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Magic Moments > 1990 > Gloria's Departure Episode 1169

Written by Unknown, Directed by Tony Osicka

Harold catches Gloria allowing one of the Coffee Shop customers, Bob, to have a can of VB and asks if he can have a word with her, in the kitchen…

Gloria tries to explain to Harold, claiming that she was simply confiscating the beer from Bob. Harold isn’t taken in though, pointing out that she was opening it and pouring it into a cup for him. Harold reminds her of the liquor he found in the cupboard, which she claimed was for cooking, so she owns up. She explains that when she moved over from the Waterhole to the Coffee Shop, some of her old customers came with her and wanted to have alcohol with their meals, so she just turned a blind eye to it. She points out that it hasn’t done his business any harm, but Harold is appalled and says that, if the licensing board were to find out, he’d be fined and probably closed down. He asks Gloria to leave, telling her that she’s fired and can collect her pay at the end of the day. She’s shocked but quickly removes her apron and leaves.

. . .

At number 30, Dorothy is looking over the house, deciding on what changes she’ll make when she redecorates. She asks Ryan to come over after school and give her a hand with moving a few heavy pieces of furniture. She then shows Ryan and Lochy a tribal mask she has, called Reggie, after a man she once knew. She explains that she and Reggie were lost in the highlands of New Guinea and ended up invited for dinner with a tribe, who gave her the mask. She tells Lochy that they were head hunters, but they mostly grew vegetables, which is what she plans to go in the garden if Joe Mangel ever moves that fence. She considers getting the head hunters on to him to make him get on with the work, but hearing him out in the garden and going to have a look.

Outside, Joe is digging in the front garden when he’s joined by Kerry. She asks him what he’s doing and he says he’s planting some think, fast-growing ferns along the fence line, so that Dorothy will have trouble claiming back the land. Kerry thinks they’re both being petty and then Matt arrives and advises Joe to at least listen to what Dorothy has to say. Just then, Dorothy comes outside with her parasol and is amused to see Joe planting the trees on what should be her land. She says that she’ll simply dig them up and move them into the back garden. She then advises Joe to get a good lawyer as she loves a courtroom drama.

. . .

At number 24, Gloria is explaining the situation at the Coffee Shop to Madge, who isn’t really surprised by Harold’s reaction, given his opinion about alcohol. Madge goes to make them some tea and Gloria asks her if she’ll try to talk Harold into giving her her job back. Madge agrees to give it a shot, but warns Gloria not to expect any miracles.

At the Coffee Shop, some customers ask Harold where Gloria is. He explains that she no longer works there and he’s the proprietor. One of the men asks Harold for something a little stronger than fruit juice and he immediately says no, so they leave to get lunch at the Waterhole. Paul and Melanie then come in and Harold is forced to explain to them that he sacked Gloria and why he had to do it. Melanie then gives Harold an order from Sinclair & Associates that Des gave her before he left for Perth, and tells Harold that they want the lunch at $12 a head. Harold thinks it’s impossible but when he hears that Gloria used to supply the lunches at that price, he suddenly changes his mind and agrees to do it.

. . .

At number 30, Joe arrives to see Dorothy, dressed in a suit and is trying to be very polite to her and Lochy. Dorothy sends Lochy to play outside and asks Joe in, as they obviously have things to discuss. Joe quickly apologises for their previous arguments and points out that their both mature adults. Dorothy asks him to get to the point. He agrees to maintain her gardens free of charge, if she’ll leave the fence where it is. Dorothy explains that she was looking forward to doing some gardening and growing her own vegetables. Joe then offers to give her free vegetables from Kerry’s patch. Dorothy says that she just wants the fence moved. Joe accused her of being “mule-headed” and Dorothy shows him out, asking him not to come into her home and threaten her with his limited vocabulary and mixed metaphors.

At the Coffee Shop, Paul comes in looking for Gloria, but Harold doesn’t know where she is. Ryan then comes in and introduces himself to Harold, asking if Gloria is there. Harold is quite sick of people asking after her, but realises that Ryan has come about the job. Harold says that it’s still open, even though Gloria isn’t there and sends him into the kitchen to do the dishes. He then keeps dragging Ryan out of the kitchen to remind him not to let his friends hang around, not to give them free food and to share his shifts with Sharon. He then tells Ryan to serve a customer as he has to go to the bank.

. . .

At number 28, Melanie has Kelvin over for a drink and is complaining that Des and Jamie are in Perth for a couple of months, and Mike doesn’t look like coming back any time soon. Kelvin then suggests inviting the twins over for dinner – he clearly quite fancies them but is trying not to be too obvious about it. Mel doesn’t notice and agrees to have them over for a dinner party, realising that she’ll never be alone as long as she lives in Ramsay Street.

At the Coffee Shop, Ryan is trying to serve a group of girls, who ask him if he’s on the menu. They then turn the jukebox up and, as Ryan tries to turn it down, they all surround him, trying to get him to dance. Harold then walks in and finds one of the girls behind the counter, making her own milkshake. He asks for a word with Ryan in the kitchen. Ryan is trying to explain that he had the situation under control, but Harold thinks that he was stupid to allow it to go so far in the first place. Harold blames Gloria for hiring Ryan in the first place, but says that he’s a reasonable man, so he won’t sack Ryan – he’ll give him another chance to prove himself. He goes to look after the shop whilst Ryan cleans up the kitchen.

. . .

At number 28, Melanie is doing some exercises with Kelvin and he thanks her for all of the help she’s given him over the past few weeks. He says that before he met her, he was clumsy and didn’t know where his life was going, but now he feels like a new person. Melanie is happy and says that he just needed some encouragement and she’s so pleased that her secret admirer turned out to be her Mr Right.

. . .

. . .

At the Coffee Shop, Madge and Gloria arrive and Harold is in a reasonable mood and admits that he’s been thinking about the situation with her firing. He says that he’s interested in how she managed to do the catering for $12 a head and is prepared to give her another chance. Paul then comes in and tells Gloria that he wants her back at the Waterhole. He and Harold enter into a bidding war for Gloria and she eventually agrees to go back to Paul with free cabs home, a uniform allowance and a $15 a week pay increase. As she goes, Harold asks her how she managed the catering so cheap and she says that she’ll lend him her best French cookbook, before happily saying goodbye.

Notes: Although the character doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, this marked the final appearance of Beverley Phillips as Gloria, after two years, on and off, in Erinsborough.

Summary by Steve