Later, at the Hash 'n' Whore, Rudy is sitting with Mike and Ellie. "Wow, I can't believe it was Howard," he says, meaning he hates to admit that Mike was right. "It's not a contest," says Mike. "Yeah, but it would be nice if you were wrong once," says Rudy. Ellie tells them to "take out a ruler and get it over with."
At another booth: Zane. Sam. Zane's not seeing Cheerleader again. Zane knew Sam was jealous. Sam is not jealous, she's not! They're friends, okay? Friends? You know? Like maybe even friends friends, maybe-someday-who- knows-possibly- potentially-statistically- speaking-perchance- weather-permitting friends. Whatever. So where's that ruler?
Back at the other table, Mike is saying it's too bad about Howard, and gee, what wacky things people will do when they're lonely, and Ellie says that "the cure for loneliness is friends," and she and Mike exchange a look that gets me all squicked out, and Mike and Rudy exchange a look that is also kind of freaky, and Rudy excuses himself to go to the men's room because, well, it's all too weird. And then Mike says something even squickier about "friends making the best lovers," and instead of slapping him, Ellie goes into her whole Aimee Mann save-me-from- the-ranks-of-the- freaks-who-suspect- they-can-never- love-anyone routine.
Rudy goes over to the jukebox, and at Hazel's suggestion picks "You've Got a Friend" to play. He goes into the little dark hallway by the bathrooms and suddenly Piranhica JUMPS on him and kicks and screams at him for lying to her about who he was, and she kicks him in the head again so that he slumps on the floor, and then she's so annoying that she can't even just kill him right away, and she just stands there, screeching, "You think you can get away with treating people like that?! With lies and deceit?!" She says Dead Date betrayed her by stealing every man from her that she ever cared about: "But she paid, in the HEART, SAME AS YOU'RE GOING TO," and then she whips out a big knife, just in case her long elaborate helpful explanation screamed at the top of her lungs in a crowded restaurant somehow failed to convey her intentions, and she holds it waaay up high, and then Hazel clobbers her with a ketchup bottle. Piranhica crumples moaning to the floor, just like a third-grader who's gotten a noogie. "Get this bitch out of my restaurant," Hazel yells, and Mike and Ellie rush in to help. Mike tends to Rudy, and Ellie gets to help, oh, just the crazy homicidal chick with a big knife. The deputies come in and bust Piranhica. Mike helps Rudy to his feet, and they sit at the counter and bond some more, and then Ellie and Hazel come up and bond with Mike and Rudy, and Zane and Sam come over and bond with all of them, or maybe just each other, or maybe just with Hazel. There's a lot of love in the air. A lot of ambivalent, sexually tense, possibly homoerotic, faintly incestuous, guilt-ridden codependent friendly love in the air.