In Lieu of Thanks
Japanese Title: Orei ni kaete
Originally Published In: Big Comic Original 1998 February 20th
Summary: Mrs. Kobato is new to the condo and winds up witnessing an arguement between Mrs. Shiratori, a stuck up tenant and Mrs. Ukai and elderly woman with a talking pet bird.
When the condo manager, Mrs. Meshitsukai falls ill Mrs. Kobato temporarily takes over for her. Mrs. Shiratori pays a visit to the new manager and seems friendly until Mrs. Ukai's talking bird starts making too much noise which can be heard through the ceiling. They go upstairs to see if everything is alright and find Mrs. Ukai slumped over. Mrs. Shiratori shows her true colors when she refuses to call for an ambulance for the old woman which really upsets Mrs. Kobato. This leads to Mrs. Kobato harboring ill-feelings towards Mrs. Shiratori. What sort of woman would refuse to call an ambulance for a sick old woman? Eventually Mrs. Kobato and Mrs. Shiratori have a face-off which is suddenly interrupted by the bird yelling out it that it eats crabs. Mrs. Shiratori is very angry about this and storms off. A few days later she goes through the garbage and dumps it in the lobby to force Mrs. Kobato to have to clean it up. Another showdown ensues when suddenly Mrs. Ukai returns from the hospital. She explains that she had bought a crab and tied it up, but when she returned it had escaped. She said that she had intended to eat the crab which is why her bird now repeats that phrase.
Mrs. Meshitsukai explains that she saw a crab shell in the garbage on the day Mrs. Ukai went to the hospital, and realize that the reason Mrs. Shiratori gets so nervous around the bird when it mentions eating crabs. Apparently the crab had gotten loose and fallen off the balcony onto the porch below which happened to belong to Mrs. Shiratori. In need of dinner Mrs. Shiratori ate the crab, but always believed the bird somehow knew this and was accusing her.