As the Robinson clan and Charlene gather around Lucy, Mike presents her with a surprise. As she opens the cardboard box an adorable Labrador puppy pops out. Lucy however refuses to accept the new puppy saying that Basil is her dog and she doesn't want another.
Mike is patting the new puppy as Des asks what Mike is going to do with it. Mike doesn't know as the breeder had said he was unable to return the puppy. Des feels that the puppy is well bred and must have cost a bit; Mike says that it had used up most of his savings. Des thinks that he didn't have to buy anything so expensive a mongrel would have done, But Mike replies that he felt guilty.
Des has finally got the remote control car working and the puppy watches it whiz back and forth. Des thinks that Mike shouldn't get too attached to the puppy he doesn't want one in the house with the baby on the way. Mike accepts what Des has said and hopes that Lucy will change her mind. Des thought she would have been thrilled but Mike feels that maybe in was a bit soon and that he was a bit insensitive. Des feels that Mike should stop blaming himself for everything. The remote control car whizzes across the living room and hits Daphne's foot as she comes out of the Living room.
Picking up the car and taking it back to Des, Daphne wants to know if he is coming to bed or waiting up for his "girl friend" to call. Des says of course not and heads for the bedroom. Mike asks Daphne if it is alright for the "Pup" to sleep in the laundry to tonight as it is the first night without his Mum. Daphne agrees and suggests that Mike uses an old cardboard box and the old dusters as a bed. Daphne thinks Lucy will come around, as no kid can resist a cute puppy. (Not many adults either!!!)
Lucy is moaning to Jim that she can't sleep, she keeps thinking about Basil...If only she had kept Basil on a lead, then he wouldn't have been able to jump at the seagulls and fallen in the water. Jim feels that Lucy wasn't to know that was going to happen, Basil would hate to know how unhappy she was. Lucy remarks that when she was unhappy she used to talk to him, he would lick her face and make her feel better. Jim suggests a glass of milk to help Lucy sleep. On getting up he asks Scott who has been busily bashing away on the typewriter with one finger to stop as it will disturb Helen.
Scott gets up and whispers to Jim that he feels that he is "babying" Lucy too much. That everyone loses a pet at some stage or another. Jim reminds him that he had lost a couple himself and was broken hearted and should remember that.
As Jim goes into the Kitchen, a brother/sister squabble breaks out. Lucy feels that Scott is mean. Scott replies look who is talking, look at the way you have treated Mike. He had tried to save Basil and had spent a lot of money on the Pup for her. Lucy replies that she didn't want a pup and if he had come straight away maybe Basil would still be alive. Scott argues that if she had bathed Basil as she was supposed to that she wouldn't have had to take him to the beach in the first place and if she had kept a lead on him.... As Jim returns he breaks up the squabble, he knows that Lucy has treated Mike badly but this is not time for recriminations.
Des creeps out of the bedroom in the middle of the night, to find Mike in the kitchen making a warm water bottle for the pup. As the pup whimpers in the background, Des gives Mike a clock to make the pup think it is it's mother's heart beat. Mike apologises for keeping Des awake, Des says that it is OK but could he try and keep the pup quiet as it is a work day. As Mike goes off to the laundry to sort the pup, Des goes into the living room and opens up his briefcase and takes out a little black address book. He wanders into the kitchen, as Mike comes back he quickly puts the book into the back of his pyjamas so Mike can't see. Mike says that he feels that that will do the trick and Des suggests he should go to bed, Mike wanders towards the bedroom.
Des pulls out the book, but Mike returns and Des quickly returns to book to his pyjamas once more. Mike says that he appreciates Des being so understanding; Des says that he will just stay up for a bit to make sure the pup is alright as Mike goes off to bed.
Sure that Mike won't return again, Des thumbs through the book and finds the number he wants, gently so not to make a noise he picks up the receiver of the phone and dials the number. As the phone starts to beep out the STD number Des puts his hand over the receiver so that no one hears. As the phone is picked up at the other end Des whispers Hi...Did you try to ring me today...You shouldn't try to phone me at home...Look I know you are upset...Oh don't cry...A letter... OK I won't do anything until I receive it...Look I better go...We will sort it out, I will look after you...Bye. He gently replaces the receiver.
Outside the Mangel House
The next morning, Mrs Mangel goes to the letterbox and takes out the paper; she wanders back to the house reading the paper. As she does Jane comes out, on seeing Mrs Mangel's disapproving face she asks what is wrong. Mrs Mangel tells her that what is in the paper is not fit for her eyes, as Jane calls after her Mrs Mangel walks purposely down the drive.
Mike puts down a plate of steak for the pup who greedily scoffs it, Des moans that the pup is eating better than he is, he doesn't get steak for breakfast. Daphne replies that he can have steak if that is what he wants; he seems to have got over his "morning sickness" now. Des feels that they shouldn't feed the pup too much, But Daphne points out that it is only until they can get some dog food. Mike says that the pup did quieten down later last night, Des whinges, "Eventually" Daphne reprimands Des and wants to know why he is being such a grouch, is he annoyed because he didn't get to talk to his girlfriend yesterday. Des who seems to be gritting his teeth wants Daphne to stop calling her his girlfriend, But Daphne wants to know if he is sure he doesn't know who is calling. Des starts to get annoyed and reminds her that he already told her that he didn't.
Daphne reaches down and starts stroking the pup and says to it "You are such a honey" Mike thinks it is a good name. Des grumpily feels that there is not much point in naming a dog you are not going to keep and then suggests "Fang or Killer....or Buster". Daphne distastefully remarks "In honour of your childhood pet you detested" Des says "Well if you don't like Buster what about Bouncer. Mike likes the name and so a legend in Ramsay street tradition is named (Aww the nostalgia)
The doorbell rings and Daphne goes to answer it, Mrs Mangel shoves the newspaper into Daphne's hand, she shouts at Daphne that sins will come out in the long run and walks forcefully away, leaving a very confused Daphne looking on. Des wants to know what it is all about but Daphne doesn't know, she starts reading the paper and is shocked to see what is in it.
Paul comes out of Lucy's room and he and Jim discuss how upset Lucy still is over Basil's death. Jim feels that it is a terrible thing for Lucy to have to go through, but Paul feels that she will bounce back. Jim agrees but only if Scott gets off her back, the last thing they want is for him to suggest it was Lucy's fault. Paul defends Scott and feels that you can't blame Scott for the way Lucy had treated Mike. Jim thinks that they don't have to deal with the now they could wait until she gets over with it and then deal with it.
Paul follows Jim into the kitchen and wants to know where Scott is, Jim explains that Helen has taken him down to the Erinsborough news to get advance copies of the paper. He has two articles in the paper today, the next instalment of the Bess Robinson story and "Diary of a teenager" Paul thinks it is quite incredible at his age but Jim feels it is just a flash in a pan and won't last. Paul wants to know what Diary of a teenager is about, Jim tells him that he doesn't know, Scott had been very secretive about it and had not let anyone read it. Paul jokes that it has probably got something to do with fathers wanting their sons to repeat a year at school.
The doorbell goes and Paul opens the door to a barrage of irate comments from Des and Daphne. Speaking at the same time Daphne demands to know what the hell they were thinking letting Scott write this as she waves the paper fanatically at them, while Des shouts that he has a good mind to sue. A stunned Jim and Paul confess that they hadn't read the article yet. Daphne shoves the paper into Jim's hands as Des demands that he read the libellous rubbish immediately.
Madge and Shane are reading the "article" in the paper and are shocked; Madge remarks that it is Des and Daphne. Charlene pipes up that the article doesn't say so. Madge isn't convinced commenting on the article she says his names is Les her name is Daisy, he is an accountant, she is an ex stripper who runs a boutique, rolling her eyes she thinks it is a very clever disguise. Shane sarcastically pipes up what about this Wayne Rimsey the boy next who was seduced by the ex-stripper. Charlene feels that no one else is going to know it was him. Madge thinks Charlene is being ridiculous, it is supposed to be a teenage diary about Scott's friends and neighbours Scott has his name on it; everyone is going to know it is about them. Charlene replies that Scott didn't mean to upset anyone it is just a bit of a joke, why would anyone worry?
Madge is shocked that Charlene had read the article before it was published; she demands to know why she hadn't said anything. Madge starts to read a portion of the article:
After being engaged so many times, can Les ever settle down with one woman? Even an ex-stripper, it doesn't seem so! Already Les' eye has begun to roam.
Charlene insists that part is just made up, to make things a bit spicier. Shane feels that the more you read it, it sounds like Des is having an affair. Charlene insists that it isn't Des that Scott used them as a starting off point and that most of it is made up. Completely ignoring Charlene, Madge wonders if Des is having an affair, he wouldn't be the first married man to have one, she should know. Charlene thinks that Des isn't like her father. Shane replies that Des better not be; if Des is cheating on Daphne he will have to answer to me. Charlene can't understand why no one can understand it is just a story.
Daphne obviously very upset is shouting at Paul and Jim "Only a story! It is about us you know it is" Jim feels that he is sure that Scott didn't expect anyone to recognise them. Daphne is not convinced and wants to know how many ex-strippers he knows in the area. Daphne's jumper falls down over one shoulder and Des pulls it back up. Paul giggles having finished the article and seeing their disapproving looks says that they have to admit it is well written and the characters are...Des interrupts and says that he is glad he finds it amusing, as he and Daphne head for the front door he says that he will be seeking legal advice. Jim doesn't want them to go off half cocked he feels sure that there are enough changes in the story to make sure it isn't libellous., Daphne shouts out that there is not enough to stop Mrs Mangel recognising them, she had arrived at her doorstep at the crack of dawn waving the paper at her. She should not have to put up with this kind of treatment. Jim replies that you know what Mrs Mangel is like.
Paul agrees and thinks that a bit of the article is fact and the rest is fiction. Paul asks if all the stuff about Des having an affair isn't true...is it! Daphne looks at Des uncomfortably but Des sheepishly denies it. Paul feels that people will read it and have a bit of a chuckle and forget it. Daphne tells him firmly not by her, her jumper slips down her shoulder again and Des pulls it up, continuing says that she doesn't want the ex-stripper stuff being thrown in her face again. Sarcastically Paul reminds Daphne that she wasn't ashamed of that stuff. Subdued Daphne says that she isn't but she also doesn't want it plastered all over the paper either. Des informs Jim that Scott has a lot to answer for, he is going to lose a lot of friends over this and pointing at Jim continues, so might you. Des and Daphne leave.
Mike is just opening up the coffee shop as Jane arrives, he explains about Daphne being up set and trying to sort something out at home. Jane says that she knows all about it, Nan (Mrs Mangel) was so worked up about it that she couldn't wait to get on the phone and broadcast it; they hadn't even had any breakfast. Mike is not pleased that Mrs Mangel is gossiping about Des and Daphne, he is pleased that Mrs Clarke (Eileen) is in the country otherwise she would be on the warpath too.
As Mike takes Jane's order for breakfast, Jane wonders why Scott did it; she hopes that he never writes anything about them. Mike is dismayed why Scott would write those kinds of things about Des and Daphne, he had never seen Daphne so upset. Scott comes rushing in, with an armful of papers, all excited about having two articles in the paper and wants to know if they have read both his articles. Mike replies distastefully that they had only read the article about Des and Daphne. Scott says it isn't really about Des and Daphne that he had jazzed it up a bit to make it more interesting. Angrily Mike pushes all Scott's newspapers on to the floor shouts that Scott just doesn't care who he hurts with his stupid stories. Scott looks a little dismayed at why Mike has suddenly made his outburst.
Bending down to pick up the papers from the floor, Scott still seems to be surprised by Mike's outburst. Jane says to Mike that he thought he would have learnt by now that giving aggro doesn't solve anything. Mike sarcastically says that he is sorry, he lost his temper, Scott picks up the papers and says that he didn't mean to upset anyone, it was only meant to be a fun article. Mike replies that Des and Daphne don't think it is much fun, Scott feels that not many people will know it is them, only the people who already know about them. Jane tells Scott that Mrs Mangel is probably still on the phone making sure that everyone knows it is the Clarke's, she wants to know why Scott did it.
Scott replies that his grandmother (Bess Robinson) told him that you write best about the things you know best. She had told him always to base his characters on the people he knows. Disapprovingly Jane says that she thinks he was asking for trouble and Mike agrees, especially all that stuff about Des having an affair. Scott gets angry and slams his fist down on the counter and says that it isn't true so why should it worry anyone. Jane feels that Scott has been thoughtless how are people to know what is true in the story and what isn't.
Daphne comes in and is still obviously upset, she thinks thoughtless isn't the word she would use....try selfish, cruel and absolute lies. Scott tries to defend himself but Daphne won't let him talk, she tells him that he has humiliated her and put Des in a very embarrassing position and she asks him to leave the coffee shop. Scott feels that she is overacting about the whole thing. Daphne firmly tells him to get out Now! Scott replies that he will talk to her about it later when she isn't so....his voice trails off and sulkily leaves the shop.
Daphne almost tearful tells Mike and Jane that people have been looking at her and sniggering the whole way here. Mike gently suggests that she was probably just imagining it, but Daphne insists she didn't, she is sure Mrs Mangel will have made sure of that. Jane looks nods, Mike suggests that Daphne goes home today and he will look after the coffee shop. Sadly Daphne nods in agreement and thanks him saying the she couldn't face the customers anyway and leaves. Jane comments that Daphne is really in a bad way.
Two bank employees are huddled together reading the article sniggering at its contents. Des stops them and snaps at them to get back to work as one scuttles back to her desk Des picks up the paper now lying on the other employee's desk and folds it up neatly and then forcefully throws it into the bin.
Shane pops in at that moment and asks to speak to Des, who agrees. Des proceeds to go into the office from the door behind the bank counter while Shane goes thorough another door from the customer side, the two doors bang as they go into the office. Des examines the door for damage and says that Shane probably hasn't read the Erinsborough News today. Shane says that he has, Des hopes that not everybody will bother with it. Shane feels that they will when they know what is in it. Des says that he could kill Scott and Shane replies that he might do it himself, but what he wants to know how much of it is true. Des looks taken back, Shane continues the bit about him having an affair. Des tells him that it is rubbish. Shane threatens Des and says that it better be because if I find out you have been putting one over on Daphne you will spend the next six months in traction.
Daphne arrives home carrying the post to find that Bouncer has shredded the newspaper all over the living room and the kettle is steaming and whistling away to itself. Looking at the damage Bouncer has done she tells him that is all she needs. Going into the kitchen Bouncer has obviously done a little puddle for Daphne's return, she tells him that if he is going to shred that paper he might have well have used it. Stroking Bouncer she tells him that she is going to have to put him in the laundry, she switches off the kettle then spots a pink envelope addressed to Des. She smells the envelope and turns her nose up distastefully at the reek of perfume. She turns her back on the envelope and starts to make a cup of coffee; she stops at the envelope again and takes a big sigh. Turning the kettle back on she starts to steam it open.
Scott arrives home to find Jim waiting for him; Jim explains that Des and Daphne had been to see him. Scott says that he had seen Daphne and that she was totally overacting, Jim says maybe but what did he expect. Scott is shocked and says that anyone would think I was being really vicious or something, all he had done was taken a bit of satire; he had taken a real life situation and pushed it a little bit further to get the humour out of it. He asks Jim if he liked the article.
Jim admits that he did get the odd chuckle out of it but it was at the expense of people they know. It wasn't a smart thing to do they live in a close knit community in Erinsborough and in particular in Ramsay Street. He is supposed to be creating fiction not friction. Scott assures him that they will get over it; it is only because Mrs Mangel has been stirring things up. Scott says that he will go and talk to Des, he is sure he isn't going off his head. Jim isn't so sure; Des is the one talking about libel suits. Scott is surprised he says that Mr Cutler said that it wasn't libellous; Jim feels that maybe it isn't and Des will probably not take it that far but suggests in the meantime staying right out of his way. The implication that Des was having some kind of affair was most unfortunate.
Scott assures Jim that that was only to add a bit of spice the article seemed a bit...well dull without it. Jim argues that they probably would prefer to be thought of as dull rather than the target of local gossip. Scott says that he can't believe how everyone is being so small minded about this. An author has the right to draw on real life as an inspiration. Jim thinks he is getting carried away he isn't Hemmingway yet, what he has to realise is that he has distressed people and has he got the right to do that for any reason. Scott replies that he still feels that they are being too touchy; Daphne was really cut-up about it. Jim dismisses Daphne's feelings as she is just emotional as she is pregnant! (Ooooo Dodgy ground or what...Don't mess with the hormones!)
Daphne has the envelope now open, she turns to Bouncer and asks what is wrong with her she doesn't even trust her own husband now. She starts to read the letter...still talking to Bouncer she says Lorraine ....it is from Lorraine Kingham that was the woman he was once engaged to....one of the many...why is she writing to him. She starts to read the letter out aloud:
I should have married you I could Des. I was mad to let you go, I know now that I still love you and I am so glad we met together again and had that lovely time together however brief. Please Des let this be a new beginning not an ending.
Daphne slumps back in the chair and says "Des, how could you?! "...