If you had told me before I started this blog that salad would become a recurring motif in my posts, I would have been nonplussed. Yet here we are again, watching Ken mope sadly about the place because Wendy has buggered off. In an attempt to comfort his glum nephew, Uncle Albert Tatlock suggests that he might grow some capsicums on his allotment. Albert himself doesn’t much care for them, but he’s “seen Ken cut them up and put them in a salad”.
However, even the prospect of more salad ingredients, exotic as they are, can’t put the smile back on Ken’s dial. He gives Elsie back her house, tells Uncle Albert to come and collect his things, and wanders off down the road with a suitcase to parts unknown. (This would be a lot more suspenseful if we weren’t all already aware that Ken is still moping about the street forty years later.)
Another suitcase-packer is Trish, who has already been laid off and turfed out of the shop flat and is working out her notice. She gets told off at the pub in front of everyone when Renee discovers her quaffing ale instead of delivering groceries; depressed by the prospect of no flat and no job, she tells Renee to shove it in true Johnny Paycheck style and nods a sombre farewell to Ken on her way past him back to her mum’s, six miles away. We know that in Coronation Street terms six miles might as well be six thousand.
An altogether more delightful development is Rita pimping wittering Mavis out to terminally polite salesman Derek over some veal escalopes with tarragon. Well, technically it’s more that Rita leaves them alone in her flat for the evening, pretending she’s got a singing gig, when she’s actually just trying to get either one of them to make the first physical move.
Mavis has about as much sexy-talk game as you might expect: “I saw Grace Kelly in ‘High Society’ five times. There should have been a sixth but my friend got an impacted wisdom tooth.”
The episode ends with a rather passionate kiss from Derek but he excuses himself and gets a taxi home, leaving Mavis all het up with nowhere to go.
(Guess what Mavis serves to Derek for “afters”? No, not herself, you dirty-minded buggers. Fresh fruit SALAD.) I actually can’t believe that I was so invested in the sexual tension between Mavis and Derek, of all people. It was really rather disappointing to have the evening remain unconsummated!
Other frustrated people include Elsie, Rita and Bet, who head out for a night on the razz looking rather magnificent but wind up back at Elsie’s place with a few boring married men who have to be unceremoniously turfed out after a cup of tea.
The ladies wax eloquent about their love-life disappointments, culminating in Elsie reading a letter aloud from her estranged husband in which he asks if their relationship is really over.
In other news, Renee talks her brother Terry around and gets him to move into the shop flat being vacated by Gail and Trish, rent free as long as he does a few jobs around the place. (Score.) Renee also has Mrs Walker’s knickers in a polite, refined twist over her plans to start an off-licence in the corner shop premises. Battle-axe standoff at six o’clock!
Stuff I Don’t Know Where Else To Put Corner
The crew became oddly obsessed with god-cam during these episodes. Here, we see some sort of deity overlooking the council meeting:
and Deirdre and Gail’s ping pong game:
(Where did this ping pong table come from, incidentally?)
I don’t often want things from the Coronation Street set, but I really have my heart set on Ken’s blue toaster.
And finally, scope it out! Our first glimpse of Jack Duckworth, here as an extra with a magnificent head of Osmondian hair. Only three years to wait until he becomes a series regular!