Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Season 3, Episode 11: The Red Dot

“Was that wrong?” - George

We begin with George and Jerry dropping in on Elaine’s company holiday party. Jerry is there to return a watch that Elaine had lost somewhere in the abyss of Jerry’s apartment (presumably between the seat cushions of the couch where Jerry claims to have found it). Before Elaine sees them, Jerry points out Elaine’s new boyfriend with whom she is having an office romance, and mentions that he is a recovering alcoholic. “He’s been off the wagon for two years.”
Elaine introduces Dick, whose first line is, “Is this the guy?” Apparently well of aware of whom Jerry is, just a smidge territorial, and a tad jealous that an ex of Elaine’s would still be friends with her. Elaine also offers George a job at Pendant as a reader. All he has to do is meet her boss, Mr. Lippman (now played by Richard Fancy).

George’s 30 second ‘interview’ with Lippman goes about as well as a job interview for George could go. Lippman asks if George has ever done any work like this before. “Well…you know, book reports.” Lippman, amused, gives George a wry smile and asks who he reads. “Mike Lupica.” When pressed for actual authors (poor Lupica), George comes out with Art Vandalay, an obscure beatnik who authored Venetian Blinds, a ‘searing indictment of the dental profession’ (according to the notes about nothing). George gets the job in spite of himself, because it’s Elaine’s hire.

Dick, meanwhile, is having an animated conversation with Jerry by the pot luck table. They’ve both put down their drinks on the table; Dick’s cranberry juice and Jerry’s cranberry and vodka that he was holding for Elaine. Dick, being one of those assholes whose manhood is always being threatened by other men tells Jerry off, “I’ve got news for you. I’m funnier than you.” He picks up a drink and walks away. Elaine and George come back and Elaine picks up her drink, except it’s just cranberry juice. Jerry realizes that Dick must have picked up her drink by mistake. He’s off the wagon! Or on it, thinks Jerry.

Jerry escorts George while gift shopping for Elaine and comes across a cashmere sweater marked down from $600 to $85. He asks the sales clerk why the sweater has such a steep markdown price. She points out a very small ret dot on it. George has talked himself into getting it. “I don’t even think she’d notice it. Can you see it?”
“Well, I can see it.”
“Yeah, but you know where it is.”
“Well, what do you want me to do, not look at it?”
“Pretend you didn’t know it was there.”
“It’s hard fore me to pretend because I know where it is.”
“Well, just take an overview. Can’t you just take an overview?!”
“You want me to take an overview?”
“I see a very cheap man holding a sweater trying to get away with something. That’s my overview.”

Elaine is concerned Dick is drinking. Jerry asks if she can smell the alcohol on him. She can’t and that is enough evidence for Jerry to be convinced that he isn’t. At that moment Kramer enters and Jerry decides to use him as an example. They have him take three shots of whiskey and smell him. The results are inconclusive. Not inconclusive is the fact that Kramer is a lightweight.

George comes in and gives Elaine the sweater. She’s elated at the gift and can’t believe George would get it for her or that Jerry would let him spend the money on it. “I tried to stop him,” Jerry replies ironically. A drunk Kramer from 10 feet away remarks, “what’s that red dot on your sweater?”

George is staying late at work and encounters the cleaning lady. George gives her a long look as she’s cleaning his cubicle.

Suddenly we’re at Monk’s. “You had sex with the cleaning woman on your desk?!
Says a beaming George, “I don’t know if it was the alcohol or the ammonia, but the next thing I knew she was mopping the floor with me.”
“How was it?”
“The sex was okay, but I threw up from the Hennigans.”
“Good thing the cleaning woman was there.”

Elaine asks Jerry if George bought the sweater with the red dot because he knew he could get a good price on it. Jerry says nothing but his expression gives it away. Elaine confronts George and bluffs that Jerry told her. George immediately turns to Jerry and asks how he could have squealed. “I didn’t tell her you stupid idiot, she tricked you.” George turns back to a grinning Elaine.

George re-gifts the sweater to the cleaning woman as a bribe to keep her quiet. She goes on and on about how she’s loved cashmere ever since she was a little girl in Panama. But it only takes a few minutes for her to notice the red dot.

This lands George in a meeting with Mr. Lippman, who gets right to the point. “It’s come to my attention that you and the cleaning woman have engaged in sexual intercourse on the desk in your office. Is that correct?” This leads into one of my - and Jason Alexander’s as it turns out - favorite George lines. Having been caught in a situation, George’s mind quickly plays out all the scenarios in his head. You can see his eyes dart back and forth from one to the next. His tongue runs across his lower lip as he finally settles on a response: “Was that wrong?”

“I tell ya, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon…”

Mr. Lippman fires George and before he leaves the office he says, “She wanted me to give you this,” and tosses the cashmere sweater at George’s face.

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