...and right as he's about to say something, Nicki comes in with an absolutely enormous lobster pot. She feigns surprise at catching sight of Bill and greets him with a sunny "There you are!" Barb looks like she's about to vomit. Nicki tells him she needs to talk, and Barb's switched nights; Bill suddenly shuts down and barks, "Switch it back! I don't like people making plans for me behind my back! And I don't like secrets!" Then he stalks upstairs to think about all the times he's never, ever kept secrets from someone else. After that half-minute is up, who knows what he'll do next?
Barb wanders into the kitchen, Nicki follows behind her, flinging hissies all the way. She melodramatically concludes, "He hates me now! I don't even exist." Barb sensibly doesn't say anything. Then Nicki decides that she's going to sell her car. Barb points out that it's not really her car to sell (the title's in Barb's name); she obliquely adds that a car-less Nicki means more work for Barb and Margene. Relieved to have someone else to cast as a villain in the recently debuted drama How Nicki Grant Got Out of Debt, Nicki wheels on Barb and asks, in her best martyr tone, "Why are you doing this to me?" Then she stomps out before Barb can reply.
While all this psychodrama's going on, Margene's holding down a booth at a local steakhouse with Carl and Pam. She's gushing about how awesome it is to have a night away from the kiddies at home, and both Carl and Pam are like, "Is it? Good! We're not at all suspicious-acting, are we?" Carl then gets up and waves over the surprise fourth party who will be joining them. It's Chad, a coworker of Carl's. Chad looks like he just came off the assembly line for "guys you'd take home to meet your dad" -- dorky hair; clean, shining face wreathed in a nervous smile; pressed short-sleeved shirt and tie. ["Once I've determined that he isn't played by a London, Chad instantly breaks my heart." -- Wing Chun] As Chad shakes Margene's hand, Carl and Pam exchange the smug looks of people who think they're born matchmakers. There's some adorably awkward small talk -- Margene tells Chad that she moved in across from Carl and Pam a few months ago, and Chad happily says, "Isn't that fortuitous!" The server comes over, and when Chad points out this is on two checks, it hits us that Margene's been set up on a date. When the guys head to the salad bar, we see that it's also hit Margene. I love how, without changing the bright sunny smile on her face, Margene can grit out, "Is this a date?" Pam says that she just thought it'd be nice for Margene to meet someone from their church. Margene blurts, "I can't! I'm not available --" As it hits her that she needs to explain why, she lamely adds, "...emotionally." Heh. Pam says that Margene needs to move on, and that she should just have fun.