Once and Again
One Step (Parent) Backward

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The Sixty-Minute Miracle

Cut to Judy throwing open her door and beaming. "Hey guys! Come on in! How ya doing?" she coos. Dial it down a little, Judy. Jamie looks decidedly unimpressed as he slips past the crazy lady. He's wearing one of those flaming toques, which seems appropriate given that he is devil spawn. Speaking of which, I'm going to call him Jamian from now on. Judy pecks Sam hello and closes the door, raving that she "went a little overboard." She explains that she has tons of food, but "it's all finger food." Jamian asks what that is, and Sam explains it's like appetizers. Judy enthusiastically says it's like "little quiches and tiny wieners." Sam tries to raise a little excitement in Jamian, prodding, "You like those little hot dogs, don't you?" Judy wrings her hands and turns up the Desperation Beam to High. The pulsing "Like me! Like me! Like me!" is nearly blinding. Doesn't she know that kids can smell fear? They're like dogs. She gushes that tiny wieners are Eloise's favorite. Jamian has no idea who she's talking about. She stammers, "Eloise at the Plaza -- the book?" Jamian refuses to throw her a bone. Sam jumps in, saying that it's a chick book, and not something his son would like, stupid. Judy offers them some drinks and tells them to make themselves at home. "This place is pretty weird," Jamian says, casting his creepy little eyes all over Judy's sanctuary. Sam draws his attention to a candle holder on Judy's coffee table, mocking it for the demon seed's pleasure. Yeah, there's a good example to set for your kid. Judy wanders over and asks what's so funny. They smile and insist it's nothing. Sam points out the hammock in the corner, which sends the kid tearing at it with an enthusiastic "Cool!" He flings himself onto it and asks if they can eat there. Startled, Judy gestures toward the kitchen and stammers, "Oh! I was...uh...yeah...sure." She smiles weakly. Sam just stands there guzzling his drink so he doesn't actually have to say no to the insufferable tyke. Judy makes herself smile at Jamian as if he's adorable. I'm still not buying it.

Time passes in the hammock. Jamian leans out and grabs another pizza bagel. Judy chides him to save room for dessert. Sam asks what is for dessert. "Build-your-own sundaes," Judy beams. Build-your-own gut-rot is more like it. Jesus, is she going to put on her floppy shoes and twist up some balloon animals when dinner's finished? ["We'll see how you really feel about build-your-own sundaes when I offer you one at the Oscar party, young lady." -- Wing Chun] Jamian asks whether Judy has any butterscotch. "Hmm, let me see," Judy sing-songs. She almost taps his button nose, but refrains, and says, "Yes I do!" Jamian informs her that she's weird. Not as weird as Sam, Judy insists. "Well, that's probably true," Jamian concedes. Sam refuses to slump there and take any more abuse. He wrestles his way out of the hammock and announces that he's going to eat all the ice cream. "He'll do it, too," Jamian warns Judy. She says they'd better stop him, then. Jamie helps Judy out of the hammock, and the two of them circle Sam in the kitchen, ganging up and tickling his belly. Which doesn't seem like the wisest move after that "dinner," but who am I to say? He seems to enjoy it.

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Once and Again

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