Donna comes into Josh's office where he's looking through the catalogue she marked up gift-wise, and he points to something, asking, "Who's that for?" Donna glances at it and says nothing. Josh: "You picked your own gift?" Well, she doesn't want a bobble-head Dick Cheney doll, bub, I can tell you that. And the only thing she ever read in Heinrich Breckengruber on The Art and Artistry of Alpine Skiing was the inscription. She says, "I'm in charge of shopping." He insists that he's already gotten her gift. She's not buying it; Christmas is three weeks away. He says he saw it at Thanksgiving and got it then. And then there's a lot of "tell-me/I'm not telling you" stuff. She convinces him to tell her, and he says he got her a gift certificate for Tower Records, so she can go on a spree. You ever notice that are really only two kinds of sprees: spending and killing? Though she manages to control her expression of disappointment for the most part, I don't think Donna's thinking about a shopping spree at the moment. Then he says, "So that's why I need to sit with Approps and find some foreign aid money we can reprogram." Because of Donna's gift certificate? I'm not following. Donna: "What should I tell them it's for?" Josh: "Bribing a dictator, to get illegal missionaries out of Sudan." Donna: "Something I can put on a memo." Josh obliges, pulling this out of his ass: "Reassigning funds from extant authorizations, based on new priorities in East Africa." Donna asks if he minds if she goes to watch the carollers. He doesn't. She trots out in a hurry, and Josh says, "Donna. It's not a gift certificate." She smiles and asks what it is, and then there's some more cutesy "tell me/I'm not telling you" stuff that the 'shippers eat up, but is moving in the opposite direction for the rest of us. He tells her it's socks. She tells him to stop it. He says, "Live with the pain." Believe me, we are. Please: shit or get off the pot. Four years of this foolishness is too much.
Jed's sitting alone at the dining table when Abby comes in and says, "You didn't want to wait for dinner?" Jed replies, "I'm waiting. There's a fruit bowl. Turns out the fruit's real." Abby -- whose hair doesn't look great but looks, at least, more acceptable than I've seen it in ages -- says that Ellie and Zoey went down to watch the carollers because they didn't know how long he'd be. Jed's surprised to hear that Ellie arrived: "She enjoying her stay?" Abby asks if he spoke to Liz. He replies, "I'm not sure if we're going to see her for dinner. That's okay. I've got a picture in my wallet of the three girls together from Acadia in '96." Abby sits down and asks: "It's Doug's fight. Why does she have to get in the middle?" He says it's got to do with more than Doug. Abby: "What, is it about those ice skates we never bought her?" Jed: "That, and the cauliflower incident." Abby, glibly: "We didn't beat them." Yeah, refraining from physically abusing your children definitely qualifies you as Parents of the Year. Jed: "There's still time." They don't seem overly troubled about this, I must say.