Cabana Boy, Schlepped

EMILY: And then she just brushed me off with a wave of her regal hand. Not even a word, just a . . . like I’m her cabana boy. Next thing you know, instead of just walking out of the room, she’ll make me bow and back out. Imperious attitude, she never gives it a rest. I schlepped her to the doctor the other day – by command, not request – and the elevator operator there greeted us nice and friendly. Her doctor’s on the second floor and by the time we got there, that operator was in tears.

In North America, a cabana is a hut, cabin, or shelter at beach or swimming pool, often part of a resort. They can be quite elaborate or luxurious. The word comes from the Spanish for “hut, cabin”. A cabana boy [pictured] is a young male attendant who serves guests from the cabana – typically, these young men are treated like servants by the wealthy, and will be willing to do many little tasks for them in the hopes of receiving tips or favours in return.

Schlepped: Informal American English, meaning “walked or proceeded somewhere in a reluctant manner, typically in the fulfilment of some unwanted burden or duty”. It is from the Yiddish shlepn, meaning “pull, drag”.

Trix moved back to her house in Hartford in January 2003, citing health concerns. It’s only early February, and she is already driving Emily up the wall, treating her like a servant.

Note that Trix had a doctor’s appointment, as a reminder that her health needs monitoring. By the way, Trix previously said that she couldn’t abide women driving, so how did Emily transport her to the doctor’s office?

“She screwed up”

MAUREEN: Listen, I know the invitation said that we were all gathering at the C-section next week, but Sherry just went into labor … She screwed up, she’s in labor, and she wanted me to call all the girls and beg them to get down to the hospital ASAP.

Sherry’s best friend Maureen calls Rory while she’s in the middle of a meeting for the school newspaper. Rory is back to having a cell phone again, and is able to take the call. Maybe she used a pager in between these two calls because her phone was charging.

Maureen tells Rory that “Sherry screwed up” by going into labour a week before her C-section is scheduled, a phrase that gets repeated again and again. It’s meant to underline how hopelessly ignorant Sherry’s friends are about childbirth, that they don’t understand that babies don’t necessarily arrive on schedule. How they can not know this? It’s in movies and on TV shows (like this one!). You can see that Sherry will receive little or no support from her friends after having Georgia.

Because this is the week before February 7th, we know the main events of this episode take place on Friday 31st January 2003.

During the call, Maureen refers to Rory as a “child”, something which Rory never confirms nor denies. In fact, although she is still at school, she is 18 (turning 19 that year) and an adult now.


The educational toy shown is a Hugg-a-Planet, a globe of the world made into a soft squashy comfort pillow. They have been manufactured since 1982.

Rory says this is dirty old faded childhood toy has been in the garage for years, but we saw it, looking new and clean, in the living room in “A Tisket-a-Tasket”. I suppose it’s possible she bought a new “Hug-a-World” in the meantime, but then why does she want to wash and keep the old one?

“Brain trust behind PE”

LOUISE: You’d think the brain trust behind P.E. could come up with some sport that didn’t give you helmet hair all afternoon.

A brain trust is a group of experts appointed to advise a government, leader, or organisation. The concept comes from President F.D.R. Roosevelt. In the UK, the term brains trust is more common. It is often used sarcastically, to imply the people in charge aren’t very intelligent at all.

Louise makes it sound as if they have no choice about doing fencing for Physical Education, yet in Season 1, Rory said that there were numerous sports to choose from at Chilton. She signed up for golf, but is doing fencing now. A lot of fans find that confusing, yet it doesn’t seem that strange that a different sport might be chosen for each year, or each semester.

Natalie Swope

RICHARD: These are our guests, Natalie and Douglas Swope.

EMILY: You two have met.

LORELAI: Yes, at the auction.

NATALIE: Good to see you again.

The show seems to have committed to the new timeline where Lorelai and Natalie Swope first met at the auction in “Eight O’clock at the Oasis”, supposedly about six weeks previously. However, when Natalie was visiting Emily in “Presenting Lorelai Gilmore”, she asked after Lorelai, who she remembered very well even though she hadn’t seen her since before she had Rory (as Lorelai is said to have attended the Christmas party at Richard and Emily’s every year, this in itself doesn’t seem very likely – did Natalie never attend one of the parties?).

We meet Natalie’s husband, Douglas, in this episode. Again, surely he and Lorelai would have met in the original timeline, but obviously not in this one, as he wasn’t at the auction. Douglas is played by John Aniston, the father of Jennifer Aniston. He had roles on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow, and The West Wing, as well as a long-term connection with Days of Our Lives.

Louise’s Father and the “Manson Girl”

LOUISE: I’m having [Thanksgiving] dinner with my dad.

MADELINE: Isn’t he still in jail?

LOUISE: Yes, but his company donated some treadmills for the inmates so he swung a special trailer for dinner that they’re gonna set up for us in the parking lot. We have it for about two hours and then one of the Manson girls gets us.

In the episode “Back in the Saddle”, Louise mentioned that her father was due in court, on mysterious charges (she didn’t bother finding out what he had been arrested for). Now it’s seven months later, and Louise’s father is undertaking his sentence – for whatever it was. Madeline refers to it as “jail”, rather than “prison”, possibly suggesting a shorter, lighter sentence (although sometimes people use the word jail for both jail and prison, so that’s not certain at all).

It does sound as if Louise’s father is in a low or medium security facility, since he is permitted to spend his Thanksgiving dinner in a trailer in the parking lot with his daughter (and possibly other family members, it seems unlikely only Louise would go and see him). These trailers are a reward for good behaviour given to model prisoners, so Louise’s father is clearly well-behaved – even the donation of treadmills to the prison would not be enough on its own. Connecticut is one of only four states that allow extended visits like this (the others are California, New York, and Washington).

Louise says the trailer then goes to “one of the Manson girls”, referring to the female members of the Manson family who were convicted for their crimes. In real life, they were incarcerated in California, and in high security prisons, so this could not have really happened. (Squeaky Fromme was in a high security mental treatment facility in Texas).

Interestingly, there is a state prison in Cheshire, Connecticut called the Manson Youth Institution, for men under the age of 21. Louise can’t be referring to that either, as they are young men, not women, and they are not permitted visits such as she describes.

It is just possible that Louise’s father is being held at the federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut [pictured], a medium and low security prison and satellite prison camp which has facilities for both male and female inmates – so if Louise’s dad’s trailer wasn’t going to a “Manson girl”, it could feasibly be going to a female prisoner, at least. The facility in Danbury has often featured in pop culture, including Orange is the New Black.