Parenthood

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Rich Dad, Poor Dad
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Crosby and Jasmine are blissfully sleeping in her bed when they are awakened by knocking at the bedroom door. It's Jabbar, looking for his mommy. The two adults freak out at the prospect of being busted by their own son, so Crosby does what any grown-up would do: he dives out the bedroom window, lands on his head, and awkwardly waves at a pack of old ladies walking down the sidewalk.

Speaking of awkward, Adam and Kristina are arriving with Max at the Lessings' house for a barbecue. They try to psyche Max up for this experience, describing the Lessings' son, Noel (the hand-flapper), as "an interesting kid," and saying he might become a friend to Max. "Why do I need a friend?" Max asks. Adam says friends are fun. "Can you give me a reason why friends are fun?" Max asks, and the question is so basic and thus so hard to answer, it sends Kristina into like, verbal cross-stitch sampling: "Because they're friends. And friends are friends. And in order to be a friend, you have to have a friend." I think she meant that last one the other way around, but still. "Let's just try to have a good time," Adam says, and I wonder how they'll even remotely achieve that, considering their previous visits to the Lessing household was hell on Earth. Things don't seem to be going all that much better this time. The Lessings remain totally overwhelming. Mr. L has brought out his pride and joy, a new recumbent bike. This is complete with a yellow biking outfit, including a sweat band, which sort of makes me love him. Adam is cringing, but gamely sits on the thing when Mr. L insists. Kristina, meanwhile, is being emotionally engulfed by Mrs. L, who realizes she can't stop talking about Noel, who -- she says with tears in her eyes -- she just loves so much, she can't help herself. Worst of all, of course, is poor Max having to deal with Noel, who has wrapped him in an unbreakable half-Nelson of a bear hug and won't let go. "Dad! Can you get him to stop?" Max finally cries, and Adam pulls them apart. Noel is undaunted and drops to the ground yelling "Let's roll around!" which he immediately begins doing. I mean, it's a natural next step to hug-choking. Max declines. Finally, Kristina steps in. "You know, Max isn't feeling well," she says, adding that they'll have to go. The Lessings worriedly ask if it's diarrhea, as Noel had that recently. Ugh. "Time to go!" Max announces, and they leave, awkwardly thanking their hosts for the nice time. The poor Lessings smile knowingly and hug each other.

Over at Julia's, Joel is ranting, having just learned that Sydney's soccer coach has quit three days before the season's start, citing work issues. "Utterly bogus," Joel snaps. "He just wants to coach the stars; he doesn't want to coach the loser team." Ah. This is the first the hyper-competitive Julia has heard about Sydney being on the "loser team." Joel amends that title to the "athletically-challenged" team. Julia says well, this guy quitting is a good thing -- Sydney doesn't need that kind of competitive energy around her, anyway. Um, yes, because I guess she gets enough of it at home? Anyway, Joel says, she needs some kind of energy -- the team needs a coach. Julia has a brainwave. "How 'bout if I do it?" she asks. Joel laughs, before realizing she's serious. "You don't think it's gonna be an issue, you know, if the team doesn't..." Julia: "Win?" Joel says yes, exactly. "We both know," he says, "you hate to lose." Julia takes issue with this. "I would love to coach a team of rejects!" she says. "Because it pisses me off that the world is divided up that way, at five years old!" Joel is not buying this, at all, and neither is Sydney. She's drawing flowers on her soccer ball when Julia announces this big idea, and forces a smile of dread.

In a pawn shop in town, Sarah has arrived with Drew (yay!) to shop for a used laptop for her Photoshop class. Why not just pile some money up on the ground and burn it? The store owner places an ancient behemoth of a laptop on the counter. "That's like, 10 years old," Drew warns her while the owner looks on. "Newer computers are slimmer; it's like a bait and switch." Sarah knows none of this. "Why don't you just look on craigslist?" Drew mutters to his mom, but the owner hears him. "How's your mother gonna look on craigslist if she doesn't have a computer?" he asks, angry. Drew shuts up, and Sarah goes down the counter where she sees some cufflinks that strike her interest. She asks the store owner to show them to her, and wonders aloud where he got them. They are elegant black cufflinks with the initial "Z" on them. She takes a picture of them with her phone. "Isn't a computer more important than some cufflinks?" Drew asks her. She says yeah, but it's weird... Zeek has come cufflinks just like these.

Amber is working at her job at the country club snack bar -- a job I had no idea she even had, but whatever -- when Haddie and Steve come in, laughing. "Amber!" Haddie says. "Do you work here, or something?" Oh, good. I wasn't the only one that didn't know. "Yeah, serving the ruling class," Amber says. "As usual." Though it is not a themed establishment, Amber seems to have had her hair and makeup done by someone who thought she was going to a costume party dressed as Evita Peron in 1946. Her lipstick is totally Jungle Red. She asks if she can get them something. "How 'bout two beers?" Steve asks, like a douche. "Steve..." Haddie says, nervously. "Unbelievable, Steve," Amber says, flatly, but then begins drawing the beers into paper cups. "You got a lot of nerve, you kids, comin' in here..." They smile. "You're amazing," Steve says. Amber says she knows, and won't even let Haddie pay for these contraband beers. She IS amazing. Amazingly stupid. But not more so than Haddie, who, when Steve goes to sit at a table, says she and Steve are there for a picnic on the golf course. They don't say what time of day it is, but uh... I can see people still outside, playing golf. Also, I don't know if you've spent any time on a golf course in the middle of the night, lately, but try going out on one after sundown and see how fast a fat security guard in a golf cart will come rolling up on you with his flash light. Not that this has happened to me recently, or anything. ANYWAY, Amber whispers to Haddie that Steve's whole picnic idea is "probably code for like, doing it." Haddie says no, surely not, but Amber says that she's seen couples going out there late with blankets and bottles and stuff, and she knows what's up. "He probably doesn't even know about it," Haddie says. "It's probably like an urban legend, or something..." Poor Haddie. Amber looks over to see Steve folding a huge blanket and stuffing it into his bag. "Yeah, that's a blanket," she says, looking worriedly at Haddie. "That's a blanket in that bag. Good luck." Haddie looks concerned.

Sarah is at HQ when Zeek comes through the kitchen in his workout clothes. She stops him and asks if he still has his famous Z cufflinks. She tells him about seeing ones just like them in a pawn shop. "Do you still have them?" she asks, showing him the picture she took, and he looks nervous. "A pawn shop," he says, tsking. "That figures." He tells her not to tell Camille, but that he lost them at his gym a month ago. As she promises not to tell, Camille comes in. "Promise what?" she asks, taking orange juice out of the fridge. "I... won't tell you that Dad's been drinking out of the carton again," Sarah says, thinking quickly. "Barbarian," Camille snarks, glaring at Zeek. But Zeek winks at his daughter. "Ya rat," he says, and leaves. Sarah smiles, but nevertheless looks quite worried.

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Parenthood

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