In the kitchen, meanwhile, Arthur is honking a giant wad of snot into his handkerchief. "Such a lovely custom," muses Ruth from a nearby corner, leading one to wonder how she might have responded if he were to hawk up some phlegm into one of her cloth napkins as well. Then again, she's so clearly infatuated with the boy at this point that I'm frankly surprised she didn't want to hang his nasal drippings up on the refrigerator next to Claire's latest masterpiece. She's actually speaking, of course, about the custom of using handkerchiefs, and she's deeply saddened by the fact that kids today just don't seem to enjoy the prospect of wrapping dried mucus in white linen and carrying it around in their breast pockets the way folks used too. Arthur, however, is more saddened by the fact that he missed a weekend showing of Silent Running at the local art-house theater, and he then proceeds to give a run-down of the film's plot for Ruth's benefit. And actually, that was really for my benefit as well, because I often tend to get Silent Running confused with Logan's Run and Soylent Green, and for a moment there I was busy pondering the subtextual relevance of a reference to unwitting cannibals who voluntarily commit suicide at the age of thirty. Which, oddly enough, actually would be sort of relevant to the scene at hand, but that's a different story (and one that would likely involve sex and free meat), so let's not even go there, okay? Anyway, Arthur describes the film's robots Huey, Dewey, and Louie (who sort of resemble small televisions) as "quite lovable indeed," as well as "benign and obedient, much like television itself." Hee! Although if my television really were benign and obedient, it would be writing this recap for me. Excuse me for a moment while I email that suggestion to the TiVo corporation. "Perhaps that's the writer's comment about how technology can be controlled and used effectively for humankind," he adds. Remember that line when Arthur fails to make effective use of even basic third-grade technologies like simple machines later on in the episode. Ruth offers to fetch him some more coffee, but Arthur demurs, citing the fact that he just filled his cup only moments before. Awkwardness ensues.
Upstairs, Claire is…is…well, she's…um…Oh god, I can't even say it, people. She's coloring her hair! Blue, no less! I mean, why not just spray-paint a mustache and some horns onto the Mona Lisa while you're at it? That is just so very very wrong. It's sacrilege, in fact. It's blasphemy! It's…it's…well, actually, it's turning me on a little. And yes, I know. I need help. I should also mention that it's Russell who's doing the actual work, as he paints on the dye and stifles the urge to shout with glee over the fact that he's actually getting to touch her hair. David suddenly barges in, much to Claire's dismay, and announces that the brush they're using to apply the dye is normally used on people who have already, um…died. Yeah. Sorry. His ears totally perk up, however, when Claire introduces Russell, and if I'm not mistaken, David actually flirts with the kid a little bit. Heh. Remember that one later, too. There's some discussion of whether or not Claire's hair is afraid of dead people (don't ask), and then David spots a sculpture Russell made of a guy with his head on backwards. David thinks it's terrific, but Russell loudly insists that it sucks. "First of all, you're crazy," replies Claire. "It's totally perfect. Secondly, all Olivier says all day long is 'Look at Russell's work, people. Russell's work is pulsating. It's making me hard.'" Ewwwwwww. God, what a creep. Er…wait a second. I've never said that about Claire, right? At least not out loud, I hope. Once David departs with his brush in hand, Russell uses the phrase "Oh, ass," in reference to the fact that he's forgotten what time they're supposed to rinse out Claire's hair. Hmm. Put that one in your spoiler thread and smoke it, why don't you.