Poppy saying goodbye to Scott after announcing that she's leaving Erinsborough and going to Greece.
Reception area at the Robinson Corporation
Paul comes in from the hotel and tells Gail - who's sitting at the reception desk - that he dropped the dictation cassette off to Prue. Gail muses that they had a small crisis while he was out: she's been clearing the messages and they had a call from a would-be customer: a 'Mr. Brown', which isn't much help when you're trying to work out how to call him back. Paul asks if he didn't leave his number. Gail nods that he *tried*. She then plays the answering machine recording, which cuts Mr. Brown off before he can give his contact details. Gail explains to Paul that the tape ran out. She suggests that in future they should check the messages more often or use *longer* tapes.
PAUL: Oh well, I suppose all new systems have their bugs, don't they? Do you think it was anything important?
GAIL: That depends. Would you call wanting to book the conference room for a major convention important?
Paul, looking annoyed, buries his head in his hands. Gail tells him that they have 37 Mr. Browns on file. Paul tells her to call them all - he could be one of them. Gail, however, points out that by the time she gets through them all it'll be after office hours. Paul sighs that he supposes the best thing to do is just leave the line open and hope he calls back. Gail remarks that Mr. Brown is hopefully having second thoughts about having entrusted his message to a machine. As he heads into the office, Paul says tersely:
PAUL: Gail, this isn't the fault of the system, this is *human* error. It's because *you* didn't check that the tape was long enough.
Gail, following Paul, demands incredulously to know how come this is suddenly *her* fault. Before the argument can progress, though, Des knocks on the office door and says he's got a small problem. He explains about losing one of the keys to the bank and how it could be in the base of one of the pots he made. Gail quickly grabs the pot he gave *them* and hands it over! Des says apologetically that he's going to have to smash it: maybe they'd better not watch. Paul, however, assures him:
PAUL: Oh, no, I think we can handle it. Course, it's a loss, though!
GAIL: Yeah... if it can't be helped...
DES: Look, I feel rotten about this...
Paul, however, clears a space on his desk and lays out some newspaper! Des puts the pot on the newspaper and goes to hit it with a hammer he's holding. He then pauses, looking worried, and says:
DES: Are you sure? I really feel bad about—
PAUL: No more arguments, mate: give me that thing.
With that, Paul grabs the hammer and smashes the pot! The key isn't in it, though. Des says sadly that he's sorry: he broke their pot for nothing.
PAUL (glancing at Gail): Yeah. Yeah, it's a damn shame really!
Henry is suggesting to Kerry that they try busking at the Erinsborough Bus Station. Kerry shrugs that it's as good a place as any. Mike is sitting at the table and he muses that he has a mental image of the two of them standing on the pavement frightening off innocent commuters! With that, he heads off to mark assignments in his room. Henry then asks Kerry what material they're going to do. Kerry tells him that *she'll* sing and *he* can play the guitar - but what they really need is a special gimmick to make people stop and take notice. Henry, beaming, says:
HENRY: Yes... yes... a gimmick. Now you're talking. You know, you are only looking at one of the great ideas men of the twentieth century!
Kerry sits there looking worried! Henry appears to have a brainwave and he says suddenly:
HENRY: This cannot fail! Wait 'til I tell you this!
Scott is sitting at the kitchen table, his typewriter in front of him, staring into space. Madge comes in from the back yard and asks him if he really thinks it's a good idea brooding like this. Scott murmurs that he's OK; he's just thinking.
MADGE: And I know what you're thinking *about*. Look, Scott, Poppy's gone, and personally I think it's for the best. You've just got to put it behind you.
SCOTT: It's not easy. I don't know...
MADGE: *Work's* always a good distraction.
Scott, however, sighs that he just can't get himself in the mood. Madge points out that in that case he'd have to tell Sandra Lloyd that he can't deliver what he promised. Scott looks at her and then murmurs that she's right: he'll get to work on it right now. Madge tells him that he'll have the house to himself all evening so he can concentrate. She walks off, leaving Scott staring at the typewriter. After a few seconds, he picks up his wallet, which is lying on the table, and opens it. He looks at the photo of Charlene that's held inside and smiles fondly. He then puts the wallet back down, sighs heavily and begins typing.
It's evening-time and Des is feeding Jamie. Mike joins them and Des tells him wearily that he smashed practically every pot he made and the key wasn't to be found. Mike asks about the unbroken pot that's resting on the dinner table, but Des replies that that's the last one - his favourite - and the key was probably never in the clay anyway. He adds that he'll just have to come clean with Hemmings. Mike asks him how much trouble he'll be in. Des sighs:
DES: Heavy lectures about bank property and responsibilities... Hemmings is going to love it and I'm going to feel like a nong.
Mike says he's going across the road to see Scott, then he's heading to the gig. He heads out, leaving Des to ask Jamie what he should have for tea. Jamie, who's sitting in his high chair, has somehow managed to reach out and grab the pot on the dinner table and he pushes it onto the floor, where it smashes. Des walks over to the mess, crying at Jamie to ask what he had to do *that* for. As he bends down to clear up the mess, though, he finds the key amongst the debris! He looks at Jamie and smiles:
DES: Can you believe *that*? It was in there after all!
Scott has let Mike in, and Mike invites him to the club to listen to some fantastic music! Scott, however, says he'd like to but he's trying to finish the last Migrants article for Sandra and he can't seem to get anywhere. Mike suggests that a break would clear his head, but Scott says he doubts it. He goes on that the love and marriage stuff is too close to the bone; maybe he should get Sandra Lloyd to get someone else to finish it? Mike, however, sits down at the table and says:
MIKE: Scott, are you serious? You are the one person really qualified to write the story and get the truth across. I mean, you've been through enough of it with Poppy, haven't you?
SCOTT: That's why I can't *do* it.
MIKE: Bull. You're not going to get over Poppy just by avoiding the issue. Look, you write this thing, tell people how it really feels from the inside, maybe you'll help some kids who get themselves stuck in the same situation.
Scott protests that it's easy for *Mike* to talk. Mike just retorts that Scott is going to let a really important story slip through his fingers just because the topic happens to be a little bit painful. He adds:
MIKE: I mean, what sort of journalist does that *make* you, huh?
The next morning, Henry dashes out of his bedroom asking Madge if she's seen his ripped jeans. Madge tells him that they're in the bottom of his wardrobe. Henry dashes off to his room again, just as Scott emerges from *his* room. Madge comments to him that he doesn't look as though he's slept much. Scott yawns that he got a few hours: he was up 'til about 4am, finishing that article.
MADGE: It's all done, then?
SCOTT: Yeah. It was a bit touch and go for a while, until Mike came over and hit me with a few home truths - but for better or worse it's finished, I guess.
MADGE: Aren't you happy with it?
SCOTT: Well... I suppose I'm a bit too close to know if it's any good. The main thing is whether *Sandra's* happy. I'll find that out soon enough...
Mike emerges from his bedroom and tells Des - who's holding Jamie - that the gig went really well last night and he might get a bit of work out of it. Des asks if Scott turned up, but Mike explains that he was a bit down. There's a knock on the front door and Des says it'll be Kerry. He goes to answer it and lets Kerry in. She's brought Sky with her. Des apologises to her for hitting her with this at such short notice, but Kerry assures him that she's happy to mind Jamie as long as Des doesn't mind him coming to this thing with her and Henry. Des assures her that there are no worries. He then adds that he doesn't know how long he'll be: he has to drop off the key at the bank, but he could get caught up. Kerry smiles that she'll keep Jamie busy! With that, she, Sky and Jamie head out again. Des tells Mike that he's off: first to the bank, then the craft shop to get some more clay. Mike gives him a look! Des muses:
DES: Everybody was so good about handing back their pots - but you could see that they really hated parting with them - so I'm going to replace them all. You reckon it would be a nice surprise?
Mike stands there, clearly not sure what to say!
Kerry, Sky and Jamie join Henry, who's standing by Bertha at the side of a road. He asks in concern what Jamie's doing there, and Kerry explains about Des having to go out for a bit. She then asks him if he's got the permit and Henry beams that they're all legal. He adds that he went to the op shop and got some extra costumes for Sky. Looking concerned, Kerry says:
HENRY: We might as well get *her* in it, hm? Who can resist a kid's sad eyes?! And, you beauty, now we've got *two* of them!
As Henry starts dressing Kerry and Jamie in old worn-out clothes, Kerry muses that she supposes it can't hurt. Henry then shows Kerry a sheet of paper and says he's written some lyrics to go with the gear. He takes out a pair of sunglasses and puts them on Bouncer, who's lying on the ground next to them. He laughs at Kerry:
HENRY: It's a pity he can't carry a stick and a tin cup as well! You ready?
With that, Henry starts playing his guitar. He and Kerry begin singing:
HENRY and KERRY:
"I have got the poverty blues
Got no job, the wife and kid got no shoes!
I think I'm on a downhill skid,
Well... won't you lend me a quid?!"
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul is sitting at the office computer, talking to Gail about the stock figures on there - but just as he presses a key, the lights dim as the power cuts out, and he loses everything. He exclaims to Gail that he was just about to *save* all of that. Gail points out that it's gone now - and the answering machine won't be working either, so he should let Prue know. She adds that she doesn't know why Paul didn't program in an auto-save; that way, if *he* didn't remember to do it, the computer automatically saves itself every ten minutes or so.
PAUL (sarcastically): Oh great... well now's a fine time to think of *that*, isn't it?
Paul dials a number on the 'phone on his desk and gets through to Prue. He talks to her about the power cut and discovers that it must just be localised to the office. He then listens as Prue tells him that she can't understand his dictation. Looking irritated, he hangs up and tells Gail, adding that he supposes he didn't realise that he and Jane have their own private language; now he's got to go over to the hotel and dictate them all over again. As he heads out, he asks Gail if she can see what she can salvage from the computer when the power comes back on.
Kerry and Henry are still busking and have built up quite a crowd. Money is tossed into Henry's guitar case. The two of them finish another verse of their song. An elderly woman walks up to them and holds out some money. Looking worried, Henry tells her that they're not *that* hard up, but the woman says she insists, telling him to buy something nice for the poor little children. Des walks past suddenly and, spotting what's going on, steps through the crowd and picks up Jamie, a look of astonishment on his face. He demands of Kerry and Henry:
DES: Do you want to tell me exactly what you're doing with my son?
Kerry stands there looking guilty.
A while later, Des, Jamie, Kerry, Sky and Henry all troop into No. 28, Des ranting that he doesn't understand how Kerry could *involve* Jamie in something like that. Kerry insists that she's sorry. Des just continues angrily:
DES: How do you think it looked, hm? I am a bank manager and there's my son, dressed up like a tramp, begging for money.
HENRY: He wasn't begging, Des, he was just sort of *there*.
Des snaps that it's no wonder Kerry was so keen to get Jamie out of the house - and they would have got away with it, only he walked by the craft shop. Kerry insists that it wasn't planned: she only meant Jamie to sit and watch. Henry admits that it was sort of *his* idea. Des mutters:
DES: Who'd have thought that such a stupid, harebrained, senseless scheme would come from somebody like *you*?
HENRY (murmurs): No need for sarcasm, Clarkey!
Kerry says she just thought that Jamie would enjoy the music; it didn't occur to her that it might reflect on Des - and she doubts anyone would have recognised him. She adds that it won't happen again - honestly - and after this, she doubts he'll ever trust her with Jamie again.
DES: Yeah, well...
KERRY: Look, I really am sorry, for what it's worth. I hope you can believe that?
DES (calming down): I suppose no *real* harm was done...
KERRY: Then you accept my apology?
DES: Well, I don't want to lose the best pottery instructor. Besides, I've got all that new clay to get rid of!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Gail is sitting at the office computer when Paul comes in and says curtly that he's re-dictated the most important letters to Prue, but there's still a stack to go. Gail muses that that's not the half of it: his whole morning's work on the computer is gone. She adds:
GAIL: You know, Paul, your modernisation programme is creating more problems than it's solving. We've lost customers' information and a lot of time.
PAUL (insists): That is only because we haven't sorted out all the bugs yet.
GAIL: You really *believe* that? And even if it's true, how are we supposed to sort them all out when things keep going wrong and the work keeps piling up? At this rate, we're just going to drop further and further behind. I really think we should look at hiring a temp.
PAUL: Gail, it is not *that* bad.
GAIL: It *is* that bad, Paul. I'm sorry, but I'm not supposed to be working like a slave day and night.
PAUL: We can't afford a temp.
GAIL: And we can't afford to put our baby at risk, either.
PAUL: You really think that's possible, huh?
GAIL: Yes, I do.
PAUL (sighs): OK... ring the agency.
Gail smiles that she'll get them to send someone over straight away.
Madge opens the door to Mike, telling him that Scott's gone over to drop the last article over to Sandra Lloyd but he should be back any time. Mike says he'll stay for a few minutes: he just wants to make sure Scott's still talking to him. Madge remarks that whatever it was that Mike said to him, he certainly shook him up. At that moment, Scott dashes in through the back door, looking happy. He says:
SCOTT: Guess what!
MIKE: You're talking to me, at any rate!
SCOTT: Yeah, of course I am! I, er, guess I really needed that kick up the backside.
Scott then sits down at the kitchen table with Madge and Mike and tells them:
SCOTT: Sandra's finished reading my articles, right, and guess what? She loved it! She really loved it - and she's offered me a job as a stringer!
MIKE: Great! What's *that*?!
SCOTT: Well, I guess I can't really call it a job, because I'll still be freelance, but she said that she'd take a regular supply of pieces - virtually as much as I want to write.
Madge offers Scott her congratulations. Scott adds that it's the perfect thing for the next couple of months until he gets his job back in Brisbane. Mike asks when he starts.
SCOTT: Whenever I want - which sort of suits me fine, because I got a big, fat cheque for the Migrants series; and guess what: I am going to buy myself a ticket to Brisbane to see Charlene!
MADGE (beams): Oh Scott, that's a wonderful idea! She'll be over the moon!
SCOTT: Yeah, well, she won't be the only one!
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Paul is sitting at his desk, indicating some handwritten letters and saying to Gail:
PAUL: I'll get her to type up these as soon as she comes in and then I'll dictate *today's* correspondence to her.
GAIL: Well just don't take up all of her time: she's my assistant too, remember? In fact, seeing you were so reluctant to get someone in, I'm not sure she shouldn't be *exclusively* my assistant!
PAUL: So you can sit around comparing nail polish and hairspray like you do with Jane? Sure!
GAIL: A typical Paul Robinson sexist remark! You know perfectly well Jane and I don't do that - but it occurs to me I should've stipulated she be of around, ooh, 55 years of age, with maybe a weight problem. If she turns out to be good-looking, you may as well stay at home for the amount of use you're going to be around here!
PAUL: Just what is *that* supposed to mean, eh?!
GAIL: It means it's a well-documented fact that male executive productivity varies in inverse proportion to the attractiveness of their secretary!
PAUL (chuckles): Shut up, Gail!
GAIL: Well, we'll just see, shall we?!
There's suddenly a knock on the office door. A man in his twenties is standing there and Paul asks what they can do for him. The man says he's looking for Mrs. Robinson. Gail steps into view. The man then says:
MAN: Oh good. The agency sent me over. I'm Kevin Harvey - your new temporary secretary.
Paul stares at Kevin in astonishment!