This week on Gossip Girl, Jenny and Bart compete for the title of Dumbest Person EVER while Chuck is a worthy runner up. Seriously, I haven’t seen this much stupidity outside an episode of Big Brother in a long time.
This isn’t so scandalous when it’s more clothing than she normally wears, anyway.
We open in the ghetto, with Rufus and Dan rehashing Jenny’s latest bit of craziness — moving in with Mini Coop and her mom. Mini Coop lives with her mom? I guess she’s not quite the top model I thought she was supposed to be. Dan calls Rufus out on acting cool about everything as a ploy to convince Jenny to come home, and then reveals that Noah Shapiro loved his completed Charlie Trout story and is writing him the Yale recommendation letter. Oh, I can just imagine how bad that final piece turned out.
Across town, Blair, Serena and the minions are busy planning Blair’s 18th birthday party and discussing how Eleanor has a new boyfriend. Blair legitimately seems excited to meet the guy, convinced that he will be perfect. Given how she acted last year when her father returned from Paris, I’m a bit surprised Blair’s so pro-boyfriend. As they chat, Aaron repeatedly texts Serena — who has still not learned the art of putting her phone on silent — and Serena gushes to the girls about how he keeps sending her maps and has her scurrying off to unknown locations across the city. Maybe Serena has a lot more free time than me, but if a guy was pulling that with me, he would have gotten a “knock it off with your fucking map shit, dude” text a long time ago.
Meanwhile, Jenny and Mini Coop are meeting with a potential business manager for Jenny’s fashion line. Things are quickly going to crap, beginning when Mini Coop calls herself not only the face of the line, but the brains behind the operation. Jesus. Talk about the blind leading the blind. The girls then bicker over everything from the name of the line to the anticipated clientele while the poor man’s Kevin Spacey stares in horror and wonders where he can find some dolls to pacify them. Next thing we know, the girls are on the street after apparently being thrown out of the meeting, and are still fighting. Sounds like this isn’t the first time Mini Coop taken too much credit in Jenny’s eyes, but Mini Coop swears she will find them another potential business manager the next day.
“Okay, so I might have scratched out your name on all those business cards we made and wrote mine instead. I still don’t see what the big deal is, God.”
Back at Blair’s, Eleanor, Dorota and Blair are getting ready for Cyrus, the new boyfriend, to come over for dinner. Eleanor is gushing, Blair is freaking her shit out, and Dorota is hurriedly swapping out the everyday china for the good china because they wouldn’t want Cyrus to think they’re common upper middle class. The horror. The elevator dings and out steps Wallace Shawn! Like most 20-something females, I love this guy. Between “The Princess Bride” and “Clueless”, this man helped make my childhood. Anyway, Blair takes one look at him and decides he must be Cyrus’s driver. Haha, I don’t think so, Blair.
Sure enough, Eleanor starts making out with Wallace Shawn, proving that he indeed is Cyrus, while Blair stares in nauseated shock. He turns his attention to her and Blair approaches as warily as you would approach a hungry grizzly bear — or a balding midget in this case. Cyrus wraps Blair in not one but two hugs, as Blair silently communicates to Dorota that the everyday china will do quite nicely. Sorry, Blair, looks like you’re going to leave the banging of the stepparent to JaMarcus.
At the VDW-Bass residence, Chuck is trying once again to bond with Bart, giving his father season hockey tickets to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Bass Industries. But instead of being appreciative, Bart glares at the tickets and then at Chuck, calling him misguided since Bart doesn’t have time to go to hockey games. What a douchenozzle. Seriously, Chuck, stop wasting your time with this dude and get an interesting plotline that preferably involves Blair.
“Now if those had been tickets for the ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ tour, we may have been business, son.”
Somewhere in Brooklyn, Dan has met up with Noah Shapiro to talk about his Charlie Trout story and pick up his recommendation letter. Seeing as though Noah thinks it’s okay to wear his bathrobe to a bar in the middle of the day, I now understand a bit better how he could think Dan is talented. Well Noah’s brought a friend from New York Magazine with him to this meeting, and the friend wants Dan to write an expose on the Bass family. Dan says no at first, but ultimately is convinced to do it after the friend points out that publishing an expose is like the equivalent of 30 condescending lectures from his high horse. Dan agrees that’s an opportunity he can’t let slide.
Serena is on one of Aaron’s map-reading exercises, which seems to me to just be a gimmick to work Serena’s Verizon phone into the plot. Yawn. She ends up in Times Square, where Aaron somehow gets her image up on one of the screens. He then joins her, asks her to pose for his stupid art and then makes out with her while I marvel over how dirty this kid is. Especially the patchy facial hair. Gross. On top of that, he delivers his lines with the same amount of energy and passion that Chace Crawford does. But at least Chace is pretty. This dude? Not so much. This cast needs to stop smoking up before coming on set.
The next morning, Blair catches Serena at her locker and begins whining about how Eleanor might as well be dating Danny DeVito while Serena very poorly pretends to be interested. I get that Blair can be self-centered and Serena’s in the honeymoon stage of her relationship with Aaron, but stop being a shitty friend, S. Sure enough, Serena gets a text from Aaron and immediately ditches Blair in mid-sentence to go be his muse. Pissed, Blair warns Serena that being the muse never works out, and demands that Serena come back and help her take the gnome down. Amused, Serena insists she’s leaving and somewhat patronizingly tells Blair to grow the fuck up instead. Glad she’s picked up that trait from Dan. Surprisingly, Blair declares that Serena is right and she will try to tolerate Cyrus.
“B, I gotta go change. I haven’t worn this much clothing in ages and I’m starting to sweat.”
Dan has somehow gotten Bart to agree to a private meeting by pretending he’s interested in learning about business. The only business Dan should be worried about is how to collect food stamps, because he’s going to be living off of them if he tries to earn a living as a writer. Deciding to push his luck a bit, Dan asks if he can shadow Bart a few days a week to learn even more. Bart hesitates and says no, and Dan slyly mentions that Rufus is pretty retarded and not nearly as successful as Bart. Ego boosted, Bart changes his mind and decides Dan can shadow him — and can start by accompanying him to a hockey game. As Dan worries that Bart may have gotten the wrong idea about why he’s suddenly interested in spending time with him, Chuck walks in and overhears their conversation. Realizing that his father has time for hockey, but just not with him, Chuck gives Dan his best scowls while resisting the urge to throw himself at Bart’s feet and wail “whyyyyyy?!?”
Across town, Mini Coop is hanging out in a diner looking exactly how I feel today — hungover as hell. Remind me to kick whichever one of my friends thought it was a good idea to order 2 bottles of wine then 5 pitchers of beer for the three of us in her baby maker tomorrow. Okay, it was probably my idea but someone needs to pay for this. Anyway, Mini Coop’s in the same sorry state when Jenny finds her, ranting that she’s been waiting for Mini Coop for seven hours, and Mini Coop never found the business manager she promised. After plugging some Vitamin Water, Mini Coop tells Jenny to calm the fuck down, and then races off to vomit. This is not helping me. Pissed, Jenny goes through Mini Coop’s bag, finds the contact info for the business manager she met the day before, and places a call.
Back at home, Blair is trying her best to be a mature adult while putting up with Cyrus’s presence. After babbling about peonies for several minutes and narrowly escaping being smothered by them by an increasingly irritated Blair, Cyrus announces that he got Cyndi Lauper tickets so he and Eleanor will be out of Blair’s way for her birthday party. But instead of being happy, Blair throws a mini shitfit and insists that Eleanor attend her party. Eleanor refuses and makes baby talk at Cyrus while B and I both cringe.
“Ugh. If I hadn’t already purged lunch, I’d totally puke right now.”
Jenny has talked her way into another meeting with the business manager, where she apologizes for her EX-partner’s issues. Pretty sure Mini Coop’s head is still in a toilet and this would be news to her. The business manager, Scott, is more than happy to work with Jenny alone, but since she’s not 18, he needs paperwork signed by a parent. Ruh roh. I wonder what Mrs. Humps is up to?
After leaving Bart’s office, Dan heads over to meet Noah and the New York Magazine guy to report his work thus far. But any slyness points I gave Dan earlier for manipulating Bart by trashing Rufus are now taken away, as Chuck has blatantly followed Dan to see what he’s up to. Realizing Dan’s walking into the office of New York Magazine, Chuck places a call to a girl he banged who works there to get the details.
Serena shows up at Aaron’s for her posing session, and while I actually don’t think Blake Lively is that attractive normally (blonde hair, height, and a great body are going a long way for her), girlfriend looks amazing in some of the black and white pictures we’re shown. The posing session goes well, and when Serena arrives the next morning at his place again, she’s all giggly and declares she loves being his muse. But not so fast, S — an impossibly skinny girl arrives, and Aaron introduces her as one of his models. Looks like you’re not the only muse in town. Upset, Serena rushes out over Aaron insisting she’s welcome to stay.
“Um, sweetie, you don’t have to worry about anything happening between us. He kinda smells like feet.”
Meanwhile, Dan’s checking his email when he receives a mysterious, anonymous message telling him to meet the sender at a corner to get some valuable dirt on Bart. Okay, I usually recap as I watch so I’m unspoiled, but I admit I have already seen this episode because my friend was over when it was on and insisted we watch. So when I first saw this scene, I definitely thought Chuck was behind this email. We know Chuck knows Dan’s up to something, and this seems like something Chuck would do. Besides, for this to be from a real informant makes no sense. First, Dan hasn’t even shadowed Bart a single fucking day yet. Second, even if he’d been shadowing for weeks, how would someone know he was working on a story? And third, how the hell did they get Dan’s school email address? Once I realized Chuck was not behind this, this made absolutely no sense to me. Thoughts?
At Blair’s, B has finally cracked enough to rant to Eleanor that she does not understand how Eleanor could be in love with Cyrus when Cyrus is nothing like her father. Um, that’s exactly the point you idiot. Eleanor basically says the same thing to Blair, and explains that she trusts Cyrus completely before leaving the room. Turning to Dorota, Blair announces it’s time to scheme (love Dorota’s “oh no…” response) and figure out that tiny man’s secret.
Dan’s gone to meet the informant, who’s a burly construction-worker type who really could beat the shit out of Dan with minimal effort. Again, in my first time through watching this, I really hoped Chuck had set that exact scenario up. Nope, the informant’s legit and he tells Dan that Bart once burned down one of his own buildings and collected the insurance on it. Returning home, Dan tells Rufus it all checks out and writing a story revealing Bart as an arsonist could change his life. Rufus correctly points out Dan would be ruining the lives of Chuck, Serena and Eric at the same time, and Dan’s like, “Hmm, yeah, sucks to be them. Back to ME now…” So in other words, Dan continues his suckfest. Dan gets off the hook from Rufus’s lecture though when Mrs. Humps calls to report Jenny asked her to sign the papers. Off to deal with the other child your bad parenting fucked up, Rufus.
“Why the hell am I pouring my own coffee when this is the one damn thing Vanessa is useful for?”
Blair has arranged a meeting between her and Cyrus, and begins pumping him for details on his past in an attempt to figure out some scandalous secret. What she winds up finding out is that while married, Cyrus fell in love with a Vietnamese girl when serving in the war. In an effort to do the right thing, he flew home to divorce his wife with the plan of returning to Vietnam, grabbing his girl, and then living with her in the states. Unfortunately, while he was home divorcing his wife, the Vietnamese girl was killed. The romantic in Blair seems to eat this all up as she practically swoons on the table. I just think it sounds a lot like Miss Saigon.
Serena calls Aaron to make plans, but finds out Aaron is still hanging out with his model friend even though the work has long since been completed. Upset, Serena hangs up. Hmm, why does this seem familiar? Oh yeah, it’s because it’s exactly what Serena did for an entire episode last week. Get a fucking life, VDW.
At Blair’s, Eleanor has found Blair to demand what Blair’s agenda is with having lunch with Cyrus. Eleanor accuses her of scheming, and correctly calls her out on trying to dig up dirt on Cyrus. After expressing disapproval at Blair’s actions and repeating her confidence in Cyrus’s trustworthiness, Eleanor turns to leave — only to be stopped by Blair blurting out the fact Cyrus cheated on his first wife, just like Blair’s father did. Eleanor is devastated, and Blair doesn’t look too happy with herself. Do you think Blair just did that because she was hurt by Eleanor’s accusations and wanted to hurt Eleanor back? Would she have kept the story to herself otherwise? Discuss.
<Sniff> “Well that smell doesn’t belong here.”
Mini Coop’s had sufficient time to get over her hangover and is strolling down the street when her phone rings. It’s a secretary from Scott the business manager’s office, looking for Jenny. Mini Coop mentions that she’d be happy to pass along a message, and the twit from Scott’s office is like “okeydokey!” and tells Mini Coop that the contracts are ready for J Humphrey Designs. Pissed as hell, Mini Coop hangs up. Watch out, Little J. No one messed with a coked up model and gets away with it.
Time for Blair’s birthday party, which is… incredibly lame. For one thing, where the hell is Chuck?! Nate I suppose could be said to be running around the Hamptons, but Chuck’s absence is inexcusable. Anyway, the minions and Serena are sitting around, looking about as entertained as you do at a funeral, while the midget Hazel gives come-fuck-me eyes to a really hideous busboy. It’s been a running joke throughout the episode that Hazel is single and really, really ready to mingle, but can’t land a boyfriend. I just think the guys aren’t noticing her all the way down there at knee-cap height. The girls ask Serena how Aaron’s doing, and Serena mumbles that he’s not her boyfriend. Hazel quickly asks if that means Aaron’s available, and Blair walks up and hilariously snaps, “Hazel! I can hear your desperation from the other room” while literally forcing a space for her to sit on the couch. Poor midget. Blair’s blouse, btw, is gorgeous. It definitely would make me look like a marshmallow or a loofa or something, but Leighton totally pulls it off. So jealous.
Jenny arrives at Mini Coop’s place just in time to catch Mini Coop stomping out of the house with her arms full of Jenny’s designs. Mini Coop mentions that Rufus had stopped by, and begins ranting at Jenny for going behind her back. Now while Mini Coop has been completely unreliable and a loose cannon on this, listening to her rant, I’m actually on her side. Without Mini Coop, Jenny would have no prospects at all, and Jenny cutting her out like that was super shitty. Jenny tries to placate her while watching Mini Coop dump all the clothes in a barrel and start pouring lighter fluid on them. Finally realizing this doesn’t look good, you’d think Jenny would reach over and grab the clothes and/or shove Mini Coop away, right? Nope, she just stands there and looks trashy and confused. Fucking idiot. So then Mini Coop pulls out a matchbook, and takes approximately four hours to light a match while Jenny STILL just stands there. Seriously, a quadriplegic would have a faster reaction time to this. Eventually, Mini Coop does set everything on fire, and then Jenny loses her shit and screams at her. Sorry, Little J, but you totally deserve that for being the dumbest person EVER. Mission accomplished, Mini Coop throws Jenny out of her (mom’s) apartment and storms off.
Congratulations, you are now officially acting as stupid as you look.
Back at the worst birthday party ever, Serena and Cyrus strike up a conversation where we learn he is actually Aaron’s father. Ugh, if that means Aaron’s going to be around longer then I am not happy to hear that. Cyrus tells her that Aaron is quite smitten with her, and Serena decides then to ditch her best friend’s birthday party just to drop by Aaron’s studio. Dude, so not cool. I’d be pissed as hell if my best friend did that to me! I used to think Serena sucked because of her relationship with Dan, but I’m rapidly coming to think that Serena just sucks, period.
After Serena runs off, Eleanor grabs Cyrus and demands if it’s true he cheated on his first wife. He admits it, and Eleanor throws him out while Blair watches, looking upset at what she has caused. Eleanor leaves to lie down just as a special guest arrives — Cyndi Lauper in an unfortunate leopard-print jacket. After hearing that Cyrus bought out Cyndi’s show and arranged for Cyndi to perform at Blair’s party instead, Blair thrusts Dorota (Cyndi’s biggest fan!) at Cyndi and runs after Cyrus.
Dan’s arrived at the VDW-Bass place to confront Bart on the arson story. He lies that he heard it through the gossip network at the office, and thought he should ask Bart personally about it. Hearing Dan’s voice, Chuck hides around the corner and eavesdrops. But not only does Bart somewhat confirm the arson incident — then he says that someone’s death has been weighing on him for 20 years! Seriously, old man, you are going senile or you just challenged Jenny Humphrey for the dumbest person EVER award. Why the fuck would Bart ever admit to being somehow responsible for someone’s death to a kid he barely knows after keeping it a secret for 20 years? And even if you argue that Bart was under the impression Dan already knew that, why the fuck would he confirm it? Agh. So then the icing on this stupidity cake is Chuck running around the corner, yelling for Bart to shut up and that Dan’s writing a story for a magazine. So you knew that, Chuck, and did nothing to stop this conversation? My head is going to explode.
The runner up for the dumbest person EVER award: Chuck Bass, for lurking around the corner and letting his father dig his own grave.
Now that Dan’s busted, Bart asks him how much it will take to make the story go away. Dan refuses the money and gets on the elevator, only to be stopped by Chuck just before the doors close. Chuck begins by making threats, then breaks down a bit and basically pleads with Dan not to ruin his family, even throwing a “please” in there. Poor Chuck, I bet he had to shower a dozen times or so to get that off of him. Dan remains noncommittal, but appears to have some sort of reservations about going forward.
Blair runs outside and finds Cyrus still out there, waiting for his driver. She expresses her surprise that he threw in the towel so quickly, and when he smirks at her in response, she realizes that he manipulated her to get her to this point — wanting him to come back and actually accepting him. Frankly, I’m really bored with this storyline despite my love of Wallace Shawn, so I’m moving on.
Also outside is Dan, who pulls out his Charlie Trout story and considers it for a few moments before giving it to the concierge to have delivered to Bart — along with the audio tape of Bart’s earlier confession. Good for him. But just as I’m about to stop hating Dan a little bit, I decide to freeze frame the Charlie Trout story to see if it’s as bad as I remember. And dear Lord, it’s worse. For your viewing pleasure/aneurism, here it is:
5.19.91, by Dan Humphrey
His hand held a firm grip around the glass of Scotch. It was like the glass was a part of him and if he let it go he’d lose a piece of himself. He took one long gulp and finished off the glass.
“Keep them coming, Joe,” he spoke across the bar. The surly bartender poured some more of the brown liquid into his glass. He tilted it towards Joe and took a sip. As it hit his mouth, his lips curled and he swallowed. The glass was still clutched in his hand.
Charlie Trout had spent every Birthday at this bar since he was thirteen years old. And this year was no exception. Charlie sat on the exact same stool, drank the exact same brand of Scotch and ordered from the exact same bartender year after year. One would think Charlie Trout’s Birthday party would be full of friends, sexy women and located at an exclusive Manhattan club. But that was not the case. Charlie’s Birthday was always just a party of one. Or two, if you count Joe the bartender.
Charlie’s Birthday didn’t just signify his aging. It also represented the anniversary of his mother’s death. She died while giving birth to him all those years ago. Charlie’s been living with that grief ever since. Charlie’s father, media tycoon Bernie Trout, had never once wanted to celebrate his son’s Birthday. There were no elaborate Birthday parties for little Charlie. There weren’t even Birthday cakes. Nor any [ ] gifts. A Lego set or a toy fire truck were never waiting at the foot of Charlie’s bed when he awoke on his Birthday morning. All he ever got was just a deposit in his savings account.
This caused Charlie to believe his father held him responsible for his mother’s death. If it weren’t for Charlie, Bernie’s beloved wife would still be alive because Charlie killed her, Bernie must have thought. And that was why Bernie could not [ ] Charlie.
If you’re still alive after reading that, I commend you.
Serena arrives at Aaron’s and finds him with the model girl eating a romantic dinner, that she’s probably hiding in her napkin. Serena for the 50th time gets angry and starts to storm off. Aaron stops her and tells her like it is — they never decided to be exclusive, and he can and will date other people until they decide to be exclusive. I dislike this kid, but I’m totally on his side here. Serena and Aaron are not a couple, and therefore she can’t get mad when he goes out with other girls — especially when she finds this out by dropping by his place unannounced. Besides, she saw that he was running around with a bunch of different girls before they even started dating. Sorry, VDW, but you got nothing here as far as I’m concerned.
“Look, I don’t understand why multiple hot girls want to fuck me, either, but I figure I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
After the completely avoidable fire, Jenny slinks back into the ghetto to see if Rufus will sign the papers for the business manager. Rufus refuses, arguing it will condone everything Jenny has done to get to this point. Even though she must be freaking out, Jenny shrugs it off and heads back out onto the streets – literally. She should call up Nate and get the dos and dont’s of prostitution.
The next morning, Chuck’s laying in bed reading (which makes sense, I didn’t really see him as the type to be playing Rock Band or managing his fantasy football team in his spare time) when Bart comes in to apologize. Confused, Chuck looks up warily and Bart explains he read Dan’s story and that he never blamed Chuck for his mother’s death. Bart continues, admitting the reason he has problems talking to Chuck is because every time he looks at Chuck, he sees his mother. We then see a picture of Chuck’s mother, who does look so much like Chuck I wonder if it’s Ed Westwick’s actual mother in the picture. The bonding continues as Bart admits he misses Chuck’s mother more than he can say, and that he wants to get to know his son. In the end, Bart asks Chuck to go to the hockey game, and Chuck emotionally agrees. It’s a very touching scene, but I wish they had spent more time on this plot throughout the episode, and given us more of Bart’s reaction to Dan’s story before he came and found Chuck.
Sidenote: Dude, they’re so going to kill Bart off. Old characters on these teen soaps never last long, they’re due for a death, and now that Bart and Chuck are bonded, it’ll have a lot more impact on Chuck to kill Bart. Mark my words, he’s a goner by February sweeps.
“Well, son, this bonding has made my heart swell. And is causing radiating pain down my left arm. Odd.”
In the ghetto, Dan tells Rufus that he decided not to run the story on Bart, and Rufus commends him for doing the right thing. Dan then urges Rufus to do the right thing, and get Jenny back even if it means letting Jenny win. Then Dan hilariously says this: “It’s so important for you to be right — which is a trait I inherited, I’ll be the first to admit.” LOL, no shit sherlock. Jenny, meanwhile, is meeting with Scott the business manager after sleeping on the couch in the gallery all night. She explains she can’t get either parent to sign the forms, and doesn’t know what to do. Well Scott has another suggestion — divorcing your parents. Hell, if my parents were half as retarded as Rufus and Mrs. Humps, I would have taken care of that when I was still wearing diapers. Jenny thinks about it for a moment then agrees to do it. Haha, Rufus will lose his mind.
Serena’s on the phone with Blair, bitching about Aaron’s selfish idea of dating multiple people at once and not being insta-relationship with her. Wah wah, shut up. Blair correctly points out that as much as Serena tries to paint herself as this free-spirit hippie type, underneath it she’s just as conventional. Which is exactly the kind of stuff that makes Serena so goddamn annoying sometimes. However, she is being a better friend this morning as she asks Blair how things are going with Cyrus. Blair says they’re okay because she doesn’t have to see him that much — just as she turns the corner and finds him sitting in his bathrobe eating breakfast with Eleanor. Ew, that’s a bit unnecessary. You know what else is unnecessary? Cyrus moving in with them, as Eleanor happily announces is about to happen — today.
We end the episode with Aaron showing up at Serena’s for a date they had planned before he latest shitfit. She reminds him that they broke up the night before, and he corrects her that they can’t break up since they weren’t together. Haha, point for the dirty one. But Serena, perhaps reflecting on what Blair said to her on the phone, decides that all is forgiven and she can deal with Aaron’s unconventional ways — so she grabs her jacket, throws it on over her silk slip/nightie, and runs out to play in the park with him. Ooh, how bohemian of you, S!
So that’s our episode. Were you as annoyed/appalled by the stupidity of some of the characters as I was? Was that bad writing, or are we really supposed to believe Jenny would just stand there and watch Mini Coop burn her shit and that Bart would blurt out 20-year-old secrets to a teenager he barely knows? Does anyone like Aaron? Did anyone else find the Blair/Cyrus plot a little too hokey and boring? What the HELL was up with that birthday party? For a show that focuses so many plots around big social events, that was a hugely underutilized event in my opinion. And the absence of Chuck at that party is infuriating. Writers, wake up. That’s two weeks in a row now where I’ve been disappointed.
And again, I’m sorry about the lateness of this recap. I usually write these on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (each recap takes 6-8 hours to do, so I have to spread it over several nights to still get to bed at a decent time), and I had to attend work functions Tuesday and Thursday nights last week, and it messed everything up. That’s probably more information about my schedule than you stalkers needed, but I do see your comments about the lateness of my postings and I do feel awful about it, so I wanted to let you know there is a somewhat legitimate reason for my tardiness. The recap this week will be on time, so look for it Thursday morning. Thanks for your patience as always!