With great trepidation because everyone has made it seem like such a big deal, Lorelai tells Luke that Max proposed to her. He has already guessed (or heard it on the Stars Hollow grapevine), and deliberately behaves in a nonchalant manner.
She is already taken aback, when he begins questioning her about what her plans for married life with Max are. Of course she doesn’t have any – she hasn’t even decided whether to marry Max or not, let alone thought about the reality of it.
Luke’s questions, which are quite rude and intrusive, have the effect of making Lorelai realise in a panic that she and Max haven’t had even one conversation about where they will live as a married couple, whether Max expects Lorelai to keep working, if they plan of having children together, or even how they will manage their joint finances.
Incidentally in this scene, you can get a good look at the coffee brand that Luke uses in the diner. It’s Hills Bros. Coffee, a brand from San Francisco sold since the early twentieth century. It was owned by Sara Lee in 2001, and is now owned by Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA.
Hills Bros claim their coffee has a bold, smooth flavour, but reviews for it tend to say it smells better than it tastes, and is generally pretty mediocre, although very strong and good value for money. Somehow Luke manages to make this average, budget-wise coffee taste amazing – which is quite a feat for someone who doesn’t drink coffee and doesn’t approve of it. Perhaps Lorelai and Rory aren’t as fussy about coffee as they think they are, or they are heavily biased by their love for Luke.
LORELAI: Okay, I’m sharing something with you. Sharing is not making a big deal, sharing is a nice gesture. Like when you’re a kid and you have one of those Popsicles and you break it in two and offer half to another kid. That is sharing, that is what I’m doing.
LUKE: You offered me half a Popsicle?
Popsicle is an American brand name for those sweet frozen snacks on a stick that might otherwise be known as ice pops, ice lollies, ice blocks, or icy poles. Popsicles were invented at the turn of the 20th century, and first manufactured in the 1920s. The brand is now owned by Unilever. Popsicles are easily fairly broken in half in order to share.
LUKE: [sees the people in the window] What the hell’s going on with them?
LORELAI: Oh, I don’t know.
LUKE: Crazy people. Whole town should be medicated and put in a rec room with ping pong tables and hand puppets.
Luke is describing what he thinks occurs in mental health institutions – psychotropic medication and mild social entertainment. The hand puppets may be (in his mind) to facilitate therapeutic dialogue.
LUKE: Fresh coffee will be ready in a minute, unless you wanna just roll up a dollar bill and go nuts.
LORELAI: No thanks, I can wait.
Luke is saying sarcastically that if Lorelai can’t wait for a cup of coffee, maybe she could just snort up coffee grounds with a dollar bill, as if she is doing a line of cocaine. It’s a comment on how much of a coffee addict he thinks she is.
LORELAI: Everything about me repulses that man [Luke]. My coffee drinking, my eating habits. Remember when I called him Ranger Bob last week? He hated that!
Lorelai may be referring to Forest Ranger Bob Erickson (Jack De Mave) from the family television series Lassie, which follows the adventures of a long-coated collie dog, and aired from 1954 to 1973.
The show was inspired by the 1943 movie Lassie Come Home, about a dog who travels from Scotland to Yorkshire to be reunited with the boy she loves (Roddy McDowall), based on the 1940 novel of the same name by Eric Knight. Sequels followed, and so did appearances by Pal, the dog who played Lassie, at fairs and rodeos throughout the US in the 1950s. All the subsequent Lassies were played by Pal’s descendants, and like Pal, they were all male.
Ranger Bob was from the years between 1964 and 1970 where Lassie helped the US Forest Service, with Bob Erickson becoming part of the show in 1968 as one of Lassie’s carers. Ranger Bob worked alongside Forest Ranger Scott Turner (Jed Allen), but it would be perhaps too self-referential for Lorelai to call Luke “Ranger Scott”, as Luke is played by Scott Patterson. Calling Luke “Ranger Bob” may have been referencing his healthy outdoor lifestyle and love of camping.
Reruns of Lassie were shown on Nickelodeon from 1984 to 1996, and the show is still on American television today.
Once word (instantly) gets around town that Lorelai has had a marriage proposal, all the townspeople are inordinately interested in seeing how Luke takes the news.
This is taken to exaggerated levels when a line of people, most of whom we have never seen before, form a line and begin following Lorelai to the diner. They then proceed to press their faces against the diner’s windows so they can watch Luke hear the news. They won’t be able to hear anything from the street, but apparently they don’t care.
For normal people, only friends and family (maybe) are interested in your wedding news; for Lorelai and Luke, they are the celebrities of Stars Hollow that even strangers find completely fascinating.
Rory tells Lorelai that “everyone knows” that Luke “has a thing for Lorelai”, which means that Rory knows too, and still discouraged Lorelai from seeking out a relationship with him.
RORY: What’cha reading?
LORELAI: Oh God, do not sneak up on a person like that.
RORY: InStyle Weddings. Very interesting.
InStyle Weddings is a quarterly periodical put out by InStyle magazine, previously mentioned as one of Lorelai’s favourite magazines. It features celebrity weddings, as well as wedding tips and ideas.
Lorelai is reading the Spring 2001 issue, which featured actress Courtney Thorne-Smith on the cover, who had married scientist Andrew Conrad in June 2000. Famously, by the time the magazine came out, Thorne-Smith had already filed for divorce. This is another sign to Lorelai that marriage doesn’t always last.
In real life, it wouldn’t have been possible for Lorelai to buy the magazine as late as May.