Kerry is sitting on the couch with Sky as Joe rants at her that it was Harold that lost him the promotion for the nursery, and he doesn't want her helping him out. Kerry, however, retorts that Bronwyn starts at the vet's today, so her dad needs a hand: he'll pay her; they can use the money. Joe growls:
JOE: Not *his* money.
KERRY (snaps): Oh, will you stop carrying on? I'm *sick* of this silly feud between the two of you.
Joe asks Kerry what she's going to do with Sky, and Kerry replies that Madge is taking her. Joe mutters:
JOE: You're a traitor.
KERRY (coolly): Look, I have had it, Joe. This business between you and dad has gone too far.
JOE: Look, I'm not the kind of bloke to let another guy stomp on me face. I'm gettin' back at him one way or another.
KERRY: Well *I* don't want to have any part of it. The Coffee Shop gets really busy in the lunch hour and I'm going to be there to help dad.
Looking suddenly thoughtful, Joe muses that it *does* get busy: he supposes Harold and Des are making a fortune. Kerry, however, retorts that she doesn't think it exactly brings in millions. She then sighs:
KERRY: I just wish you'd let go of this squabble with dad.
JOE (murmurs): I'll let go when I get even...
Helen sits down at the breakfast table as Beverly comes in, yawning. Helen tells her that she should have stayed in bed a bit longer, but Beverly points out that she tells her patients to sleep while the baby sleeps – but she's got an in-built alarm clock that tells her to get up and go to the surgery! Helen asks how Neil's managing. Beverly replies that he seems quite happy with the new locum – although it's a shame Clive couldn't have stayed longer, as the patients really liked him. Todd comes in and sits down for breakfast. He asks:
TODD: Is anyone going to be home at lunchtime?
TODD: Well, I've got a few free periods off around that time – I thought I'd come home and work on the magazine.
BEVERLY: *What* magazine?
TODD: The school annual – I've been asked to co-edit it with Cody Willis.
Helen beams happily and asks why he didn't tell them! Todd shrugs that he's telling them now! Helen then asks why he needs to know if someone's going to be at home: is Cody Willis going to be working there *with* him? Todd looks down at the table and he murmurs:
BEVERLY (smiles): Oh don't tell me you've lost interest in Melissa already – not with all those letters going back and forth!
TODD: I *haven't* lost interest in Melissa.
HELEN: Then why do you want to be here alone with this ‘Cody Willis'?
TODD: I don't! That's *it* – I was hoping someone *else* would be here!
The ‘phone rings and Beverly goes to answer it in the lounge room, leaving Helen to ask Todd if he's a bit nervous of this girl. Todd replies:
TODD: She made it pretty clear she was interested. Now we're working on the magazine together, I can't avoid her, can I?
HELEN: Don't you trust yourself to be faithful to Melissa?
TODD: Yeah, course I do – it's just a bit embarrassing! It would be a lot easier if someone else was here.
Helen smiles that, under those circumstances, she'll do her best to be there at that time. Beverly hangs up the ‘phone and says a problem has come up at work and she has to go. She asks Helen if she'll look after Rhys for her. Looking put out, Helen asks Beverly if she knows how long she'll be, as she's fairly tied up today: she has to go into the office this morning and has an appointment at the gallery this afternoon. Beverly asks in concern what she's going to do with Rhys. Helen points out to her that she said she was going to *give up* the surgery. Beverly retorts that she *is*, but this is different. Helen tells her that her commitment is to Rhys – if she wants to keep him; but she then suggests checking with Kerry, as she's home most days and she's sure she'd like to look after him. With that, Beverly dashes out.
Melanie is sitting with Mike at a table as Harold stands by the counter, looking at the Erinsborough News. Melanie calls across to ask if there's anything interesting in the ‘Dear George' column. Harold nods thoughtfully that 50% of the letters seem to be written about people who live in Ramsay Street, and he's sure they're not the people who wrote them. Paul comes in and asks him if he thinks someone's writing in to the column about people they know. At the table, Melanie looks away shiftily! Mike says it sounds like something one of the kids might do. Harold then suggests:
HAROLD: On the other hand, ‘Dear George' could be someone we know and is making up his own letters.
MIKE: That's not very likely, is it?
HAROLD: Well, no, no. For a while there it was Mrs. Mangel when it was ‘Dear Georgette' – and before that—. [He breaks off before he says too much!] Well, all I'm saying is it's not as unlikely as it sounds. People who write for the Erinsborough News usually live locally. For all *we* know, ‘Dear George' could live in Ramsay Street.
Mike spots a letter and says:
MIKE: Hey, listen to this: “Recently, my father-in-law has done some things that have come close to ruining my gardening business; however, he did them because he's a man of high principle and thought he was doing the right thing – but I don't believe that my wife and I should have any more to do with him. What do you think?” Sort of rings a bell, don't you think, Harold?
Melanie says quickly:
MELANIE: I don't remember *that* one. I mean I don't remember *reading* that one!
Harold growls that he wouldn't put it past Joe, but Paul points out that Joe's the *last* person that would write into a ‘Dear George' column. Harold asks what ‘Dear George' replies. Mike reads:
MIKE: “I think that families should stick together. It's time to forgive your father-in-law and look at his good points. After all, I'm sure he's done a lot for you in the past.”
Harold remarks that at least the answer's a sensible one. Melanie asks if she can have a look at the paper. Mike hands it over. Melanie's face then turns pale as Paul says:
PAUL: Nobody had better write anything about *me*, otherwise they would be very, very sorry. There's no way I'd let it pass – I'd take legal action.
Kerry is talking to Sandra from the Erinsborough News on the ‘phone in the hallway. She's telling her that she's answered all the letters, but it's starting to get a bit difficult: they all seem to be about people and situations she *knows* about. She asks Sandra if she's employing someone else to write the letters to *her*. She listens and then says she didn't think so, but she's certain they must be coming from one person. She listens again before saying:
KERRY: No, no, I definitely want to go on with it. I guess I'm a bit worried that someone might get suspicious that most of the letters seem to be about people from Ramsay Street. ... Yeah... It's a mystery.
The front doorbell rings suddenly and Kerry tells Sandra that she has to go. She hangs up and stuffs a pile of letters into the drawer in the hall table. She then goes and answers the door to find Beverly standing on the step, carrying Rhys in his basket. Beverly tells her that she's hoping Kerry can save her life: she needs someone to look after Rhys for her today. Kerry, however, says she's sorry but she's just about to head off to work at the Coffee Shop. Beverly, looking worried, asks Kerry what she's done with Sky. Kerry tells her that she's with Madge, but they've already gone off shopping for the day. Beverly cries:
BEVERLY: God, what am I going to do *now*? Mrs. Kirkwood – do you think *she* might take him?
KERRY: She usually likes plenty of notice, as a rule. She could already have her hands full.
BEVERLY: I think I'd better find out. Thanks anyway, Kerry!
With that, Beverly heads out again.
Hilary is walking down the pathway of No. 30 to the letterbox. She's wearing her dressing gown. Beverly walks along from No. 32 and asks Hilary in surprise if she's sick. Hilary, however, explains that it's her day off – she just slept a little later than usual. Beverly asks her quickly if she has much to do today... Hilary replies:
HILARY: Not a thing! I'm just going to relax for once.
BEVERLY: Hilary... I badly need a favour.
HILARY (suspiciously): What *sort* of a favour?
BEVERLY: A babysitter. I have to attend a patient. It's a one-off situation, but I'm committed to it now. Helen had to go out and I can't find anyone to look after Rhys. Would you do it for me – *please*?
Hilary tries to protest that she knows nothing about *children* – but that doesn't stop Beverly handing over Rhys – in his basket – and a bag of his things and then dashing off!
Reception area/Office of the Robinson Corporation
Melanie is talking on the ‘phone, saying nervously:
MELANIE: But I wrote it by mistake – it wasn't *meant* to be published in the paper. ... Well, if Dear George has already got it, why don't you just tell me who he is and I'll go and get it back off him? ... I think it's stupid you can't tell me who he is. I mean, everyone knows his name is George; why don't you just tell me what his second name is?! ... Please ... Look, I have to get that letter back off him or I am going to be in real trouble. ... [Snaps] I think that's very unfair – I mean, if I accidentally happen to write a letter, you should *return* it to me!
Helen comes in as Melanie mutters to the person on the ‘phone that this matter is not at an end. She then hangs up and says a cheery ‘hi' to Helen! Helen heads through to the office, where Paul is sitting at his desk, playing absentmindedly with a Rubik's Cube. He gets up, closes the office door and then says tersely:
PAUL: Gran, would you believe that Gail has flatly refused to sign that access agreement?
HELEN (looking surprised): What are you doing to do?
PAUL: I thought of refusing to move out of the house...
HELEN: Oh darling, that won't get you anywhere.
PAUL: Well, I could make things more difficult for her, couldn't I? I mean – why *should* I be reasonable?
HELEN: Don't forget she has the winning cards: your children.
PAUL (growls): Yes, I know. I mean, I thought of fighting it in the courts, but god knows how long *that* would take. No... for the time being, I'm just going to have to see it *her* way. But let me tell you: there will come a time—
HELEN: There will come a time, hopefully, when you two will be at *peace* with each other.
Helen then asks Paul if he's sure he won't come home: they can make room. Paul, however, tells her that he's having the Manager's suite at Lassiter's renovated and he'll move in in a few weeks – and as much as he doesn't like it, he'll pay Gail rent until then. Helen pleads with him to just give this whole situation time to settle down, and then she's sure Gail will become more reasonable. Paul mutters darkly:
PAUL: She'd better – otherwise she'll see what *I* can do...
Joe walks into the Coffee Shop. Harold and Kerry are working behind the counter and Joe looks around at the number of customers and remarks that they're getting busy. He adds:
JOE: *I* am *too*, despite all *your* efforts.
HAROLD (sharply): Don't go making any silly accusations – not here in the Coffee Shop.
JOE (raising his voice so the customers can here): Oh dear me, no, we couldn't have *that*, could we? Wouldn't want your customers knowing your stabbed your son-in-law in the back. Might make you think twice about the bloke who runs this place. Might make you think twice about the FOOD!
Kerry warns Joe that that's enough. She hands him his sandwich and he heads out. Harold mutters to her:
HAROLD: Really – that man.
Kerry goes to clear some tables. As she does so, a woman walks up to the counter and tells Harold that her food was very nice. She then adds:
WOMAN: I assume I'm to get my 50% discount?
HAROLD (blankly): Er... 50% discount?
WOMAN: The one you advertised.
WOMAN: Yes – I saw it on a sign this morning. It was a lunch-hour special: a 50% lunch discount.
HAROLD: No, sorry, madam, not *here*.
WOMAN: But it said ‘Daphne's Coffee Shop' in the Lassiter's complex. Now, this is it, isn't it?
HAROLD: Yes it is, but I can assure you that we have not advertised any discounts.
WOMAN (curtly): Well I tell you I saw it. If this is just some cheap trick to get people into your shop, I don't appreciate it. Now, I insist on my 50% discount or I shall make a scene.
Harold stands there awkwardly.
In the lounge room, Rhys is crying as Hilary struggles to try to comfort him. She puts a blanket over him – but he takes that moment to relieve himself, leaving a stain all over her dress! She mutters at him:
HILARY: The sooner you're walking to the bathroom, young man, the better!
Todd comes in through the back door with a teenage girl who has dark hair in bunches. Helen is in the kitchen and she smiles at them that she's just made the sandwiches. Todd introduces Helen to the girl, Cody Willis. He suggests that they'd better get started, but Cody points out that they've still got time to eat – there's a free period after lunch. The two of them sit down at the table and Cody asks:
CODY: Have you heard anything from Melissa?
TODD: Um, yeah. We write to each other heaps.
CODY: Does she say much about the American guys?
TODD: No – but she's dying to get back home.
CODY: I bet she's doing a lot of things she's not telling you.
TODD: Yeah? Like what?
CODY: Most American guys are *hunks*. She wouldn't be able to pass *them* up!
TODD (looking annoyed): Who *says* they're hunks?
CODY: You can see in the movies.
TODD (mutters): Yeah, well, that's only in the movies – the rest of them are just ordinary.
CODY: You *hope*!
TODD: Yeah, well, Melissa wouldn't be going out with anyone else – she's *my* girl.
CODY (sighs): And you're her guy.
TODD: Yeah, I am.
Cody sighs heavily. Helen watches things and rolls her eyes!
Harold is having an argument with another customer – a large man – insisting that he gave no such discount. Kerry pulls Harold to one side and tells him that he can't have a stand-up fight with every customer. Harold retorts that it doesn't make sense: where could they have seen this advertisement? Kerry shrugs that they must have done: too many people have said it. The customer demands to know if Harold's going to fix up his bill. Harold tells him reluctantly that that's $2.50. The man pays, but as he heads for the door, he says to the other customers loudly:
MAN: Don't let this bloke rip you off: there's a 50% lunchtime discount and he's trying to welsh on it.
Mike heads over to the counter and smiles:
MIKE: You won't welsh on *mine*, will you, Harold?
HAROLD (darkly): You saw this advertisement too, eh?
MIKE: No. No – but obviously a lot of other people have, and you can't give some people a discount and not others. After all, I *am* a regular.
Harold mutters that he's obviously going to have to give in to *everyone*: he's sick and tired of arguing about it. Mike points out that it's been good for business. Harold, however, looking aghast, retorts:
HAROLD: Good for business? How do you think we can make a profit by discounting 50%? It'll run us into the ground.
Todd and Cody are trying to work out which photo to use in the magazine. Todd selects one, but Cody retorts that she has a stupid look on her face. Todd grins:
TODD: Yeah – real natural!
Cody reaches out to try and hit him playfully! Todd laughs:
TODD: Besides, it's not just you: it's a *class* photo.
CODY: Yeah? Why do you think I said I'd work on this magazine? I wanted to make sure I'd look good in it too.
TODD (smiles): Oh, *that* was your reason...
CODY (grins knowingly): Not my *only* one...!
Todd suggests that they'd better get back to work. Helen comes in and tells him that she has an appointment at the gallery. Todd asks in concern if she's leaving, and Helen says she's afraid she has to. She tells Cody that it was nice to have met her. Cody smiles:
CODY: You too. You'll probably see me around a bit – I mean now that Todd and I are working on this thing together!
With that, Helen heads out. Todd asks Cody quickly if she's read Jeff Dodds' article. Cody, however, just smiles:
CODY: You seem really nervous, Todd! Don't you like being alone with me?
TODD (insists): I'm only interested in Melissa.
CODY: Yeah, but she'll be away for *so* long: *six months*...
TODD: Yeah, well, she could come back sooner if she wants to...
CODY: Yeah, but she can't if her parents want her to stay, can she? She's going to miss out on the end-of-the-year dance. Who are you going to take?
TODD: I hadn't really thought about it. I don't think I'll take *anyone*. Besides, no one will want to go with me anyway.
CODY: What do you mean?
TODD (mutters): I'm getting braces on my teeth.
CODY (smiles): Yeah?! *I* think braces are really *cute*!
TODD (looking surprised): Really? Well, I don't know if *Melissa* will think so – I haven't told her yet.
CODY: Well, *I* like them and *I'm here*: you could take *me* to the dance.
TODD: Sorry, I can't.
CODY (turning away so that Todd can't see her face, but still smiling): Oh. OK. It doesn't matter. I probably won't go anyway.
TODD: Look, it's just awkward, that's all.
CODY: It really doesn't matter. Let's not talk about it.
TODD (sighs guiltily): I suppose I could take you then.
CODY (spinning to face Todd, happily): Really?!
TODD: Yeah, well, as long as you understand that Melissa's still my girlfriend.
CODY (happily): Of course I do!
TODD: Great. It's a date, then.
CODY (looking pleased with herself): Great!
Rhys is crying, and Hilary picks him up as she pleads with him not to wet himself again. She sits down with him on the couch and tries to get him to take his bottle. She then starts singing ‘Rock a bye baby' to him, but mutters afterwards that those sort of words set up insecurities in later life! She's interrupted by a knock at the front door, and she comments that that sounds like Beverly. She carries Rhys as she goes to the door. It is indeed Beverly standing there, and she apologises for having taken so long. Hilary quickly hands Rhys over and Beverly says:
BEVERLY: I hope he hasn't been too much trouble.
HILARY (fondly): Well, it's been quite an experience. I've realised how much I've missed out on with Matthew. I wish I'd got to know him when he was a baby. I think I would have made a *good* mother, once I got used to it...
Harold is standing behind the counter, counting the day's takings. Joe comes in and asks Kerry if she's ready to go home. Harold thanks his daughter for her help, adding that he really appreciates it after the day they've had. Joe muses:
JOE: Been a bit busy today, have you, Harry?
HAROLD (tersely): *Very*.
JOE (grins): It's great for business!
HAROLD (mutters): I don't want to talk about it.
JOE (to Kerry): Something eating him there?!
KERRY: I'll tell you on the way home.
With that, Joe and Kerry head out. Something appears to occur to Harold suddenly, though, and he calls:
As Kerry and Joe walk across the complex, Kerry says her dad's *so* upset. Joe chuckles:
JOE: I bet!
Kerry then asks him suspiciously if *he* had something to do with it. Joe points to his ute: he's erected a sign in the back, which says: ‘DAPHNE'S DAZZLING DISCOUNT DAY. All Lunches Today HALF PRICE AT OUR Coffee Shop AT LASSITER'S COMPLEX'. There's also a drawing of a chef! Joe grins that he drove around a lot this morning: no wonder there was so much business in the shop today! Harold catches up with them and spots the sign. Looking astonished, he splutters at Joe:
HAROLD: Y... You... you...
JOE: Yeah, *me*, Harry, eh? Now I reckon we're even!
HAROLD (furiously): *Even*?! If you think this is the end of the matter, you are very much mistaken. All right, Mr. Mangel – you want war, you've *got* it.
Joe just stands there looking pleased with himself!