Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Episode 18 - The Note

The Plot:  The premier episode of Season Three.  Jerry, George, and Elaine are all in some form of pain and they all conspire to get a free physical therapy massage by getting a note from Jerry's dentist (Roy) to present to the insurance company. When they show up for the massage, each of them ends up with a less than satisfactory experience.  Jerry's masseuse becomes paranoid and thinks Jerry is insane when he makes some casual remarks about a small boy who was kidnapped in Pennsylvania.

George becomes very uncomfortable when he finds out that his massage therapist is a man. He deadpans one of the most quoted lines in show history, when he tells Jerry that he thinks 'it moved' during the massage and starts to have doubts about his sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, Kramer claims he saw Joe DiMaggio in Dinky Donuts but the others do not believe him. According to Kramer, DiMaggio was a very 'focused' eater—the same way he used to play. Kramer knows this, as in an attempt to get his attention at the donut shop, Kramer began to pound on the table and yelp like a wounded dog.  All of his antics had no impact on Dimaggio, who kept dunking his donut without even looking up at Kramer.

Not surprisingly, Jerry gets a frantic call from his dentist letting him know that Roy got into trouble for passing around the fake massage prescriptions.

In Roy's office, George becomes uncomfortable when Roy repeatedly asks for George's opinion of Evander Holyfield. George says, "I mean, he's a nice guy and a good fighter, but I don't LIKE him." This builds on George's insecurity about his own sexuality. Since he prefers a physical therapist over just a masseuse, Jerry tries to see the physical therapist masseuse once more, but can't because she's afraid he will try to kidnap her son.

The episode ends with the four eating in Monk's, and viewing Joe DiMaggio dunking his donuts (though DiMaggio's face is never seen). George then says, "You see? Now that is a handsome man!" Jerry and Elaine raise their eyebrows. Kramer tries to break DiMaggio's concentration by banging the table and yelping again.

Fun Facts:
  • This is the only episode, besides the Pilot, that had a different theme song.  For the first episode of the season, they tried a jazzy version of the theme, complete with backup singers.  Everyone hated it and the original theme song returned the next week.
  • In the final credits, Jerry’s dentist is referred to as Lloyd, not Roy.
  • The child actor who played the massage therapist’s son, was actually Jerry’s real-life nephew.

Favorite Quote:   

This one is too obvious.  It may be the greatest George line of all time.  Could it possibly have been delivered any better?  It was so great, that he repeats it in a different context in Season Five’s The Mango.

George:  I think it moved.

Favorite Scene:   George is describing how he got injured and why he needs a massage.

George:  One of those kids called me a "Mary."
A what?
 I was jumping over a puddle and for some reason I went like this (he makes a very dainty flying gesture). They called me a "Mary." So I chased them, and I tripped and I fell.

The Lesson:  It would be oh so easy to go with the, “don’t ever try and cheat the system” lesson, but alas that’s not even a challenge.  No, I think the real message of The Note, is that “focus” is important in everything entrepreneurs do.  Haven’t you ever met people who said they were entirely organized at the office, but completely unorganized at home?  Do you believe them?  I don’t.  How often do you see a person with a neat office, but a messy car?  How about never. 

People are who they are.  People can’t be one way at work and let it all go when they leave the cozy confines of their office.  As we have noted many times, entrepreneurs are never “off the clock”.  Even if it were possible to be one way at work and another in private, you can’t afford to let everything go.  That is why you need to be focused while at work (on the task at hand), at home (where your family needs and deserves your time and attention), and even when you have one of those rare quiet moments to yourself (a donut and coffee on a Sunday morning).  The habit of being tuned in at all times is one that will allow you to recognize opportunities when you least expect to see them.

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