After the show (or another day entirely, judging by her new outfit), Marin's having lunch with Annie at the Chieftain, asking why Annie won't let Patrick stay over. Annie swears Marin to secrecy, and then confesses that she snores. Marin doesn't seem to think that's such a big deal. Annie contends that "it's bad." Marin asks how bad it could possibly be, and Annie says she's not sure, since she's never heard herself, but that she used to wake her whole family: "They made me sleep in the garage!" Oh man, that reminds me of a family reunion when my parents, my grandparents, my sister, and I were sharing a cabin, and my dad's snoring was so oppressively loud that the next day we all compared notes on what we'd considered doing to escape it; my mom and I had each contemplated sneaking out to the back seat of the car. But we still might have heard him through the window. Dude, it was bad. And so it is with Annie, but Marin's bored talking about her problems, and changes the subject to the fact that Elmo only takes up an eighth of a page in some Alaskan cultural guidebook she's acquired. Annie's not done, though, sadly saying she's not joking about her adenoidal challenges, so Marin puts her book away (for now) and says that everyone has secrets, but that when you're intimate with someone, you have to trust that he'll be able to handle them. Annie asks what Marin's secret thing is (oh, this ought to be good), but she'll only cop to dangling earlobes. What's wrong with that? It's the attached ones that people should be ashamed of. Annie excuses herself to return to the office, expositing that she's in charge while Jack's away. Marin asks where he is, and learns that he's tracking a bear. Marin says it sounds dangerous, but Annie says he's just collecting stool samples. See, now, everyone in Elmo might not be so quick to hook Marin up with Jack if they knew how much time he spent around poo. Annie adds that he's taking the samples the next day to a zoo, outside Anchorage, for analysis. Marin's eyes light up: "Anchorage has its own book!" I would make fun, but after a month out in the bush, I would be jonesing so hard to see a movie in a cinema, you don't even know. Glark and I once cut short a long weekend at a cottage in eastern Ontario when we got too bored without TV reception. I'm not better than anyone.
Okay, so Marin's decided to track Jack on the bear trail, gamely fumbling along on a pair of snowshoes only to fall (conveniently) into his arms as soon as she sees him. Marin tries to invite herself along for a trip to Anchorage (though it sounds like Jack wasn't even planning to get any closer to it than the zoo, twenty miles outside). When Jack points out that she has a truck and could drive herself if she was so desperate to go, she says that she would be alone; furthermore, she reminds him that they'd said they were going to be friends, and that this is the sort of thing friends do: "Unless you're not on board with this whole friend thing." Jack promises that he's "totally on board," but suggests that they start slower, like maybe with beers at the Chieftain. Marin wheedles that it'll be fun: "I'm a whiz with the road-trip games." Jack, smiling that special smile he saves for Marin when she's being all crazy, asks if she's serious, and she says it's the perfect way to celebrate this latest chapter in their relationship. Jack is surprised to learn that they have chapters, but she insists that they do: "Chapter 1: Strangers. Chapter 2: Sex. Chapter 3: Friends!" Jack wants to know what Chapter 4 might be, and Marin offers, "Old Friends Looking Back On The Fond Memories Of Our Trip To Anchorage?" Jack chuckles, but says he really doesn't like the city. Marin, more flirtatiously than ever, points to a stump, and says that she'll race him to it. If she wins, he has to drive her to Anchorage. If he wins, she'll cook him a home-cooked meal. "That's a prize?" cracks Jack. Marin defensively says that she cooks, and Jack tosses his backpack and stool samples (hee), saying they're on. Marin counts off way too fast and shoves Jack as she takes off running. Disqualification! Jack nearly catches up to her, but then falls just shy of the finish stump, and Marin wins. Wasn't part of this whole Alaskan experiment that Marin would learn how to be alone sometimes? A solo road trip is not so bad -- in fact, it's kind of fun. You can stop whenever you want, play the stereo as loud as you want, not share your fries at the highway rest areas...she should really give it a shot.