Aero International

LORELAI: Lundquist from Aero International?

In real life, Aero International Inc is an American company, founded in 1991 and headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, which provides logistical support for aircraft and aerospace components. Aero International is also a German magazine, founded in 1993, devoted to civil aviation.

In this episode, it seems to be a fictional Swedish company which does something aeronautical. Its influence spreads over all Scandinavia and into Russia. It sounds vaguely sinister.

“The man in the gray flannel suit”

LORELAI: So, um, what just went down there? … Just now, the handshake with the man in the gray flannel suit – did you score a deal?

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, 1956 drama film directed by Nunnally Johnson, based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Sloan Wilson. The film focuses on a young World War II veteran, played by Gregory Peck, trying to support his family in Connecticut in a high-pressure job while dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome from the war.

The film received mixed reviews at the time, but was very popular with the public for its critique of the increasing demands of corporate organisations upon white-collar workers, striking a chord with 1950s audiences.


EMILY: I scaled back a lot. I cut two appetizers, I canceled the champagne fountain, and I reduced the catering staff to six servers, not counting the pointman.

Technically a pointman is the head of a military patrol, or in the US, the word is used to mean the person who is at the forefront of a particular endeavour. I think Emily just means the pointman is the person who is coordinating the party and giving the servers instructions, solving any little problem that might come up.

Beer Bash and Rush Hour

EMILY: Lorelai, there you are. You’re late.

LORELAI: Well, you scheduled this beer bash during rush hour.

A beer bash is slang for an informal party, often organised in the context of a university or office social event. It seems to be used particularly in Commonwealth countries like Canada, and doesn’t appear to be common in the US. Emily doesn’t rise to the bait of having her corporate event described as a “bash”.

Rush hour, the name given to the time of day when traffic is heaviest, the times of day when most people are going to or from work. Unlike its name, it usually lasts more than an hour, and far from rushing, traffic is generally slow.

KC’s Annex

Before leaving for Hartford, Lorelai grabs a burger from a take-out place that is just a window in a wall, called KC’s Annex. It’s next to an art gallery that I don’t think we ever hear about. The burger is disgusting, according to Lorelai, and she is going to starve to death if Luke doesn’t get back soon (even though Stars Hollow has more food options than is economically plausible!).

This looks like the same take-out window where Lorelai bought fiesta burgers for herself and Max when they were on a date in Stars Hollow. (The menu is identical, and they both have a green window frame in a red brick wall). It might be where Lorelai and Rory buy their hotdogs, fries, and thickshakes that they bring to town meetings, as they aren’t from Luke’s.

It seems the food from KC’s is fine, as long as you know Luke’s is available as a regular option. The idea of being stuck eating nothing but KC’s is a horrible one. Lorelai drives past Luke’s, which is still closed, just as a reminder of what she is missing.

Lorelai Tells Richard She Can’t Stay Forever

LORELAI: Dad, I cannot come back here tomorrow … I didn’t mean that to sound so harsh. I just . . . I meant –

RICHARD: I know exactly what you meant to say, Lorelai. I got the message. Well, I won’t keep you any longer, I know how busy you are.

Lorelai only offered to give her father a hand with his office for one Saturday afternoon, but it is now Thursday, and Lorelai is still there. She has helped him buy office supplies, set up the phone system and the heating system, arranged for a DSL line to be installed, got him a tab at the lunch place across the road, and organised interviews for secretarial candidates while filling in as a secretary herself.

Now Karen has come along, who seems like she would make a perfect secretary, and Lorelai’s job is surely done. Yet Richard doesn’t want her to leave. He’s being selfish and completely unreasonable – Lorelai has an actual job to do, for a start – but you can see he is adoring having Lorelai around, and learning to appreciate her briskly efficient head for business. This is the flip-side to “Richard in Stars Hollow” when he did nothing but criticise his daughter. With “Lorelai in Hartford”, suddenly Lorelai has become indispensable to him.

This is the second time in less than a month Lorelai has taken off from her own job in order to work for free for a friend or relative! How is she doing this?

“Tiny fellow on that M*A*S*H* program”

RICHARD: Hm, maybe we should start a tab with them so we don’t have to pay cash everyday.

LORELAI: Already done.

RICHARD: Amazing. You’re like the tiny fellow on that M*A*S*H* program, always anticipating.

M*A*S*H* (an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), a war comedy-drama television series set during the Korean War in the early 1950s which aired from 1972 to 1983. It was adapted from the 1970 film of the same name, which in turn was based on the novel MASH: The Story of Three Doctors by Richard Hooker, based on the author’s own experiences as a doctor in a field hospital in Korea.

Richard refers to the character Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly on the TV sitcom M*A*S*H*, portrayed by Gary Burghoff. He seems to have extra-sensory perception, appearing at his commander’s side, with whatever paperwork is required, before being called, and finishing his sentences before the officer is anywhere near the end of them. Young and naïve, Radar tends to look up to his superiors as father figures, something Richard would probably like from Lorelai.

Although M*A*S*H* took a while to find its feet, by its second season it was one of the top 10 programs of the year, and stayed in the top 20 for the rest of its run. Becoming an allegory for the Vietnam War, it is considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time, and is still broadcast in syndication.