Mad Men

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Couch Baron: B | Grade It Now!
Here's a Question For You

Speaking of WASP repression, Pete is sitting with his dad, and the furniture is all so well-covered that Blythe Danner's character on Will And Grace would be appreciatively envious. Pete's dad tells him that the boat's in the water, and his cousin Sarah had her baby, and named it after Pete's uncle Skip. Pete's mom then comes in and expresses her hope that he and Trudy will make it out to the house at Fisher's Island that summer, but Pete isn't sure he'll be able to get the time off work. Pete's dad: "Work. I still don't understand what you do." That's too bad, because I was hoping you could explain it to me. Pete's dad, however, goes on that he runs into Pete in restaurants and at the club, and he claims he's working. "Wining and whoring." Well, I assume he meant "wining" and not "whining," although Pete does a fair amount of the latter as well. Pete's dad adds that it's "no job for a white man," and wow, do I not have the faintest idea of what to say to that. Pete tells his dad that he can't explain how business works to him, and then mentions the apartment, which he tells us is on 83rd and Park. Asshole Dad sniffs that the neighborhood "falls off" after 79th, but his wife opines that that's only true after 86th. I'd add that if a hothouse orchid like Trudy can handle living that close to whatever non-white element it is to which they're referring, their precious Pete is likely to be just fine. Pete asks for help with the down payment, but his dad turns him down, saying he doesn't think it's a good idea. Pete: 'You thought it was a good idea to help Bud when he hit that girl on her bike in Montauk last summer." Well, sure, but he's got a much better name than you, Pete. In a family of Buds and Skips, what chance does a Pete have? Pete's mom leaves the room, as clutching at empty air isn't as dramatic as using real pearls, while his dad actually reproaches him for the lapse in his manners. Funny -- this is about as much respect as I remember having for Pete. Pete promises to pay his dad back, but when that doesn't move him, he stands and bitterly asks why it's so hard for "you people" to give him anything. Pete's dad, however, obnoxiously tells him that they gave him his name. "And what have you done with it?"

Later, as the two of them are getting into bed, Trudy asks Pete about his visit, and he lies and tells her he didn't bring up the apartment issue. "My dad's been having some health problems." Trudy sympathetically asks what's wrong with him, and Pete takes a while before answering, "Nobody knows." From how pleasant he is to be around, I'd guess hemorrhoids.

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Mad Men




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