Bronwyn telling Mike that she thinks they should break up.
Henry's behind the counter at the Coffee Shop when Sharon comes in. He's looking at a book on the counter in front of him, but when Sharon tries to take a peek he pulls the book away and explains that the figures in it are what he laughingly calls his finances. He sighs that he's been onto every cut- price carpet joint in town, but the loan he got just isn't enough. As she goes to start clearing tables, Sharon says:
SHARON: Shouldn't you have borrowed some more money?
HENRY: Don't! Don't tell me what I should've done. I can't afford the carpet as *well* as the plumber.
SHARON: What do you need a *plumber* for?
HENRY (sarcastically): Oh, to breed bantam roosters! [Explains tersely] To fix the blocked pipes.
SHARON: Couldn't you do that yourself?
Henry just groans at Sharon, but she tells him quickly that it's not *her* fault; *she* didn't pour the plaster of Paris down the sink. She then asks how expensive carpet can be anyway, as he's only got to patch a couple of metres. Henry, however, retorts that the carpet is out of stock and out of date and he's got to re- do the whole room. He adds:
HENRY: If I don't sell those damn gnomes fast... It's really scary when the only thing between me and destruction are some painted little dwarves!
A customer walks up to the counter to pay, and Henry tries to interest him in some gnomes, but the man just walks away! Sharon goes to dial a number on the 'phone. Henry tells her quickly that he's waiting for someone to call him back, but Sharon retorts that he can't hog the 'phone; she's got hassles enough of her own: they've got the school dance next week, the band cancelled and she stupidly said she'd find a replacement. Henry muses:
HENRY: You call that a problem?
SHARON: With the money *we're* offering, yes!
Henry puts his hand down on the receiver, leading Sharon to let out a squeal of annoyance. He then says quickly:
HENRY: Look, hire *us*! *Me*! 'Spare Parts' - the Ramsay Street band!
Sharon exclaims that that's a great idea - except she's heard them play! Henry's face drops! Sharon then smiles that she's sorry - she's just being honest. Henry tells her to forget it and he returns to his book of figures. Sharon changes the subject and says:
SHARON: I've got some red- hot news for you!
HENRY (glumly): I don't want to hear it.
SHARON: Three little words, Henry: Bronwyn and Mike.
Henry looks suddenly more interested!
Mike is pacing the lounge room floor at No. 28, sighing at Des - who's sitting on the couch - that one minute Bronwyn was all over him and the next minute, whammo! He adds that he doesn't understand it. Des asks if his mates from uni could have something to do with it - especially that pushy one... Mike retorts:
MIKE: Des, there is nothing wrong with being confident. Yeah, OK, I'll admit Jackie is a self- assertive type—
MIKE (sighs): Yeah, all right - but why should *I* get blamed for it? You know, you don't just smash up a relationship over something like this; you *talk* about it.
DES: Are you prepared to listen?
MIKE: What do you mean by *that*?
Des stands up and says:
DES: Bronwyn's view of the relationship might be a bit different than yours.
MIKE: I *will* listen, but she won't talk to me.
Des says he normally wouldn't interfere, but Bronwyn works there and it won't be so wonderful for Jamie if she's all tense when she walks in. He tells Mike to go and see her and sort things out; at least they can be friends. Mike nods at Des that he's right - as usual.
Gail arrives home from work to find Paul still lying back on the couch with a bad cold. She spots a large bunch of flowers on the table and she asks who they're from. Paul replies that they're from Tasmania. Gail looks at the card and then says warmly:
GAIL: Oh, he remembered! Just don't tell dad that Ian sent me a bigger bouquet than he did. I couldn't stand the 'who's the better father?' routine again!
Paul sneezes and stands up. Gail tells him that it's going to be a big week: Rob wants them to have tea at their place when he's well enough. Paul smiles that it's her birthday week, so they should be raging every single night; in fact, they should have a parade through Erinsborough in her honour! Gail comments in bemusement that maybe he *is* well enough for tonight. She adds:
GAIL: Des and Penny are going to join us. Can you cope with that?
PAUL (grins): Would I deny you an excuse to get those two together?!
GAIL: You know me too well!
Gail he goes to kiss Paul, but he has to push her away because of the germs!
Ramsay Street/Driveway of No. 32
Bronwyn rides up the street on her bike. Henry is sitting in his car outside No. 24 and he climbs out and calls over to her as she approaches No. 32. She stops and smiles at him and asks him how the garden gnome business is. Henry just sighs:
HENRY: Don't ask! Don't ask!
He then looks at the basket of food on the back of Bronwyn's bike and asks if he detects a distinct absence of junk food! Bronwyn replies that Aunt Edie has struck! Henry then says more seriously:
HENRY: Listen, Sharon told me about you and Mike. I just wanted to make sure you were OK.
BRONWYN: Well, no, I'm not. Not the way you think - the truth is Mike and I should never have happened in the first place.
HENRY: Mike's pretty complicated, but he's a good bloke. A good bloke.
BRONWYN: I know that; it's not his fault, it's mine: I made all these big statements about being independent and then when the first potential boyfriend comes along, I latch onto him like any dumb bimbo. Now I've *hurt* him.
HENRY: Are you sure you're not running scared?
BRONWYN: We got involved before we really knew each other. Mike's not the right guy for me. What was I supposed to do? Keep stringing him along because I didn't have the guts to tell him the truth?
HENRY: Hmm. How did he take it?
BRONWYN: I told you: I hurt him. But from now on, I'm sticking to my guns: no complications... no guys.
HENRY: How about mates?
BRONWYN (laughs): Mates are OK! You, me and Kangaman!
With that, she throws her arms around Henry fondly - just as Mike emerges from No. 28. He watches them, looking annoyed. Bronwyn offers Henry a coffee, adding that Aunt Edie's home. Henry grins that he'll take the risk!
Penny is sitting on the couch as Des stands in front of her and tells her that banks can't always play it safe. Changing the subject, he offers her a drink, but she declines and says she'd better get ready for tonight. She then asks if she can ask him something personal: she's bought Gail a birthday present but she's not sure whether she'll like it. She shows Des an ornamental glass bird and Des comments that it's nice. He adds uncertainly:
DES: But to be honest, you don't know Gail that well - she's not going to be expecting a present.
PENNY: Oh, but birthdays are *special*. There should be parties and presents... all the trimmings! I really believe in that stuff. I missed out on a couple of birthdays when I was a kid, so I guess I've been making up for it ever since.
DES: What do you mean 'missed birthdays'?
PENNY: Well, my parents were not exactly sentimental people. My father flatly refused to acknowledge *his* birthday at *all*. He used to say that birthdays were just an 'all- year- round sales gimmick'. Even so, I usually got a present once a year, but they were, well, very busy people - you know, careers - and sometimes they just forgot.
Des remarks that when you're a kid, that can hurt a lot. Penny insists that it's no big deal. Des, however, tells her:
DES: You just *made* it a big deal, because guess who forgot to buy a present...!
Penny tells Des that she can cut him in. The two of them head over to the front door and Penny says she'll see him in a couple of hours at Paul and Gail's.
Mike is crouching down by his bike, staring at No. 32 as he does so. Henry emerges from the house and walks over towards No. 24, passing Mike on the way. He offers to give Mike a hand. Mike, however, retorts that he doesn't need it. Henry says sympathetically:
HENRY: I can understand how you must be feeling.
MIKE (mutters): Yeah, I *bet* you can. She give you the full story, did she? - 'cos it's more than what she gave *me*.
Henry tells Mike that they're mates - he doesn't want to see *either* of them upset. Mike snaps:
MIKE: So that's why you've been over there lending a shoulder - and now it's *my* turn. Is that right, 'mate'?
HENRY (murmurs): If you want to talk to me about it, you know where I am.
MIKE (retorts): Yeah, you'll be at *your8 place - or at *hers*. Have I got the story straight, have I?
Henry warns Mike not to take out his personal problems on his friends. Mike just spits:
MIKE: Friends?! My friend, Henry Ramsay. You creep.
HENRY (warns): Watch it, Mike.
MIKE: I watched you walk in there with her. You couldn't keep your hands off her, Henry.
HENRY (coldly): I ought to *have* you for that.
MIKE: Go on - take a swing. I'd love it.
HENRY: I don't care *how* busted up you are - you've got no right to take it out on me *or* on Bronwyn, for that matter.
MIKE: I know what I saw, OK? You couldn't wait to move in on her, could you? You haven't even got the guts to be honest about it.
Henry stands there looking dumbstruck.
Bronwyn is doing some ironing in the lounge room as Sharon sits on the couch, trying to get her sister to tell her the details about her break- up with Mike. Bronwyn shrugs that she made a mistake: Mike's the wrong guy for her - she could see that when he was with all his uni friends; it was *her* fault things happened too quickly - that's why it's a mess *now*. Mrs. Chubb is sitting in the armchair, knitting, and she queries sternly:
MRS. CHUBB: Things happened too quickly?
BRONWYN: I'm talking about emotions, Aunt Edie.
MRS. CHUBB: I'm not sure I approve of you having these emotions in front of your sister.
Sharon, however, beams that it was chemistry: Bronwyn ran into Mike and it was love at first sight! Mrs. Chubb warns that she won't have the two of them talking fast and loose in the house. Bronwyn, however, points out that this is family - she's saying she made a mistake. Mrs. Chubb tells the girls:
MRS. CHUBB: It's just that I *worry* about you both.
BRONWYN: Well, you don't have to worry about *me*. It's going to be a long time yet before I commit myself to another relationship. Physical attraction is just a trap.
Mrs. Chubb tells Sharon to listen to her sister: it's the test of time that matters between people, not some overnight infatuation. Sharon warns:
SHARON: If you're having a go at Nick and me...
MRS. CHUBB: I'm simply saying you should listen to your sister.
SHARON (lightly): Whatever you say, Aunt Edie.
She then looks at Bronwyn and pulls a face!
Henry has turned up at No. 22 with a present for Gail. She tells him that he didn't have to get her anything. She unwraps the gift - which turns out to be a garden gnome! Gail grins that it's just what she always wanted! Paul reads the attached note:
PAUL: 'My name is Ollie. I'm a gnome without a home'!
Gail asks Henry suspiciously:
GAIL: Is this market research or a birthday present?
HENRY (looking mock- hurt): Gail! It's a birthday present - from me, from the heart! But tell your friends, will you?!
With that, Henry announces that he's got to split. He goes to head out just as there's a knock on the front door. Gail goes to answer it and lets Penny in. As Henry reaches the door, he turns and says:
HENRY: Now, you guys enjoy yourselves and remember the gnomes' motto: 'You don't have to be plastered to have a good time!'
Henry heads off and Gail introduces Penny to Ollie! Paul explains that they're thinking of putting him into the movies! Gail offers Penny a glass of champagne and they head over to the kitchen. As they do so, Gail says Des shouldn't be long. Penny, however, replies warily:
PENNY: I'll be honest with you, Gail: if it wasn't your birthday, I think I would've said 'no' tonight.
PENNY: Well, I work with Des. I think socialising too much could *spoil* that.
GAIL: Mmm... Well, Des is an easy person to like - and you're the first woman he's gone out with since his wife died. You know that?
PENNY: Yeah, we have talked about it. I know it took a lot for him to ask me out... well, Gail, you and Paul are his friends; I just don't want you to think that I'm taking advantage of a vulnerable guy.
GAIL: *I* know you're not - and honestly, you're the best thing that's happened to Des for a long time!
There's a knock on the front door at No. 28 and Des opens it to Henry, who asks if Mike's home. Des replies that he's gone out to study. He then asks Henry what he wants, as he's running late. Henry explains that he wants to talk to Des in private about business. He continues:
HENRY: I'd like to use the Coffee Shop as an outlet for my garden gnomes.
DES: What does Harold think?
HENRY: Er... Harold doesn't know yet.
DES: And you thought you'd get a better hearing from *me*?! Well, I've got no objections. What's *Mike* got to do with it?
Des asks Henry why he asked if Mike was there before, but Henry replies that that's something else. Des sighs:
Henry tells him that Mike reckons he tried to move in on Bronwyn as soon as they split up. Des says he doesn't want to know about it. Henry, however, retorts that it doesn't make any difference anyway: Bronwyn has sworn off boyfriends. Des tells him that Mike took it pretty hard: give him time - he'll realise he was wrong. Henry sighs before admitting:
HENRY: He wasn't wrong. I mean, I didn't *say* anything to her; I didn't make a move, but... oh Des, I *wanted* to. Now I've lost a mate... I've got no chance with the girl... Henry's luck!
Sometime later, Sharon is lying back on the couch at No. 28, listening to music on her personal stereo. Bronwyn sits down next to her and thanks her for hanging around. Sharon just muses:
SHARON: It beats *me* why you ditched him.
BRONWYN: I've just spent all day *explaining* it to you.
SHARON: But Mike's *gorgeous*!
BRONWYN: You keep judging every book by its cover, you'll end up eating your library card!
The front door bangs suddenly and Mike comes in. Seeing Bronwyn there, he says a muted 'hi'. Bronwyn explains that she promised Des she'd babysit. Mike asks Sharon to give them a minute. Sharon looks at Bronwyn, who tells her that it's all right. Sharon heads off. Bronwyn stands up and says:
BRONWYN: Mike, before you start, you might as well know I'm not changing my mind. It's over.
MIKE: You can't just switch me off like a light, you know?
BRONWYN: I'm not as *smart* as you. I don't know how to finish something like this easily. I'm sorry it happened the way it did; it was the same in Narrabri—
MIKE: Did it ever occur to you that this time you're wrong?
BRONWYN: Every time I wanted to talk, you wanted to sidestep, as though getting physical could fix things. All you left me with was a tough decision.
MIKE: Well who's sidestepping *now*? I want to talk.
BRONWYN: Are you here for the night?
MIKE: Yes, of course I am.
BRONWYN: Then I don't have to stay.
With that, Bronwyn heads to the door. Mike tries to stop her, but Bronwyn turns and tells him not to give her a hard time - she's done them *both* a favour. She heads out. Mike sighs heavily.
A waiter places a candle- laden cake in front of Gail, telling her that it's compliments of management! Gail says she'll blow the candles out, but the first person to sing has to pick up the tab! She blows out the candles, just as Paul sneezes into his handkerchief. He says quickly that he's fine. Gail, however, tells him that she's not going to sit and watch him suffer: she'll take him home and put him out of his misery. With that, she and Paul stand up and head out, Paul commenting to Des and Penny as they do so:
PAUL: What can I say? I'm henpecked!
Left alone with Penny, Des offers her some cake. She declines, though. She then says:
PENNY: You make living in Ramsay Street sound like a lot of fun.
DES (sincerely): Yeah, well, I haven't felt that way for a long time.
Some upbeat jazz- type music starts playing in the restaurant and Penny smiles that she likes it. Des asks her if she'd like to dance. She accepts.
Sharon opens the front door to Henry and the two of them head through to the lounge room, where Mrs. Chubb comments sternly that it's very late. Henry explains that he's almost *too* late, but fortunately he's there! Mrs. Chubb asks him what he means. Henry explains:
HENRY: Sharon has to find music for the school dance. She's new in town and, well, you know what some of those modern bands are like, Mrs. Chubb: *wild* music.
MRS. CHUBB (looking aghast): Oh, good heavens!
Sharon warns Henry to butt out. Mrs. Chubb, however, tells Sharon to be quiet: Henry's beginning to make a certain amount of sense. Henry says to Sharon:
HENRY: Now, if I run the dance as a disco - that's records, Mrs. Chubb! - the music will be under control; there'll be no risk of moral danger.
Mrs. Chubb remarks that that's very responsible of Henry. Bronwyn asks Henry if you don't need a lot of gear to run a disco. Henry replies that he'll hire it; all that matters is that the school dance is good clean fun for decent kids. Bronwyn grins:
BRONWYN: Yeah - and that you make a profit!
Sharon holds out her hand and tells Henry that he's got himself a deal. A smile crosses Mrs. Chubb's face and she beams:
MRS. CHUBB: This is a chance to show young people some *real* music. My Glenn Miller collection in Narrabri—
HENRY (quickly): No - um, I don't think I could get the insurance to cover records that are that valuable, Mrs. Chubb.
MRS. CHUBB: Oh. Well, perhaps not, then.
Bronwyn gives Henry a kiss on the cheek and he asks in surprise what *that* was for. Bronwyn tells him that it was for making her little sister happy. Mrs. Chubb warns Bronwyn that she'll get into trouble with boys if she throws herself at them like that. Bronwyn, however, says dismissively:
BRONWYN: Oh Aunt Edie, it's *Henry*! He's just a friend!
With that, she leaves the room. Henry stands there putting on a brave face.
Des and Penny arrive home, Des noticing that the lights are on and commenting that Mike must be back and has hit the hay early. Penny says she won't stay then. Des, looking disappointed, asks her if she's sure. Penny nods that she'd better get going - it's pretty late. As she stands by the door, she says:
PENNY: I had a terrific time tonight, Des. Thank you.
DES: Yeah, well, it was *Gail's party*.
PENNY (warmly): No, it was *you*. Goodnight.
With that, Penny kisses Des gently on the cheek and opens the door. Des, however, says:
DES: Don't go - not yet.
He pushes the door slowly shut again and leans forward. He and Penny start kissing passionately...