Props and thanks to: greeblygreebly, Neurogirl, Grammaeryn, Firefly Fan, and LibbySarah.
Joan and Adam are walking down the street. She's regaling him with tales of the wackiness to which her visiting relative is subjecting her family: "Last night my mom's aunt made us chant an Indian nature prayer she learned in New Mexico." Adam, wearing a camo hoodie (that I just know Frink wants for his collection of unusual camo items, including an unbelievably durable pair of Joe Boxer pixilated camo print pyjama pants, and an enormous camo sweater his mom knitted him in high school), shrugs and thinks that sounds cool. Joan sneers, "Yeah, until you have to pose like a deer while she dances around you waving snake teeth. My dad was really happy about that." Heh. How much do you wish they'd included that scene? Adam contributes, "My aunt has this big thing on her neck. Used to freak me out, like she was growing another head." Joan wants to know what that has to do with anything. Adam says they were talking about aunts. Joan: "No, we were talking about me." As usual. She rolls her eyes and gives her head a little shake. Adam takes it completely in stride. As usual. I feel like we could use a little bit of Joan being good or sweet or sensitive to Adam, instead of just being totally all about her and her problems, or being extra-sweet only while begging him for something. Anyway, Joan says her aunt will only be there two more days: "My mom has this permanent serial killer smile glued to her face. I hope she makes it."
They come upon a bunch of cages piled on crates on the sidewalk. The cages contain several mangy-looking feral cats. Hey, is that Little Joe? And Hobey? Aw, did Sars finally lose it and drive you to Maryland and leave you on the street? (Just kidding, Sars.) ["Don't tempt me. Hobey threw up on my printer today. ON MY PRINTER." -- Sars] Adam: "Whoa…intense." The woman with the cats is HITG! Allyce Beasley. Many viewers seemed to have recognized her instantly from her days as Agnes diPesto on Moonlighting, but since I never watched that show and have apparently never seen anything else she was in either, it all just washed over me. Joan's comment: "Ew." And: "Gross." The cat lady says they'll be put to sleep if they're not adopted. Joan: "Looks like they could use the sleep." Cat Lady, who's a little mangy herself: "You could adopt one, Joan." I could not tell you what Adam is doing right now, or why he doesn't seem to hear this exchange at all. I think he's looking at some cats in cages on the ground nearby. Joan, who's already turned her back on Agnes DeiPesto (tm greeblygreebly), informs her, "I hate cats. This, you know." Agnes DeiPesto pleads that they were born on the streets and they need a home. Joan bargains: "How 'bout I get a puppy?" Agnes DeiPesto shakes her head. Joan: "Hamster?" Nein. "Sea Monkeys?" No dice. Joan folds, and crouches reluctantly to look at the cat in front of her, which promptly hisses at her aggressively. Joan glares at Agnes DeiPesto. Say, when do we get to see an Arab avatar? Or see Joan consult an imam? Just wondering.
Helen, Kevin and Luke are standing in the Girardi kitchen, looking weary and annoyed. Aunt Olive (Cloris Leachman, who looks pretty good for seventy-eight) is bent over the oven, dressed like Frida Kahlo. You know, if Frida Kahlo were a crabby old white woman. In a chartreuse do-rag. She pulls out a cookie sheet of hot snacks, exulting, "I love the smell! Oh, the salt and paprika bring out the flavour." She starts messing around with a spatula while Helen inquires, "Are you sure crickets are edible?" Olive says, "Mmm. In the Kanchanaburi province in Thailand, they're a delicacy." Helen: "Well, in Arcadia they're exterminated." Olive admonishes her to "live a little." Professor Frink can't resist bragging a bit: "I've eaten 'em raw! And they weren't spiced or nothin'." And he did, too. He competed last year in a thing that was sort of a local Amazing Race/Fear Factor-type deal. He had to eat two live crickets. Actually, his spin of the wheel in that part of the contest originally dictated that he eat some dog food, but since he couldn't be sure it was halal, and since he'd mentioned on his application form that he's Muslim, he got to spin again. Hence the crickets. Two live, wiggly, crunchy crickets. Are those halal? Actually, now that I look it up, it seems that the only halal insects are grasshoppers and locusts. (Mmm, locust biryani…) I guess he didn't know that at the time. Not like the dog food would have been any better. Frink also had to use his mouth to fish his instructions out of a cream pie full of maggots and worms. And people ask me why I didn't want to be his partner for these festivities. I made him use about half a bottle of mouthwash afterward. Olive brings the tray over to the island, explaining, "I learned this recipe from a Thai chef who said crickets kept him vital. Over ninety! Still having sex like a rabbit." Kevin and Luke consider that. Luke: "I'll try one." Kevin: "Me too." They each pop one in. Helen: "Oh, God." Olive can't understand the sheltered life Helen leads. Helen bristles a little: "Not eating bugs makes me sheltered?" Olive: "I always told my sister not to coddle you so much!" Helen: "Was that before or after she had to send you money to get you out of Burma?" Kevin interrupts: "Can I, uh, have another one? I think I might feel a rustling down there…" Maybe a stray live cricket crawled up your pants. Helen laughs. Luke eats another one.