Quotable Ian: Is “Mad Men” Good for Me?

Originally done for Tumblr but, in hindsight, a bad fit there, this is a transcription of an actual exchange my young son, Ian, the boy wonder, and I had on the way to lunch one day after we stopped at the post office to drop a Netflix envelope into the mailbox.

SCENE: Ian is seated in the back seat of my sedan, and as I get in the car and turn the key, he begins the conversation like he always does — with a question, or two dozen.Ian: “Is that Mad Men?”

Me: “No. It’s a movie I watched last night.”

Ian: “Did you watch it On Demand?”

Me: “No. It’s Netflix.”

Ian: “Oh, on the Wii …”

Me: “No. It was a disc.”

Ian: “A BluRay?”

Me: “Nope, just DVD.”

Ian: “Should have got the BluRay.”

Me: “It wasn’t that important …”

Ian: “What was it?”

Me: “It was a movie called, ‘Date Night.’”

Ian: “Like you and mommy?”

Me: “Not like anything mommy and I have done, but kind of like that.”

Ian: “Was it good?”

Me: “Meh. OK. Passed the time.”

Ian: “You should have watched Mad Men.”

Me: “Maybe.”

Ian: “Is Mad Men good for me?”

Me: “No. Not really.”

Ian: “Who is in Mad Men?”

Me: “What do you mean … like the actors?”

Ian: “No, the names. Like the guy who looks like Darth Vader’s Apprentice.”

Me: “I don’t think there is a guy like that.”

Ian: “Oh, yes. I saw it on the box. There is. He’s just like him.”

Me: “OK. Maybe it was Don Draper.”

Ian: “Is that a character? What are some others?”

Me: “Mommy likes Draper. He has a wife, Betty. Roger Sterling. Kinsey. Pete Campbell. Peggy. Cooper. Ducks.”

Ian: “Does it have guns?”

Me: “I don’t think so. I can remember one time it had a gun.”

Ian: “Who had the gun?”

Me: “I think it was Pete Campbell.”

Ian: “Oh, is he a bad guy?”

Me: “Hard to tell. Probably.”

Ian: “Is he conflicted?

Me: “I guess. He’s just not nice sometimes.”

Ian: “Did he shoot the gun?”

Me: “He didn’t shoot the gun, no. Just picked it up. Looked at it. It was over quick.”

Ian: “Why is it not good for me then?”

Me: “It has a lot of adult talk. Adult words.”

Ian: “What does that mean?”

Me: “Conversations you know that use words not good for kids.”

Ian: “Is it scary?”

Me: “No, I don’t think that’s it … “

Ian: “Oh. I see. It’s not good for me because it’s adult stuff.”

Me: “Right.”

Ian: “Adult talking. But it’s more talking, less guns.”


This conversation happened on Dec. 27, 2010. Ian was 4 years old. It was originally transcribed for Facebook, but recreated here to avoid losing it to waves of other data and time. Warning: I’ve got a stack of these piling up on my desk in various stages of completion.



1 thought on “Quotable Ian: Is “Mad Men” Good for Me?

  1. I wish I had transcribed some of the conversations my (now 13 year old) son and I had when he was 3 and 4….I’m sure they would help me remember how sweet he used to be before I got so stupid (not that he would dare call me that, but tone is everything). We occasionally still have a good conversation, but it seems like everything these days is a negotiation.

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