Helen making the pointed comment about Ruth having plenty of reasons to visit
Susan telling Lance she'll help him through school
Phil asking Debbie if she's faced the possibility of losing Helen's nest egg
Debbie sneaks up to Helen and asks if she can interrupt her drawing. She tells Helen that she's changed her mind – she won't let Helen risk her money. Helen's not having any of it, if she didn't think Debbie could do it she wouldn't have offered. Debbie assures her gran that she'll be able to find the money elsewhere and Helen accepts this, saying she'll have a few well chose words with Phil at the first chance…
Toadie's heading off to the Coffee Shop, Karl asks when he gets paid. Toadie says tomorrow and Karl reminds him that it's $5 a week until the phonebill is paid. Karl asks Susan if she's looking forward to tonight's PTA meeting… That would be a no.
SUSAN: I can tell you exactly what's going to happen. The same old faces are going to sit in the same old places and make the same old complaints as they did last year. Every discussion will get hopelessly bogged down in… recipe and gossip swapping.
Karl points out that these are hard working parents trying to do the best for the community. Oh, so he's going to sign up then? He'd love to, but…
KARL: But I can't stand all the gossip and recipe swapping.
Well if he's staying home he's doing the ironing – it's mainly his shirts anyway. Karl suddenly remembers that he's working at the Station Street clinic tonight.
KARL: Look, if you seriously need people for this PTA thing then…
SUSAN: You'll come?
KARL: Oh no, no, no, it's just that we've got two other High School families in the street, I could…
SUSAN: Go, go, go – get away from me!
He makes a quick exit.
Helen's not impressed that Phil is treating her like a child, insinuating that she's too naďve to know what she's doing, or that she's little more than a pauper with "a handful of coins". She's not impressed with his interference and Phil points out this started off between him and Debbie; Helen's the one who's interfered.
They're interrupted by a knock at the door and Phil lets Susan in. She wanted to remind him that tonight is the first meeting of the PTA but he says he's not getting involved this year, what with family and work… Susan says she's off to try and scare up Ruth into joining and leaves him to it. After she's gone Phil heads off towards the bedroom.
HELEN: Phillip. Don't sneak off like that. We haven't finished with the Coffee Shop.
Karl's playing pool by himself, killing time. After offering him a drink Jo walks over to where Debbie's sat and offers her one. A pub with table service? Since when? Jo asks what Debbie is working on and Debs admits it's a list of investors, she'd rather keep it in house than make the bank richer.
Jo asks if Debbie has her name on the list – she'd be interested in having a look.
Lance is worried that people will think he's stupid so Ruth wonders if he'd prefer some tutoring instead. Lance worries about the cost but Ruth says they'll manage. The knock at the door heralds Susan's arrival. She asks Ruth if she needs a lift to the PTA meeting but Ruth says she's got a lot on at home, one of them being to organise a tutor for Lance.
LANCE: I don't want some crabby old ex-teacher…
He then shoots a look at Susan.
LANCE: …or a nerdy Uni student or anything like that.
Susan makes Ruth a deal – she'll find Lance a tutor if Ruth comes to the meeting. Lance isn't sure but Susan assures him the person she has in mind isn't a Uni student, is bright and is definitely not a nerd. She doesn't want to say who it is until she's checked with them and Ruth eventually agrees.
Jo's looking over the plans and likes what she sees. She's going to take it under advisement, purely for the financial side of things. Debbie's pretty happy with that and as she goes she bumps into Ruth and Susan on their way in. Susan's really happy with how things went and says at least they managed to elect a President.
SUSAN: Thanks for accepting!
Ruth's still not quite sure how that happened though, Susan thinks she just listened to her social conscience. She's distracted from anything more by hearing Karl tell the random extra he's playing about the bad mark she just took.
SUSAN: Karl Raymond Kennedy.
KARL: That would be my wife.
SUSAN: Yes it would.
How was the meeting? Fine, been there long? – of course not! – and what, pray tell, happened to the do? Funny thing that… he got the day wrong! And the thing is, he was just about to…
Susan and Toadie call around, Susan asking Lance what he thinks about Ruth being elected PTA President. I remember when my Mum was elected President of her branch of Siroptomists my brother and I called her "Madam President" for a week.
SUSAN: Anyway, I have found you a tutor and I thought you should meet him.
RUTH: Great. When?
She gestures to Toadie who gives a little wave. Toadie's a bright student, he's great at explaining things and is very patient.
RUTH: Well if Susan recommends you it's a good start.
TOADIE: Do you want to see me do some stunts or something?
LANCE: I do.
Toadie says his rate is $10 an hour, cash in hand, and he recommends two two-hour sessions a week. Ruth says they'll get back to him. Toadie leaves and Lance says he doesn't think he could handle having him as his tutor. Susan thinks he's suitable and if it doesn't work out they'll find someone else. Lance agrees to give it a go.
Outside the Kennedys
Billy is giggling at the idea of Toadie being a tutor.
BILLY: It's a dag's job!
TOADIE: Tell that to your mother.
Toadie is seeing the tax-free $40 each week (someone should point out to him that he really should declare it…), flexible hours and if Lance is a dumb as he thinks then there's job security too. Karl interrupts, handing Toadie a brush or a rake or a hoe or some other tool and tells him to think of it as his charitable donation to the house.
Karl goes over to Phil who's polishing his car.
KARL: I understand we both got out of the PTA meeting last night.
PHIL: I would rather spend two hours at the dentist. What was your excuse?
KARL: I said I had a do on. (pauses) Got caught with a pool cue in my hand.
Karl tells Phil that it's Ruth they should feel sorry for – she got landed with the Presidency at her first meeting.
Lance walks over to Toadie and hands him an envelope with $60 in; Ruth wants him to do as much tutoring as quickly as possible. Lance tells Toadie in private that he's not stupid, it's just down to the change in schools and last year… Toadie says they'll head inside and work out what Lance needs to know.
Helen picks up on Debbie's good mood. For one Lou's offered her more work, making the rolls for the pub. Oh, and Jo's thinking of backing her in the Coffee Shop. Helen's a bit upset at this and confesses to Debbie that she wanted an outside interest. If she made money along the way then that was fine, but the emotional investment was what mattered.
Debbie says Helen can be her personal advisor in some of the business matters.
DEBBIE: Of course I may not always take your advice.
HELEN: I'm sure you won't.
Toadie's started with Maths. Which is teh evil. Lance works his way through one of the problems, quickly coming up with the correct answer. On the calculator. Toadie says Lance has a good Maths brain… but he used a calculator. He didn't do anything, that little piece of machinery did. Do it on paper, then come back to me with the right answer and say he's got a good brain for it.
Karl and Phil come in, Karl talking about enjoying being back in medicine again. He's been thinking about setting up in another clinic but doesn't like the idea of a big fancy one. He just wants to be a nice, normal, suburban GP.
Susan comes in and Karl asks if she'd like a drink.
SUSAN: I'm still not talking to either of you slackers. I can't find a treasurer, I've asked everyone.
PHIL: I'll do it.
SUSAN: It's no excuse, I know no one enjoys…
She twigs what Phil's just said and looks at him. He nervously says that he'll do it – he's an accountant, it's what he does, it's what he knows. Susan throws herself into his arms and declares that he's a "beautiful, beautiful man!"
I can hear the Phusan 'shippers from here.
(During the next bit Phil moves Susan so she's between him and Karl, and he's holding Susan by the waist as he backs up towards the door and suddenly I'm 'shipping them…)
Karl says that Phil has just finished telling him that he hates the PTA – Phil replies that he was feeling guilty and that's a pretty good motivator. Phil finally makes a break for it and Karl declares that he hates Phil.
I'm guessing for handling his wife in such a manner.
Karl can't believe the back flip that Phil's done (not literally, that would have been interesting).
SUSAN: Philip obviously has a conscience, unlike some people I can name.
KARL: No, something doesn't add up here. There's more to this than meets the eye – you mark my words.
SUSAN: Don't you feel ashamed of yourself?
KARL: Not in the slightest.
SUSAN: You are the only High School parent in Ramsay Street who isn't pulling his weight.
KARL: There you go. Ramsay Street is well represented without me.
Lance works his way through what sounds like the Pythagoras equation but then Toadie starts talking about negatives and I'm lost. Toadie's a little miffed at how well Lance is going – he'll be out of a job in no time.
Susan asks how it's all going and just as Lance begins to say all is well, Toadie jumps in and says that there's still a few shaky areas but with some hard work he'll get there. Susan tells Karl she's going to take some papers over to Phil's and Karl announces he's going to get on with the ironing.
Lance asks why Toadie said what he did. Toadie explains tutoring sessions = money and Lance isn't too impressed with him ripping off his mum. What Ruth wants is for Lance to be happy at school. It's not just about academics, it's about the social front as well. Lance has lost touch, Toadie's his guide to all things in-crowd.
Phil comes in as Ruth and Helen finish off their session. He congratulates Ruth on her appointment as President – bad news travels fast. He announces that he's the Treasurer – Susan's just handed over the papers.
RUTH: How did they catch you? You weren't even at the meeting.
PHIL: Susan's a hard woman to say no to.
Ruth says that some of the other members are coming over to hers later, could he make it? He agrees and practically races to beat her to the door to open it for her.
Awww… it's so cute.
Helen's not stupid.
HELEN: Wild horses wouldn't have dragged you to a PTA meeting yesterday, but then again, Ruth wasn't President yesterday…
Phil's sure he doesn't know what she means and after a quick phonecall announces he's going out because someone wants his financial advice.
HELEN: My, we are in demand, aren't we?
PHIL: Yes, we are.
Toadie's worked out Lance's problem areas and that's what they'll focus on first. First? I thought that was the point, to eliminate any "problem areas". Toadie says it won't take long, and suggests that they stick to the two hours twice a week format: one hour for study, one hour for 'extra curricular activities'. Starting with PE. He hands Lance a tennis ball and sets up a chair as the wicket.
You can see it coming a mile off.
Lance throws the ball and Toadie hits it…
Something else we all saw coming was that the person who wanted financial advice was Jo. As the Only Accountant in the village of course he would be her financial advisor. She doesn't give him any details so he talks generally and says that it would be worth looking into.
Jo thanks him and goes to get a drink, taking the rolls from Debbie as she gets to the bar. Jo says that her accountant gave her the thumbs up so she's in.
DEBBIE: Who's your accountant? I gotta give her a hug.
Jo announces it was Phil and suddenly the penny drops for them both as to what's just happened. Debbie is less than impressed with Phil's hypocrisy and harangs him out of the pub, wondering what it takes to get some family loyalty.
Lance throws the ball and it ends up in Karl and Susan's bedroom. Sadly we don't get to see Toadie retrieve it from the actual room. He declares that was wide and takes his place by the chairstump. Toadie takes two "runs" off the next ball, claiming a half century.
The next ball Toadie hits… and hits a vase sat on top of the piano. It crashes to the ground and Toadie's horrified – it's Susan's favourite vase, her mother gave it to her one Christmas.