Once and Again
The Awful Truth

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The Awful Truth

After commercials, we join Grace in one of her classes at school. Well, hello there, Mr. Stoltz. He's roaming around the classroom, handing back notebooks and commenting on the kids' journals. He catches Grace stifling a yawn and asks her what she thought of the journaling experience. She says she's kept journals before, so... "Oh, you have," he says, somewhat patronizingly, and asks what it was like. Grace answers, "It was fine. It was nice." Uh oh. Wrong word to use in a writing class. Stoltz swoops in on it with a biting "I'm sorry. I thought you said 'nice.'" Grace swallows the bile in her throat, already realizing her mistake. "I did," she gulps. Stoltz circles his prey, saying, "Oh, because I don't want to misquote you or anything." "I said 'nice'!" Grace snaps, just wanting him to strike and end the torture already. He sidles over to the desk next to her, mocking, "Nice...nice! Let's see, whatever shall I do today?" He perches next to her and does his best Pollyanna: "I know! I shall write in my boring old journal. It will be ever so nice!" Everyone laughs, and Grace forces herself to smile. Stoltz's demeanor turns serious as he paces away, stating, "'Nice' is for shrimp salads and grandmothers. I'm not interested in 'nice.'" No -- he's just interested in performing the clichéd old English-teacher response to the word. The guy's wearing a corduroy sportscoat, for Christ's sake. Stoltz looks directly at Grace, who fidgets with her pencil and fantasizes about how nice it would be to drive it into his eye.

Cut to Judy struggling under the weight of an enormous gift basket. She hefts it into Karen's office, prompting the "aw, you shouldn't have" routine. Judy insists that it's the least she can do since Karen looked over the Booklovers contracts for her. Karen scrambles to clear some space on her desk for the behemoth basket, protesting that she knows "next to nothing about licensing." Judy shrugs out of her jacket and asks, "Have you proclaimed your unworthiness enough? Can we open this thing?" Karen glances at her watch halfheartedly, so she doesn't look too excited. Apparently the ass-pole has gourmet tastes, though, because she can't keep the broad smile off her face.

Cut to Karen and Judy in the midst of enjoying the goodies. Judy's telling Karen about the idea for moving the bookstore into Phil's, describing the restaurant to Karen. Karen hands Judy a cracker with pâté and reminds Judy that they had lunch there. She thinks it's a "wonderful idea." "No, it isn't. I don't know anything about running a restaurant," Judy protests, fishing. Karen tells her to hire somebody who does. After a split second, her face lights up and she adds, "Hire your ex-brother-in-law!" Judy's surprised. Karen reminds Judy that she thought he was doing a good job with Phil's before the shooting. And silently thinks about how bonkers it would make Lily. Judy guesses that it would be more awkward not to hire him, and almost seems convinced, but just has to ask one more time, "So you don't think it's a dumb idea?" Karen refills their wine glasses and insists that it's a great idea. "You're not just saying that because you're drunk?" Judy asks. Karen assumes an offended expression and declares, "I'm completely sober when I'm drunk." Naturally. It takes more than a little alcohol to dislodge an ass-pole. Judy giggles, and Karen joins in.

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Once and Again

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