Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice

Salvatore Laporta/Bravo

Who knew reality TV could be so educational?

The secrets to success and failure, Franklin Lakes-style, were revealed tonight on this very special career day episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. (Which is a lot more than we can say about the black eye Bravo's been teasing...a moment they didn't actually capture on film.) 

So what lessons did our Garden State guidance counselors impart this evening?

If you're going to run a pizzeria, you need to be there every day. So it helps to have a driver license for that daily commute. A legal license. A lesson learned by Joe Giudice, who's shutting the door on his failed Italian eatery.

But that's OK, because Joe's already got plans to take over the gas station across the street and turn it into a 55-plus residence. That or become the beefiest Mr. Mom we've ever seen. 

Mental note: it helps to have a 10-year-old daughter around who can actually do most of the caretaking for her three younger siblings.  

As for Juicy Joe's black eye and cut nose, all we can surmise is don't grab another man's balls when there's an iron candlestick holder around. In the biggest oversell of the evening, Bravo didn't even have footage of the moment when Joe and Richie Wakile started wrestling during a poker game at Chris Manzo's house. 

But according to eye witnesses, Joe tried to grab Richie's balls. Richie swung at Joe. They both went down in the scuffle and Joe's face got accidentally walloped by a decorative accessory. And we didn't even get a dramatic reenactment.

Another gem gleaned from tonight's episode is you don't need to go to college to succeed—or to wind up on a popular reality series. Duh. Case in point Richie, who built up a business of gas stations and repair shops without a degree. (P.S. Who else loved that little slice o' life look at how this reality family actually earns its money?!)

Not that Kathy and Rich Wakile are promoting the self-made man route to their son Joseph. "I need Rich to force that desire to achieve greatness," Kathy opines before sophomore class president Joe is taken on a tour of the family business.

Too bad the boy wants to go into real estate. But we have a feeling whatever (or whoever) Joe does, this slick kid's gonna do just fine.

Not so much Ashley Holmes, who managed to miss her flight to Las Vegas while tweeting and searching for a Dunkin' Donuts outlet at the airport. The takeaway here: It's not enough for Albie Manzo to drop his cousin off at curbside check-in. Someone actually needs to watch Ashley walk to her gate.

Other random facts gleaned about the prodigal daughter: she's chugged NyQuil, her inner monologue is a Ke$ha song, she falls asleep on half a Xanax and she's got a lot of phobias.

It's lucky real-life headlines have proven that Ashley's managed to get her life together in L.A. otherwise we'd have been crying along with Jacqueline Laurita flipping through old photo albums and watching home movies of Ash's seemingly happy childhood.

MORE: Real Housewives of New Jersey Reunion Recap: Who Isn't Drinking the Kool-Aid?!

Things aren't any easier for Lauren Manzo. She shut down her beauty biz at the Chateau the day after the grand opening. (Remember all the drama involving Lauren, Ashley and the T-shirts needed for the party?!) And she's still looking for a diet that works. Her latest effort is a trip to Dr. Nicholas Perricone who recommends a near-starvation regime of egg whites, berries and cocoa. 

But at much as she wants to shed pounds, we love how Lauren always manages to keep a sense of humor about the situation. "Summer is the absolute worst time to start a diet. If it works it works, if it doesn't then pass the meatballs."

Buon appetito!

Finally, this nugget from Joe and Melissa Gorga: don't spend all summer at the Jersey Shore. "Joe actually has to go to work so he can pay the bills," purrs Melissa in what seems like an unspoken zing against her brother-in-law Joe Giudice.

Oh, and buy all your children their own buildings so they can get a head start in life as pint-size landlords. Even better if you can buy them the whole block.

We plan to get right on that.

So whose business savvy were you most impressed by this evening? And was it any surprise that Joe Giudice and Ashley ended up as the show's anti-role models once again? Sound off on all things Jersey in the comments!

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