Joan of Arcadia
Spring Cleaning

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Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

Joan answers the door to a salesman wearing a big "OxyGem" button. Professor Frink thinks he looks like a chunky Les Nessman. He gives her a lot of blather about being the lady of the house and the fine weather and then launches into a sales pitch about some floor cleaner, concluding by using her name. She raises her eyebrow and then closes the door behind her, beckoning him to one side on the porch. He continues with his cleanliness pitch, and Joan asks him to just get to it. He tells her he knows she's hurting and that she needs to clean. Joan: "I already dumped my cheating boyfriend; that's not clean enough for you?" Salesman God says, "Cleaning is a process of discovery. It changes your perception. And: it makes things smell good." Joan looks pained: "I wouldn't even know where to start." Salesman God: "Start anywhere. Just clean. It's therapeutic." Thanks a bunch for the tip, God. As he wheels his suitcases of products down the front walk, Joan calls, "Can I just go to therapy?" Yeah, because that was so helpful. Salesman God just gives her an indifferent Godwave.

Luke and Grace are walking down the street as he says, "According to study results put out by Harvard, Joan and Adam had five of the eight positive predictors of a successful relationship." I'll bet one of the ones they were missing was "Not Being Made To Do Totally Out-of-Character Crap By Writers." Grace, noticing a window display of women's clothing: "Looks like a nautical theme for spring! Can't get enough of that look." What she said. Unless you are an actual sailor, do not wear that fugliness, people. She stops to grimace at the mannequin in the navy jacket with white piping. Luke sighs and continues ticking off predictors: "Shared common interests, proud of their connection…" Grace notices another window display: "Velour? Why are we giving that another chance?" Beats me. Luke: "…confided in each other…I mean, easily resolved conflicts…probably held a similar, you know, sociopolitical belief system." Grace gets tired, I guess, of trying to change the subject -- although I think if she wanted to distract Luke, talking about geodynamos or something would work better than commenting on the vagaries of women's fashion -- and blurts, "Dude, Rove was putting it around." Luke cringes: "I don't want to know that! Ugh! God, do I have to beat him up now?" That I'd like to see. I actually think that normally Adam could take Luke, but I think he'd feel too weak and guilty, so he'd probably let Luke kick his ass. I'm kind of surprised Luke isn't more surprised. Grace: "Sure, why not throw pugilism into the pot?" Luke says he's freaked out: "Why are you not freaked out?" Grace: "Why would I be? It's how dating works." Luke: "We're dating; we're not like that." Grace: "Yet." Well, keep a good thought. Luke: "Grace…" She argues that they're not really dating: "We're making out." Luke says they have a relationship. Grace calls it "an arrangement." Luke: "Whatever. The point is, they had way more going for them in terms of compatibility, and they're over, which just makes you think." Grace: "Not me." She stops in front of another window featuring a male mannequin in a black leather jacket: "Oh…now that is a good use of a cow!" Luke: "Grace!" She replies, "We're not discussing this anymore, dude. We're looking at a jacket. Tell me that's not the coolest jacket in the world." It's okay, I guess. It's hard to totally make it out with the glare on the glass. This is much more my kind of thing. Luke says it's nice. She walks over to him and puts her hands on his face: "They're not us, okay?" She smiles at him slightly before they walk off together.

Joan rounds a corner at school and runs into Adam. They both jerk to a stop before actually crashing into each other. They greet each other uncomfortably, and then Adam tells her he's dropping out of physics study group, because he thought it might make things easier on Joan. She says, "Easier on me? Please. Don't do me any favours. Really. You've done enough." Adam: "Great. Glad to see you've moved on." Hey, buddy. What's it been, a few days? You are so not in a position to be giving her any lip about this yet. Joan shouts down the hall after him, "Moved on? Moved on? I am so far moved on, I'm invisible, that's how moved on I am!" Ms. Lischak and Tuchman (Poor Man's James Spader) are walking slowly down the hall toward her and as she turns, probably to stomp down the hall in the opposite direction, Ms. Lischak says, "Physics, I presume?" Joan kind of nods but says, "Not really." Lischak warns her, "Just don't bring it to class. Keep it in your own magnetic field." She breezes past Joan. PMJS walks alongside Joan, commiserating: "Breakups are the worst. I have some scars myself." Please keep them to yourself. Nope: "Stacy Ann Beeson, sophomore year. I sometimes imagine her getting caught in a ceiling fan." Dude, given that you're now twenty-nine…perhaps it's time to let go of that. Also? Maybe look into some therapy. Joan's with me: "Guidance counsellor who's still hung up on his high school girlfriend…not encouraging." PMJS assures her: "I've been trounced on way more recently…it's just too raw to discuss." Joan: "I guess I just need to adjust, but thanks for listening." Listening? When was there any listening? PMJS: "Listen, high school boys are just hormones with car keys. They can't help themselves. I know -- I was one!" Joan grimaces, and I can't tell if it's more about the metaphor, the thought of PMJS being a "hormone with car keys," or the fact that everyone seems to know her business. Probably all of that. ["Or the fact that 'high school boys' are getting let off the hook because of their hormones, but a high school girl who pulled the same shit as Adam would get labeled a slut. Shut up, society." -- Sars] Joan: "I wish I could find that comforting." PMJS reminds her he's always around and she can call him day or night. Joan rolls her eyes. He hands her a card he's fished out of his pocket. Day or night, really? Man, talk about needing some instruction about boundaries. Joan takes the card: "I know, hit you on your cell." PMJS seems slightly dismayed: "Wow. Now I'm a routine." Joan backpedals a little, saying it's nice: "Thank you." PMJS insists he means it: "Anytime. It's what I do." Sit around waiting for high school girls to call, apparently.

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Joan of Arcadia

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