Bill and Don are in the wood-paneled offices of the billboard company's CEO, a gray-haired gentleman who's tossing balled-up paper into his trash can using a photo of Lady Bird Johnson as a backboard. He breezily says that he'll have the Home Plus sign fixed on Thursday. Not that we know what day it is now. Don says that's too late; as a small account, "Each billboard matters to us." The CEO tells Don he's lucky to have a billboard at all, saying that Lady Bird Johnson -- "Prune Face," as he calls her, tried to ban billboards when she was First Lady. Dude, it was forty years ago. And she failed. Time to move on. Perhaps to a different state. May I suggest a nice stretch along I-90 in South Dakota? Bill tightly says that Thursday is too late. The CEO says Home Plus isn't his only client with defaced signs. "I've got three DQ billboards with scrotums on the Dilly Bars." At that, graffiti artists all over the country echo Margene and say, "On it." The CEO's point is that the "Mormon joke" on the Home Plus billboards is kind of a low priority. "If we're associated with that foul practice, we lose business," Don says, cutting a guilty look at Bill. The CEO tells them to calm down, which just makes Bill lose it, as being told to calm down does for almost anybody. He yells at the CEO for defaming the First Lady of the United States and comes up out of his chair, saying, "You should learn to respect everyone. Now fix our damned sign!" Whoa, am I going to have to start counting Bill's swears per episode?
Barb is placidly setting the table for dinner when she gets a call from Rhonda of all people. Rhonda wants to apologize for her behavior with Barbara, but she has to do it in that creepy bible-thumping way: "God said I needed to atone." Rhonda says she's sorry for what happened, and she hopes Barb feels better soon. And then she hangs up. You know, I'm starting to think that there needs to be a hotline between Juniper Creek and Bill's houses, like the one between the White House and the Kremlin.
Bill and Don are back in the parking lot beneath their defaced sign, whose graffiti is getting crudely painted over in white by a couple of guys with rollers. Don's kind of pissed at Bill for his earlier behavior. Bill says he feels trapped, and that he's following the American dream: "Work hard, play by the rules?" Except for that second part. He says he "can't go backwards. That's not the life I was called to lead." I certainly don't begrudge Bill's desire to succeed. I have one of those myself. But I think it's extremely naïve of him to think he can put himself out there as the public face of Home Plus while keeping his highly irregular family situation private. By the way, you notice that I'm not mocking the very idea of a hardware store's owner representing it in its advertising. That's because we used to have a chain of locally owned hardware stores here whose owner used to do all of its TV commercials. And then he became the junior Senator from Minnesota. You think Bill would scoff modestly if someone told him that, dismissing the idea out of hand? I doubt it. Don's got more immediate and pragmatic concerns: "I've got sixteen mouths to feed!" he snaps at Bill. Bill backs down a bit. He says he takes responsibility for Don's family, and that he can't do this alone. Don says he'll go to the end, "But I need to make sure that the end is later rather than sooner." Bill nods understandingly, but he doesn't promise not to swear at any more of their vendors with media monopolies. Don asks how much they owe the painters. "I told them sixty-five bucks apiece," Bill says. Seems like they could have saved a lot of time and grief doing that in the first place.