Henry beams that he'll give Stan the man a ring and get the troops ready. He heads out to the hallway as Kerry and Joe bustle round, getting some more blankets. Henry dials the number of the Golden Years Retirement Village and asks to speak to Stan. After a few moments, his face drops suddenly. He listens as Stan tells him:
STAN: ...and she says ‘we haven't got any extra staff and she can't afford any extras just so we can have a picnic.' Says it's not even the Queen's birthday!
At No. 32, Henry tells Joe and Kerry that the supervisor won't let the residents out without some trained staff to hold their hands. He returns to the ‘phone and tells Stan that it's all organised. Joe shouts down the ‘phone that they'll sort the supervisor out! Kerry adds:
KERRY: Tell her I've got a first-aid certificate.
JOE (looking surprised): I didn't know that!
Henry then says down the ‘phone:
HENRY: Listen, Stan the man, we're coming over there regardless. You just tell old Norm and Dorrie and the others to get into their G-strings. It's the beach or bust!
STAN: Good on ya! But you'll find Attila's a hard nut to crack!
HENRY: Oh yeah? Well, listen: we'll be there just as soon as—
He breaks off as a horn sounds outside. Joe smiles that that'll be the transport! He heads outside.
A large truck is reversing into the driveway of No. 32. Henry and Kerry come out of the house and Kerry exclaims that they can't take a bunch of old people on a picnic in *that*. Joe, however, insists that it's better than walking – and a couple of chairs and cushions and she'll be fine!
A man is standing with Hilary in the hallway. The piano is there as well. Sharon is also standing in the hallway, on the other end of the piano, talking to a young guy and smiling that he must have pretty big muscles, lifting pianos all day. The guy tells her that he works out at the gym, as well. Sharon says interestedly:
SHARON: Really? What's your name, anyway?
YOUNG MAN: Jason. What's yours?
SHARON: Sharon. My friends call me Shaz. Stupid name, don't you think?
JASON: No, it's nice. Friendly, like.
The guy talking to Hilary asks Jason suddenly to stop his talking and give him a hand. Sharon steps into the lounge room, where Matt is standing. He muses:
MATT: Sharon, that was a bit of a come-on, wasn't it?
SHARON (‘innocently'): I don't know what you mean!
Hilary comes in and reminds Matt and Sharon curtly that they have a long way to go to repay her for those repairs. Sharon assures her that they'll get it together. She then walks out into the hallway, following Jason. Hilary asks Matt in astonishment:
HILARY: Is she *chasing* that youth?!
A short time later, Hilary is telling Sharon curtly that there are no ‘buts' about it: she will not be going out this evening; one night out during the school week is more than enough – she should put her mind to her studies and take her thoughts off her animal urges. Sharon exclaims:
SHARON: Animal urges?! Get real!
HILARY (tersely): The one thing that separates us from the other animals is our ability to put our minds before our instincts.
SHARON: Hilary, I made an arrangement—
HILARY: The subject is closed for discussion, Sharon. If you wish to continue living under this roof, you'll do as you're told. Clear?
SHARON (reluctantly): Yes.
Hilary heads off to make herself a cup of tea, leaving Sharon to mutter at Matt, who's sitting on the couch:
SHARON: Can you *believe* it?
Matt, however, says he thinks Hilary's got a point: the way Sharon went after that guy was pretty off. Sharon mutters that that's right: sometimes it's so easy to tell he's Hilary's son. Matt asks what *that's* supposed to mean. Sharon retorts that it's his self-righteous streak. Matt insists that he's *not* being self-righteous, but she doesn't know Jason from a bar of soap. Sharon shrugs:
SHARON: I know the most important thing.
MATT: And what's *that*?
SHARON (smiles): Cute. He was definitely cute!
Golden Years Retirement Village
Henry, Joe and Kerry are heading up to the front door of the main building, Joe saying they should just front the supervisor straight and tell her they've got no right to keep everyone at home. Kerry asks what the supervisor's name is and Henry smiles that Stan calls her Attila the Hun! At that moment, a stern-looking woman emerges from the building and says tersely:
WOMAN: Because Stan has a rather wicked sense of humour. I'm Mrs. Mason, the hospital supervisor. What can I do for you?
HENRY (hesitantly): Hi! Er... we're... well, I'm Henry Ramsay – perhaps you've heard of me on Radio Erinsborough?
MRS. MASON: No.
HENRY (looking put-out!): Right. Well. Some of your inmates – your *residents*! – listen to my show, so we've organised a bit of an outing for them.
MRS. MASON (nods): Stan did mention that.
JOE: Yeah, but now he reckons you won't let them go.
MRS. MASON: Of *course* they can go.
JOE (smiles): Oh, well, in *that* case—
MRS. MASON: Some time in the future, when we can organise sufficient trained staff to accompany them.
With that, Mrs. Mason walks off. Henry, Joe and Kerry follow her, Kerry snapping that that's ridiculous. Mrs. Mason goes on that they have to consider the residents' individual health needs and ensure they take the correct medication. She adds that their relatives would hardly think them responsible if they let them out without supervision. Kerry rants:
KERRY: Oh really? The same relatives that leave them here, never visit them, never take them out... It's not the *relatives* who are stuck in here, day in, day out.
Mrs. Mason says she's sure their intentions are good, but it's just not possible – and it's not as if the residents never go anywhere: there's the annual senior citizens' barbecue. Kerry mutters:
KERRY: Once a year. Look, what's the problem, anyway? It's not as if they need permission to leave here, is it?
MRS. MASON: Strictly speaking, no – but you must understand we have to have rules. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got work to do. Good day.
Mrs. Mason leaves them. Kerry stands there fuming:
KERRY: Of all the stupid, bureaucratic rubbish...
Matt and Sharon are standing by the front door. Sharon opens the door to find Bronwyn on the step, and she invites her in, remarking that she looks really tired. Bronwyn replies that so would *she* if she'd been up half the night re-doing an assignment. Sharon asks her if she got it finished, and she nods that she did and is about to hand it in now. Sharon says she really has to go. Bronwyn says that's OK: she's actually come to see Matt. Sharon heads out. Bronwyn turns to Matt and says:
BRONWYN: Um... look... about what I said...
MATT: Look, Bron, it's OK. Don't worry about it. I've got to get going.
BRONWYN (pleads): Look, will you please just listen to what I've got to say?
MATT (shrugs): OK.
BRONWYN: Look, what I said... I didn't mean any of it. You know, I was just really upset about this assignment and everything. Maybe Sharon shouldn't've told me about your reading problems... but, um, I- I really admire you for the way you cope. Will you forget I ever said anything?
MATT (flatly): Sure. It's no big deal. I've gotta get going. See you later.
With that, Matt heads out. Bronwyn stands there looking worried.