by John Walters

Yesterday was 5, 15, 15, a perfectly palindromic day. Sorry I missed you. But, you know, the Cavs had played one night before and life’s more fun when I am frustrating Susie B. Please enjoy this edition of Medium Tardy.

Starting Five

Don, looking Draper-y

1. The Last Don

“Everything was good. Now everything was bad. I knew I’d pay for this.”

That’s Peggy Olson, who hooks up with Abe for the first time only to come into work the following Monday to learn that Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce has lost the Lucky Strike account. But that’s life (that’s what people say).

Having spent more than half my career based out of the same Time-Life Building as SCDP,  I have found myself catching parts of the Mad Men marathon (AMC) and thinking of this essential truth: Life is a constant battle of ups and downs, personally and professionally. Sometimes you are your best — and/or only advocate — and sometimes you are your own worst enemy (Please tell me why my car is in the front yard…). Sometimes others are your greatest ally (Peggy) or your worst nemesis (usually, Pete).

The biggest difference is there’s a lot less Scotch in my (and, I assume, your) life.

2. “Take One Last Look”

As the final scene of Mad Men would have fittingly been Don at that bus stop outside Alva, Oklahoma, last Sunday night (finally at peace, waiting to board a bus to his next chapter), this brand new Tom Waits tune from Thursday night could have worked as the final moment from Letterman. Earlier in the show, Waits sat on the couch and was quite funny, talking about people in Manhattan who wait in long lines for lunch salads (“I felt embarrassed for them, to be honest”) and about wanting to attend a rally to “free the Glutens.”

Dave, taking the James Corden route

That interview was enhanced by the fact that George Clooney was handcuffed to Letterman and listening in, but Clooney was only seen in profile.

3. One Seeds Hold

DeMarre Carroll scored 25 points in the Hawks’ closeout win and will likely draw LeBron James in the EC Finals.

Both Atlanta and Golden State found themselves trailing in their respective series, to Washington and Memphis, two games to one, a week ago. Both then finished off their opponents with three straight victories. It was a lot hairier for the Hawks, who needed seven games in the opening round to slip past the Brooklyn Nyets. Atlanta won the final three games versus the Wizards by a total of nine points.

So it’s 1 versus 2 (Cleveland) in the East and it could be 1 vs. 2 (Houston, who hosts the Clips in Game 7) out West, but I see the Clippers advancing in Houston in a rare Game 7 matinee.

4. Mad Men? No, Mad Max

And he doesn’t have “accident forgiveness.”* *the judges will also accept, “Halt and catch fire.”

Two years ago Tom Hardy starred in a film titled Locke, whose plot revolved around him driving non-stop from Birmingham to London (it would have made an even better film if that Birmingham were the Alabama one, not the English one). Now he’s back in another starring vehicle in a quasi-reprise of the original 1979 Mad Max film.

Charlize (right). There really are not enough shower facilities at Coachella

I haven’t yet seen Mad Max: Fury Road, but the critics are agog. Seriously: agog. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 98%. Meanwhile, there are reports that the film is being boycotted by “men’s rights activists.” There are men’s rights activists? Man-child, please.

5. Soooeeey, Sandi!

It has been awhile since the inter webs went full-on bonkers about a female collegiate (or prep) pole vaulter (Jason, you are losing your touch). This is Sandi Morris of Arkansas, the reigning NCAA Indoor Champ who just emerged as the SEC champion in that event yesterday. On to the NCAA Outdoors in Eugene (no better place to stage ’em, every year) from June 10-13. By then I do believe her inter webs fame will be fully BLOWED UP (a little credit to the kid, here, please) and she’ll be an ESPN or FOX sideline reporter by 2018.

Music 101

We’ve Only Just Begun

So many roads to choose/We’ll start out walkin’ and learn to run

I was searching for songs from 1971 that could work as the curtain-closing tune for Mad Men tomorrow night. So many good songs. American Pie, arguably THE signature tune of American pop, is an obvious choice. There are other classics such as Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, John Lennon’s Imagine (I mean, what a year), Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord and Carole King’s It’s Too Late. But I’m going to guess Matt Weiner, if he even stays in 1971, strays a little from the obvious. And so I’m going to go with this tune from The Carpenters, We’ve Only Just Begun (even if it was actually released in August of 1970). It hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts

p.s. Okay, I think Weiner will go with American Pie. Those rights won’t be cheap.

Remote Patrol

Mad Men Marathon & Finale

AMC Now ’til 10 p.m., Sunday

Good morning, yesterday/You wake up/And time has slipped away… AMC is slaying me with that promo using the Paul Anka song from my youth. I’ve wanted to go out and purchase a Kodak camera at least half a dozen times in the past few days. This is our final partners meeting with Don, Roger, Pete, Joan (and Peggy). I have absolutely no clue as to what will happen in the final, other than Matt Weiner left the door open for a jump forward into the future or to focus on just one character. As much as I’ll miss them, we really have no pressing reason to see Roger, Peggy, Joan, Pete or Betty again. Oh, and in a list of the top 50 Mad Men characters from last week, Rolling Stone put Pete at 14th –he’s no lower than 5th, at the very least — and didn’t even include Bob Benson. What do I think of that list? “Not great, Bob.”

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