LoJack

RORY: Louise, what’s your idea?

LOUISE: A lipstick LoJack.

LoJack is a recovery system for stolen cars that uses GPS to locate vehicles, notifying police of its location and allowing recovery in less than half an hour. The LoJack system was created and patented in 1979 by William Reagan, a former police commissioner. Its name is meant to be the opposite of hijack.

Although we haven’t developed a LoJack system for lipsticks, there are now similar systems in place to find computers, laptops, and phones, and even lost car keys can give off a sound to alert the owner to their position, so Louise’s idea was ahead of its time.

Energizer Bunny

LORELAI: Again, yes, just like the pink bunny with the drum. Uh, anyway, I was wondering if, um, you have had a chance to reconsider my loan? . . . Uh, no, I think it’s Energizer . . .

The Energizer Bunny is the marketing mascot of Energizer batteries. It’s a fluffy pink mechanical rabbit that beats a drum. It began as a parody of the Duracell Bunny (the mascot for Duracell batteries), which first appeared in commercials in 1973. The trademark had lapsed by 1988, so that Energizer were free to use a similar concept.

The Energizer Bunny is promoted as a toy which is able to last much longer than others, because he’s powered by Energizer batteries. In the same way, Mr Rygalski sees Lorelai as indefatigable in her attempts to get a loan. When she corrects him by saying it’s called the Energizer Bunny, Mr Rygalski, being older than Lorelai, was probably thinking of the earlier Duracell Bunny.

Xerox

JACKSON: I have a cousin who owns a Xerox company that specializes in taking pictures and making them into things – calendars, coffee mugs, collector plates, and pajamas.

Xerox is a corporation selling print and digital document products and series, headquartered in Connecticut, and incorporated in New York. They are best known for making photocopiers – so much so that Xerox is often used to mean any photocopier (like Kleenex and tissues), and “xerox” can be used as a verb, meaning “to photocopy”.

Jackson’s cousin owns a photocopying service which puts photos onto gift items. Jackson has a large family, and we learn a lot about them during the course of the show. We also learn that Jackson was on the wrestling team when he was in high school.

Molecular Transport Device

LORELAI: I offered to fund the instant invention of a molecular transport device but they just didn’t go for it.

A reference to the 1975 musical comedy horror film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, based on the 1973 stage musical. In the film, the mad scientist Dr Frank-n-Furter (played by Tim Curry) has a Sonic Transducer in his laboratory – an “audio-vibratory-physio molecular transport device”. It is capable of breaking down solid matter and projecting it through space, and possibly time.

A transducer is something which converts energy from one form to another (such as light into an electrical signal). A microphone is an example of a transducer – indeed, a sonic transducer, since it changes sound waves into electrical signals. In the musical, it’s basically a teleportation device. See Beam me up, Scotty.

(Picture shows Dr Frank-n-Furter standing against the Sonic Transducer).

MissPatty.net

PARIS: I went on the web and I found a site called MissPatty.net. It’s in your town … Is it big enough? The site says it’s 720 square feet.

Do not try to go to MissPatty.net – I did, and my anti-virus had to send me about a million warnings in big red letters that it was a hijacked infected site.

We here learn the exact size of Patty’s Place, which is 720 square feet, or around 66 square metres. That’s about the size of a roomy three-car garage, or a small one bedroom apartment.

Three-Way Phone Conversation

Rory helps Henry organise a three-way or party line conversation so that Lane and Henry can talk, while Mrs Kim believes that Lane is talking to Rory. It was done by calling the first person, then pressing the FLASH button before dialling the next person then pressing FLASH again. It cost extra and showed up on the phone bill. It’s still possible to do on a landline today, as well as a mobile phone.

This is the first thing Rory has done to help Lane and Henry, and it’s pretty minimal. Lorelai seems to be aware of the deception towards Mrs Kim, but doesn’t feel any need to tell her the truth despite her supposed “mom code”. Henry met Lane eight months ago, and must be very keen to be kept interested with occasional five minute phone calls, conducted with some difficulty.

Versateller

PARIS: I don’t have enough change.
RORY: Pay me later.
PARIS: What am I, your versateller?

A versateller is an automatic teller machine (ATM); the word was popularised by commercials for the Bank of America in the 1980s. Some people still prefer the word to the more common ATM. The name combines the French for “pay” with the word “teller” (usual American term for a cashier).

Pager

In this episode we see that Rory has a pager, which Lane contacts her on. In a later episode it is possible to see that it is an American Online (AOL) pager.

A pager is a wireless telecommunications device that receives and displays messages, or receives voice messages sent from a telephone. They came into use in the 1950s, and became widespread during the 1980s. Their use declined markedly during the 2000s with the rise of mobile phones that allow text messaging and voicemail.

VCR

LORELAI: Well there’s no messages on the machine, Mom.
EMILY: I don’t leave messages. If I wanted to talk to a machine I’d talk to my VCR.

A VCR is a video cassette recorder, a device which records analog audio and video from television onto a magnetic tape cassette. First sold in the mid-1970s, they boomed during the 1980s and ’90s. At this time videos were widely available for sale or rental, and blank cassette tapes were sold so people could record TV shows. They declined after the release of DVDs in the 2000s.