Commercials. Um…an estimated one in five Canadians has genital herpes? Really? Frink and I can't quite believe it. That seems incredibly high. I wonder if the statistics are the same for the U.S. ["Afraid so." -- Sars] While I'm pondering this, some blipvert (tm Strega, I think) comes on informing us of some…ungodly merger, some unholy union between Celine Dion and Anne Geddes, some goopy multimedia project celebrating babies or birth or whatever and the prospect is so saccharine my teeth instantly start falling out. May God have mercy on our souls. Frink, looking at the case of green cradle cap on the little pod-baby: "Apparently the bond between mother and baby is based on chlorophyll."
Joan's walking past a fenced-in area where some guys are playing basketball to the tune of some tinny hip-hop. The ball flies over the fence and Joan manages to grab it. One player runs over to the fence and says, "Sorry about that, Joan." Joan tosses the ball back over the fence to him peevishly, remarking, "Getting a little exercise, huh?" Basketball God says, "Everyone needs exercise." Okay, now that God's confirmed it, will we get our asses to the gym? Someone yells to "Mike" to throw the ball back; he does. Joan: "'Mike'?" Is this the first God who has a regular name? I can't remember another one. And good choice: Michael means "who is like God." She says she's angry with him. He admits, "I get a lot of that." Joan: "Pawning off cats on people who can't keep them? That's nice." Basketball God agrees: "It's a bummer when we have to give up things we care about." Joan says Larry could die. Basketball God says Larry's her responsibility. Joan: "What am I supposed to do?" He just spreads his hands in a "don't ask me" gesture and walks away with a Godwave.
At school, Joan's trying to convince Judith or Grace to take him: "He's the most lovable little kitten guy!" Judith, wearing a black and red outfit I like on her, points out, "Yesterday you said he was like a Section 8 demented chainsaw killer." Grace: "And I gotta say, the nose is not a good sales tool." Joan says that was her fault: "I was using the pamphlet. But he is so sweet and furry…" Judith: "I can't even take care of myself." True enough. She splits as Friedman spots her and starts yoo-hooing her. Okay, he doesn't actually say "yoo-hoo" but you know what I mean. He takes off after her as Joan turns to Grace, who reminds her, "I can barely tolerate people." She takes off too, as Joan wanders down the hallway, bummed. We hear Adam's voice, objecting, "But I don't do pop art!" He and Helen have just emerged from her classroom, as she harangues him, "How do you know if you won't even try? You need to explore different styles and techniques." Adam: "But I know what I like. I mean, why should I have to sacrifice my artistic integrity?" Helen tells him the only thing he's sacrificing is his grade: "Just do the assignment." She walks toward Joan, saying, "Hi honey -- did you find someone to take Larry?" Joan pouts, "No," so Helen takes off before they can get into another argument about it. Joan: "Look who cares." Adam's leaning against the wall, exasperated. As Joan walks toward him, he complains, "Your mom's driving me nuts with this pop art assignment. This is…" Joan: "Try sharing the same DNA with her." Adam -- sweet, lovely Adam, so cute in his toque -- instantly puts aside his own problems and attends to Joan's: "You know…come here…if you haven't found anyone to take Larry, I can." Joan reminds him that his dad's allergic. Adam will keep him in the shed. Joan: "Thanks, but the pamphlet says he has to sleep with someone in the same room at night." Adam: "I fall asleep working out there all the time anyway." Joan: "Really?" Adam confirms it. Joan takes his arm and kisses his cheek, thanking him and assuring him: "He's so sweet. That's -- a lie, but thank you."
Helen brings Olive, who's wearing some stuff she picked up at Margaret Mead's yard sale, home in a wheelchair. Olive makes for the stairlift, saying she can take it from here. Which I very much doubt. Helen explains that Olive will be in the den, steering the chair there as she mentions that they're used to taking care of Kevin: "So we can help you out of bed, getting dressed…" Olive declares she'll find a way of getting herself dressed. Helen wisely lets that go for now. They're in the den, and Helen gestures to the bed, saying, "I know you like Africa, so I found the -- the blanket at a craft store. It's from Nigeria." A flash of awareness of Helen's kindness and effort crosses Olive's face, and she mutters, "Well, I guess it's better than the hospital. At least you people aren't trying to kill me." Well, not yet, but there's still more than half an episode left. Helen says they weren't trying to kill her. Olive's pulling stuff out of her bag as she complains, "The doctors parading in and out of my room, no one talking to each other…look at all the pills they gave me!" She hauls out a huge plastic bag full of pill bottles. "Look! Blood thinners, painkillers, antidepressants…insanity." She dumps them in the garbage. Helen: "You can't just throw them away! Your neurologist said that you have to --" She grabs them up. Olive: "He is twelve. I need an herbalist. I'm going to call Dr. Chin in San Francisco." Me: "You go, lady!" Frink tells me to settle down. Helen thinks she might want to discuss that with her neurologist. As she puts the bag of pills into the bedside drawer, Olive says, "Always afraid of doing the wrong thing, aren't you, Helen? Why are you so scared? Sometimes don't you want to just shove some stuff in a bag and take off?" Helen patiently reminds her that she has a family. Olive doesn't know what to say to that. Helen leaves.