Melanie quitting her job after yelling at Paul that he's insensitive, cold- hearted and ruthless.
Joe is sitting on the couch in the lounge room, staring at the TV - which isn't turned on - when Kerry comes in with a box and what she tells Joe is the last of Toby's things, which she'll send up. She then asks Joe if he's just going to mooch around all day. Joe shrugs that he's got no work until later on. He looks at Bouncer, who's lying on the floor looking upset, and remarks that he's got a bad case of the blues, pining for Toby. Kerry comments that Sky knows she hasn't got Toby to play with anymore - but she asks:
KERRY: How do you explain to kids and dogs that it was all for the best?
JOE: Yeah... While you're at it, you mind explaining it to *me* again?
He adds that he thinks it's just hitting him... Kerry sits down next to Joe on the couch and tells him that Toby loved him; he had to make a tough decision and should be proud of the way he handled it. She adds that *she's* just glad she and Toby had the time to get to know one another.
Gloria hands a couple of customers their change at their table and heads back to the counter. Paul comes in and asks her if she's seen Melanie about, but she replies that she hasn't. Paul suddenly spots a clipboard on the counter and, staring at it, snaps:
PAUL: What the hell's *this*?
GLORIA: Oh, it's a petition to save the playground.
PAUL: Yeah, I can see that, but what's it doing *here*?
GLORIA: Well, waiting for people to sign it, of course! Same as that tin's waiting for donations.
Paul tells Gloria firmly that he's sorry, but she's got no right to do that on his premises. Gloria retorts that she's in charge there while Harold's away, and if he *was* there, she reckons he'd support his daughter's campaign. Paul asks if Des knows about this. Gloria shrugs that Des was always in favour of the playground - after all, he's got Jamie to think of. The customers at the table walk out, leaving Gloria a generous tip, and Gloria smiles at Paul in delight:
GLORIA: I'm getting better tips here than I ever got at the Waterhole - and I reckon it's because they know all me tips are going to the playground fund.
With that, she puts the coins from the tip in the collection tin as Paul glares at her and mutters:
PAUL: Things might be very different when I've had a few words with Des. *Very* different.
Melanie is walking along Ramsay Street when Jim comes down the driveway of No. 26 and says hi. He adds that her secret's safe with him! Melanie looks at him blankly and asks what secret he means. Jim smiles:
JIM: The fact that you're wagging work. I won't tell the boss!
MELANIE (awkwardly): The boss doesn't really matter. I haven't *got* a boss anymore.
JIM (looking surprised): What happened?
MELANIE: I quit.
JIM: I thought you said you *liked* that job.
MELANIE: I *did*. Things just got sort of funny, you know? I don't mean funny ha- ha, I mean funny like it wasn't such a good idea me working there. I mean, when you've got two people and one of them feels badly about something and the other one's in charge...
JIM: Uh- oh... What's Paul done now?
MELANIE (sighs): It's not *all* his fault.
JIM: *What* wasn't all his fault?
MELANIE: I'd rather not say.
With that, Melanie goes to head into No. 28. Jim stops her, though, and asks her if she'd like *him* to have a word with Paul. Melanie, however, tells him that it wouldn't do any good: she quit. She adds:
MELANIE: Look, I know he's your son, and I'm not blaming *you* for the way he's turned out, so I'd just rather not talk about it if it's all the same with you.
She then heads off inside, leaving Jim looking thoughtful.
Melissa, Todd and Josh are placing their order for milkshakes with Gloria. She heads off to make them. When she's gone, Melissa tells Josh that she and Todd have got something to say. Todd says:
TODD: Josh Anderson - to show our appreciation and thanks for the sneaky and underhandedly way you got me and Melissa back together, we thought—
JOSH: Mate, I told you: I didn't plan it that way.
Melissa tells Josh that she and Todd want to thank him properly by cooking him a super- duper thank you dinner at Todd's place tonight. Josh smiles that that would be great. He adds that he'll have to ask the olds, but it should be all right. He then asks what they're having, as there's a few things he can't stomach. Todd asks:
TODD: Like what?
JOSH: Um... peas, tomatoes, I hate any meat with gristle in it, cauliflower, cheese and I'm kind of allergic to eggs...
Todd and Melissa grin at each other as the list goes on!
Office/Reception area at the Robinson Corporation
Paul is talking on the 'phone in his office, asking the person on the other end if the council can't call an Extraordinary Meeting. Jim comes in as another 'phone starts ringing and Paul asks him if he can get it. Jim heads out to the reception area, picks up the call and takes a message. He hangs up. Paul comes out and thanks his dad, explaining that it's been an absolute madhouse there today. Jim remarks bluntly:
JIM: Perhaps things wouldn't be so hectic if you managed to hang on to your secretaries a little longer...
PAUL (acknowledges): Ah. Melanie.
JIM: Yeah - what's the story, mate? I know she's a bit scatty, but she's good at her job.
The two of them head back into the office as Paul shrugs that it was just one of those things. He goes on:
PAUL: Melanie and I had dinner the other night and I suppose we had a few too many drinks and one thing led to another and... well, I guess things went a bit far. Since then, things have been a bit awkward around the office, so Melanie resigned on me.
JIM: Just like that?
PAUL: Well, more or less, yeah. Anyway, how do *you* know about this? I hate to think she's going around telling stories—
JIM (snaps): Good god, Paul, when will you ever learn?
PAUL: Dad, Melanie is a big girl, now, and it *does* take two to tango.
JIM (retorts): *You* are the *employer*, which makes you the one with the responsibility. I would've thought after the fiasco with Susan, you'd've learnt to keep your hands *off* the staff.
PAUL: It was nothing *like* that. And besides, I didn't fire her; she resigned.
JIM: Yeah, well, if the way you spoke about Kerry Bishop's any indication of the way you treat people, I'm not surprised.
Paul looks at his father blankly and asks what Kerry's got to do with this. Jim hands Paul a copy of the Erinsborough News and tells Paul that some of the things he said about Kerry were downright vicious. Paul looks at the article and then exclaims:
PAUL: Hang on - she can't get away with *that*.
Jim asks what he means. Paul just snaps:
PAUL: This stuff that's been written here about me - there's no *way* that she's going to get away with that.
Jim sits there looking frustrated.
Gloria has closed up the Coffee Shop for the day and is dragging a full black rubbish sack across the shop floor when Des comes in. She exclaims:
GLORIA: What a day!
DES: Yeah - tell me about it.
GLORIA: What's the matter?
Des goes and picks up the collection tin and says he's just been on the 'phone to Paul, who's been spitting chips. He adds:
DES: He said that you told him that I authorised you to have this petition in here.
Gloria insists that she never said that - not exactly. Des goes on that Paul also said that she's been telling everybody that she's been donating all her tips. Gloria replies that she *has*. She then asks what the matter is, as she thought he was on Kerry's side. Des retorts:
DES: That is not the point - I don't want to rub his nose in it. After all, we lease this place off him.
GLORIA: And he does all right out of it, doesn't he?
DES: And he could do just as well by leasing it to somebody *else*.
GLORIA: Oh, he wouldn't be so petty. [Uncertainly] Would he?
DES: For him, it would be a simple business decision.
He then tells Gloria that he wants the stuff out of there *now*. Looking annoyed, Gloria picks up the black sack - but as she does so, an empty Fosters can falls out and drops on the floor. Des stares at it in surprise. Gloria picks it up quickly and tells him that she found it out the front - somebody must have chucked it there on their way past from the Waterhole. Des accepts the explanation. He then apologises to Gloria for going off at her - the playground business just brings out the worst in a lot of people. Gloria nods that she understands. Des smiles at her that she's doing a good job and he tells her to keep up the good work. With that, he heads out. When he's gone, Gloria lets out a heavy sigh of relief.
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul is talking on the 'phone in his office, sounding delighted. He hangs up as Des comes in and sits down. He then turns to Des and apologises to him for blowing up at him before. Des replies that he told Gloria to take all the stuff out of the Coffee Shop. Paul, however, says:
PAUL: It doesn't really matter, now - the battle's all but over, and it looks like I've won. That was my solicitor on the 'phone: it looks like I've found a way of stopping Kerry and her merry little band. Got her dead to rights, I have.
DES: How come?
PAUL: No, no, no, no, no, no! I'm not going to tell *you*: you're a spy from the enemy camp! You'll find out soon enough! Sometimes I'm so bad it scares me!
Changing the subject, Des remarks that he doesn't suppose Paul managed to sort things out with Melanie? Paul replies awkwardly that it kind of sorted *itself* out: she quit. Des comments suspiciously:
DES: Quit? You didn't happen to give her a bit of a shove, did you?
PAUL: No! Scout's honour, Des. Look, I even tried to make it up to her: I sent her a bunch of flowers. You know what she did? Shoved them back at me!
DES (gasps): What did you *expect*?!
Paul groans at Des not to start; he's just had his dad giving him a lecture about it. He then asks when his staff problems are anybody else's business anyway. Des retorts that Melanie is not just staff; she's a friend. Paul insists:
PAUL: I didn't *ask* her to resign.
DES (states): But you're glad she did.
PAUL: Look, *she* made the decision and there's nothing I can do about it.
DES: Well... you could come round tonight and offer her a proper apology and sound as if you mean it.
PAUL: Des, I've already—
DES: And if you're lucky, mate - *very* lucky - she might just withdraw her resignation, all right?
PAUL (sighs): Yeah, yeah, all right.
It's evening- time. Josh is sitting watching TV on one couch while Todd and Melissa sit on the other couch, pashing. Josh calls across to them that he's starving! Todd and Melissa turn to him and he adds that he reckons it's got something to do with the weather! Todd suggests that they should put dinner on, then. He and Melissa head through the kitchen. Jim emerges from the bedroom area and says hi to Josh. He calls out to Todd that he's leaving, now, to meet Beverly at the restaurant. He heads out. Josh walks through to the kitchen, saying to Todd and Melissa as he does so:
JOSH: Are you sure you two don't need a hand?
He finds them in the middle of another full- on pash, and he returns to the lounge room, wearily!
Lochy is sitting on the floor with Bouncer and a pair of scissors. Kerry comes in and asks the girl in astonishment what she's doing. Lochy replies that she's going to give Bouncer a Mohawk! Kerry tells her to hand over the scissors. Joe comes in as Lochy asks grumpily what *else* there is to do. Looking at Joe, she adds:
LOCHY: Do you wanna come outside and see me do a donut on my bike?
JOE: Yeah, all right. Tell you what: you go out and warm up the deadly treadly and I'll be out in a moment.
LOCHY: OK - but don't be too long.
With that, Lochy heads out. Kerry and Joe sit down on the couch and Kerry sighs that the girl's been totally out of control ever since Toby left. Joe tells her he's been thinking about a new mate for Bouncer. Kerry smiles:
KERRY: Oh - do you mean getting a new dog?!
JOE: No, I mean—; you know very *well* what I'm talking about! Seriously - what do you think about us having a kid?
KERRY: Oh, I'd *love* for us to have a baby - but I don't think we can afford it at the moment.
JOE: Yeah... Losing that Lassiter's work was a real kick in the guts.
KERRY: I start minding Jamie for Des from next week, and there's a couple of people interested in me caring for their kids after school, so that should keep Lochy from getting bored and give us a bit of extra money.
JOE: Yeah, I suppose. Yeah. Just hold off the baby- making for a while, then.
KERRY: Oh, well, we could... we could maybe practice a lot...(!)
The two of them go to kiss - just as Lochy calls out:
LOCHY: Mr. Mangel!
Josh is sitting on the couch, flipping a cushion around and looking annoyed. He gets up and marches through to the kitchen, asking in irritation what's happening. Todd and Melissa are pashing again! Josh mutters:
JOSH: That'd be right. It's all right for you two: you've got each other to nibble on - but some of us happen to be weak from hunger.
He notices suddenly that a pan on the stove has boiled dry, and he quickly lifts it off. He mutters that the potatoes are burnt. Melissa says it's all right: she's made a huge chicken casserole. She goes to check it in the oven - only to discover that she forgot to turn it on. Josh glares at them and snaps:
JOSH: You two - out. I'll fry up some chips or something.
TODD: But that's not fair.
MELISSA: Yeah - it's supposed to be *your* thank you dinner.
JOSH: A fantastic thought, and I'm touched - but I'm also starving to death!
Melanie is wiping dishes as Des washes- up. She mutters:
MELANIE: Men, that's what it is. My mum was right: they're all the same.
Des turns to her, and she adds quickly that she didn't mean *him*: she doesn't really think of him as a man! She adds quickly that he knows what she means! She then announces:
MELANIE: I am declaring myself a man- free zone!
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Des goes to get it. He finds Paul standing on the step and invites him in. Melanie's face drops and she storms off towards her bedroom, but Paul asks her quickly not to go, as he'd like to have a word with her. Melanie turns to face him. Des heads off to kiss Jamie goodnight. When he's gone, Melanie demands of Paul coolly:
MELANIE: So, is it something to do with the office?
PAUL: Uh, yeah. And no. Look, firstly I'd like to apologise for the flowers. That was a pretty cheap stunt and I don't blame you for throwing them back at me. And secondly... about the other night: I guess I shouldn't've taken advantage of you.
MELANIE (retorts): There was nothing *wrong* with the other night, Paul, it was the way you treated me *afterwards* that was the problem.
PAUL: OK, OK, Melanie. Look, I want you to know that I feel very close to you - and even though I behaved like a creep, I don't want to lose your friendship. You mean something very special to me.
MELANIE (quietly): Truly?
PAUL: Yeah, absolutely. Now, will you please forgive me and come back to the office?
Melanie turns away. Paul insists:
PAUL: I promise I'll treat you with the respect that you deserve. Friends?
He holds out his hand. Melanie shakes it and smiles:
Josh is sitting in front of the TV. Todd and Melissa are sitting on the couch and go to start pashing. Josh, however, stares at them and snaps:
JOSH: Oh no you don't. Todd, you promised me: no more tonsil hockey 'til after the movie's finished.
He turns back to the film. Todd and Melissa immediately start pashing! Josh turns and glares at them and snaps that he's had enough. Todd insists quickly that they won't do it again. Josh, however, gets up and heads off. As soon as he's gone, Todd and Melissa start pashing again!
Paul knocks on the front door of No. 32. Joe answers it and asks Paul curtly what he wants, adding:
JOE: Shouldn't you be off nicking lollipops off kids or something?
PAUL: Nice to see you too, Joe. How's the gardening business, eh?
JOE: Slow - but honest.
Paul retorts sarcastically that he'd love to stay and chat, but it's *Kerry* he came to see. Kerry joins them and tells Paul that if it's about the interview in the paper, she's prepared to stand by everything she said. Paul retorts:
PAUL: At least I didn't say anything libellous.
KERRY: Neither did I.
PAUL: You told the Erinsborough News that I was paying off somebody in the council.
KERRY: Now, that's not true. I said the way the council was bending over backwards to try and sell you that land was like... well, was like you have them in your pocket. I didn't mean it *literally*.
PAUL: Well, that's not how my solicitors see it. See, they say that you've accused me of bribery and corruption, sullying my good name - so they've advised me to sue.
KERRY (aghast): You can't do that...
PAUL (coldly): Can't I? You just watch me. I'm going to hit you with a lawsuit that'll cost you *everything*.
With that, he walks off, leaving Kerry and Joe standing there looking worried.