Joan of Arcadia
Wealth Of Nations

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The Wages Of Sin

After the commercial, Joan and Judith are at a tattoo/piercing establishment. Judith's in the chair getting her navel pierced. There's a gigantic skull on one of the counters. Joan, who's watching, says, "This is so out of the textbook. We bought five coats from the Army-Navy, increasing the volume of people who got clothing." Judith points out they had $36 left over. "I'm loving the economy." Can you really buy five decent coats for $114? I haven't been in an army surplus store since my peace movement days (hey, where do you think you get gas masks for protests?), so I dunno. Judith makes ow sounds. The piercer says, "I told you not to move." Judith rationalizes, "The money's the incentive that keeps us going, right? I mean, the people who run big charities get paid." Yeah, but the ones who are on the up-and-up account to their donors with annual reports and budgets and audits and crazy shit like that. Judith asks how her piercing looks. Joan: "So good!" She touches Judith's navel jewellery delicately. "My mom would kill me." Something tells me your piercing's going to be the least of your problems, girlie. Judith: "So? Who's helped more homeless people: you or her?" Joan struggles: "No way." Judith, who must have lost her pitchfork somewhere between "community service" and "driving school," insists, "You deserve this." Joan bites her lip and glances around at all the enticing tattoo flash.

Joan and Judith emerge from the tattoo parlor. Joan's got her hands on her navel. She comments, "I didn’t know it was going to itch this much." Judith pauses at a clothing rack out on the sidewalk and says, "Belly shirts. Gotta show off the pain. Let me surprise you!" She darts inside. Joan scratches herself a bit and then wanders over to a sidewalk vendor (HITG! Iqbal Theba) selling sunglasses. Nice to see some more ethnic diversity, God-wise. He comments, "So you've really become an entrepreneur, Joan." Joan smiles: "Five coats for one: that's four more homeless people that'll be warm now." Sunglass God says it's very impressive. Joan says it makes her feel powerful. He muses, "Money can do that to people." Joan suddenly sees some sunglasses she loves: "These are sweet!" Sunglass God: "Don't put your fingers on the lenses." Joan sees the $95 price tag: "Who has that kind of money for sunglasses?" He replies, "To some people that's not much at all." Joan thinks this is some kind of hint: "More. You want me to do more, right? If there's no growth, the economy goes into decline. Decline means more cold people. I am so all over this! Hey, what's your markup on these puppies anyway?" He smiles and shakes a warning finger at her. Joan puts the glasses on and flips her hair around.

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Joan of Arcadia

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