But before we can dwell on those, a sleazy looking figure in a black muscle shirt strides into the motel office. If I didn't know better I'd say it was Charlie Udder of Deadwood fame, but that's crazy talk. Charlie was a nice, kind, upstanding soul, and this guy looks like a sinister lizard. He's looking for Butchie -- he spits out the request with particular menace. Ramon suggests leaving a message on the door of Butchie's room. "I'll give it to him when he shows up," our black-clad stranger practically hisses. "Pastry while you wait?" Cunningham asks cheerfully. Apparently, his visions do not extend to Ways of Avoiding Brutal Stompings by Thuggish-Looking Strangers. Ramon and Dickstein eye the Man in Black nervously while Cunningham prattles on about his plan for the motel: Instead of razing it because of traumas past, why not renovate the place? Because it reeks of several month's worth of Yost filth? But no one raises this sensible objection before Cunningham grabs the key for Room 24 -- the site of that bit of past unpleasantness he alluded to last week -- and dashes off to begin the healing. "He looks like that Bowzer from Sha Na Na," Ramon mutters about the Man in Black. Yes -- Evil Bowzer. Not sweet Charlie Udder at all.
So how's that how Confront the Past game plan working out for Cunningham? At this early stage, I'd have to say, "Not well." He only manages to open the door of Room 24 before gasping and softly saying, "No, no, no, no" before running off. But on the other hand -- baby steps. Tomorrow, maybe he gets a foot inside the door before freaking out.
While this is going on, Bill has apparently completed his business on the phone with the police, because he's just staring wordlessly off into space, when Shaun knocks on the door. Bill invites him to witness -- and possibly participate in -- the ever thrilling task of cleaning out bird cages. "Guess what?" Shaun asks. "You found a dinosaur egg?" Bill guesses, without a hint of sarcasm. "I'm back in the contest," Shaun says proudly. Bill seems profoundly pleased with this news, though he also seems to be having a hard time figuring out exactly what the Lil'est Yost is talking about. Remember, Bill? Surfing contest? Yesterday? You were driving Shaun up when circumstances intervened? Anyhow, Grandpa and Grandma Yost are driving him up there today. "We left my dad a message," Shaun says. "Maybe he'll come to." Depends, kid -- what's the heroin concession stand like up in Huntington? Shaun wants to know if Bill cares to come; Bill declines, pointing out that this is a family outing and not really addressing the part about him being a scatter-brained shut-in. Watching from the car, Mitch seems relieved. I'm sure that happens a lot when invitations are extended to Bill. "I got to get after the accumulation," Bill shouts to the Yosts. "They're crap machines. My birds. They're crap machines." That's probably the reason for those reluctantly-offered invitations right there.