Sam Merlotte -- gorgeous, earnest, unshaven, clearly in love with his employee Sookie -- answers the phone, super friendly; he hands it over to Sookie, who apologizes for getting calls at work. Sam says that it's okay, because at least she doesn't abuse the privilege like Arlene (an older, rougher, red-headed single mom) does, but what he means is, I looooove you. "This had better be an emergency," Sookie says, and Tara immediately comes clean about quitting her job: "I can't work for assholes." Sookie commends her on being so independently wealthy that she thinks she has a choice, "Miss Say-Hello-To-The-Rest-Of-Us," and Tara reminds her that Sam is not an asshole, and is additionally in love with her, so how would Sookie even know. Sookie is scandalized, to the point where Tara laughs at her. "Jesus. Look, you need to lighten up." Sookie hisses at her, admonishing her for use of "the J word," heh, and Tara says she's coming to the bar for a margarita. When she hangs up, she hangs her head, low, against the steering wheel.
Dawn, the younger hotter other waitress at Merlotte's, warns Sookie that Mack and Denise Rattray are just about to sit in her section. Sookie looks, just as Mack's slapping Dawn's white-trash skanky ass and she responds with a hearty "What the fuck?" Ew, these people. Sam mutters to Sookie to stay strong, and calls her chère. Mack's thoughts are as follows: he would like something from the menu that will give him the runs, he would like Sookie to wrap her "sweet lips" around his "slim reaper," and then also to "hop aboard the Mack express" and "ride all the way to heaven." So that's what Mack is like, in addition to being totally creepy and gross to look at. Meanwhile, Denise asks in her slowest short-bus voice for onion rings, with mustard, while thinking about how Sookie's "pathetic, like a dog that's been kicked too many times, and keeps coming back for more." Sookie smiles at them and takes the hell off. "I think she's retarded," Denise surmises as she walks away.
We haven't met Rene yet, but he also hangs at/possibly works at Merlotte's -- he's the hot one with the wild Cajun accent and bizarre facial hair -- and is dating Arlene. True to Sam's complaint, Arlene is now on a personal call: "Honey, if Rene tells you you're too young to watch a scary movie on HBO, then I'm siding with him. I know he's not your daddy, but your daddy does not wanna live with us anymore. Remember?" Sam grunts at her to get off the phone, while Lafayette dances awesomely at the grill. Sookie asks him for Denise's onion rings, making it clear that he can abuse them in whatever way he likes before they are served. He finally looks up and notices that she's wearing makeup, and goes into a whole routine about how she looks like a porn star, with her tan and pink lipstick. She's confused by all this, but explains gamely: "When I wear makeup, I get bigger tips." Lafayette shimmies in a full-body understanding of the importance of packaging. "And I get even bigger tips when I act like I don't have a brain in my head. But if I don't, they're all scared of me."