The Office
Ben Franklin

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Ben Franklin

Back at her desk, Karen glances across the bullpen to see Jim yawning. She assures us that she and Jim were in a "rough patch" for a while, but now they're better. For Jim's part, all he says is that he and Karen have been having long talks at night. Every night. You can tell how he feels about this by the subtle "Chicks, man" vibe he's giving off. Back in the bullpen, Karen suddenly gets up from her desk, comes over, and hugs Jim from behind. Pam senses something going on. "I've gotten pretty good at reading the back of Jim's neck," she THs. I'm sure she's memorized it by now.

And because there is no situation that can't be made worse with the addition of Todd F. Packer, here he is now, with his homophobic slurs against Jim and even ruder comments to Karen upon learning she's Jim's girlfriend. Fortunately, everyone is rescued by Michael, who comes out and pretends to have a heart attack so that Packer can pretend to beat him up. I don't know, they seem to think it's hilarious. In Michael's office, Michael's trying to get Packer to show up for the bachelor party in the warehouse that day. Packer can't make it, but he asks about the stripper situation. Michael makes his required one reasonable comment per episode, saying that he can't do that on company property: "Sexual harassment." Packer's solution: get one for the girls, too. "Separate but equal," he says. "So that's what that means," Michael realizes. He learns something every day, doesn't he?

So then he comes out into the bullpen to announce the coed naked strippers. Angela protests. "SHUT UP, ANGELA!" bellows Meredith. Hee.

Jim, in the break room. Pam, sticking her nose in his business. She gets Jim to admit that he and Karen have been up late a few nights. and Pam babbles awkwardly about the importance of sleep, all jovial and fake-cool, like...Michael. It's eerie. At least she seems embarrassed about it after Jim's gone.

While Michael and Ryan head out to get "supplies," Michael quietly assigns Jim to stripper detail. "Absolutely not," Jim says firmly. "I'm on it," says Dwight, and gets right on the phone: "Ruddy cheeks, thick calves, no tats, no moles. No tats. Of course I want--" Thank God Jim is there to stop him before the network censors have to. Dwight tells Jim to hire the male stripper. But first he asks Jim, "Redhead or brunette?" "Blonde," says Jim for some reason, which will probably be good for about another week of late-night talks with Karen. Pam and Karen look at each other awkwardly. Hey, at least he didn't say "off-brown."

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The Office

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