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Mad Men Discussion: Buttery Handjobs, Acid Trips And Orange Sherbet Freakouts

By / 04.23.12

It probably doesn’t help that I’ve been a little under the weather, but I’ve had a hard time processing last night’s episode of Mad Men — by far the most experimental (in more ways than one!) episode of the show I can ever remember seeing.

Come, let’s take a hit and journey into the void together, shall we? Here are my rambling, completely disjointed thoughts and observations from last night.

-Peggy is slowly morphing into some sort of Don/Roger hybrid, isn’t she? First she berates an unreasonable client — the sexist prick who keeps insisting she find a way to make beans sexy — in the conference room, then she seeks some sanity in a movie theater (“I couldn’t take one more omen of doom”), only to eventually find herself resisting a good finger-banging in favor of doling out a popcorn-butter-lubed handy to a stranger kind enough to share a joint with her instead. Progress! We’re seeing our little Peggy evolve before our very eyes. At this rate, I’m convinced that she’ll be running her own agency in the last scene of the series finale.

-Seconds after last night’s episode ended, a friend texted me the following: “Well that was trippy. It’s as if Matt Weiner wanted to make the episode in which someone on the show finally drops acid as trippy for the audience as it is for the character on acid.” I kind of agree with that. There was a point in the show last night where I had absolutely no idea what was going on.

-Speaking of dropping acid, it seemed inevitable that one of the characters on the show would go there, no? If I were to have placed a bet on who it would be, I’m pretty sure I’d have gone with Peggy — with Harry Crane coming in a close second. Roger would have probably been the last person I’d expect to see do it — just seemed something “trendy” Roger would scoff at in favor of booze — which I suppose is one of the things that made it so amazing.

-Since I’m in New York at the moment, I’m tempted to go out this afternoon to find Roger’s apartment building — if, of course, the address actually exists. If memory serves correct, the home address below would put Roger living near the corner of 66th and Madison, which seems just about right.

-Good to see that Bert Cooper is actually alive with functioning synapses still firing in his brain.

-Did anyone else notice that Peggy seemed sort of oddly turned on to learn that Ginsberg was born in a concentration camp? This revelation also helps makes sense of why Ginsberg was so revolted by his work colleagues giddily gazing at gruesome crime scene photos in an earlier episode.

-Has anyone seen any GIFs floating around of Don and Megan in the ridiculously green screen-ed driving scenes? Because I couldn’t find any. Those scenes seemed to be an homage of sorts to the film and TV technology of the time — they kind of reminded me of the old Batman and Robin series I watched re-runs of as a kid.

-After the show was over I did some minor digging to refresh my memory on Hojo and what it was. I remember Howard Johnson’s when I was a kid — mainly because there was a Howard Johnson hotel in the town I was born in — but I didn’t recall it being a place where people ate. But apparently it was essentially America’s first chain restaurant that started out as an ice cream store in Quincy, Massachusetts run by a man named…wait for it…Howard Johnson.

From Hojoland.com:

The store was a money loser. Still, Johnson felt he could make it could work. The first thing he did was send out delivery boys to sell newspapers in nearby communities. Sales went up, then Johnson turned his attention to the soda fountain. The store sold just three flavors of ice cream-vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Johnson believed the number of flavors should be expanded, but first, he was determined to improve the quality of the ice cream he was selling. Using an old-fashioned freezer in the basement, he began cranking away by hand and experimenting to develop the best product possible. By doubling the butterfat content and using only natural ingredients-Johnson came up with what he thought was a superior ice cream. His customers thought so, too, and soon they were standing in lines outside his establishment. The demand led to expansion and soon he was selling his ice cream at stands on nearby beaches and other locations.

Additionally, Johnson’s desire to expand combined with his inability to secure credit led to the invention of franchising.

In three years, his debts were overcome and his business was a success. He added frankforts, hamburgers and other foods, carefully making sure of the best quality of content and preparation. His little store had become a restaurant and Johnson then decided that the food business was a way to greater success. In 1929, he opened another restaurant, in downtown Quincy, Massachusetts, and began planning further expansion. Later that year, the stock market crash threw the country into the Great Depression and Johnson’s expansion plans became dim. Johnson had envisioned a chain of restaurants which would have the confidence of travelers. He believed the automobile would change the face of America and he foresaw better roads and more people on the move who would want good food at sensible prices. He owed so much money he couldn’t borrow more, but he was eager to expand. Then, he conceived a new idea-franchising. Johnson talked another businessman into using the “Howard Johnson’s” name on a Cape Cod restaurant, in return for a fee and an agreement to buy food and supplies from Johnson. The idea worked well for both men, and Johnson made similar agreements with others. That was the beginning of restaurant franchising, a system that has since been replicated by countless others. By 1935, there were 25 Howard Johnson’s roadside ice cream and sandwich stands in Massachusetts. A year later , one of the first Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in Connecticut was opened by Irving Carter, on Route 1 in Milford, CT. That restaurant remained open as a HoJo’s until 1999. During the last years of the 1930′s, the number of HoJo’s Restaurants grew to more than 100 along the Atlantic coast all the way to Florida.

This whole website devoted to Hojo’s is actually kind of fascinating. Give it a look if you have the time and inclination.

-The scene where Don kicks down the door and chases Megan around the apartment freaked me out. It showed a) Don capable of being a violent sociopath and b) a sh*tload of vulnerability in the Don/Megan coupling. Surely he’ll be running back into Betty’s arms in no time. On the bright side, maybe he’ll kill her!

-Speaking of Betty…no Betty Draper…AGAIN!!! Hooray! Also, no Joan?! BOO!!!

Anyway, that’s all I have. Your thoughts are welcome and encouraged below.

(GIFs via GIFULMINATION)


TOPICSMad Men
TAGSbuttery handjobsmad men discussions

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Mad Men Discussion: Buttery Handjobs, Acid Trips And Orange Sherbet Freakouts

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