Mad Men
In Care Of

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Couch Baron: A- | 36 USERS: A-
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California, Here I…I Mean, "You" Come

...and then it's time for the Hershey's pitch. After talking about how overwhelmingly positive Hershey's image is with America, Don brightly tells a cock-and-bull story about how his father would take him to the candy store after Don had mowed the lawn and tell him he could have anything he wanted, and Don picked the Hershey's bar; for him, his father's love and the chocolate were tied up together. He goes on that this is the story they're going to tell -- "Hershey's is the currency of affection. It's the childhood symbol of love." Everyone smiles appreciatively, and one of the Hershey's execs notes that Don was "a lucky little boy." Everyone chuckles, but when Cutler starts engaging the Hershey's guys about media buys, Don looks over at Ted, and I hope Caroline doesn't mind me ripping her off, but "forlorn" is a great description of him now; he obviously really believes that his life as he's known it is about to end and is just devastated about it.

Don then looks down at his right hand, which starts to shake a little...and then he interrupts the Hershey's guys to tell them he has something to say, since he might not see them again. And how! All eyes go to him, and he takes a long moment to commit, but he finally launches into this, amid looks disbelieving and uncomprehending: "I was an orphan. I grew up in Pennsylvania, in a whorehouse. I read about Milton Hershey and his school in Coronet magazine or some other crap the girls left by the toilet, and I read that some orphans had a different life there. I could picture it. I dreamt of it -- being wanted, because the woman who was forced to raise me would look at me every day like she hoped I would disappear." Everyone in the room watches, frozen, as Don goes on that the closest he got to feeling wanted was when one of the girls had him go through her john's pockets while his attentions were elsewhere. "If I collected more than a dollar, she'd buy me a Hershey bar. And I would eat it alone, in my room, with great ceremony." This last bit is delivered with a smile through glistening eyes, but the smile fades, and Don puts a hand over his visage. We've seen him do this kind of thing before, but not going back so far and in such detail, and without taking the hand from his eyes, he finishes, "...feeling like a normal kid. It said sweet on the package" -- he looks up -- "it was the only sweet thing in my life." Well, if nothing else, this took Ted's mind off his problems. The older Hershey's guy asks Don if he actually wants to advertise that, but Don does the smiling-through-tears thing once more: "If I had my way, you would never advertise. You shouldn't have someone like me telling that boy what a Hershey bar is. He already knows."

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