Earl watches a heavily pregnant Joy sitting at the bar talking to Darnell. The image of his ex-girlfriend sparks a memory about an old lamp he has yet to finish. Earl recounts Joy's first pregnancy ' from another man ' and the difficulties involved with the 'stress of parenthood'. Due to the baby's constant crying, Earl gives Joy some 'space'.
Getting away from the stress of family, Joy hits the bar and gets drunk on margaritas. She ends up in Darnell's truck having sex. Earl remains unaware of the affair and even walks in on the couple when they're in bed together. He discovers a 'long, black hair', but thinks it is one of his own. Earl recalls the ensuing 'stress of adultery' that Joy feels. Tired of living a double life, Joy breaks up with Darnell.
Joy returns to Earl and they become an 'all-American family' again. At the bar one night, Earl shows Randy his stray black hair. Meanwhile, Joy announces her impending pregnancy to Earl. Unfortunately, Joy realizes that the chances of the baby being Earl's are 50/50. At a doctor's appointment, they discover the child is a boy and Earl is overjoyed to see 'the Hickey blood live on'. A nervous Joy asks the doctor if they can guess the unborn child's color.
Earl's parents celebrate the news of their new grandson. Joy gives birth and a shocked Earl tells Joy that 'he's black!' Joy confides unconvincingly that it's most probably a 'repressed black gene', but a discussion with the doctor confirms that Joy has definitely slept with 'a black fella'. Earl's parents arrive at the hospital wearing tee-shirts that announce them as Number One Grandparents. When they discover their grandson is black, their happiness is crushed.
A distraught Earl hits the bar and tells Randy, 'I'm a clown!' He says that the 'real daddy' can take care of Joy's kids, because he's done. He returns to Joy's trailer to 'pack up all the good stuff' and trash the rest. Meanwhile, Randy tells a nervous Darnell about the predicament. Homeless, Earl crashes at his parents' house. His room is exactly the same way he left it ' complete with gay gerbils, 'Lenny' and 'Squiggy'.
Earl's father lectures his son about responsibilities and becoming a father to his kids. He tells Earl that his life has been a series of incomplete projects, like the unfinished lamp that is 'a stump with a shade!'. Earl listens to the sermon and rejects his father's advice. His father tells him, 'Go take care of your family!'
A horrified Earl watches his father threaten him ' with his gerbils. In Earl's bedroom window he holds up the gerbils to his scared son. On the lawn, Earl rescues the gerbils as his father abandons them. In an effort to save the gerbils, Earl returns home to his marriage and sons.
Though Earl's not the 'best dad', he's a dad nonetheless. Eventually, Joy falls back into the arms of Darnell, but Earl's okay with it. Joy and Darnell get married, but Earl remains a father to the kids. A proud Earl returns the finished lamp to his father with 'a cord'. Earl's mother admires the lamp and as Earl's father reaches to switch the lamp off, he is electrocuted.