House of Stiffs. No, I haven't found a better name for it. Yes, I've been trying. Really. No, really. In order to spare you any further strain on your groaning muscles (and with a four-show marathon coming up, they'll need all the rest they can get), I'll be using the reader-submitted alternative of Old McFisher's "Bought The" Farm (tm Perdita) for the remainder of the recap. Mom opens the door to greet some smarmy friend of hers who's brought lemon bars for the kids. Which is good, because I'm certainly not going to eat them. The friend, whose name is Amelia, reports that she skipped her candy-striping assignment at the hospital because her "best friend needed [her]." With that, she puts a consoling arm on Ruth's shoulder, and Mom looks mortified.
Cut to a fancy conference room with a huge "Kroehner Service International" sign adorning the back wall. Nate and Gilardi are alone in the room, with The Kroehner Kreep complimenting Nate on his decision to sell. They argue a bit over whether it should be called the "funeral business" or (gack!) "the death-care industry." Gilardi enthuses that the rapidly approaching death of the baby-boomer generation will (hopefully) lead to bodies being everywhere, and I'm not sure whether to laugh at the line or be annoyed that the idea was stolen straight from a screenplay about nursing homes I wrote three years ago. Because, you know, so many people have seen that script. The Late Nate stands solemnly in the corner, listening as Gilardi denigrates his business sense. Nate tries to stand up for his dad, but Gilardi opines that "if you want to help people, [you should] join the Peace Corps." In an effort to make a Peace Corps joke that doesn't reference Volunteers (and also to reassert my heterosexuality after my two recent comments to the contrary), I was going to tell a funny story about the time I dated a girl who spent two years with the Peace Corps in Belize. But then I decided I've already humiliated myself enough for one week with the whole marriage fantasy thing and bagged the whole idea. You're disappointed. I know. Gilardi goes on to explain their plans for Nate's "unit" (Ack! My eyes!), which include centralizing the "preparation of loved ones" in a facility where technicians are "constantly producing." Because we didn't get the joke about treating dead people like any other corporate product the first thirty-seven times they used it. The Late Nate refers to Gilardi as a "greedy little Nazi fuck," and The Live Nate and The Kroehner Kreep then engage in a battle of euphemisms for the word "hearse" (including such gems as "funeral carriages," "dead-wagons," and "removal vans"). Finally, Nate decides that this all makes people into "human McNuggets," and I am so never eating at McDonald's again. But more on that later. After some more paternal mocking from The Late Nate, Gilardi hands over a check for the initial payment, thus bringing the meeting to a close.
Back at school, Claire corners Gabe and reams him out for having told his buddies the toe-sucking story. Gabe seems almost redeemable as he reacts in shock, then bashfully confesses that he did sorta tell this one friend about it. But when Claire relates that the entire school is now calling her "This Little Piggy-Lover," he cracks up laughing and totally ruins any chance he might have had at being considered a decent guy. "You know, it's not like I thought this was going to work out," she tells him, "because God knows, nothing ever works out. But I guess I just wanted to enjoy this a little bit." He tries to defend himself some more, but Claire brushes him off with, "Just once, I wish people wouldn't act like the clichés that they are." Sing it, sister. Also, jot it down and send it off in a memo to the writing staff.