This week on Outnumbered … Sue struggles to get a videoconference up and running. Jake loses his keys and his Oyster card. Ben loses his phone. Karen has a run-in with her head teacher after writing a letter of complaint to the board of governors. And Pete’s phone will not stop ringing as he tries to juggle several different tasks.
Only one more episode to go, so here is our penultimate collection of ten important life lessons from the Brockman parents, Pete and Sue.
1. Don’t tempt fate (I)
Everything is under control.
Pete’s nearly 49 years old. He really ought to know better by now.
2. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
Sue: The headmistress wants to see [Karen] so she’s being kept back after school.
Karen may be in trouble at school, but at least it frees up some extra time for Pete to collect his car and a central heating pump. (Or so he thinks, as events conspire against him.)
3. Don’t be afraid to consider radical solutions
Why does this family lose everything? I’m going to start nailing things to people’s hands.
It’s possible that Pete may be drawing inspiration from the crucifixion of Jesus, but it’s hard to tell.
4. Be aware of the law
Yeah, but it’s less illegal.
Pete claims that it’s not as bad to leave a 13-year-old in charge of an 11-year-old as it is to leave the same 11-year-old on their own. Just don’t try that argument in a court of law.
5. Offer sympathetic relationship advice
Cage fighter? At least he wasn’t a Jihadist like the last one.
Having accidentally called Jane instead of Janet and been drawn into a long catch-up conversation, Sue is quick to look on the bright side of a friend’s troubled relationship situation.
6. The trouble with texting
This is the trouble with texting – it is a licence for indecision and unpunctuality.
Pete has a point, but it doesn’t help that his phone never seems to work properly and he doesn’t pay attention to important voicemails from, say, his plumber or his credit card company. It’s probably best if he doesn’t give Twitter a try.
7. Be careful what you wish for
I need a time, not an adverb!
Frustrated at being told that his car will be ready ‘shortly’, then ‘presently’ and finally ‘directly’, Pete tries to get a straight answer from his dealer’s disinterested receptionist. Finally he gets a quantitative response: “15 to 40 minutes-ish.” I’m not entirely sure whether that counts as presently or shortly.
8. Don’t tempt fate (II)
When you finally get the videoconference equipment working, don’t do anything. Don’t touch any buttons. Don’t move. And above all, don’t get up, walk across the room and trip over the power cable, disconnecting it. Of course, Sue would never do that, right?
9. Don’t admit to not knowing facts you should never have forgotten in the first place
Pete can’t remember the memorable place he gave to the credit card company as the answer to one of his security questions. Which is understandable, until Sue reminds him it’s where they first met – and he still can’t remember. Oops.
10. Get a working phone
After the events of this episode, this final lesson requires no explanation.