3.06 "Hi, Infidelity"

Aired Nov 07, 2006

Cultural References

High Fidelity (Movies)

Episode title: Hi, Infidelity

The term "high fidelity" refers to a level of sound reproduction that closely copies the original quality. The novel High Fidelity by Nick Hornby is about a man who records his life in mix-tape lists; one such list is of girlfriends who've left him. The movie High Fidelity is similar, except that instead of being set in London, it's set in Chicago, and soon there will even be a musical on Broadway. The episode title likely stems from Keith becoming involved with a woman who's not faithful to her husband. And...people being unfaithful to rules prohibiting cheating and plagiarism? Yeah, we don't know either.

The Clash (Music)

"Some lady threw her husband out of the house, right, and now she's having a garage sale of all of his stuff. London Calling, vinyl, unscratched, ninety-nine cents. Awesome, right?"

The Clash were an iconic British punk group active from the late '70s to the early '80s. They stood out from their fellow punk bands because of the political leanings of their frontman, Joe Strummer. London Calling, their third album, is widely thought of as not just the band's best, but also one of the best rock albums ever. A music geek like Piz would be over the moon to find a copy of it in good condition, and for only ninety-nine cents to boot. It's a classic!

See all references about The Clash
Richard Nixon (People)

"Will bowling take my mind off of the fact that everyone's out to get me?"
"It worked for Nixon. It will be fun."

Richard Nixon, the 37th President, was an avid bowler, and legend holds he once bowled a perfect game. It would have helped to distract him from the disaster that befell his presidency when it was revealed he was involved in the Watergate scandal. He was known for being paranoid (but turns out, people were out to get him!), so bowling probably helped distract him there, too.

Who's Who bio: Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon
After-School Special (TV)

"Oh, by the way, who's the guy you bought the test from?"
"So this whole after-school special monologue here didn't make much of an impression on you."

A series of television specials from the '70s, '80s, and '90s that aired around 4:00 p.m. — just in time to catch impressionable teens in front of the TV — these shows dished out valuable life lessons with a side of cheesy acting and bad script writing. With titles like My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel, Please Don't Hit Me, Mom, The Day My Kid Went Punk, and My Dad Can't Be Crazy (Can He?), a Very Important Lesson was hidden inside each one, just waiting to be discovered and change kids' lives forever. Wallace's after-school special could be called Cheating Put My Scholarship on the Line, but unfortunately, Veronica doesn't seem to pick up on the heavy-handed moralizing and calls Max anyway.

Franz Kafka (People)

"I wrote this paper by myself, last week."
"This must be a real Kafka-esque experience for you."

Remember that novella you probably had to read in high school where the main dude awoke one morning as a giant cockroach? You have German novelist Franz Kafka to thank for those weeks of therapy. This particular piece, The Metamorphosis, along with The Trial, The Castle, and others, has been confounding English majors and philosophy students for the better part of a century. Kafka's inventive and bizarre body of work has earned his surname a place in the lexicon, used to described situations that are frustratingly surreal and yet oddly commonplace. Kind of like a quadruple-pronged mystery about web-based plagiarism? Why, yes, kind of like that.

Who's Who bio: Franz Kafka
Emma (Literature)

"Just, Mac's had this project all week and Parker's all alone. I think we should invite her along."
"Um, how very Emma of you."
"Did you just make a Jane Austen reference? It's official, the end of days are upon us."

This classic novel by Jane Austen revolves around the life and matchmaking attempts of one Emma Woodhouse. Bored with only her eccentric father for company, Emma takes pity on her new friend Harriet and tries to find her a rich husband. Naturally, nineteenth century-style hijinks ensue. Logan apparently thinks that Veronica inviting Parker to come bowling with them is on par with Emma's machinations. We're not even going to speculate what Logan has been doing reading Jane Austen, but what he doesn't realize is that if Veronica is Emma and Parker is Harriet, that makes Logan scheming cad Frank Churchill and Piz all-around good guy Mr. Knightley who gets the girl. Hm. Come to think of it, we're okay with that comparison.

Who's Who bio: Emma Woodhouse
See all references about Jane Austen
The Big Sleep (Movies)

The best version of The Big Sleep, a novel by Raymond Chandler, was a 1946 movie starring the legendary Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Bogart played private eye Philip Marlowe (who was incidentally based on Sam Spade, the Hammett detective), hired to help a bookseller, and Bacall is the femme fatale bookseller's daughter who finds herself drawn to the tough detective. The plot is confusing, but the movie rocks. No noir festival should be without it.

The Maltese Falcon (Literature)

"I personally have never been hired to locate a Maltese falcon per se, but there was the case of the Maltese dog."

The Maltese Falcon that they're likely talking about is the 1941 movie version of a novel by Dashiell Hammett, starring Humphrey Bogart as the hard-boiled detective Sam Spade. He's hired to find the Maltese Falcon, a priceless sculpture. As with all good detective stories, it doesn't come easy, and Spade must contend with all sorts of sketchy characters. Keith would empathize, although probably a Maltese dog, small, white, and furry, would not fetch nearly as high a fee.

See all references about Sam Spade
Peter Lorre (People)

"Not exactly how I imagined the criminal underworld."
"If they were all like Peter Lorre, my job would be a little more interesting."

Keith's job would definitely be more interesting if he kept running into Peter Lorre, who is one of the most memorable actors from the 1930s and 1940s. His bulging eyes and silken voice are unmistakeable (and slightly creepy), leaving an indelible impression. He is most famous for his roles in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, where he plays shady folk who give Humphrey Bogart some trouble, but let's not forget his breakout performance as a psychotic child murderer in M and his comic turn as an alcoholic plastic surgeon in Arsenic and Old Lace. Keith may want to think twice about how...interesting he wants his job to be.

Humphrey Bogart (People)

"Thanks, Keith, for coming. These days, my husband and I are just logistics. Can't remember the last time I just hung out and talked."
"Sure. It's great talking to someone for whom Bogart isn't a verb."

Humphrey Bogart was perhaps one of the best actors of all time. Though he acted in all kinds of movies, he's best known for his detective roles, men he always managed to make sympathetic and human, while also being tough and mean. While Keith ended up where he was from a bizarre series of events, it's pretty likely he was an avid Bogart fan and saw the romance in working as a private eye.

Who's Who bio: Humphrey Bogart
See all references about Humphrey Bogart
Haymaker (Sports, Games and Toys)

"The wife's against it all: the scotch, the cigars, the televised violence. So, I kind of sneak it in whenever she has a charity function, a work function, whatever other function modern women seem to have all the time. Oh, that's a haymaker. So, if you run into her, you didn't see me. Some things she just doesn't need to know."

A "haymaker" is a punch in which the fighter puts all of his (or her) weight behind it, with the goal of knocking the opponent out. It's a dirty move, most often seen in street fighting, and is generally used only as a last resort in boxing. Little does Dean O'Dell know life has a haymaker of its own in store for him.

It's not over 'til the fat lady sings. (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Ah, my innocent Wallace. When I find out who did this, and when I make them sing like the proverbial fat lady, that's when it's over."

Anyone who has gone to the opera knows that it can seem to go on forreeeevvvveeeerrr, but when the soprano soloist shatters the chandelier, it's time to go home, if only to escape the shards of falling glass. Commonly used in sports, this saying also refers to the fact that the outcome of a game isn't known until the final buzzer sounds, no matter what the scores look like in the meantime. Veronica tells Wallace that just because she was cleared of cheating doesn't mean it's over. No! She's going to track down that dirty bastard, fat lady in tow, and make him listen to a Wagnerian aria. Then it's over. Just one quesion: where's she going to find an overweight woman on the Hearst campus? There don't seem to be many hanging around.

Rocky III (Movies)
Mr. T (People)
"Eye of the Tiger" (Music)

"Okay. You're Rocky. Mechanical Engineering is Mr. T. 'Eye of the Tiger' is playing. I'll see you later on."
"Yeah. What? When?"

Rocky III was the top-grossing film of 1982, and it tells the story of boxer Rocky Balboa being defeated by, and later triumphing over, his adversary Clubber Lang, played by "I pity the fool!" actor Mr. T. The movie's theme song, Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," remains a popular motivation tune for physical therapy patients, athletes, and, according to Veronica, failing college students. Wallace doesn't get the joke, probably because the actor who plays him was born in 1982. Man, I'm old.

Who's Who bio: Rocky Balboa
Who's Who bio: Mr. T
The Big Lebowski (Movies)

The creators of this show clearly have a fetish for The Big Lebowski. Seriously, they might need to look into a 12-step program or something. "Hi, my name is Rob Thomas, and I wish I was The Dude." "Hi, Rob."

Who's Who bio: Jeffrey Lebowski
See all references about The Big Lebowski
Turkey (Sports, Games and Toys)

"Ya-hoo! That's two-thirds of a turkey, bitches!"

A turkey is three strikes in a row in bowling. See, three strikes in baseball = bad, three strikes in bowling = good. A strike in bowling is when you knock down all the pins on your first try. Those sentences were for the sports-challenged among you. The next sentence is for the math-challenged: Two-thirds of three is two. Ergo, Parker just got her second strike in a row, bitches!

Trapper Keeper (Organizations, Companies, and Products)

"Parker wants me to find out if Piz likes her. What do I do? Pass a note? Scribble it on his Trapper Keeper?"

So a Trapper Keeper is, like, totally the coolest thing to have at school. You still use a normal binder? LAME-O!! That's, like, so boooo-ring. Your binder doesn't have that cool thing that slips over it with, like, cool pictures, or, like, the hottest guys from TV shows on it, does it? Or a Velcro flap to keep it closed. Does it? Or pockets to hold everything. Does it? Yeah, that's what I thought. You're a LOSER. Totally lame. I'm totally not passing you any notes in your ugly, boring binder. Oh, and Veronica? You've gotta write a note with the checkboxes, and give that to Piz. Boys are kinda dumb, and he might not figure it out if you don't tell him, like, exactly what you want him to say. So, it should say, "Do you think Parker's, like, hot? Check yes or no."

Night of the Living Dead (Movies)

"That boy doesn't know it yet but he's the living dead."

Zoooooommmmbies. Eeeeeeat. Braaaaaaainssssss. Okay, seriously, the living dead are the subject of George A. Romero's series of movies, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, and, released almost 20 years after the original movie, Land of the Dead. Veronica threatens to turn Jeff Ratner into a zombie by...planting tiny shampoo bottles in his trunk? That'll show him.

Sleeping Beauty (Literature)

"Good day, Sleeping Beauty."

This classic fairy tale tells of a beautiful princess who falls into an enchanted slumber after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, cursed to sleep until awakened by a kiss from a handsome prince. Mason compares Wallace to the ensorcelled princess, but girl, please: Sleeping Beauty wouldn't be caught dead with a messed up 'fro and pajamas, even if she was late for basketball practice, and I seriously doubt that she drools in her sleep like a certain freshman basketball player who shall remain nameless. On the other hand, I'll take Piz as my Prince Charming any day of the week.

Bigfoot (Religion, Folklore, and Urban Legends)

"If it's Bigfoot, we checked. He's got an alibi."

It's not Bigfoot, Lamb. It's the Swamp Thing. Jeez. Get it right. But, since Lamb insists on clearing Bigfoot's name... Bigfoot is a mythical creature usually found in the mountains, standing about 9 feet tall and covered in black, gorilla-like hair. His name, very unoriginally, comes from the large human-like footprints he leaves behind when leaving the campsites of travelers that he's tortured. Hey, Lamb: you've cleared Bigfoot, but does Sasquatch have an alibi?

Who's Who bio: Bigfoot
Diaper Dandy (Words, Sayings, and Slogans)

"Hey. How's my diaper dandy? Here to get some extra work in?"
"Actually, Coach, I got this class that's killing me and I could drop it, change majors, but it's what I want to do for a living. Uh, I think I need to take the semester off. I'd be back by mid-season. I know you don't have to keep me on scholarship."

This is college sports commentator Dick Vitale's term for a sensational freshman basketball player. Wallace's coach certainly thinks he fits the bill, and though he doesn't wear diapers on the basketball court, let's hope Wallace was wearing a diaper when he was caught cheating on his mechanical engineering exam. Otherwise, the puddle he left on the floor would have been...not so dandy.

"I'm Not In Love" (Music)

"I'm not in love, so don't forget it

It's just a silly phase I'm going through

And just because I call you up

Don't get me wrong, don't think you've got it made

I'm not in love, no, no, it's because...

I like to see you, but then again

That doesn't mean you mean that much to me"

Whether the mic is controlled by 10cc or that wildly popular '90s act Will to Power (!), "I'm Not in Love" is all about the lead singer doth protesting way too effing much. When the third verse finds the narrator claiming his/her non-crush's photo is prominently framed only to hide a "nasty stain that's lying [on the wall]," the jig is clearly up. The only time Keith Mars is "not in love" with Harmony Chase is on opposite day, people.

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