“I could grab a train”

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?

“Four years”

LORELAI: What? It has not been four years since we’ve stepped foot inside our own garage.
RORY: It was when we got the Jeep.
LORELAI: That wasn’t . . . yes, it was.

This is the first scene we’ve ever had of Lorelai’s garage, which has never been mentioned before. The show explains that’s because Lorelai and Rory haven’t been near it since 1999 – and even then they only got in the door, then ran away when a bat flew out. These two really don’t handle nature very well.

Later in this very scene this version of events is contradicted when Rory says that two years ago, in 2001, she boxed up items from the attic and put them in the garage. They were meant to be collected by a charity, but Lorelai couldn’t be bothered waiting for them, so the boxes remain there.

According to their recollection, Lorelai bought the Jeep in 1999. It’s actually a 2000 model.

New York to London

FRANCIE: I was just so surprised that Paris was canceling the meeting that it flew right out of my head. It was New York to London in three hours or less.

Francie is referring to the Concorde, previously discussed. A flight on the Concorde from New York to London was billed as taking 2 hours and 59 minutes – a shade less than three hours. It now takes seven hours to take the same flight route. That’s progress!


LORELAI: I have a spider whose previous credits include the bathtub scene from Annie Hall trapped under that cup.

DEAN: The size of a Buick?

Buick is a division of the US car manufacturer, General Motors. In the North American market, Buick is a premium automobile brand, selling luxury vehicles positioned above GM’s mainstream brands, while priced below the flagship luxury Cadillac division.

Dean is quoting from Annie Hall, when Alvy describes the spider as “the size of a Buick”. He obviously knows the film, and probably watched it with Lorelai and Rory.

[Picture shows a 1977 Buick – the same year Annie Hall was released].

Jammed, Shanghaied

LORELAI: We got jammed. Shanghaied by my mother and what with the other things we have going . . . well, too many commitments, not enough us.

Jammed: I think Lorelai means “jammed” as in a traffic jam or a logjam – stuck, and with so many things on that they have no room to move. Please correct me if you think this is wrong!

Shanghaied [pictured]: Also known as “crimping”. The practice of kidnapping people to serve as sailors by coercive techniques such as trickery, intimidation, or violence. The name probably came about because Shanghai was a common destination for ships with abducted crews. The practice flourished in the mid-19th century, in port cities such as Liverpool in the UK, and San Francisco in the US. Although there were many attempts to crack down on it, only the widespread use of steam vessels instead of sailing ships rendered the practice unnecessary, as steamships don’t require such a large crew. Once it was made a federal crime in 1915 the practice was entirely stamped out.

Price of a Cab Ride

[Lorelai and Rory get out of a cab and start walking down the sidewalk]

LORELAI: Thanks. Uh, well, here’s the good news. You no longer have to worry about which college to go to, ’cause that cab ride was your college tuition.

According to a taxi fare calculator I consulted, it would cost about $85 to travel by cab from Yale University to Washington Depot. This seems quite cheap to me, and as Stars Hollow seemed to be in the Wallingford area in Season 1, that would be even cheaper – about $40.

Does that sound correct? I know you have to add extra for the tip in the US, and there’s probably surcharges for heavy traffic and paying tolls, but even so, that seems pretty reasonable for a cab ride to another town about an hour’s drive away.

Lorelai and Rory did stop off for tacos at Hector’s on the way home, which would have been extra money for the taxi. It is dark when they get back to Stars Hollow, so it seems that they spent a bit longer in New Haven, even allowing for early nightfall in November.

Car References in This Episode

“I can go from zero to studying”

Rory quips that she can go from “zero to studying in less than sixty seconds”.

This is a riff on the term “zero to sixty”, meaning to accelerate from a standstill to sixty miles per hour. It’s used to indicate how quickly a vehicle can accelerate, and is often used more generally to indicate a rapid movement of some kind.

“Grind it till you find it”

Gypsy calls Jackson “Mr Grind-it-till-you-find-it” when she’s fixing his truck and finds the transmission is damaged.

This phrase “grind it till you find it” is used derisively to describe people who grind the gear stick while shifting gears in a manual vehicle, trying to find the correct gear. It does indeed ruin the transmission.

It’s just minutes from here”

LORELAI: It’s gonna be Harvard [that Rory’s going to].

SHERRY: Well, I certainly hope so. It’s just minutes from here. Did you know that? …I’ve already clocked it – two point seven miles, which is nothing. I’ve already checked out the best late afternoon route for her to take to come over after classes.

Lorelai has already driven to Harvard University – how can she not be aware how close it is to Sherry and Christopher, that she also just drove to? The fact that Cambridge is right next to Boston must surely be a bit of a giveaway.

I’m not sure exactly where Sherry and Christopher live, but the Bunker Hill area in Charlestown is 2.7 miles from Harvard, which is a nine minute drive [pictured]. This is the oldest part of Boston, and Christopher did say he’d like to live somewhere historical. Any further west, north or south, and they wouldn’t be living in Boston, and any further east, they would be too far away.

If so, for Rory to visit them, she would need to take a bus, and would still have a walk of at least twenty minutes. The other way would be to take the subway, which would require a change in the middle, and there would then be a ten minute walk. A fifteen minute bike ride might be easier.

The knowledge that Rory going to Harvard means her spending a lot more time with Christopher and Sherry must surely be making it seem less attractive to Lorelai.

“She meant to run all those people down”

SHERRY: Maureen’s the instigator of this little soiree. She has her own publicity firm in New York …

MAUREEN: She meant to run all those people down, but you didn’t hear it from me.

Maureen refers to publicist, manager, and socialite Elizabeth “Lizzie” Grubman (born 1971). In 2001, after being asked by security to remove her vehicle from a fire lane, she intentionally drove her Mercedes Benz SUV into a crowd of outside an inn in the Hamptons, injuring 16 people.

Grubman was later charged with second-degree assault, driving while intoxicated, and reckless endangerment. The trial gained widespread media coverage because of the circumstances and because of Grubman’s profile and attitude. She is alleged to have said, “Fuck you, white trash”, before ploughing her car into the crowd. Later allegations were that she received special treatment from the police.

In 2002, Grubman served thirty-eight days in jail after reaching a plea bargain. She maintains that the incident was accidental.