LORELAI: Oh, yeah, sure, I’ll be there all day. So, a fashion show, huh? Are we gonna get any famous models? AVA: Excuse me? LORELAI: You know, to model the clothes. Any chance I’m finally gonna get to see Kate Moss eat something?
Katherine “Kate” Moss (born 1974) is a British supermodel and businesswoman. She rose to fame in the mid 1990s as part of the grungy heroin chic fashion trend, where models were not only emaciated to the point of androgyny, but also had pale skin, stringy greasy hair, and dark circles under their eyes, as if actually physically ill or drug-ravaged. It was a reaction against the 1980s supermodel trend of models looking healthy and vibrant, like Elle MacPherson.
Kate Moss became a fashion icon through her collaboration with Calvin Klein, famous for her waif-like size zero figure and connections with the British music scene, dating famous musicians and appearing in several music videos. She had allegations of drug use against her which she never denied, although she was later cleared of all charges due to lack of evidence.
She became known for her quote, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, which she later regretted. Despite Lorelai wondering if Kate Moss will ever eat anything, one of the reasons she became so popular with the media is that she was very thin, yet was often photographed eating junk food, which she claimed to live on. I can’t help wondering if she was one of the inspirations for Lorelai and Rory’s diet!
Although fans sometimes get frustrated with Lorelai and Rory looking so slim despite their supposed huge appetites and junk food diet, in fact they were refreshingly energetic, fit and healthy looking compared to many of the girls and women in the media and on television shows in the 1990s (eg Paris Hilton, Ally McBeal). This was a time when actresses like Alicia Silverstone and Drew Barrymore were considered “fat”. Lorelai and Rory may have been slender, but at least they didn’t starve themselves, or look sick and scrawny.
AUBREY: How about something more young and fun? You know, my stepdaughter Kimberly… AVA: Sarah. AUBREY: Right, Sarah.
Emily once had a cook named Sarah, who she kept calling Mira. Sarah and Mira at least sound somewhat alike – the connection between Sarah and Kimberly is less comprehensible. Sarah seems to be a name nobody can remember in Gilmore Girls.
Aubrey is a conventionally attractive blonde, so in the Gilmore world, that means she is too dim and self-centered to remember her own step-daughter’s name! She also goes on to make a ridiculous suggestion that they hold the fall fundraiser in a hip club for kidults which is in a sandpit.
MENA: I still say we approach Chateau Mimsy. AVA: That space is too small, Mena.
A fictional venue, presumably in or around Hartford.
“Mimsy” is a word made up by English writer Lewis Carroll, previously discussed, from his 1871 novel Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, previously discussed.
The word appears in a nonsense poem called Jabberwocky, which Alice reads in a book in the dreamscape of the looking-glass world. It seems unintelligible until she holds it up to a mirror, and can then read it. Even then, the poem is only vaguely understandable, filled with invented words. Jabberwocky is considered to be one of the greatest nonsense poems in the English language – playful and whimsical, with many of its words entering the lexicon.
The first stanza reads:
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe; All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.
Later in the novel, the character of Humpty Dumpty gives Alice an explanation of some of the poem’s vocabulary. His definition of “mimsy” is that it is a cross between “flimsy” and “miserable” – a strong suggestion that Chateau Mimsy is not only too small, but also dingy and cheerless!
There has already been a bed and breakfast named after a Lewis Carroll character – The Cheshire Cat in Portsmouth, where Lorelai and Rory stayed on their road trip. Apparently venues with names from Lewis Carroll are a feature of the Gilmore Girls universe.
AVA: Aubrey here works at Saks. AUBREY: Uh, used to work at Saks.
Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury department store chain which originated in Washington DC in 1827, and is now headquartered in New York. The closest store to Hartford is in Greenwich, Connecticut, about 90 minutes drive away [pictured].
Aubrey is quick to correct the assumption that she is still working after being married for a month, which would imply her husband couldn’t support her financially. Unlike Lorelai, the Booster Club mothers don’t have to work, underlining that it is much more of a sacrifice for Lorelai to participate.
MENA: Lorelai Gilmore. So you’re Emily’s daughter? LORELAI: Oh, yeah. You know my mother? MENA: Oh, very well. We’re on the Philharmonic committee together. She told me to keep an eye out for you.
A Philharmonic Society is one dedicated to organising concerts of classical music, and the name is reminiscent of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, suggesting the committee is one which supports a symphony orchestra. It could very well be one and the same with the Symphony Fundraising Committee, which Emily sits on with Headmaster Charleston’s wife, Bitty. Either that, or the writers have given Hartford two symphony orchestras, and Emily supports both.
Mena is on the committee with Emily, and they seem to be on good terms. This may have been another thing assisting Lorelai to be so easily accepted by the Booster Club mothers. Emily is very influential – rejecting her daughter would not be a smart thing to do.
Lorelai attends a meeting of the Booster Club, held in the dining hall at Chilton on Saturday (?) evening. The other members are Ava, Mena, Aubrey, Ginger, and a nameless, voiceless fifth woman with long dark hair.
You can see the Booster Cub serves as a grown-up parallel to the Puffs, with Mena in charge, like Francie, but Ava doing most of the talking, like Ivy. Lorelai and Rory even meet with their respective groups in the same dining hall.
The Booster Club are planning their annual fall fundraiser – this year they are raising funds to have the school’s auditorium refurbished. Their last fall fundraiser was a terrible failure: they had a luncheon with a silent auction and a salsa band, but everyone was struck down with food poisoning before the auction even had a chance to start, so they lost money.
I can’t imagine which catering company they found that gave them all food poisoning, or why it didn’t immediately refund their money! However, it means Lorelai is able to step in to save the day, as she manages an inn where the fundraiser can be held, and has a chef who won’t give them food poisoning. As a result, Lorelai ends up being quite popular with the Booster Club.
LORELAI: I’m gonna join the Booster Club, mmkay? The Booster Club, I’m going to boost. EMILY: Well, the Boosters are a very fine organization.
Booster clubs are common at high schools and universities in the US. They are run by parents as fundraising efforts to boost the school’s coffers, especially to pay for supplies, equipment or trips that the students need.
Chilton seems unusual in only having one booster club. Many schools have two – an academic booster club, and an athletics booster club.
[Emily walks out onto the patio] EMILY: What is this, a refugee camp? Come inside and eat at the table. LORELAI: Mom, the whole point of barbecuing is to eat outside. EMILY: Animals eat outside. Human beings eat inside with napkins and utensils. If you want to eat outside, go hunt down a gazelle. Make your decision, I’ll be inside.
More of Emily’s repressed, WASPY-y attitudes to eating, where pizza is something you only eat in a Turkish prison, and eating outside is something for animals or people in refugee camps. I can only think this attitude comes from country club barbecues, where the food would be cooked outside by the catering staff, but served indoors at tables like any other meal.
You can see how a lot of Lorelai’s poor dietary choices come out of a rebellion against her mother’s strict views on what foods are acceptable. Note that Lorelai and Rory immediately begin gnawing on corn cobs while hunched over in a corner, exactly like wild beasts, or starving people, comically fulfilling Emily’s expectations of what eating outside does to someone.
[they walk out onto the patio, where a chef is cooking on the grill] RORY: Hey, cool! LORELAI: What’s up, Poppin’ Fresh?
Poppin’ Fresh, otherwise known as the Pillsbury Doughboy, is an advertising mascot for the Pillsbury Company’s refrigerated dough product line, created in 1965. His slogan is, “Say hello to poppin’ fresh dough!”. He’s a boy made of dough who wears a chef’s hat, hence Lorelai’s greeting to the chef.
RORY: It’s just so weird that the one table I sit down at is home to the secret society. LORELAI: I know. It’s like waking up one day and realising that everyone else in your family can pull their face off.
Lorelai references the 1989 horror film Society, directed by Brian Yuzna and starring Billy Warlock. The film is about a teenage boy who lives in a Beverly Hills mansion, but doesn’t trust his high society family. After a series of disturbing and gruesome events, it is revealed that the boy’s family and their high society friends are from a different species. They pull their faces off and begin melding together to begin feeding from a human.
The film was a success in Europe, but wasn’t released in the US until 1992. The film is considered a brilliant satire in the UK, but pretentious and obnoxious in the US. The ending is unforgettable, whichever your opinion, and it is now a cult classic.
Note the tagline of the film, a comment on the theme of this episode.