Abby bustles back into the bathroom or dressing room or whatever as Jed fires off a crossword clue: "'Laissez-faire doctrine': fifteen letters." Abby calls out: "Social Darwinism." Jed argues that can't be the answer, because it's not a doctrine, it's a force of nature. I think I want my living room to be the colour of their bedroom; maybe not that gold, or that dark, but that warm. Oh yeah, the show. Jed says the answer is "libertarianism." Except that's only fourteen letters, dude. Abby claims she'll be ready in two minutes. Jed mildly says, "Take your time." Abby: "Passive aggression is not going to get me out the door any faster." Jed: "BooBoo, I gave up on getting you out the door in the late '70s. Plus it's your birthday: you're old, and you don't move around that fast." She points out that "libertarianism" only has fourteen letters; Jed replies, "I know, so I'm shading in the extra box." Not, apparently, a Grand Wizard of the crossword puzzle. So there's something Jed isn't good at. She adds that it's not her birthday. Jed says it's her birthday week, a week of festivities, like "Mardi Gras, or Lent." And damn lawtalkin'guy anyway, for getting the last RDC Challenge, which was "giving up ______ for Lent," and which I suggested, before I even had this perfect chance to use it. Abby perfumes herself lavishly as Jed fires another clue: "Three letters: 'It may be bitter.' Tea, right?" Abby asks, "Why 'tea'?" Jed: "'Cause 'woman' doesn't fit." Oh, ho ho! Chortle. Abby: "'End,' you idiot. Bitter end." You know, I guess a lot of couples relate this way, by calling each other insulting names in a joking way and telling each other to shut up, but it always makes me slightly uncomfortable. Even if Frink and I are having a huge argument (which in his typical way he prefers to refer to as "spirited debates"), we don't call each other insulting names and we don't abandon rules of general kindness and civility just because we're disagreeing. I guess it works for some people, though.
Jed then asks if, when the medical board pronounces their verdict on Abby's hearing, they slap the results up on an x-ray light board and point out the flaws in her testimony, along the lines of tumours in a lung. I'd think that was some pretty thin ice to be skating around on that carelessly. Abby replies in a fake-o voice: "That...that's funny! The other twenty-three jokes weren't funny. Well, it's not that they weren't funny, it's just that they weren't ha-ha funny, you know? But twelve years of medical school, my life, my work, my future, everything, up on the x-ray board, that's comedy!" She walks into a closet off the bedroom. Jed: "See, I know it sounds like you're praising me..." Abby, from offscreen: "Oh, shut up!" He claims it's not her life or twelve years of anything -- that they're going to give her the very least that they can. Abby: "They can't give me the very least they can give me. The least they can give me is a Letter of Concern, which is private and unpublished, but that isn't available to me, because I fought the case and stood by my convictions." She hurls a big shiny stole down on the bed. Jed: "Well, that was stupid." Way to be the supportive and grateful husband, jackass. Wait, I need that name for Josh. Well, we'll see how he acts in this episode. Abby tells him to do his puzzle, and sits on the bed. Jed continues, "Standing by your convictions isn't going to get you anywhere. And this isn't some guy off the street talking. I'm a very successful politician." Abby asks how many people are at the party; he says, "About two hundred, but that was five or six hours ago, when it started." Abby accuses him again of being passive-aggressive. Jed: "'Body organ produces hydrochloric acid.' That's the kidney, right? Or the lima bean?" Lima bean? Abby states, "Pancreas." Um, not so much, no. It's the parietal cells in the stomach lining that produce hydrochloric acid. I know, since I spend a lot of time these days reading about the gastrointestinal system (because I have Leaky Gut Syndrome, which sucks, but at least it isn't Leaky Butt Syndrome), so I feel I'm on fairly sturdy ground here. But thanks for playing. Jed: "See, they can't take medical school away from you." Yeah, that's a big comfort to her, I'm sure. I know it would be to Jed, if the situation were reversed.