The Dragonfly Inn has a small fire in the kitchen. Someone needs to tell the writers of this show that Fire Isn't Funny. The DAR is having a crisis -- tickets to their upcoming event are not selling. Rory has some ideas to make it work, and they put her in charge. Emily is a little worried, but for naught, since Rory makes it a huge success. Richard has to have a face-to-face with Lorelai about the fire insurance, and it does not go well for him. She's still really mad about his interference with Rory. Paris's parents are financially ruined, so Paris has to get a job. Rory hires her to waitress the DAR USO event, and she embraces it with gusto. Speaking of gusto, Lorelai and Sookie attend the hilarious annual recital at Miss Patty's -- there are kids in sequins and Kirk performs the grossest interpretive dance act ever -- while Luke goes off camping, alone, and pines after Lorelai. Logan's parents show up at the DAR event and Rory freaks out. Richard confronts Logan's dad about his shunning Rory, and they throw down. Richard finds out that everything Rory and Lorelai said about the Huntzbergers was true, and tells Emily, who goes straight for the throat of Logan's mother, vicious as a cat.
Lorelai and Luke walk into the diner after what appears to have been a huge shopping trip. Lorelai is carrying so many bags, she has to crack a "Gunga Din" joke about needing water. Lorelai wants to go through the bags immediately to find Luke's new wallet ("Your old wallet has Velcro; it's disgusting"), and discovers that she picked up another shopper's bag, containing some very large pink underwear and bunny slippers. "I [guess they're hiding] from the real owner," she says about the panties, "because I'd hate to be wrapped around the woman who fit those." Oh, come ON. Did I really just hear that? This show features at least three characters who are considerably overweight, all of whom are friends of Lorelai, and we're supposed to giggle along while she makes a fat joke? Before much else can happen, Sookie calls Lorelai's cell phone with bad news. There's a fire in the kitchen of the Dragonfly, and although everything is all right, it's caused a bit of damage. Lorelai sighs and remembers the fire at the Independence Inn. "Another fire," she says. "Am I a firestarter?" Luke assures her that she isn't, and they head out for the inn. "Go first," she says, "in case things burst into flames behind me as I walk."
At the Dragonfly, the scene is full of drama. Luke and Jackson are checking out the stove while Sookie recounts the horror of the fire to Lorelai and Michel. "I saw my whole life pass before my eyes," she says. "That's how traumatic it was." Michel says that Sookie has been doing this Scarlett O'Hara performance for two hours, and that he's sick of it. Luke and Jackson bicker, trying to figure out what caused the fire. They announce that the ductwork needs to be cleaned and that it's going to take a professional to do it. Luke reminds them that they need to make a claim with the insurance company, and Michel says he's already called and was very rudely informed that the company has no idea who they are. Lorelai says that's impossible, and that she'll call them herself.
The DAR chapter is meeting on Emily's patio. They are all depressed: an event they've been planning to raise money "for our troops" is tanking. Less than half the tables have sold. Nora is distraught. "We'll be the laughingstock of the DAR; we'll lose our national accreditation..." she says, "and this is a very weak drink." Emily tells her it's just punch. "My point, dear," she answers. Why is the British lady my favorite member of the DAR? Another member groans that the money they're trying to raise was to go "for additional armor for the boys at Fort Drum." I guess someone else is raising money for the girls of Fort Drum. Nora says it's so bad, they might as well all march to Mt. Vernon, drop their drawers, "and do something foul on George Washington's grave." Rory wonders why, since there's a week remaining until the event, more can't be done to make it a success. They all condescend to her and say it's unfixable -- that Constance Bedderton has run it into the ground, and that they will probably have to cancel. Emily says that they've already spent their budget on publicity. "But a budget is just an estimation," Rory says. "It's guesswork. Fake numbers. In any business endeavor, sometimes it makes sense to run a deficit in order to achieve a bigger payoff later." I'd bust on her for talking to these grown women like they've never balanced a checkbook in their lives, but since none of them is acting like they have any sense whatsoever, I have to side with Rory this time. Nora does, as well. "We're lunching with Grover Norquist, she says, all excited. Rory goes on to suggest that they use the internet and email to get the word out. She suggests that they add a theme to the event, and maybe some entertainment. They all look at her like she is suggesting something crazy and radical, and not the basic formula for staging any ticketed event, and insist that she take over the planning. Emily is nervous about it, saying it's a mountain of a project. "We're screwing the pooch, Emily," Nora shouts, "and we've got to go balls-out. I for one will not have those priggish twigs from the New York chapters lording this over us." I really, really had a hard time containing my scream when she said "balls-out." That just about slayed me. Emily tells Rory that she shouldn't feel pressured, but after thinking it over, Rory accepts. They are all very excited, but Emily is clearly apprehensive.