Cameron, Lauren and Lou are sitting at the table, eating dinner. Lauren is pressing Cameron about the articles he's writing, but he refuses to tell her what they're about. He changes the subject and asks Lou how the paintball was. Lou replies:
LOU: Hot and dusty. Glad I was killed.
Lauren tells her father that she and Cameron had fun when they went out. Cameron suggests that they should do it again - tomorrow night. Lauren asks where they should go and Cameron suggests a moonlight picnic. Lou growls that that sounds like the setting for a lot of hanky- panky to him. Lauren tells him that she'll make up her *own* mind who she goes out with. Lou mutters that he'll go to bed. Left alone with Cameron, Lauren asks:
LAUREN: Should dad be worried about this picnic?
CAMERON: Let's just say I promise you an evening you'll never forget.
Debbie is leaning against the front door, trying to stop Rick getting in. He pleads to her to let him explain, but she snaps that she doesn't need a description; she could see what was going on. Rick manages to barge his way in, with Annalise in tow. Debbie snaps at her:
DEBBIE: What are you trying to do? Go through every guy in Ramsay Street.
She storms into the lounge room and Rick and Annalise follow. Rick quickly explains about how his mum and dad want him to go to Italy and he thought if his mum caught him and Annalise like that, they wouldn't want him to go with them. Debbie listens and then asks warily:
DEBBIE: So the whole thing was a fake?
Rick tells her that he was only doing it so he didn't have to leave her. Debbie asks Annalise coldly how she knows she's not after Rick. Annalise insists that it was just to con his mum. Debbie calms down. Annalise heads off, leaving Debbie to smile at Rick that everything's OK now. Rick, however, tells her that his mum reckons he can't be trusted on his own, so they're leaving for Italy tomorrow afternoon.
Benito is telling Cathy happily that he sure showed Jim who the best man was; what a great way to start the holidays! Cathy, however, tells him that *she* had a very nasty shock when she came in this afternoon: Rick and Annalise on the couch, half- undressed, doing the obvious. Benito snarls:
BENITO: Why, the little... Wait until I get my hands on him. That explains the lingerie.
CATHY: *What* lingerie?
Benito yells upstairs to Rick to come down, but Cathy tells him that he's gone out. Benito snaps that Annalise is a menace; it's just as well they're taking Rick away with them.
The next morning, Cameron is working at the typewriter as Lauren and Lou emerge from the bedroom area, Lauren telling Lou that she'll buy him one of those croissants. Lou says he'll get the car out. He heads outside, leaving Lauren to ask Cameron how the writing's going. He tells her, though, that he hasn't started yet. She heads out, just as Helen comes in and tells Cameron that she was hoping he could give her some legal advice: she's having a bit of trouble with the insurance company about the fire - it seems that because it was deliberately set they may not pay up. Cameron asks her how her policy's worded. Helen rolls her eyes and says she should have brought it over; she'll come back a little later. She apologises to Cameron for disturbing his work. She then asks him what he's writing and he explains:
CAMERON: It's my new job - for a magazine.
HELEN: Which one?
CAMERON: I don't think you'd know it. One of the men's glossies.
HELEN (bemused): Oh!
CAMERON: The sort I used to hide from my parents!
HELEN: And what sort of articles are you writing?
CAMERON: They're not articles, really; they're more like fake letters. They're supposed to be from readers telling about their erotic encounters!
HELEN: Sounds exciting!
CAMERON: Not yet! I had this guy and a girl meet at a supermarket, but I'm not sure where to go from there.
HELEN (frowns thoughtfully): Well... what if they were accidentally locked in overnight and made passionate love in various areas of the shop?
CAMERON (smiles delightedly): Great!
Benito is ranting at Rick that his behaviour was disgraceful; he's going to be watching him like a hawk in Italy and he can count himself lucky that he's still going. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Benito opens it to Debbie before storming off. Debbie joins Rick on the couch and asks how things are. Rick tells her that his dad's still giving him a rough time. Debbie suggests that maybe he should admit that he and Annalise were only pretending, but he sighs that that would only make things worse. He then tells Debbie that he'd do anything not to leave her. Debbie says she's been doing a bit of thinking and she's got an idea: it's pretty desperate, but. She then asks Rick if his mum's doing any of his washing today...
Sitting at a table with her father, Lauren tells Lou that working at the stables is an absolute dream job. Lou comments that ever since he can remember, she's been crazy about horses; he doesn't know where she got it from. Lauren grins that it might have to do with him dragging her to the races every weekend from the time she could walk! She adds that the only problem with the job is having to get up so early. At that moment, Annalise comes in, wearing her Erinsborough High uniform. She says hello to Lou - who ignores her. Lauren asks her father quietly who that is and Lou explains awkwardly:
LOU: That's Annalise.
LAUREN (surprised): You mean the girl you—
LOU (tersely): You said you understood.
LAUREN: Yeah, sure. Sure I do. Um... I have to get back to the stables.
LOU: But you said you'd finished.
LAUREN: I just remembered something I forgot to do. I'll see you later, dad.
With that, Lauren walks out, looking at Annalise on the way.
Helen hands Cameron a sheet of paper and smiles:
HELEN: *That* should raise a few blood pressures!
Cameron comments that she's amazing; this is the last thing he would have imagined! Helen grins that she's read her fair share of trashy novels! Cameron says he's got one more article to write and he asks where they can set *this* one. Helen asks him where he takes girls on dates. Cameron replies:
CAMERON: All sorts of places: restaurants... movies... discos... I'm taking Lauren on a moonlight picnic tonight.
HELEN: There you are: surely you can get your imagination to work on *that* one?
With that, she heads out. Cameron turns back to his typewriter.
Annalise joins Lou at his table and asks him how he is. He nods that he's fine - before then telling her that he doesn't think this is such a good idea. Jim has come in and watches from the counter as Lou says a curt:
LOU: Goodbye, Annalise.
ANNALISE (mutters): I'm sorry I bothered.
She gets up and marches out. Jim comes over and says to Lou:
JIM: Not still carrying a torch for her, are you, mate?
LOU: Of course not - she's just a kid.
JIM: She's not the *first* woman to do that sort of thing to a man, you know?
LOU: *Woman*? Oh Jim, I was falling for a schoolgirl. Makes me feel like some sort of dirty old man.
JIM: She lied about her age. How were *you* to know?
LOU: You should've seen Lauren's face when she saw her. I thought she understood, but she took one look at Annalise in her school uniform and I could tell she was disgusted. There's no fool like an old fool, mate, is there?
JIM: You're being too hard on yourself.
LOU: Am I? I don't know... I've made such a mess of my life, lately. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth going on.
JIM (shocked): Come on, Lou, don't be like that. Don't start thinking *that* way.
LOU: I never thought I *would* mate - it's not my style - but I just can't seem to get on top of things lately.
Jim says he has to go to a meeting, but he suggests Lou pop across this afternoon for a beer and a chat.
Rick and Debbie head into the house and Rick calls out to ask if anyone's home. There's no answer. Debbie says:
DEBBIE: Are you sure your mum didn't find it in your pockets when she put the washing on this morning?
RICK: Positive. They went in all right. I distracted her right at the crucial moment.
He goes to check the washing. He comes back with a slightly sodden passport, but exclaims in annoyance that the washing machine didn't damage it at all; it was an awesome idea, but it didn't work. Debbie suggests he say he lost it, or trash it and feed it to the garbage disposal. Rick exclaims that that's a great idea. He goes and turns the garbage disposal on - just as Benito comes downstairs and exclaims:
BENITO: What the hell do you think you're doing?
Rick and Debbie turn and look at him in alarm.
Sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a beer, Lou sighs to Jim:
LOU: I mean, look at my record: two failed marriages... one broken engagement... and then that mess with Annalise.
JIM: A lot of men could equal that, mate.
LOU: I wish I could've made it with Madge. I still haven't got over her, you know?
JIM: Yeah, but you've got to move on.
LOU: I guess I'm lucky Lauren showed up. I'm also lucky she's forgiven me.
JIM: About Annalise?
LOU: Oh, no, mate, no, no. Before that. You see, when her mum and me broke up, well, I neglected the kids a bit; let her down rather badly.
JIM: Well, she's here now. Give you a chance to make it up to her.
LOU: Yeah, but Jim, what's she going to see when she looks at me, eh? Some old letch who nearly made it with a girl younger than she is? A bloke who's been there, done that and hasn't got much to show for it.
Jim tells him to ease up; he's got to learn to like himself again. He goes on that he'll get a piece of paper and Lou can write down all the negative things about himself and then all the positive things, and he'll be amazed how the good outweighs the bad.
Rick is explaining to his father that he reckoned if he ditched his passport, he wouldn't be able to get another one in time to go. Benito exclaims that he thought Rick was looking *forward* to going to Italy. Rick, however, says he'd *kill* to get out of it; that's what all the mucking around was for. Benito asks him why he doesn't want to go - it's such a wonderful opportunity. Rick explains that Debs had a lot of bad things happen - she needs him; there's the swimming carnival too, but mainly Deb. Benito comments that he supposes the reason why Rick did it isn't so bad. Rick sighs:
RICK: But you're still going to make me go, aren't you.
BENITO (sighs): I can't see the point.
RICK (exclaims): You mean I can stay?!
BENITO: As long as I can find someone to supervise you.
RICK: Oh, no, I don't need a babysitter.
BENITO: Take it or leave it.
DEBBIE (quickly): He'll take it!
Rick beams that he's stoked! He hugs Debbie in delight.
Cameron finishes looking at Helen's insurance documents and says he's sorry it isn't better news. Helen comments that she'd better get down to the bank and withdraw some cash so she can get the repairs to the kitchen started. Cameron asks if he can hitch a ride as he needs some money and some envelopes to post his articles off. Helen asks if they're not a bit raunchy. Cameron, however, tells her:
CAMERON: They're exactly what they want - particularly the picnic one; and I couldn't have done it without you. I'll never think I've got your measure again, Helen - there's a lot more to you than meets the eye!
With that, Cameron puts the articles down on the desk next to the typewriter and goes to his room to get his jacket. Helen heads out to the car - just as Lauren comes in. Finding the house apparently empty, she goes over to look at what Cameron's been working on. She picks up the sheets of paper next to the typewriter and reads:
CAMERON VOICEOVER: Last night I took my girlfriend on a moonlight picnic.
LAUREN (mouths): Moonlight picnic?
CAMERON VOICEOVER: I expected it to be a pleasant evening but I didn't know how hot it would turn out. I spread the rug and we both sat down. She was close to me and I began to stroke her hair. I could smell her intoxicating perfume: it made me lightheaded. My heart was pounding with desire. My hands began to—
Lauren suddenly hears a noise and she quickly puts the papers down, just as Cameron emerges from his room and smiles at her that he didn't know she was back. He reminds her about their picnic, but Lauren tells him quickly that she can't make it. Cameron says:
CAMERON: But why? I was really looking forward to tonight.
LAUREN: Yeah - I know you were...! Look, I'm sorry - something else has come up. I can't go.
With that, she heads to her room, leaving Cameron looking disappointed.
Debbie is sitting at the counter and Cathy comments to her that she must be glad Rick is staying at home now. Debbie nods that she really needs him. Cathy asks if they still can't find Michael, and Debbie replies that the police are looking but they reckon he could be interstate by now. Cathy comments that her parents must be really worried; she knows how *she* was about Marco. She adds that she's really looking forward to seeing Marco, and hopefully he'll come back with them. Debbie looks across to where Annalise is sitting alone at a table and comments to Cathy darkly that she wonders how long she'll be hanging around in Erinsborough for; she reckons she just used that trip thing to get it on with Rick. She then says she's going to tell her what she thinks of her. She takes a trip from her drink and gives herself a milkshake moustache - which she doesn't realise is there as she marches over to Annalise and warns:
DEBBIE: I've got a warning for you. Stay away from Rick, right? He's mine!
Annalise, however, just bursts out laughing at her!
Street of shops
Cameron and Helen emerge from a branch of National Australia Bank, Cameron saying he doesn't know why Lauren changed her mind. Helen suggests he ask her out again and see what happens. She then says she's got a couple of things to do and she'll see him back at the car in 15 minutes. The two of them go their separate ways. Helen doesn't notice as a young, dodgy- looking guy starts following her...
Lou has finished making his list and he comments to Jim coolly that he's got a long, long column of negatives and hardly anything on the positive side. Jim insists that he's being too hard: half those things wouldn't worry *anyone*. Lou sighs:
LOU: Come on, Jim. Look, be honest with me. What do *you* think of me?
JIM: Lou, there are a lot of things I like about you - a lot. All right, there are a few that I don't; there's room for improvement - but so what? It's the same with everyone.
LOU: I *want* to change, mate; I just don't know how to go about it.
JIM: Well, it seems to me that you've always been a bit of a taker. Maybe you could turn full circle: start to put other people ahead of yourself.
LOU (declares): You're right: I've always looked after Number One. But you're going to see some changes, mate. I am going to be honest... moral... the salt of the earth!
JIM (laughs): Let's not get carried away here. Remember what they say: a leopard can't change his spots.
LOU: This one can! This little leopard is going to be unrecognisable! You won't believe the changes in me, Jim - just you wait and see!
Debbie has turned up at No. 22 and Rick asks her where she's been. Debbie replies that she had a few things to do. Rick comments that his mum said she dropped into the Coffee Shop. Debbie asks warily what else she said, but Rick replies that she didn't say anything. He then tells her in delight that his parents haven't been able to organise anyone to look after him, so they'll have the place totally to themselves! Cathy and Benito come in at that moment, Benito saying to Rick that he's still not happy leaving him there on his own. The 'phone starts ringing and Cathy answers it. As she talks, Benito warns Rick to behave himself. After a few moments, Cathy hangs up and beams at Rick:
CATHY: Guess what - that was Margaret. She's agreed to move in and look after you!
BENITO: That's *great* news!
Rick doesn't look so impressed!
Helen unlocks her car and puts her handbag on the roof as she places her shopping bags in the back seat. The dodgy- looking guy walks up quietly behind her and goes to take the handbag - but Helen reacts quickly, turns towards him and tries to grab it back. The two of them start struggling. Cameron appears and spots what's going on. He runs over, yelling at the guy. The guy runs off, but as he lets go of the handbag, Helen falls back onto the ground. Cameron asks her if she's OK. She nods that she thinks so. Cameron warns her that she shouldn't fight back - she could've been hurt. At that moment, the mugger comes up behind Cameron and whacks him round the head with a plank of wood before running off. Cameron falls back, unconscious. Helen stares at him fearfully.