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Mad Men: Worth The Waiting Room

[Alex Blagg, formerly of Best Week Ever blog and Blagg Blogg Dot Com, and currently the editor of Wonderwall, will be bringing his wit, wisdom, and love of skinny ties to this season of Mad Men.]

Don will maybe pork Sally’s teacher later if he feels like it. After Sally takes out the pain of losing Grandpa Gene last week on some fat girl at school, Don and Betty are called in for a meeting with her teacher. But Sally isn’t the only naughty girl in the classroom, because when Betty excuses herself from the meeting for a few minutes, said teacher practically mounts Don after he makes some vaguely empathetic remark about loss or feelings or whatever. Don allows himself a brief eye-molestation of the teacher before Betty returns. Then later, the Sexy Schoolteacher places a brazen after-hours call into the Draper home, slurring about not even knowing why she called as she sips from handful of whiskey and lets her bra fall off. Don gives her one of his dismissive, “Very well. I’ll take humping you under consideration and maybe have my secretary get back to you about it at a later date, after my wife finishes having our third child.” Later, as Don is making himself his favorite midnight snack, skillet full of ground beef, we know what he’s really hungry for.

Frugal British bosses don’t like it when you fail to conserve precious office resources that start with the letter “p”. Pens, pencils, pads, paper and postage (thank god Post-It notes haven’t been invented yet): they’re just flying around the office all willy-nilly, as if Sterling-Cooper exists in some kind of decadent futuristic wasteland where office supplies can be easily replenished for reasonable prices at giant depot-like warehouses. And while Pryce is reviewing the expense accounts, trying to figure out where all the money’s going as he guzzles good whiskey, it’s noted that Sal spent an alarming 12 dollars more than Don during their trip a few weeks back. You know what else starts with a “p”? Pornography. Just sayin’, you guys.

Childbirth used to be awesome (for men). Back in the ’60s, men partied in waiting rooms with prison guards from Sing Sing and Johnny Walker Red while their wives had their nether-regions shaved and were given enemas so they could push new human beings out of their vaginas while other women let out tortured howls in the background. Later, nurses who sound like Simpsons characters would come in and tell the men that their wives were okay, their seed was strong, and they’ve got a new baby boy to carry on their noble family line. Meanwhile the wives would still be back in the delivery room having Demerol-induced fever dreams where their dead dads are mopping up blood and their moms hang out with a slain civil rights figures in the family kitchen. It’s just how things were then, so don’t judge Betty for hating her children, you monsters.

Admiral TVs doesn’t care about black people. When Pete has some kind of racist breakthrough about the profit potential of marketing televisions to African-Americans (of course Pete would be the ad dude who historically figures out how to exploit black people), he tries doing some off-the-cuff demographic research by asking the one black person he knows, Hollis the elevator guy, about his television-watching preferences. Surprisingly, Hollis seems more interested in the civil rights revolution that’s happening all around them than he does in tuning in to America’s Top Old Timey Reality Shows. So what did Pete learn from this? It doesn’t matter, because his forward-thinking cynicism was all for naught, as Admiral TV became furious with the very notion of black people giving them their money in exchange for televisions, and The Rodge threatened to drop-kick Pete off the roof just for proposing something so ridiculous. As Hollis the elevator guy so wisely and appropriately pointed out, “Every job has its ups and downs.”

Duck Peterson is back from the dead and Duckier than ever. He works somewhere called Gray now, which is apparently a place where people wear turtlenecks with blazers and says things like, “Have a nosh”. Duck tries to poach Pete and Peggy, saying that he knows about their secret relationship, then promising them untold riches if they fly the Sterling-Coop and join up with him instead. Pete will have none of it, and dances on Duck’s dreams of crushing Don Draper. Meanwhile, Peggy realizes that she’s criminally underpaid and hits up Don for a raise. He says they’re spending too much on those pricey office supplies to pay her any more than she already makes (but maybe if she plays her cards right, he’ll take her along next time he impregnates someone and gets to visit that awesome hospital waiting room again?). She says that it might be her time and goes to the ladies’ room.

Cliffhanger: did Betty smother her newborn baby boy on his first night home? Tune in next week to find out!