Harold declaring war on Joe!
It's evening time and Kerry is sitting in the lounge room when Joe comes in with Toby, saying:
JOE: Look who I found at the airport!
Toby runs and gives Kerry a hug and tells her that he missed her! Kerry smiles that she missed him, too. Toby then asks eagerly:
TOBY: How's Rupert?
JOE (hesitantly): Oh, Rupert... Oh, mate, bit of bad luck there.
TOBY: Why, what happened?
JOE: Well, you see, I got a bit sick of Kerry's veggie dishes all the time, and felt like a bit of red meat, so I—
TOBY (looking horrified): Dad, you didn't...
JOE (grins): No, Rupert's fine – I'm only joking!
KERRY (coolly): Yes, well, we've just about had enough of your jokes, lately.
Kerry then asks Toby if he had a good time with his mum. Toby beams that they went camping in Kakadu National Park – it was great; he'll have to tell granddad all about it. Joe, however, tells Toby sharply that he's not going over to Harold's; they're not going to have anything to do with him. Toby asks what happened; why can't he see his granddad? Joe tells him:
JOE: He's not your granddad, mate, he's Mr. High-and-Mighty Bishop, and that's what we're all gonna call him from now on.
Kerry, however, warns Joe not to drag Toby into his feud. Toby asks what's going on. Kerry, however, says she'll tell him later, and she suggests he go and unpack his things. Toby reluctantly picks up his suitcase and leaves the room. When he's gone, Kerry says to Joe:
KERRY: I want you to apologise to dad.
JOE (looking horrified): No way. He deserved it. I mean, that bit of profit he lost isn't going to count for much.
KERRY: It was still a rotten thing to do. Joe, it really upsets me.
JOE: You're too sensitive, that's *your* trouble.
KERRY: Two of the people I care most about are at each other's throats most of the time. How am I *supposed* to feel?
JOE (reluctantly): Look, if it means that much to you...
KERRY: It does.
JOE: OK, I'll apologise – next time I see him.
KERRY: I want you to make a point of apologising first thing in the morning. What's more, I'll go along with you to make sure you apologise *properly*.
JOE: Gah, the things I do for *you*!
The next morning, Bronwyn serves a customer as Harold talks on the ‘phone to the Reverend Richards. He hangs up and chuckles that the Reverend is going away for a couple of days to an ecclesiastical seminar and he suddenly remembered that some of the chairs in the church hall needed repairing before the Sunday school concert next week. Bronwyn asks Harold if the Reverend expects *him* to fix them all, but Harold assures her that he just has to get somebody else to fix them up. As Bronwyn goes to clear a table, she notices that the customer has left their paper behind. Melanie comes in as Harold says:
HAROLD: You know, I'd still like to know who wrote that article about Joe and me. I'm *sure* it was him.
Melanie stands there looking slightly nervous! She then asks Bronwyn what she's doing there, as she thought she got a job as a vet. Bronwyn explains that it's only part-time at the moment. Melanie smiles that she thought it would be fun playing with all those animals. Bronwyn, however, sighs that all she did yesterday was run errands, and if that's all the job's going to be, she might as well have gone to New Zealand with Henry. Melanie assures her:
MELANIE: I bet they'll have you training monkeys in next to no time!
BRONWYN: I don't think training monkeys is part of a vet's job, Mel!
Harold then asks Melanie what they can do for her. Melanie grins and asks if they have any special discounts today! Harold, however, retorts that he doesn't find that very funny – and he promises that Joe is going to be very sorry for his underhand tactics...
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Des is typing on the office computer. Paul thanks him, saying he normally leaves the figures up to Jane – she's a hell of a lot better at them than *him*. He then realises what he's said, and he apologises to Des quickly. Des assures him that it's OK: he's determined not to let it pull him down. Paul asks:
PAUL: Are things really that bad between you two? I mean, there's no chance of patching it up, eh?
DES: As long as she's going to stay on over there, you know? At the end, it was a choice between her grandmother and *me*.
PAUL: I got a letter from her yesterday.
PAUL: Yeah, well, she resigned from her job. A lot of apologies, but she made it quite clear she wasn't coming back for quite some time. Still, I suppose she could come to her senses, eh?
DES: No, mate, it's over. I'd be a fool to keep on hoping.
Paul nods that it's the same with him and Gail – but the thing is to just keep on going on: he intends on putting everything into the business now; he reckons there's some pretty exciting times ahead. He then asks:
PAUL: You made any decision about working here?
DES: Well, yeah, I *have* been thinking about it.
Paul tells Des that before he answers, he knows he said it could be on a part-time basis – but he'd like Des to come on board in a big way: he could take over all the accounts and be his personal assistant. He asks Des what he says. Des admits that he wasn't expecting *that*! Paul asks him to think about it and Des says he will. Melanie comes in at that moment with coffee and doughnuts, much to Des's obvious delight! Paul, however, asks if they can get on with things, as they have a lot of work to do. Melanie and Des look at each other glumly!
Harold emerges from the kitchen, humming cheerfully to himself. He joins Bronwyn behind the counter, just as Toby comes in with Joe, Kerry and Sky. Kerry tells her father that Joe has something he wants to say. Harold looks at Joe, who says awkwardly:
JOE: Listen, Harry, I'm sorry I played that silly trick on you yesterday. I wouldn't've done it if I'd known you didn't have a sense of humour. I'm sorry, OK?
HAROLD (angrily): OK? No, it is *not* OK, and if you call that an apology, well you can just get out—
KERRY: Joe, *please*.
JOE: Oh, all right, all right. I'm sorry I did what I done, OK? I am real sorry.
Toby then asks if he can tell Harold about his holiday! Harold suggests to him that he come over tonight and tell him all about it. He adds that there's a canoeing trip coming up with the cubs, and he asks Toby if he'd like to be in it. Toby nods enthusiastically. Joe, however, exclaims:
JOE: You've gotta be kidding! After what happened *last* time?
HAROLD (tersely): That was caused by a freak storm. The chances of it happening again are one in a million.
JOE: I don't take *any* chances with Toby.
TOBY: Come on, dad, I'll be all right. Granddad will look after me – he did *last* time.
Joe mutters that he'll think about it. Kerry suggests to Joe that they head off, as they've got things to do. Harold comments to Joe:
HAROLD: Got a bit on, have you?
JOE: Oh, a couple of things!
HAROLD: Heard of a job *today*. Of course, I don't suppose *you'd* be interested. It sounded very rewarding, though.
JOE: Yeah? Like what?
HAROLD: The chairs in the church hall need repairing. Reverend Richards has asked me to find somebody to do it.
JOE: It'll be worth me while?
HAROLD: Oh, I should think so. You could go to the manse and pick up the key to the church hall, if you're interested.
Joe smiles at Harold that that's real decent of him – but he won't necessarily trust Toby with him on the trip! Harold just tells Joe that Reverend Richards said he'd like the job completed today, if possible. Joe nods:
JOE: Good as done.
With that, he, Kerry, Toby and Sky head out. When they've gone, Harold starts humming to himself cheerfully again. Bronwyn asks in amusement:
BRONWYN: What are you up to?!
HAROLD: Oh nothing, nothing!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Melanie is laughing with Des when Paul comes in with a copy of the Erinsborough News. Melanie's face drops and she says nervously:
MELANIE: You don't bother to read the local rag, do you, Paul?
PAUL: No, I just thought I'd check out some of those letters Harold was talking about. I'd like to know who's writing them.
Des asks Paul if they've written something about *him*. Paul replies that they haven't yet, but he's half expecting it: he and Gail would make quite a juicy little problem for ‘Dear George'. He adds that if anything *does* pop up, he's going to be taking legal action. Melanie, looking suddenly wary, says quickly that she'd better get back to work.
Joe is busy working on screwing the broken chairs back together when Kerry comes in with Sky and says she thought he might like some lunch. Joe tells her that this job is going to take him all day: some of the chairs practically need rebuilding! Kerry comments that it was good of her dad to put him onto it, especially after that half-hearted apology. Joe says he wishes he'd spoken to the Reverend himself about the work, as it's going to cost a lot more than he expected. Kerry then says she thinks they should have her father and Madge over for dinner soon. Joe, however, retorts that the less he sees of Harold, the better. Kerry sighs in exasperation that she thought this whole feud thing might just be over. Joe tells her it *is* – but Harold still gets up his nose. Kerry pleads:
KERRY: Will you keep the peace for my sake – OK?
JOE: Yeah, all right. I suppose it *was* decent of him to get me this job. I'll try.
Kerry thanks him gratefully.
Melanie is sitting at a table. Bronwyn hands her a milkshake and comments to her that she's having a late lunch today. Melanie explains that Paul kept piling the work on her: he's been really grouchy lately. Bronwyn comments that it's probably because of what happened with Gail. Melanie says
MELANIE: Yeah, well, you'd better not let *him* hear you talking like that. He said if there's a letter published in ‘Dear George', he's going to take legal action.
BRONWYN: I don't really *blame* him. You know, I'm really browned off about that letter about me and Henry.
MELANIE: I didn't mean any *harm* Bronny.
BRONWYN (suspiciously): What do you mean?
MELANIE (quickly): Oh nothing. It doesn't matter.
BRONWYN (sitting down at the table): Did *you* write that letter?
Melanie nods her head. Bronwyn exclaims:
BRONWYN: Melanie, *why*? It had nothing to do with you.
MELANIE: I felt really sorry for you, Bron. I thought you needed some advice, and ‘Dear George' always gives such good advice.
BRONWYN: Listen, if I want advice, I'll ask for it. It's a really silly thing to do.
Melanie sighs heavily. Bronwyn then asks about the other letters about the people in Ramsay Street. Melanie sits there looking guilty, and Bronwyn gasps:
BRONWYN: The one about Nick and Sharon caused then a lot of trouble, you know?
MELANIE: I didn't *mean* it to. You see, Nick actually *asked* me for advice, and so did Sharon. I didn't know what to tell them, so I wrote the letter. Then I thought of all the other people in Ramsay Street who needed advice, so I wrote letters for them too. Some of them haven't even been published yet.
BRONWYN: Which ones?
MELANIE: Well, there's one about Bev and Jim wanting to adopt the baby... and there's one about Des and Jane splitting up... and there's one about Paul and Gail...
BRONWYN: Oh no...
MELANIE (cries): He's going to fire me. He might even *sue* me.
Bronwyn tells Melanie that she's going to have to ring the paper and tell them those letters aren't to be published. Melanie sighs that it's too late: they said those letters have already gone to ‘Dear George'. Bronwyn suggests:
BRONWYN: In that case, you're going to have to find out who George is, talk to him and tell him how much strife you'll be in if those letters are published.
MELANIE (looking upset): I've already talked to the Erinsborough News and they won't tell me who George is. Oh Bron, what am I going to do...?
Toby is sitting in the lounge room, whistling, when Kerry comes in with Lochy, who says to Toby:
LOCHY: You didn't get eaten by a crocodile?
TOBY (sarcastically): I wouldn't be *here* if I did, would I?!
Lochy calls Bouncer to her and he sits down on the couch with her. Toby looks slightly annoyed! Lochy then tells Toby that she learned a lot of magic tricks from his magic set while he was away. Toby turns to Kerry and snaps that they were supposed to be secret. Kerry apologises, saying she didn't think. Lochy insists that it can be *their* secret, but Toby retorts that girls can't *keep* secrets. Lochy snaps:
Lochy then says she wants to borrow Bouncer for a pet competition at school tomorrow. Toby exclaims:
TOBY: Bouncer's not *your* dog!
LOCHY: It doesn't matter. They just said ‘bring along a pet'. Bouncer's a pet, isn't he?
TOBY: Yeah, but he's not *yours*.
LOCHY: I told you – it doesn't matter. Anyway, he's smart: he'll win for sure.
TOBY (cries): I'm not letting you take my dog.
LOCHY: You can ride my bike for a week.
TOBY (firmly): Nope!
Kerry appeals to Toby, pointing out that Lochy hasn't got a pet of her own. Toby, however, retorts that Bouncer's *his*. Kerry points out that he belongs to the *family*. Toby insists that his dad wouldn't like it. Kerry suggests they ask him when he gets home, and Lochy asserts:
LOCHY: *He'll* let me do it.
Toby looks at her darkly!
Reception area at the Robinson Corporation
Melanie is yelling down the ‘phone that they *have* to tell her who ‘George' is, as it's a matter of life and death: she'll be killed if she doesn't find out! She hangs up, looking annoyed. Des emerges from the office and remarks that he hopes that wasn't a client! Melanie assures him that she's always really polite to clients! She then exclaims:
MELANIE: Do you know what he said to me? That I had a laugh that would shatter plate glass. Can you believe that? I was really insulted.
DES: I don't bl—; what a terrible thing to say!
MELANIE: Yeah! I've never broken glass *yet*!
DES: No. Just chipped a few edges, maybe!
That causes Melanie to burst out laughing again! Paul emerges from the office and demands angrily if it's a bit too much to ask for a bit of peace and quiet: he'd like to see some work being done, instead of all this inanity. Des tells Paul calmly that they were just having a joke. Paul, however, retorts:
PAUL: Des, this is not the *place* for jokes. Now, if you think it *is*, you can both find somewhere *else* to work, eh?
Melanie and Des look at each other.
Harold is mopping the floor after closing for the evening when Joe comes in and says he finally got all the chairs done – although he wouldn't have taken it on if he'd known how much work would be involved. Harold says:
HAROLD: I'd like to thank you on behalf of Reverend Richards and the church committee.
JOE: All right, well, I'll give the account to you, eh, and you can give it to him when he gets back.
HAROLD (queries slyly): Account?
JOE: Yep – for the work.
HAROLD: But I thought you understood that it was a *voluntary* job. For the *church*.
JOE (exclaims): Voluntary! You mean they're not going to *pay*?
HAROLD: I thought you *realised* that!
JOE: But *you* said it was going to be rewarding.
HAROLD: Well, yes, and I'm sure it *will* be. *Spiritually* rewarding.
JOE (gasps): *Spiritually* rewarding?
HAROLD: And I'm sure, also, the committee will be only too pleased to send you a letter of thanks!
JOE: A let—. You mongrel! You set me up, didn't you? I've lost a day's pay!
HAROLD (coolly): I'm sure it's no more than *I* lost because of your stupid prank yesterday.
JOE: Oh, of all the rotten, crummy, lowdown—
HAROLD (chuckles): Why don't you write a letter to the Erinsborough News? I'm sure ‘Dear George' will give you some sympathy!
JOE: ‘Dear George'? What the hell are you talking about?!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul is sitting at his desk as Des stands in front of him and reminds him curtly that he asked him to help out there – and as far as Melanie goes, she is the most efficient secretary he's ever seen; he should be lucky he found her. Paul mutters:
PAUL: Even with that laugh?
DES: Even with that laugh. At least she brightens-up the place a bit.
Paul goes and sits at the computer as Des goes on that he knows he's upset about Gail, but that's no reason to take it out on *them*; if Paul doesn't want him here, he'll clear out – and Melanie is a definite asset, and Paul would be a fool to sack her. Paul gives in and says he's sorry: his nerves are just on edge. With that, he calls Melanie in. She asks nervously if she should clear out her desk, but Paul tells her:
PAUL: No, no, I want to apologise – to *both* of you, please. Look, I realise you're getting the work done, and I shouldn't have sounded-off like that.
MELANIE (meekly): I won't laugh anymore.
PAUL: No, of course you can laugh – come on: we can do with a bit of fun around the place. I just want you to accept my apology.
MELANIE (nods): Sure.
With that, Melanie returns to her desk in the reception area. Des then says to Paul:
DES: Listen, mate, um, I don't reckon it's a good idea for me to work here full-time.
Paul insists that this won't happen again, but Des explains that he'd prefer they stay mates rather than Paul being his boss; he'll register with one of those placement agencies for accountants. With that, he heads out of the office, leaving Paul looking disappointed.
Bronwyn sits down with Melanie at the kitchen table as Melanie explains that she could write ‘Dear George' a letter, but by the time he gets *that*, the other letters will probably have been published. She adds that Paul's going to fire her for sure – he almost did *today*. Bronwyn suggests:
BRONWYN: Why not send a lettergram? People always take notice of *them*.
MELANIE: You mean send ‘Dear George' one?
BRONWYN: Yeah. Send it care of the paper; make it sound really important.
MELANIE (sighs): I couldn't explain everything in a lettergram and it would cost me a fortune.
BRONWYN (thoughtfully): Well... ask George to meet you.
MELANIE (brightening-up): Yeah! Then I could explain *everything* to him. I'd get him to meet me at the Coffee Shop. Oh – but how will I know it's him?
BRONWYN: Tell him to carry a copy of the Erinsborough News open at the ‘Dear George' column.
MELANIE (frowns): This is going to be one long lettergram, Bron.
BRONWYN: It'll be worth it to save your job.
MELANIE: Yeah – and my life! And then we'll find out, won't we?!
BRONWYN: Find out what?
MELANIE: Who ‘Dear George' *really* is!
Bronwyn rolls her eyes!
Toby and Lochy are sitting in the lounge room when they hear the front door bang. They both dash out into the hall and Toby says quickly:
TOBY: Tell her she can't take Bouncer to her school tomorrow, dad. Tell her!
LOCHY: You'll let me take him, won't you, Mr. Mangel?
TOBY: Please dad, don't let her!
Joe, however, snaps at both kids to be quiet, and he storms into the lounge room. Kerry asks what's wrong. Joe tells her curtly:
JOE: Your old man pulled a real swifty. You know those chairs; that job: voluntary. I didn't volunteer, did I? I was *conned*.
KERRY (warily): You're not *fighting* with him again, are you?
Joe starts hunting around and asks Kerry if she's seen this week's Erinsborough News. Looking wary, Kerry asks why. Joe retorts that her dad says there's a letter in it, and he wants to see it. Kerry says quickly that she thinks she threw it out. Toby, however, looks over at the dresser and says the paper's *there*. He hands it to his dad, who asks Kerry:
JOE: You seen this letter I'm supposed to have written?
KERRY: Well, yes, but I know you didn't write it.
Joe goes through the paper, looking for the ‘Dear George' column. Lochy and Toby peer over his shoulder as he reads:
JOE: ‘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?'
He then tuts in disgust:
JOE: Man of high principles!
He turns to the answer and reads:
JOE: ‘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.'
Toby tries to ask about Bouncer again, but Kerry warns him:
KERRY: Not now, Toby.
JOE: Strewth, who in the hell *is* this? I tell you what: if I get my hands on this interfering bozo, I'll tear him limb from limb.
Kerry sits there looking worried.