Periscope Depth

if every word I said could make you laugh I'd talk forever

So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started watching Mad Men, every single episode has been better than the episode before it. So that means that every single episode that I see, that’s the best episode of Mad Men ever.

What about the last episode? Was the last episode the best episode of Mad Men ever?

Yeah.

Wow, that’s messed up.

(if you don’t get the reference)

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For those strangers on the Internet who obsessively follow my eating habits: I now have a salad with lunch every weekday.

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During one of these weekdays, I ate lunch in the breakroom with my coworkers. A Full House rerun came on the TV and none of us had the wherewithal to change it. This was the Season 2 Episode “I’m There For You, Babe.” It starts with the Tanner family parading into Jesse Katsopolis’ bedroom, carrying presents and cake. “Happy birthday, Jesse!” they yell.

“Wow,” he says, looking at the cake. “Twenty-six years old.”

This hit me in a way that no episode of Full House should have. Uncle Jesse was 26? Cool Uncle Jesse? The guy with the motorcycle and the leather jacket and the rock band and the hair? Uncle Jesse was a year younger than me? Something didn’t seem right.

When I first saw Full House – about two decades ago – I thought of Jesse and Joey as the cool grownups. And then adolescence hit, my interests changed, and I started actually growing up. But I never thought to check my progress against the adult role models of my generation. Clearly an oversight.

So I sat down and made an unflinching comparison of my life, one year ago, against that of a TV sitcom character. How’d I do?

Jesse Katsopolis vs. Professor Coldheart On Their Respective Twenty-Sixth Birthdays

(Jesse Katsopolis: April 14, 1989; Professor Coldheart: April 1, 2007)

Employment
Jesse: He and Joey run their own advertising firm, JJ Creative Services, but evidence suggests business is slow.
Professor: Customer service, but hey – steady income.
Advantage: Professor.

Girlfriend
Jesse: Becky Donaldson, a/k/a Lori Loughlin, Danny’s co-host on ‘Wake Up San Francisco’
Professor: Christine.
Advantage: Tie.

Hobbies, Extracurriculars
Jesse: Lead vocals and guitar for Jesse and the Rippers, a modestly successful Beach Boys cover band.
Professor: Occasional performer at ImprovBoston; jiu-jitsu instructor; amateur novelist.
Advantage: Tie.

Living Situation
Jesse: Sleeping in the attic of his dead sister’s husband. The show suggests that Jesse got a lot of play (at least in the first season), but I can’t see how this would work. “Hey, why don’t we go back to my place? We’ll have to tiptoe past the nine-year-old’s bedroom, but …”
Professor: Living in a 3BR in Allston, MA.
Advantage: Professor.

Education
Jesse: Dropped out of high school.
Professor: Graduated Boston College with honors.
Advantage: Professor.

Hair
Jesse: Phenomenal.
Professor: Good but not great.
Advantage: Jesse.

Catchphrase
Jesse: “Have mercy!”
Professor: “That’s not the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard per se, but …”
Advantage: Jesse.

Final Score
Jesse: 2
Professor: 3
Tie: 2
Winner: Professor by a nose!

Whew. Near thing, that.

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