Mad Men

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Couch Baron: A | 2 USERS: B
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Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em!

Bertram's tapping away on an adding machine when Roger comes in crowing about how Putnam, Powell, and Lowe "has offered to put a lot of marmalade on your toast." Bertram instructs him to sit, and I'm disappointed, given how he's occupying himself, that he's not wearing a green eyeshade, because peering over them would add to the "Not so fast, sonny boy" vibe he's giving off here. Bertram informs Roger that he's not thrilled about potentially selling his life's work because Roger has "an increase in overhead," and adds that his late wife was the one the introduced Roger and Mona. Roger tells him to tell her it didn't work out, which is flip at best and really rather nasty at worst, especially given the state of Bertram's health to which Alice alluded earlier. Roger goes on that he knows Bertram thinks he never got his hands dirty, and he's sorry he missed the Depression, but he's busted his ass for twenty years, and by the way, they can still come to work in their offices, "only there will be diamonds on the doorknobs." Roger, people slack off enough around here. They don't need lots of shiny objects distracting them. Bertram frostily says they'll have a meeting of the partners, and Roger gets up to go, but, keeping up the uncharacteristic defensiveness, turns back to tell Bertram that Jane makes him very happy. Bertram doesn't look up: "That's good to know."

Pete is recording some notes to himself about aerospace and advertising when Hildy buzzes and says Trudy's dad is on the phone for him. Pete takes a long moment to brace himself, and then picks up and asks Tom how he is. Tom tells him he doesn't like having to make this call, but they're going to have to put Clearasil up for review. I suppose it makes sense that this would be the consequence of Pete's stance with Trudy, but given that he always seemed pretty straight-up to me, I'm a little surprised that Tom didn't directly address the real issue with Pete before taking this step. Pete didn't expect this either, and immediately goes on the offensive, heatedly asking why he'd do that, as sales have been spectacular. Tom tells him he has ninety days to "turn it around," and Pete, already weary of the oblique nature of the conversation, asks him to say what he means. Tom tells him that a good businessman knows that when his wife's unhappy, his work suffers, and Trudy's happiness should be his first priority. This is exactly the wrong approach to take, though, as we all know that Pete's first love is his work and always will be, and besides that, his respect for parental authority couldn't be lower these days, so he snaps that Tom should pull the Clearasil account immediately if that's how he feels. Now it's Tom's turn to be surprised at the turn of the conversation, and Pete presses on, saying that he was in love with Trudy, but "then you stuck your nose in, put these ideas in her mind, and made her unhappy." Tom loses his temper too, for him at least, and agrees that it's best if they just give notice. Pete hangs up on him, and I hope he doesn't waste any more chickens in the future, because I have the feeling money's going to be tight.

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Mad Men

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