Eb is angry with Oliver because he won't give him a raise. Without a raise, he says he can't afford furniture for a home for fiancee Darlene. Lisa points out that they are, after all, living during a time of "deflation". Oliver asks Eb if he remembers the advice he gave him about marriage. Eb says yes: it's like getting your hand slammed in a car door. Oliver denies ever saying such a thing. He does, however, suggest Eb take a course by mail to increase his career opportunities.
Eb makes a list of profitable occupations. On top of his list is brain surgeon, followed by Rear Admiral, Greek millionaire, dictator and football star. Lisa retrieves Oliver's magazine from the refrigerator, the one containing an ad for the Clarkwell Correspondence School. He convinces Ed to enter the accounting course.
Oliver drops Eb's tuition letter by the general store. As it turns out, it's Mr. Drucker's old alma mater, which causes him to launch into the school song. Drucker mentions that he printed Oliver's comment that marriage was like having your hand slammed in a car door in the paper. Oliver again denies having said it.
Back at the house, Mr. Haney challenges Oliver to a duel because he didn't send Eb to the Haney's School of Mail Order Correspondence. Haney shows him the equipment that his accounting students get: a Bob Cratchet accounting desk, and an abacus with an electric cord on it.
Eb receives his first package from the school: a makeup kit. He's been mistakenly enrolled in an acting course. Eb says destiny has intervened and chosen him to be an actor. Besides, the money is much better.
Eb stars his make up course by applying powder--lots of it. Then a brown tanning cream. Hank Kimball drops by, finds out Eb's going to Clarkwell, and launches into the school song. Eb wanders out, wearing lipstick, mascara on his teeth, and his eyes glued together.
Lesson two: dramatize everything. Imagine a meal is a dinner with King Louis XIV. Lisa plays along, acting as his serving "wrench". Later, Eb storms into the barn in a cowboy outfit. Oliver shoots him with milk from the cow.
Darlene tells Lisa she's going to break off her engagement unless Eb gives up this silly acting business. Eb enters in a trench coat, claiming that Lisa and Darlene are spies in disguise. Darlene says she's through.
Oliver and Lisa intervene and give Eb a certificate for five rooms of furniture, if he'll cancel his acting course. Eb says he won't sell his soul for money and that acting has taught him to use his imagination. He says he imagines the barn full of furniture. Fine, Oliver says. Go take a nap on your imaginary bed. He does, lying down on thin air. Oliver shakes his head in disbelief as Lisa leads him out of the barn.