Posted by Ryan
It’s the one-year anniversary of Leslie’s father’s passing. A year ago, Bud Pool collapsed in the kosher foods aisle, and like the yeast in the lavache bread, he never rose. Carl was the first on the scene, but he could not resuscitate Bud — there were mumblings that Carl had to stock the bread first. Leslie’s having a memorial service for his father in the kosher section, and Ingrid plays four mournful tunes on her accordion. Leslie wants to spread his father’s ashes, but he can’t do it in the store, as the ashes are too “chunky.” Leslie reminds us that death stalks us at every moment. He certainly convinced one elderly woman, as she dies then and there. The kosher aisle claims another victim.
Leslie realizes that if he were to die, he’d have no heir to leave the store to. He calls a meeting and announces that he’s dying … of life. Pieces of him are dying every day: fingernails, hair, skin cells. All dying. Leslie wants to leave the store to one of his employees, and he’s going to give each one of them a chance to interview to inherit the G&G.
The interviews do not go particularly well. Carl doesn’t even want the store. He just really wants some boric acid. Carl’s not much of a people person, and doesn’t feel he’s management material. So, of course, Leslie makes him management material — Carl inherits the store, so long as he changes his last name to Pool. Carl’s OK with that. His real name wasn’t even Dawson, anyway.
Leslie starts grooming Carl for management, and there’s no better place to start grooming than in front of a huge stack of Snapple. Leslie recognizes a customer as Shannon, a high-school classmate who was a cheerleader back in the day. Leslie was in the human chess club (he was a pawn) in high school. Carl’s gums bleed when he eats shellfish. Drink Snapple!
Carl calls a meeting with the employees to discuss problems with “shrinkage” (it’s not what he thinks). The crew is upset about being suspected of stealing from the store, and the meeting turns into chaos. But Carl restores order, declares Todd the new “meat bitch,” demands that all employees make sure all the fruit stickers adhere properly, and gives a 35-cent raise to a random employee, Yolanda. Everyone’s pissed, except for Yolanda, who just got a pay raise and got a little turned on by Carl’s power.
Leslie decides Carl could benefit from management camp (different from codependence camp), which just turns out to be Carl and Leslie in sleeping bags on the floor of the G&G. Leslie explains that part of being a manager is being hated. But Yolanda is attracted to Carl’s authority, and Leslie wants to help Carl arrange a date with her.
Leslie arranges for a romantic candlelight dinner in the G&G break room. That way, Yolanda can’t say no. Ingrid belts out some loud, romantic music on her accordion, and the rest of the crew is forced to prepare and serve their dinner. The dinner itself is actually quite nice, until Leslie decides it’s time to present Yolanda with an engagement ring on Carl’s behalf. Of course, neither Carl nor Yolanda expected this, and the date doesn’t end well. Yolanda storms out, and Carl hates being a Pool.
The next morning, Carl and Yolanda are angry at Leslie, who apologizes and explains that he only put pressure on Carl and Yolanda to get together because he doesn’t have a wife and a family of his own. Carl and Leslie are very sorry about what happened — so sorry, in fact, that Yolanda is disgusted by their sorry wussiness. They all agree to put this behind them and have a group hug. Leslie accidentally knocks over his father’s ashes during the group hug, spilling them out on the floor of the kosher section. After a customer walks her cart through the remains, Leslie says it’s time to get out the dustbuster.
Best Moment: Buck asking, “Who’s Flavor Flav?” Is it a comment on the generation gap, or is it just funny that there’s a black man who doesn’t know who Flavor Flav is?
Employee Of The Week: Todd. He shows over-the-top enthusiasm about the chance to inherit the G&G, as if it were his life’s calling. For a second there, I think Todd is going to attempt a coup to seize power — would’ve been a much better story than we actually got.
Product Placement: Snapple Peach Tea. Snapple is the flagship. Snapple is a beacon. It’s a work of art.
Photo: ™ & © Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Credit: Danny Feld