I’m just keeping you up to speed.
It’s put me in the unfortunate position of applying for a paid scientific study on people who drink too much. Ironically, this has resulted in me spending more on drink in the hope I get accepted…
My lack of finances is largely a result of needing to get a new bike. It’s not even that good! The rusty chain means that, although my job is not a joke and I’m not completely broke, I now am literally stuck in second gear.
“The One Where I’m Stuck in Second Gear”
This episode provides another Friends™ style look at death... as we say goodbye to Mr Heckles.
Much like Marcel, I’m surprised to realise that Mr Heckles wasn’t in the show as much as I remember. Perhaps he sticks in my memory because of this excellent episode featuring the Friends™ realisation (and particularly Chandlers) of Heckles’ loneliness at the end of his life.
Not what one might have expected from a light and enduring sitcom about six twenty somethings!
But, as with the Season One episode about the death of nana, it’s the combination of Friends™ light touch and the way the events impact on our central characters that really raises it up.
It’s not all main characters, as the writers manage to cram in two recurring characters including… Mr Treeger! (For those who don’t remember he’s essentially the janitor of their apartment block). Friends™ trivia fans will be delighted(?) to discover Treeger is the very last character to be referenced by name in the series. It’s looks like he’s going to last a lot longer than Mr Heckles, although he’s tied for the same number of appearances (five) so it might be a while before we see him again…
Janice is back too but doesn’t have much to do, other than add to Chandler’s fears of becoming Mr Heckles by revealing she’s married. Presumably the limited appearance was because Maggie Wheeler was actually pregnant at the time.
I’m yet to have a proper ex go this far, although a couple of near misses are now married with children.
But there is one past fling from our extended friend group who’s scheduled to get married next year (as Rachel Number Two is at pains to remind me…) I’m still waiting to see if I get an invite.
I do find seeing these people settling down odder than perhaps I should. Like seeing my own possible alternate futures slowly disappearing. Mostly I’m just grateful I don’t have to go through the experience single like Chandler.
I think the shock of my David the Science Guy getting engaged is still a little fresh. So much of our friendship when we lived together was based on our mutual failures with women. David the Science Guy in particular was regularly mocked for (like Chandler) being too picky.
Too tall… lazy eye… me in drag etc. Nothing was good enough for him!
We also had to contend with noisy neighbours when living together. Only with much more “dogs barking and babies crying”. These were and still are my two least favourite sounds. But one of the strange things about living in a city is how you get used to stuff like that, and happily sleep through it after a few months.
Not so much poor Mr Heckles. He seems to have developed a sort of Stockholm Syndrome over his noisy neighbours. And eventually becomes so dependent on the source of distraction from his loneliness they provide he leaves all his stuff to them…
Who needs to freecycle when you’ve got a lonely (and recently deceased) neighbour?
For Rachel and Monica this throws up issues of ownership. Are they living in a shared apartment? Or is Rachel just renting a room in Monica’s apartment? I wonder whether my Chandler Number 2 is experiencing something similar after moving into Joey Number 1s house?
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
Appropriately enough, given his status as Mr Heckles Number 1, this week’s RLSM features my dad.
I’m tempted to draw comparison between Chandler’s fear of becoming Heckles and my own concern over simply being a clone of my dad. But mercifully my dad is still with us.
We were driving up to a family wedding. By which I mean one of my cousin’s wedding. Not a wedding between family members. We’re not the nobility.
My father was driving separately ahead; as he was heading off to a golfing trip after, when we received word he’d got a flat tire.
Sure enough we caught up with him, only for my mother to refuse to follow my suggestion we stop and help. I hadn’t realised my family lived by the pirate code of “he who falls behind is left behind…”
Although I do think there was some wisdom in my mother’s statement that “there’s no point us all being late.”