After donating money to public television, Marge receives complimentary ballet tickets. She asks Homer to accompany her, and much to Marge's surprise he agrees. Unknown to her, this is because Homer has confused the ballet with a circus performance involving a bear on a motorcycle. On the day of the ballet, however, he inadvertently gets his arm stuck in a vending machine while trying to steal a can of soda from it and then gets his other arm stuck in a candy machine, and so is unable to attend the ballet as a result. In disbelief about Homer's story, Marge invites her neighbor, Ruth Powers to attend with her. They both enjoy themselves and arrange to go out again the next night. Meanwhile, Homer has finally been freed from the vending machines after the paramedics discovered that he was only stuck because he was holding on to the soda and candy he was trying to steal, and has arrived home with a written excuse note from the fire brigade that showed up to rescue him (who tells Marge that a lumber yard burned down while they were busy rescuing Homer). Marge and Ruth's friendship annoys Homer, who feels threatened by Marge spending so much time with someone outside their marriage. However, ignoring Homer's protests, Marge and Ruth visit bars and clubs in Springfield, and Ruth later shows Marge how to use a pistol, shooting some old cans they find on a farm. This angers the farmer, who claims they were "precious antique cans".
Homer, attempting to prove to himself he can have a good time without Marge, leaves Bart, Maggie, and Lisa under the supervision of Lionel Hutz, who overheard Homers need for a babysitter while looking through the Simpsons garbage, and goes out by himself. Finding Moe's Tavern more depressing than usual, Homer visits the hilltop where he used to take Marge prior to their marriage. Ironically, Marge has also taken Ruth there to finish the night, but they leave just before Homer arrives. Chief Wiggum finds Homer depressed and offers him a ride home, which Homer accepts. As Ruth and Marge are driving home, Chief Wiggum, with Homer as a passenger in his patrol car, spots Ruth's car and claims that one tail light is slightly smaller than the other. He decides to pull them over. Reluctant to stop, Ruth tells Marge that she stole the car from her ex-husband when he refused to pay child support. Ruth leads the police on a high-speed chase rather than turning herself in. Homer realizes it is Marge in the car, and believes she is leaving him because of his neglect (Wiggum claims that this is how John Dillingergot started). Ruth successfully evades Wiggum by turning off her headlights, which leads him to believe her car is a ghost car.
After seeing Marge and Ruth again while cooking breakfast on his car engine, Wiggum continues his chase of the two, aided by other Springfield Police vehicles. After noticing a cliff ahead, Homer believes that Marge and Ruth are attempting suicide because of the poor treatment they've received by men and, using a megaphone, apologizes to Marge for all the mistakes he has made in their marriage and urges them not to drive into the chasm. Ruth, who had not noticed the chasm, slams on the brakes and stops in time; however, Homer and Wiggum fail to stop and fly over the edge of the cliff only to crash into a mountainous landfill, saving them. The episode ends with a parody of Dragnet, detailing the fates of each character: Ruth was taken to court where a judge dismissed her ex-husbands auto-theft charges, and forced him to back-pay the child support he had been dodging. The husband blamed the outcome on his lawyer, Lionel Hutz, who received 8 dollars for his 32 hours of babysitting, which he was glad to get. Marge was charged with destruction of precious, antique cans, totalling about $1.50 and $2000 for mental anguish. Homer Simpson was remanded to the custody of the U.S Army for extensive testing (for a medical serum he had volunteered for years earlier to get out of dinner with Patty and Selma).