In the background in the town square is a memorial to Casimir Pulaski (1745-1779), Polish nobleman, soldier, and military commander who has been called the “father of the American cavalry.”
Driven into exile after a failed uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, he came to North America to help in the American Revolutionary War, following a recommendation by Benjamin Franklin. He distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington.
Pulaski became a general in the Continental Army, and he created the Pulaski Cavalry Legion, reforming the American cavalry as a whole. He was killed at the Battle of Savannah, and is remembered as a hero who fought for independence and freedom in Poland and the US.
Numerous places and events are named in his honour, and he is one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. There is a very fine statue in his honour in Hartford, and the memorial in Stars Hollow may be an attempt to provide a fictional counterpart.
LORELAI: It’s like a Dean Martin Roast. RORY: Those are never funny to me. LORELAI: Yeah, they’re mean.
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast is a series of television specials hosted by entertainer Dean Martin, airing from 1974 to 1984. For a series of 54 specials and shows, Martin and his friends would “roast” a celebrity. Roasting means to joke about and insult a celebrity, while also honouring them. The roasts were patterned after the roasts held at the New York Friars’ Club.
The specials were released on DVD, which is presumably how Rory was able to watch them. I find it unbelievable they would buy DVDs they didn’t find funny, or that they dislike “mean jokes” – Lorelai and Rory are both pretty cruel when it comes to humour. I can only think this is a little act they are putting on for Emily.
During the scene at the nursery, we get a very good shot of Georgia in her crib at the nursery. The baby portraying Georgia is unlisted in the credits, and as usual with TV and film infants, they are clearly at least three months old.
The card on her crib says she is named Georgia, and her mother is S. Tinsdale (no father on the card, presumably because he isn’t a patient).
It gives her date of birth as 31st January 2003, although she was born at 1.17 am – which means she can’t have been born on the 31st January! Sherry went into labour on the night of the 31st January, meaning that if Georgia was born at 1.17 am the next morning, it would be the 1st of February. Can nobody gets babies’ birthdays correct on this show?
Her weight at birth was 6 pounds and 20 ounces, just a little under the average for a baby girl, and she is 18.9 inches long – again, just a smidge under the average. One of her doctors was Schreiber, and I’m afraid I can’t read the second name or what their role was. It looks something like Sasaberi.
NURSE: No, you cannot hit me. LORELAI: Can I bite you or pull your hair or use the Epilady on you, ’cause I really need to do something?
Epilady was the brand name of the first epilator, an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping multiple hairs simultaneously and pulling them out. It was released in Israel in 1986, manufactured by Mepro on a kibbutz.
They were notoriously painful to use, sometimes likened to torture devices, so Lorelai thinks of it as something painful she can use on the nurse to take her mind off her labour pains, like biting her or pulling her hair.
Obviously this flashback can’t have actually happened, because it is October 1984, and the Epilady hadn’t been invented yet. Perhaps it is a false memory. (If so, can we really trust any of the flashbacks?).
LORELAI: And the second thing is, you need to tell me why you’re sitting like that. SHERRY: Maureen told me that Howard Stern said that if you squat, it makes the baby come out faster. LORELAI: Okay, as long as you have a sane reason from a reliable source.
Howard Stern (born 1954), radio and television personality, comedian, and author. He is best known for his radio show, The Howard Stern Show, which gained popularity when it was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2005. His show attracted a lot of controversy and was considered vulgar and outrageous.
Despite this, and Lorelai’s understandable disdain for Stern as an authority on medical issues, squatting is actually recommended as a safe and effective position to give birth in.
LORELAI: What are you doing? RORY: Xeroxing … Sherry had some status reports she promised to fax to people by tomorrow but she didn’t bring enough, and so I’ve been trying to find a Xerox machine. I finally conned someone in ICU into letting me use theirs. I haven’t found a fax machine yet, but –
Fax [pictured], short for facsimile, is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material (both text and images), normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine, which processes the contents (text or images) as a single fixed graphic image, converting it into a bitmap, and then transmitting it through the telephone system in the form of audio-frequency tones. The receiving fax machine interprets the tones and reconstructs the image, printing a paper copy. First in use in 1865, before the invention of the telephone (it used telegraph), fax machines were ubiquitous in offices in the 1980s and 1990s, but have gradually been rendered almost obsolete by email and the internet.
This particular winning anecdote is a complete nonsense – Rory wouldn’t need to make multiple copies of the document in order to fax it to multiple people. The fax machine would only need one document, and she just needs to find one of those. They are commonly used in hospitals, even today.
However, in true overly entitled Gilmore style, Rory has no compunction about going into the intensive care unit to demand use of their Xerox machine. At night! The Emily is strong in this one.
When Rory phones Lorelai in distress, Lorelai is still eating dinner with Emily, as if it’s 7.30-8 pm. Impossible! It must have been around 10 pm by then. Gilmore Girls rarely seemed able to get a plausible timeline in place.
It is a two hour drive to Boston from Hartford, meaning it would be around midnight before Lorelai got there, and Rory would have been left alone for hours. The show always made it seem as if Boston was about 40 minutes away.
However ridiculously this occurs, Rory is naturally overjoyed to see her mother, who immediately takes charge of the situation, and stops Sherry from exploiting Rory. Lorelai’s protective mothering really gets a chance to shine here.
RORY: [on phone] So, we’ll see you next Friday at three. And once again, sorry for the short notice. Okay, bye. [hangs up] SHERRY: Great, who’s next? RORY: Um, Sheldon Harnick.
Sheldon Harnick (born 1924), award-winning lyricist and songwriter best known for his collaborations with composer Jerry Bock on musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof. His musical Dragons was performed in New Jersey in late 2003, and this is possibly what Sherry is working on promoting.
Sherry says that Sheldon Harnick “hates pregnancy”, so Rory suggests they tell him Sherry has a plumbing issue instead. In real life, Sheldon Harnick is married to actress Margery Gray and is a father, so it doesn’t seem likely he’s really that panicked by pregnancy. In 2011, he was a special guest to a performance of his songs by Kate Baldwin who was seven months pregnant at the time, and they sang a duet together.
Sherry now has Rory handling her business calls at the hospital! Yes, at night! Rory is a people pleaser, specifically an adult pleaser, who genuinely likes to help, so she complies with this obviously terrible treatment.
RORY: Well, I’m actually done with school now. I could grab a train and –
Hartford is three and a half hours from Boston by train, requiring a change at New Haven. The trains are two hours apart, meaning that if you miss one, there’s quite a wait for the next. Rory would also need to take a 15 minute bus ride from her school to Hartford Union Station in order to catch the train.
If Rory has finished school for the day, then it’s after 4.05 pm. Even with all the bus and train schedules lining up perfectly, Rory would not reach Boston until at least 8 pm. She would then need another 15 minutes to reach the hospital using the subway, and finishing the last part on foot. 8.30 pm seems to be the earliest she could get there, and 9.30-10 pm is probably more realistic.
It’s a truly terrible thing to ask a teenage high school student to do without any warning in the middle of winter, and with no time to get changed into warm clothing or to take anything other than her school bag with her. It is also a crazy thing for Rory to agree to, and quite impractical.
By the way, the meeting at the hospital for Sherry’s C-section was originally for 6 pm. How was Rory ever meant to get there in time on a Friday, when she has school?