I do not understand why we have to be the pasta that's getting rammed into Justin's mouth as Mel and Lindz whine about Brian's lack of birthday planning. Justin tells them through a full mouth that Brian doesn't believe in birthdays -- not even his own. There's spaghetti hanging out of his mouth throughout this entire scene. Mel and Lindz talk to each other about how they hate Brian and love birthdays. The camera pulls back as Mel tickles Lindsay's boobies behind Justin's head. Mel and Lindz coo all over each other, rubbing it in again to Justin that the doesn't have a real relationship with love or support. The girls say they'll celebrate Justin's birthday, since Brian isn't. Might Jennifer want to do something? Or Debbie? Justin does have two mommies, after all. Mel suggests dinner and a movie, but Lindsay says anybody can do that on any day. Mel says they can throw a party. "I hate parties," Justin says. News to all of us, go-go dancer. Lindsay says they can't have one anyway, since Michael's throwing one for Ben. Did you know there's a one-party-per-city rule? I had no idea. And like Mel and Lindsay would be going to Ben's party. Have the three of them even met? Lindsay gives a mouthful of exposition: she has a friend who knows a boy who goes to Justin's school. She's been invited to his violin recital on Saturday afternoon. The student is a genius. Justin never stops chewing as he complains that he hates classical music. The girls say they won't force him to do anything, but that the boy is also supposed to be very cute. Justin slurps the last of his bite of spaghetti and says with a full mouth, "Why didn't you say so?"
Brian stops at a street flower vendor. Oh, that's Ben. Sorry, I couldn't tell until he turned around. Ben hands Michael a fistful of surprise flowers. Michael says that it's Ben's birthday; he should be getting the surprises and presents. Too bad you're too broke to do it, Mikey. Ben says it's better to give. Cue too many "give" and "receive" jokes. Ben begs Michael not to do anything special for his birthday. He just wants something "low-key." Michael smirks, happy that he's directly disobeying what Ben has asked. He'll just do the opposite. That'll please that man of his! Michael asks where he'd like to go to dinner. Ben asks for something so easy and casual it's only a small notch above the Liberty Diner. Michael asks what time Ben will be home that night. Ben mentions again that his Palm is missing. How long does Michael need to hold on to that thing? What an asshole. Just steal my diary so you can read what I'm hoping I'll get for Christmas. Steal my laptop to find out what software programs need an update. Ben has class until four, then a doctor's appointment, and then yoga, so he won't be back until 7:30. No "what do you need to see the doctor for?" from this Bad Boyfriend. Ben is immediately in the arms of some stranger named Paul who just walks right into his chest. They smile, hug, call each other "baby," and say they're doing well. Ben introduces Paul to Michael. Paul says he heard Ben was seeing someone. Paul stammers that he and Ben should "get together" some time. Ben says he'll call him. Paul walks off. "Nice guy," Michael says, with the quickest assessment of character I've ever seen. Ben says that Paul's "a sweetheart." A couple of weeks ago, I was at a party where a few of my friends were making fun of another friend of mine for calling a guy "a sweetheart." Who says that? And what kind of guy is a sweetheart? We were like, "Oh, that guy? He's a real snugglepuss. Total kitty-face. Just a bundle of smuchshypush. No, I've hung out with him. Just a real big marshmellowbutt." Ben tells Michael that he was with Paul five years ago. Michael takes too long with math, so Ben explains that Paul's the one who infected him. Michael fakes like he's going to go and kick Paul's ass until Ben explains that it was an accident and Paul didn't know he was positive at the time. Ben adds that he was to blame, since he should have been more careful. How does Michael not already know the story of how Ben got infected? I tell all of my friends how I got the scar on the back of my right hand. Ben says he's forgiven Paul by now. He walks away as a stunned Michael staggers after him.