Note to readers: Thanks to all of you who sent your "get well" wishes my way. You guys rock! I'm feeling much better and am returning to my regular column-writing style, sans the steroids and Codeine-laced cough syrup.
As a survivor of the Ice Storm of October 2005 here on the East Coast, I must say to all of the nay Sayers out there that, yes, it is absolutely possible to have a major ice storm in early fall that closes roads and causes power outages for a week. That said, however, the good folks of Oakdale probably wouldn't have made it here last year because, well, they just don't listen to warnings.
The governor called a state of emergency and asked people to stay off the roads in Oakdale. But no one listened. Gwen had a sudden need to shop and went for a drive. Mike was playing Good Samaritan for Nancy and hit the road. Emily, Jade, Paul, Dusty and Lucy and Johnny were out there, too. Only Carly and Simon were the smartest folks in town - unbelievable, I know - and that's because they were blissfully ignorant of the whole thing, as they worked inside finishing their condo.
This storm has had me on the edge of my seat, as each of the characters faced a crisis during the disaster. And plenty of must-see storylines were interwoven into the storm plot: Emily gave birth, Craig returned (or so we think,) Mike disappeared, Jade's pregnancy scheme may be foiled, Will and Gwen reconciled, and Carly and Simon may make a love connection. I just have one tip for all those Oakdale folks stranded with no power and no way to get out; I speak from experience when I say that it is possible to make Smores with an Aim-A-Flame.
--It seems Lily is awake. Welcome back Martha Byrne! I'm assuming that Lily is really awake, since her ghost can't physically move her body. (Well, not on this show anyway.) Will Lily remember Holden and her family, or will she be a new woman? Hmm...let's just hope she doesn't wake up as Rose.
--Thanks to all of you who e-mailed to tell me that cell phones are now allowed in some hospitals. With that in mind, I'll stop chastising the good folks of Oakdale for constantly chit-chatting on their mobiles from their hospital beds. I was basing my comments on my own experience at my local medical centers. Anytime I've tried to use mine, the nurses give me the evil eye and point to the sign on the wall saying "no cell phones allowed."
--I'm with Emily. I'll never be able to look at the table at the Snyder Farm the same way again, after she gave birth on it. Note to Emma: Get some industrial-strength cleaner before you cut the Hubbard squash there at this year's Thanksgiving feast.
--So Jade is lying about the pregnancy. Either that, or she really is going to be a candidate for worst mother of the year. Either way, move over Barbara Ryan.
--I'm not a lawyer, but I think Carly has a case for sexual harassment. Forget worrying about signing tenants for rent money, she could sue the pants off Simon for all his workplace behavior and make a killing.
--Yay! We saw Dallas this week. I wish he had more to do in Oakdale. He should meet Lucy. Can you imagine how nervous that would make Craig, knowing his daughter was dating a cop?
--I loved the Henry/Margo scene this week, where Henry voiced his shame for not seeing the signs about Maddie's rape. And good for Henry for recognizing that Emily was going off the deep end again and taking action to stop her.
--I'm starting to think Simon really is broke, and he's scamming everyone again. Why am I a doubter? Well, if he really is a billionaire, then why doesn't he pay his bills and finance his own project? I'm with Carly, Gwen had better cash his check, pronto, before it bounces.
--Dr. Bob was nice to Lucy this week and applauded her efforts to get Johnny to the hospital, but should he have been? I think she took a bigger risk by getting in the car with Johnny, than she would have just waiting for an ambulance.
--If it's so cold in Oakdale, why is Jade running around in her bikini underwear and buying sleeveless blouses? I know she's on a mission to seduce Will, but come on, that's a little obvious.
--I was thrilled to see Casey and Gwen moving into their college dorms. Finally, teens are getting a teen storyline. I look forward to Elwood and life at Oakdale U.
--Katie was glowing this week. And Mike was fuming. His scene at the gynecologist office was hilarious when the doctor instructed him on what to do with the cup.
--After Katie told Nancy she needed a cell phone, I wrote that it was realistic that Nancy didn't have one. (Not everyone does, especially the older generation.) Then, cut to the next scene at the hospital and Nancy was using a cell phone to call Katie. Did she take time during the storm to buy a cell phone or did she just borrow someone else's? Strange.
--Reality check: Doctors don't really answer phones at the nurses' stations in hospitals, do they? (I know I can hardly ever get a doctor on the phone when I'm trying to speak with one.) I'll assume it was the emergency situation that forced Dr. Montgomery to become the temporary phone operator.
--Meg actually gave Emily some good advice this week, when she told her to stop all the "drama" and she could have a pretty nice life. Well said, Meg. Perhaps she should give Paul that same advice.
--Can I get a phone number for Carly and Simon? Those two are the fastest painter/decorators/remodelers I've ever seen, and I have a few rooms I need done at my house. And I thought the team on HGTV was fast.
--What happened to Mike? He was unconscious, so he couldn't have wandered off from the accident. I'm getting a bad feeling that perhaps someone kidnapped him. Wait. I shouldn't always think the worst, despite that this is Oakdale. Maybe he just has amnesia and will stumble into someone named Julia offering to "help."
--I'm cracking up that Dr. Bob seems to know everyone's schedule. What is he, the Planner Police? He knew Lucy wasn't on duty, and he knew that his mother was having coffee with Katie. Priceless.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Casey and Gwen are unpacking in their college dorms.)
Gwen: "My roommate hasn't even gotten here yet."
Casey: "Let's hope that she doesn't use those strips, you know, for snoring."
Gwen: "Or she's a cheerleader who does pom-pom routines all day and all night."
Casey: "Now that doesn't sound too bad."
(Henry catches Emily searching the Hughes house for Daniel's passport.)
Emily: "I'm looking for something."
Henry: "Yeah, you're looking for trouble."
(Later Emily is acting erratic, trying to make a get away.)
Emily: "I'm going to go somewhere safe."
Henry: "Do you think there is such a place, Toto?" (Emily is giving birth in the Snyder barn as the cows moo and the other animals chime in.)
Emily: "Oh for God's sake. I feel like I'm in the middle of a Christmas pageant."
(From Two Scoops reader Shaundra)
"I totally agree with you: I cannot believe how Katie hasn't even bothered to drop Henry a line. Ugh, right now I am really hating Katie! What is her problem? First off, all the fake sympathy for Carly when she broke them up. Then, her pushiness with Mike. It's pretty clear he's very reluctant to start a family. Then, there's her treatment of Simon, if you're over him, then leave him ALONE! Finally, what about her supposed 'best friend' Henry? He is living his own personal Hell, which as been splashed all over the media, and she can't even give him a phone call? This girl needs a reality check! I hope you feel better!"
(From Two Scoops reader Ria)
"I wanted to add a bit on cell phones. I'm a nurse for many years now. Within the last 3 or 4 years, cell phones HAVE been used more times in hospital-type settings than ever before. I kept reading on message boards from others who can't believe cell phones are being allowed. However, since school shootings and especially after 9-11 cell phones have been in just about every hospital floor I've worked on. Nurses, patients, just about everyone has one. Of course there are some limited areas, but just about every patient brings their's with them, so it is very common."
(From Two Scoops reader Debbie)
"I don't think Jade is going to have a baby. I feel she just came up with this to hook Will and came up with the idea while she was holding Luke's baby brother and she and Luke were talking. I don't like her at all and hope Gwen can see that she is just doing this to come between them. Will needs to wake up to her, also. He is getting to be such a wimp. Why didn't he demand to go with her to the doctor to confirm it? Seems like everyone just takes her at her word even though they have caught her in so many lies."
(From Two Scoops reader Lisa)
"Submitting quote for "best quote of the week"on 9/20/06 when Emily told Paul to "Be dead and this time stay dead." Totally hilarious!"
(From Two Scoops reader Donna)
"Thanks for a great column! I totally agree about the stories inconsistencies. I think it is a slap in the face to our intelligence! I would also like to add that they need to discuss why people aren't around (ie: John and Ben) It makes me think the end is near with them just disappearing. Plus, when someone does leave shouldn't they a least be spoke about when something bad/good happens? For example...WHERE ARE Josh, Iva and Cal with Lily in a coma? Alright I will get off my "soapbox" and let someone else on! Thanks again for a wonderful read!"
(From Two Scoops reader Darla)
"Hey Jennifer, I just want to say how much I enjoy your column and insights into the characters. My comment is directed towards the pregnancy stories on the show. I get fed up with a pregnancy (always unplanned) being the wrench thrown into every relationship! Carly got pregnant, Jennifer got pregnant, Gwen got pregnant, Jade got pregnant, and always after a one-night-stand or multiple partners, (who's-the-daddy?) moment of indiscretion, etc. Do these women of Oakdale not know of the invention of birth control? Let's hear a word for safe sex, or am I just missing the fact that the greatest drama is an unplanned pregnancy. Please find another story to use!"
(From Two Scoops reader Lewis)
"I love the idea of Lucy and someone other than Dusty. I like these two together, but now is the perfect time for the writers to explore new territory with these two characters. Lucy and Henry would be a riot. Henry reminds me a lot of Craig, although he's more comically smarmy than scheming. As for Dusty, why not pair him with an older woman? Barbara and Dusty would be a scream!"