Trixie and Bambi McBimbo

RORY: He’s gonna be expecting Chilton High School senior Trixie McBimbo.

LORELAI: And her mother, Bambi McBimbo.

Trixie and Bambi McBimbo are names Rory and Lorelai invent for their fictional characters of an airheaded teenager and her mother. I have seen these names used a lot, even in published works – but only after this episode aired, so they have gone on to have lives of their own.

Danny Gans

LORELAI: My mother will be there, too. She’s terrific . . . All right, I’ll see you this weekend . . . Mm, bye. [hangs up]

RORY: You’re no Danny Gans.

Daniel “Danny” Gans (1956-2009), singer, comedian, and vocal impressionist. He was a performer in Las Vegas since 1996, billed as “The Man of Many Voices”, and was named Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year for ten years in a row until 2008.

Lorelai Pretends to be Rory on the Phone

LORELAI: [answers phone in high voice] Hello? Hello, um, this is Rory Gilmore. I believe you were expecting my call . . . Um, oh, well, this is such a wonderful opportunity for me . . . Whatever’s good for you will be great for me . . .

Rory couldn’t go to school on her first day without Lorelai, she needed Lorelai to help her study for a test, and to arrange her first date. Once again, Lorelai steps in and arranges the meeting with Darren Springsteen on Rory’s behalf. She even pretends to be Rory in the process, as if they have finally merged together into one person. This is actually pretty odd, considering she could have arranged the meeting as herself – surely it’s not that unusual for a parent to phone up on behalf of their teenaged child?

Dave Rygalski

DAVE: [on machine] Hey, my name’s Dave Rygalski, I’m calling about the ad. I left my number before, so call when you get a chance.

This is our introduction to Dave Rygalski, who later becomes Lane’s band mate, and eventually her boyfriend. We first hear him on Lorelai’s answering machine, and we know he’s keen, because this is the second time that he’s phoned.

There is a mysterious female voice in the background, leaving it open whether Dave has a girlfriend, a sister, or a female friend.

Suffragette City, Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide

LORELAI: [on answering machine] Hey, you’ve reached Suffragette City, and if you’re calling about Lane Kim’s ad, sorry we’re not in, but don’t commit rock and roll suide – just crank a message with some feedback.

“Suffragette City”, 1972 glam rock song by David Bowie. Originally released as the B-side to “Starman”, and appeared on the classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. It was re-released as a single in the US in 1976, where it failed to chart. Influenced by Little Richard and The Velvet Underground, it references Anthony Burgess’ novel A Clockwork Orange, and contains the famous line, “Oooohh wham bam, thank you, ma’am”. Acclaimed by music critics, it is considered one of Bowie’s greatest songs.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”, 1972 song by David Bowie, the closing track to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie suggested the poet Baudelaire and James Brown as inspirations for the song, although it appears to reference a poem by Manuel Machado and a song by Jacques Brel. It has been described as an avant-garde show song. Released as a single in 1974, it got to #22 in the UK.

Star Sixty-Nine

[phone rings] RORY: He star sixty-nined us?

In North American telecommunications, a call return service for landline phones which automatically dials the number from which the last incoming call was made, activated by pressing the ‘star’ (*), 6, and 9 buttons.

In use since the 1990s, it is still available today, and is often a free service, but not always. It seems to still be a paid service in Connecticut in 2002, since Lorelai implies that a wealthy Harvard graduate can afford it.

[Picture shows still from a 1996 advertisement].

Westport, Connecticut

Westport is a town of 27 000 people in Connecticut on Long Island Sound, part of Connecticut’s affluent “Gold Coast”. Only 50 km or so from New York City, it is the ninth richest city in the US. It would be about an hour’s drive from Stars Hollow.

It is a favourite location in fictional works – it was the home of Samantha and Darrin Stephens on Bewitched, and Lucy and Ricky Ricardo move here to start a new life in I Love Lucy. It also features in the film The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.

Alumni Dinner

LORELAI: [Headmaster Charleston]suggested setting up a meeting with a Harvard graduate, like a dinner or something. He even gave me the number of someone he knows.

RORY: An alumni dinner?

An “alumni dinner” is actually a dinner given for alumni of a university, not by an alumnus. Harvard holds several alumni dinners each year.

Headmaster Charleston seems to be talking about meetings for prospective students which are set up by institutions such as the Harvard Club – there is a Harvard Club for Southern Connecticut in Wallingford. My understanding is that these are official events, which at least a couple dozen of the best and brightest from each area attend at the same time – not just one student being given a phone number by their school principal, which seems incredibly sketchy.

After meeting with prospective applicants, the alumni association involved (such as the Harvard Club) will then meet with an admissions officer from the university, and put in a good word for the students they think would make great “Harvard material” (or whatever university it is). It sounds like privileged kids getting even more help to be accepted into university, but these associations are apparently very keen to increase diversity, and may advocate strongly for bright, successful students from a variety of backgrounds.

It almost seems as if Headmaster Charleston considers Rory to be one of these “non-traditional” Harvard applicants, who might benefit from some kind of assistance. I’m not sure Rory is actually that non-traditional, but in any case, I’m pretty sure the situation in this episode doesn’t happen in real life – and if it does, it shouldn’t!

Somehow we’ve gone from Rory being special and having the brains and hard work and tenacity to get into Harvard to Rory needing to be shuffled in the backdoor through some shady deal with a Harvard alumnus.