RORY: You’ve never tried [to talk to Emily].
LORELAI: Oh no, that’s not true. I have tried. I have tried my whole life. But my mother and I, we speak a different language. I talk, I think I’m being clear, and all she hears is “Blah blah blah Ginger.”
Lorelai is referring to a cartoon from Gary Larson’s The Far Side comic series. It shows a man scolding his dog Ginger, thinking that he is giving him very detailed instructions on what not to do, but all the dog can understand is, “Blah blah Ginger blah blah blah blah Ginger blah blah”. (For dog owners – it’s just a cartoon, of course dogs can understand more than their own name).
The Far Side ran from 1980 to 1995 and was syndicated to over 1900 newspapers worldwide. The quirky cartoons were also collected into a series of books, made into calendars, and printed on greeting cards, mugs, and tee shirts, so they were extremely well known. The “Blah blah Ginger” one seemed to be especially popular as a greeting card, and Lorelai may even have received it, or bought it for others.
(There was a cat counterpart to Blah Blah Ginger, where the cat didn’t listen to a single word, not even recognising its own name or hearing “blah blah” – the speech balloon was a total blank).