1.20 "M.A.D."

Aired Apr 26, 2005

Cultural References

Mutually assured destruction (Ideas and Concepts)

Episode title: "M.A.D."

Ironic, isn't it, that the initials for Mutually Assured Destruction are M.A.D? Because I know if dueling attacks were launched in this world with the inevitable outcome of both sides being completely wiped out, I'd be a wee bit angry. While this military theory was originally brought about by the nuclear issues during the Cold War, for our purposes, it's equally applicable in the "You show people a video of me pleasuring a popsicle, and I'll show you being fake gay, but no one will know it's fake" way.

Garfield (Characters)

In a panning shot of the Neptune High parking lot, we see a Jeep Wrangler with a suction-cup Garfield stuck to its plastic window. Jim Davis' Garfield, Guinness World Record-holder for being the most widely syndicated comic strip, is a comic strip depicting the role-reversing relationship between cats and their owners. For some inexplicable reason, in the early '90s, a suction-cup version for a car window was all the rage, and all the cool kids' parents had one. Sadly, this Jeep Wrangler is about 15 years too late to be "cool," and it is more along the lines of "sad" or "wondering if the suction cups got stuck."

Who's Who bio: Garfield
See all references about Garfield
The Naval Academy (Places)

"Tad, I just can't imagine doing the whole long distance thing."
"But it's only for a year."
"No, it's four years at the Academy and then four years of the Navy and I don't know."

Founded in 1845 as a place to train future Naval officers, Annapolis' Naval Academy is a gathering place for young men (and, since 1976, women) who wish to sign away more than the four years of their future that a civilian college lifestyle would require. Their motto, ex scientia tridens (from knowledge, seapower), seems almost archaic in this modern world so focused on advancement of technology via electronics. The general idea of "excellence without arrogance," however, while admirable, does not seem to fit Tad's personality. Only an extremely arrogant person would think that his ex-girlfriend, after faced with the possibility of him outing an embarrassing sexual exploit, would voluntarily and happily want to get back together with him.

Newton's Laws (Ideas and Concepts)
Wave-particle duality (Things, Ideas and Concepts)

"Good luck in physics."
"Thank you."
"Remember, force equals mass times acceleration...light is a particle that can exhibit properties of a wave..."

Supremely intelligent physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton put forth three basic laws of motion that explain why objects do what they do. In this law, his second, that Veronica quotes to Logan, Newton is saying that how big a thing is and how hard you push it determines how it will move. Why couldn't he have just said it that way? Wave-particle duality says that everything has properties of both waves and particles, despite the fact that we can't see them. Uh, okay. Sure.

Bingo (Sports, Games and Toys)
VFW (Places)

"Any idea what our parents do Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 to 10:00 that requires an overnight bag?"
"As far as I'm concerned, they play bingo at the VFW. That's my story, I'm sticking with it."

You want to know what bingo is? Walk into a Catholic church, find the oldest lady you can, and ask her. She'll tell you – well, she may yell at you for interrupting her, but she'd eventually tell you that bingo is the best thing that happened to organized religion since the invention of the pew. A huge money-maker for religious congregations everywhere, bingo is a game in which the player has a card with 25 numbered squares (or multiple cards – only a novice would play a single card) with the letters B-I-N-G-O at the top. Numbers are randomly drawn, and the first person to get a line of numbers called wins. Yes, it's a game of much luck and very little skill, but so is Deal or No Deal, and millions of people watch that every week. And where does one hold a bingo game? At the VFW, of course. No, not former German aerospace company Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke. You can't play bingo there! But you can play it at the gathering place of the American Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW is a popular place for bingo, low-cost wedding receptions, and said veterans to get really drunk. And Veronica and Wallace would prefer their parents spend time together at such a den of iniquity?!

Okely-dokely (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Watch what you're doing."

Wanting to seem as innocent as possible, Veronica channels The Simpsons' Ned Flanders after having Wallace drop a fake cell phone in Tad's bag. Okely-dokely is one of born-again Christian Ned's favorite sayings and sounds like something Barney Fife would say.

See all references about The Simpsons
Take a pill (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Are you not familiar with the school's cell phone policy?"
"All right, all right, take a pill."

Like, totally. This directive, derived from the popular '80s saying of "Take a chill pill," is too often followed literally these days due to the vast number of people on medication. That's why the "chill" was there in the first place, see? If we wanted you to take a different kind of pill, it would have been more specific. But no — a chill pill. Not a Xanax, a Prozac or, God forbid, Viagra. In the '80s, it was so simple. Just calm down by taking a mythical pill. No need to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

String telephone (Things)

"Hi! I'm here to get my phone back."
"Consider this a warning. Next time, I'm keeping it and you'll just have to gossip with your friends with two cans and string."

In the days before cell phones or BlackBerrys or multiple household telephones, one of the communication options available was this contraption. The name is pretty self-explanatory. Take two cans, poke holes in the bottoms of them, and run a piece of string from one to the other. One person (usually a child, because adults would probably have just shouted) talked into one can and the other held his can up to his ear, able to hear what was being said through the magic of science. Its genius was its simplicity, but highly inconvenient for distances of over 10 feet.

Ivy League college (Places)

"So, why are you smiling?"
"'Cause I'm savoring the irony. Imagine the Mars family sending our heir, Veronica, to an Ivy League college with money from the bounty on the Kane heir."

Ivy League college — every intelligent and parent-pressured high-school kid's dream. These colleges (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale) are considered the top academic universities in America. The name stems from the strings of ivy that often grow on historic buildings, and these colleges, some going back as far as the 17th or 18th century, have their fair share.

Dire Straits (Music)

"For information on the whereabouts of Duncan Kane. Fifty grand? Not bad."
"Money for nothing."

Keith thinks that tracking down Duncan will be "Money for Nothing", the title of a 1995 Dire Straits song, but even if it is, will he get his chicks for free? Or, as the lyric is misinterpreted by many, checks for free. What? It could be a banking reference. Don't you get free checks from your bank? It makes perfect sense! Shut up!

Big fish in a small pond (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)
Shooting fish in a barrel (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Come on, honey, Duncan Kane? A sheltered rich kid who has maids fold his underwear? I think I'll be able to track him down. I'm only worried about beating the other pros. Yeah, he's a big fish in a very small barrel."

Hey, Keith, mix metaphors much? Then again, it's better than "It's like shooting fish in a small pond." That's just unfair.

eBay (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"I might have mentioned something about recycling passports on eBay."

You can buy anything on eBay — passports, computers, Steelers tickets, or just about anything else you can think of. Once, someone even tried to auction off the state of West Virginia. In Duncan's case, a passport would probably be more helpful, though it would be difficult to find him if he hid in some of those hills and hollers of the Mountain State.

Top Gun (Movies)

"It's just a message from Top Gun."
"That's Tad."

The Tom Cruise-starring 1986 Top Gun is named after the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School that he, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, and others attends. Only the best of the best Navy pilots attend this school, and it's not surprising Tad is already imagining himself in the cockpit of a multimillion-dollar plane, probably bombing the crap out of some country. I wonder if the gentlemen in the actual Top Gun school spend as much time hanging out with each other in towels and their underwear as they did in the movie.

Queer-bait (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Get marooned. Great. Another island-centric prom theme. Another year of double digit IQ'ed jocks laughing at their own jokes about getting laid as freshman hula girls put flowers around their necks."
"I don't see anybody forcing you to buy tickets, queer-bait."

Tad is such a moron. He tries to insult Seth by saying he's gay, but that's not the actual meaning of the term queer-bait. If you break the phrase down, it's clear to see that it is actually referring to someone who attracts a lot of attention from a gay man, but that doesn't mean that he has to be gay himself. Repeat after me: context is our friend.

Boy George (People)

"Isn't the, uh, gay prom next Friday in the Dog Beach men's room?"
"So I guess I'll see you there, sailor."
"What did you just say to me, Boy George?"

One of the most recognizable gay icons in the world, Boy George made a name for himself in the music world both as a solo artist and as lead singer for Culture Club. No one better personified the ‘80s trend of androgyny than this singer, though Annie Lennox and David Bowie definitely gave him a run for his money.

The Navy (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"Come on. The Navy? 'Cover my back, wingman!' 'The rear admiral wants us to pound away with the ten-inch gun!' I mean, isn't just joining the Navy alone gay enough to get you thrown out of the Navy?"

The Navy? Gay? See above under Top Gun. Need more proof? The Village People wrong a song about it.

Paris Hilton (People)
Star Wars kid (People)

"You know what's going to happen, Veronica? I'm gonna end up a downloadable national joke. You know, right up there with Paris Hilton or that Star Wars kid. I-I'll be the video that everyone emails their friends."

Paris Hilton was a national joke even before 1 Night in Paris, a video of her having sex with then-boyfriend Rick Saloman, one of Shannen Doherty's ex-husbands, surfaced on the Internet. Seeing as there is no age restriction on marsinvestigations.net, details will not be discussed. Consider yourself lucky. Known across the internet as the Star Wars kid, Canadian teenager Ghyslain Raza has the dubious distinction of being the star of a video showing a mock lightsaber training session with a golf-ball retriever, along with accompanying noises. After the video was posted on the Internet without his consent, creative cyber geeks soon edited in real lightsaber sound effects and graphics, leading to this video being downloaded literally millions of times. Raza and his parents have filed a lawsuit against the families of the kids who posted this video, said to have caused him emotional trauma because of the rather unflattering light in which he is portrayed.

Who's Who bio: Paris Hilton
Who's Who bio: Star Wars Kid
See all references about Star War
Daytona 500 (Sports, Games and Toys)

"Think your uncle can return the LeBaron to all its original glory?"
"He could get it ready for Daytona if you pay him enough."

The Daytona 500 is an automobile race held at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Considered by most to be the Super Bowl of NASCAR despite it being at the beginning of the season rather than the end, the winners of the Daytona 500 are a virtual who's-who of the racing world. However, I think even Jeff Gordon would have trouble getting the checkered flag in Veronica's LeBaron.

Home stretch (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"All we need now is a soundtrack. Be natural. Be intimate and let Tad do the talking, he will tie his own noose, guaranteed. Home stretch, girlfriend."

Home stretch was originally coined to define the last leg of a horse race. When a racehorse sees the barn, he knows he's close to being home and runs faster to get there. Its usage has grown to include all kinds of sports and events, not just ones including horses. Unless Veronica's got some equine secrets we don't know about.

PSATs (Things)

"Maybe Duncan's smarter than I was giving credit."
"Well, he did ace his PSATs."

Every 15-year-old's favorite standardized test, the PSATs are given in the 10th grade in American schools to gauge the student's performance on the SATs and to assist in the selection of National Merit Scholars. The test does not, however, gauge the student's ability to make himself disappear in a foreign country with an Argentinean passport. Maybe next year...

Swingle (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)
Bow-chicka-bow-wow (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Still working on that passport thing. Check it out. I just found Mr. Heinrich's posting on the Neptune Swingles site."
"Ooh, Larry. Bow-chicka-bow-wow."

A swinging single. An unmarried and uncoupled person who enjoys the dating life…a lot. And maybe multiple people at once, perhaps of all kinds of genders. And perhaps literally at once. Emotionally scarred by the image of my high-school math teacher partying topless with faceless, nameless singles, I simply can't continue. And you just thought of your high-school math teacher, didn't you? You're welcome. And, Veronica, bow-chicka-bow-wow — an imitation of porn-style music — did you learn that from Dick? 'Cause you're better than that. Remember that next time, okay?

Plebe (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)
Don't ask, don't tell (Ideas and Concepts)

"Whatever. Who cares about what this school thinks about me? I'm gone in a month."
"Actually, I was able to get the email addresses of every plebe at Annapolis. One press of a button and each of your new classmates will have the link to this very special website. The navy's got that don't ask, don't tell thing. If we tell, they're gonna ask."

Veronica's right. If even one plebe, the common term for first-year students at the Naval Academy, sees this video, the military's don't ask, don't tell policy on homosexuality is definitely going to be shattered. Unless all his fellow classmates are characters from Top Gun. But that's doubtful.

Chinatown (Movies)

"So tennish, Albacore Club, slip five."

According to Logan, his father's boat is parked at slip five of the Albacore Club, a reference to Roman Polanski's 1974 thriller Chinatown. Misheard by one of private detective Jake Gittes' minions as "apple core" rather than "albacore," much questionable behavior goes on at the Albacore Club, a meeting place of the movie's villains. Maybe that's really why Veronica never shows up on Logan's boat. She was at the local apple farm wondering where a boat could be docked.

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"It's all fun and games until one of you gets my foot up your ass."

Both sayings are equally true. Either of these things would definitely cause the fun quotient of anything to go down. The origins of the "someone loses an eye" version is lost to time, although it's a pretty common expression. Personally, it always makes me thing of 1983's A Christmas Carol, what with the whole "You'll shoot your eye out" bit.

GHB (Things)

"There weren't any roofies. It was GHB. It was Logan Echolls. He gave it to me."

GHB, acronym for the difficult-to-say chemical name gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, can be found naturally occurring in the human body's central nervous system. It can also be found in the body when someone slips the drug version into your drink. It and flunitrazepam (more commonly known as roofies), are the two most well-known date-rape drugs. If the drink it's slipped into is alcoholic, the effects are magnified and can lead to extremely drunken-like behavior and memory loss, as was the case with both Veronica and Carmen at Shelly Pomeroy's party. No joke here. It's not really that funny.

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