Someone puts a big pile of books about Joan of Arc (and the Crusades, and the myth of Pope Joan, and the lives of the saints, and medieval Europe) in front of Joan. It's Sammy! She's at the bookstore. Woo! Sammy's back! I've been patient for eight episodes since he first appeared. He announces, "I can't tell you about Joan of Arc, because in order to do that, I'd have to assume you have some basic grasp of anything that happened before, say, the Reagan years." He starts to wander off, as Joan gripes, "I have a test coming up on this, and I have to get an A. Come on, just help me out, okay?" Sammy: "Here's an interesting approach: read the books." Joan says she's been sacrificing valuable study time by working her butt off in the store. Sammy sneers, "Four hours a week? Your butt is barely employed." Joan tries a different tack: "The other day when your wife called and you were playing video games, I told her you were with a customer." Sammy considers this and then decides to play Exposition Fairy: "Joan of Arc met with the Dauphin -- told him he should assume the crown and take back France from the British. Then she got an army together and made that happen. A teenage girl, who managed to drive the British out after years of occupation...and you have trouble working your iPod." Joan says she doesn't, to which Sammy just raises his eyebrows. Joan asks if St. Joan was crazy. Sammy replies, "I tend to avoid people who talk to God, but here again, what she did was impressive." Joan asks if he believes in God. I wonder if she's ever going to get asked that by anybody. Sammy: "'Never converse with the help.' I think Karl Marx said that. Read." Heh. He goes back to whatever he was doing as she mutters, "Oh, man." He comes back and declares, "Joan, I have a master's degree in English literature. I could have done a number of things with my life --" Joan gives him a skeptical look. Sammy: "At least three things. But I chose to open a bookstore because I believe in the power of knowledge, which comes from books. You want to learn something? Read." Frink might need to restrain me soon, since I'm bouncing around and cheering in much the manner I believe sports fans do when their team says or does something pleasing. Yes! Go, reading! Woo! I realize I don't even know any sports chants other than "2-4-6-8" and somehow a number-themed one just seems wrong.
Dinnertime. Helen hands a dish to Kevin, who complains, "We had tuna casserole on Monday." Luke corrects him, saying they had macaroni and cheese then and tuna casserole on Tuesday. Kevin asks, "Are we poor? Because I have a vague memory of lamb chops." Helen claims they're not poor, and tells Joan not to read at the table. What? What? No reading at the table? Gah. In theory I understand where Helen is coming from, but in reality I am one of those people who feels the only time you shouldn't be reading is when you're piloting a vehicle or performing surgery or something. Joan wants to just finish one thing. Will reaches over and lifts the book so he can read the title: "Butler's Lives of Saints?" Helen asks if that's an assigned text. Joan says it's for a history test. Will asks, "You ever notice how the Church has to have a saint for everything?" Helen says saints are important. Will would like to know how. Helen: "They show us how to live." Will: "Name one saint whose life you'd want to emulate." I tell you what, sure as heck not St. Catherine of Siena, with the drinking of the cancerous pus and the anorexia and bulimia and the self-flagellation and all the rest. Will mentions St. Barbara, patron saint of fireworks: "For when all your Roman candles are duds?" Little shout-out to Barbara Hall? Joan ventures gently, "What about St. Joan? She won a whole war." Luke: "You know, I find it unconscionable that science martyrs never get the proper respect." Hee. Frink's all over that. Luke complains that there's no St. Galileo. Kevin says, "Galileo backed down." Luke: "Half-backed down. He was brought up on charges and forced to recant." Joan, again timidly: "Maybe God really does talk to people. Has anyone considered that?" Everyone just lets that pass. Kevin says, "You know, a lot of times when bad things happen to people, like getting burned at the stake, they might've brought it on themselves." Joan bursts out, "Joan of Arc wasn't crazy!" Her family just stares at her. Will asks if they can talk about the weather, and suggests it's unseasonably warm.