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Free Associating With a Plan: A Stream of Consciousness

The weekly “Mad Men” routine

Free Associating With a Plan: A Stream of Consciousness

The weekly “Mad Men” routine


When you get to Minnesota, tell them what a big deal you are. Don’t forget to take some money. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

(Let’s get the hell outta here, Don. Things is getting dicey.)

First day of school. Hello everyone,Peggy’s back in the house of Draper (and Stan).

Stan, Ginsberg? Ted Chaough. Cut him down to your size.

Are all the creatives in one office?

Ooh, the Blue Bird has a rival. Canary time. Chaough’s Laura sure is a chirpy chippy.

The Coffee Chief has her own cubby, thank God. A blessed union, as overseen by St. Joseph’s children’s aspirin(e). We need an ending. Someone wake Don, please. Clara would, if she hadn’t been commandeered. No seat for Pete. Musical chairs has begun. Canary gets to stay at the table. Chaough will sit this one out.

Ted and Don’s first lovechild (yes, drippy Meredith, also known as “new business”). Fleischmann’s groovy. We’ll get right on that. I can’t believe it’s not butter!

Now I’m lost, but I know a spat when I see one. What kind of plane do you have? Ted’s a pilot. He’ll fly the Mohawk.

Aaaand Ted’s back at the table where he belongs. That’ll be all, Pete. There seems to be some trouble with Mother. A G&T oughta fix it. She has been banging on the wall, looking for dead-as-a-doorknob Dad. Bud’s wife is Judy, not Trudy.

Looks like the old worm has turned and Don’s answering the phone. Don is the new Dawn. It’s the dawn of secretary Don. Where is Dawn? She has been neglected since MLK was shot. Guess she’s only used as needed. Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve interrupted you, Sylvia. Don’s gotta take this. He’s still a cold fish.

“Hello.” So sultry. You are needed, and nothing else will do. Twelve-thirty at the Sherry Netherlands. “Call me with the room number.”

Lie down, Bert. This isn’t going to hurt. Here I go again, letting you go. Roger that. No one fought for you. You can take the Chevy to the levee but it’ll be dry. Replaced by a six-foot version of Alan Ladd. I’ve got four million in billions; I’ve got Swiss Bentleys in the West Indies. It doesn’t matter. No one will ever say you weren’t funny. A Sterling kiss-off. Mwah.

Prick Peterson, out. Berenstein Bears! Not Bob Benson too?!

Love in the afternoon. What’d you say to me? I need you, and nothing else will do. Nice tagline for the Draper account.

Rap session about margarine. Free associate. (Stream of consciousness, anyone?) There are no wrong answers. Here we go: greasy. It’s not butter. It has no smell. Has a chemical, stale taste. My grandmother spread it on Pepperidge Farm toast. I still remember. People hate it. Wrong answer, buddy. It was invented for Napoleon III because it never spoiled. Ding, ding, ding. Teacher’s pet. All of France is on fire.

Cut the apron strings. We have rules here. You will not talk about your husband, and you will look for Don’s shoes. Crawl on your hands and knees until you find them. Do it. He needs you (to), and nothing else. That’s your cue, Megan, I mean Sylvia. Not taking it? Alright then. Let’s try something different. Now, get undressed, and get back into bed. Don’t go anywhere. I’m going to close the door, while you have a seat. Boy, did you blow it.

Margarine, approved by stoners everywhere. Don’s cool with that. Ted’s not. Five minutes? Ten minutes? It’s fine. Creatives are always running late. Obviously, though, you had better Sylvias to do.

Are you still in bed? You’re going to wait there. And you’re not going to know when I’m coming back.

What’s got into that cat? Friskies!

Don’t answer the phone again. Just take pleasure in the ringing.

Can we start over, Ted? I think we got off on the wrong foot. Let’s talk about margarine, just us two. Drink in the inspiration.You can handle it, right? If a pretty girl’s wheeling it in on a cart, sure. Gulp.

Research has shown no one knows shit about margarine. Are you going to lie down while I pace, again, Don?

Your mom’s on the potty, Pete. Gone potty, too. If you don’t have a chair, pull up a potty. Judy and I have taken our turn. Earl Grey hit Majorette Grey with a tea towl and it’s all over. Give Trudy a catcher’s mask and get out of the loo as fast as you can. Peter who?

Gilligan’s Island characters are being re-cast as butter. The Professor and Parkay, a movie star. A millionaire and his farmer’s wife set[s] pancakes on the kitchen table. Don keeps drinking. There is a loaf of homemade bread. Ted wants it. Dorthea Lange will shoot it with bacon. It’s not up for debate.

Before there was Victoria’s Secret, there was Sylvia’s Saks Fifth Avenue.

You look a little wan, Joan. Is she pregnant? I’m worried. If Joan goes down, it’s all over. Nixon will take it. Don’t you have any hope? Peggy’s for Bobby. Bob’s for food poisoning. I’m for preggers.

The Scarlet Letter awaits. It’s a dress. Not lingerie. But we’re not going anywhere. You exist only for Don’s pleasure.

[Anachronism break: So, we need to have a moment where I observe that Linda Cardellini’s got some pretty well-defined abs, the kind you of which you wouldn’t imagine your average 1960s housewife would be in possession.]

We’re back in the hospital. This time with Ted. That was a speedy demise. Advice from a dying man: Walk back in like you own the place (and maybe don’t accept drinks from Draper).

Does your father (-in-law) come here with prostitutes or is it just for yours? Life With Mother, a spin-off dramedy being cooked up for Pete Cambell. I’ll make your favorite for dinner.

Fresh as a daisy, Don is. This whole visit is confidential. Sit down, have a seat. The rubbing off is off. Lay off of Ted. Peggy, we risked our entire company just so I could have you in my office complaining again. Sides have been chosen. Move forward.

Who’s got it worse, Harry or Pete? France is on fire, again. Belch.

Who told you to think? I can do that standing on my head. Without my book.

Do you have a minute for Clara? The meeting with Mohawk has been rescheduled. Not okay. The boys are going on a road trip, high above the clouds. Ted’s going to show you who’s boss now. He’s got his sunglasses and Earhart jacket on and he is good to go. Watch your instruments. Don’t want to take in the wonder of God’s majesty?

Joanie, it’s your mother, and I’m telling you, he’s adorbs. Younger men are not intimidated by powerful women. How would Mamma Holloway know?

Dammit Clara, they went without me. Therefore, it did not go well. (Narcissist, much?) Ted Chaough can fly my mother to hell. It’ll be a cold day there when they arrive.

I had a dream you were falling through a hole in the ozone layer and then I chartered a house and it fell on Megan. And all the munchkins in munchkin soapland cheered. The End. It’s over.

It’s easy to give up something when you’re satsified. And ashamed.

Last hired, first fired. But before I cross him off, let me make a plea for Berenson. Why? That motherfucker is crafty.

Can we go to Honolulu again?

They shot that poor Kennedy boy. And you’ll be late for school. I don’t understand what’s going on.

They’re shooting everybody.

Groovy. People are finally getting together.