“I’m not allowed to have mac and cheese”

PARIS: I’m not allowed to have mac and cheese.

RORY: Splurge.

Paris is allergic to dairy products, which was introduced in the episode, “Concert Interruptus” (Lorelai ordered her a cheese-free pizza). Someone eating something they’re allergic to isn’t a “splurge”, it’s a potential medical emergency!

Paris asks if Stars Hollow, a town of less than 10 000 people, has a 24-hour pharmacy in case she has a severe allergic reaction. Unbelievably, they do! In real life, the nearest 24-hour pharmacy to them would be in Waterbury or Hartford.

Rory may simply be lying, eager to keep Paris there so she is not left alone with Jess. If so, she’s taking a bit of a risk with Paris’ health in the process.

Spa Treatments at Birch Grove

Collagen facial skin rejuvenation and eye treatment (has Vitamin C and plant extracts in it)

Salt Glow (skin exfoliation done with coarse grains of salt)

Scalp Treatments

Watsu Massage (hydrotherapy shiatsu massage treatment done in a warm pool)

Pedicures

Egyptian Mud Bath (bathing in mud enriched with minerals that have anti-inflammatory effects)

Massages

They also have eucalyptus-scented air to breathe, cucumber water to drink, and serve fruit and yoghurt every morning by the pool.

Handball

LANE: Bible class has been moved an hour later, all to accommodate the reverend’s handball schedule.

In America, handball is a sport where players use their hands to hit a small rubber ball against a wall; it is sometimes called wallball. The idea is to hit the wall with the ball in such a way that your opponent is unable to do the same without hitting the ground twice, or hitting it out of bounds. The game is played on a small court, similar to a squash court. It is possible that the high school gym is used for handball in Stars Hollow.

The first historical record of someone hitting a ball against a wall with their hand is from Scotland in 1427, when King James I was a keen player. The game in America may go back to the American Revolution, but the earliest mention of the modern game is from San Francisco in 1873.

Reverend Nicholls was mentioned in a few episodes ago, in “Richard in Stars Hollow”. It is possible this is the reverend that Lane is referring to, although later on the church in Stars Hollow is presided over by Rev. Archie Skinner.

It seems that even though Lane is grounded so badly she isn’t allowed to leave home, even to attend school, she is allowed to go to Bible class with her mother (and presumably, church). Later in the episode, we discover Bible class is on Saturday morning.

As Mrs Kim told Stars Hollow High that Lane had an infectious disease and was too sick to go to school, letting her out to attend Bible class seems like something the school would get to hear about.

Dairy and Mucous, Salt Water and Vinegar

PARIS: Dairy’s bad too because of the mucous. You haven’t had any dairy in the last forty-eight hours, have you?
RORY: In my cereal this morning.
PARIS: Geez! Okay, well there’s a solution of salt water and vinegar that can help cut that.

Paris (who is allergic to dairy herself) tells Rory that she isn’t allowed to have any dairy foods before the debate, because it stimulates the production of mucous. It’s commonly believed, but in fact this is a complete myth. There is simply no link between drinking milk and producing more phlegm. It’s thought that because milk and saliva form a moderately thick liquid that briefly coats the throat and tongue, it gives the illusion of having increased phlegm, hence the reason for the mistaken belief.

However, she is correct that vinegar is a natural decongestant – the usual home remedy is apple cider vinegar with honey in it. Salt water is also an excellent gargle to clear the throat, so it seems as if Paris has put the two things together to create what she must think is a doubly-powerful remedy. I’m hoping she only intends it as a gargle – drinking salt water is obviously bad for you, and might make Rory sick.

Treadmill

LUKE: Huh. You don’t eat with your mouth open do you?
LORELAI: Women don’t eat at all. We just look at food and jump on the treadmill.

Non-mechanical treadmills have been used since ancient times, usually as a mill worked by humans or animals to produce grain. They were also used as a punishment.

After research in the late 1960s into the value of aerobic exercise, the first mechanical treadmills were manufactured as exercise machines for walking and running. They are the biggest-selling pieces of exercise equipment worldwide.

As well as looking down on women who were careful with their diet, Lorelai also looked down on women who exercised. Maybe breaking her leg doing yoga warped her mind.