“Mad (Men) Lib,” by Michael Wolman

Jun 6th, 2012 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Mad Men is a popular show on {previously obscure acronym} about Madison Avenue during the industry’s golden era: the early {decade often portrayed using broad generalizations and hackneyed, one-dimensional stereotypes}. The show has received much acclaim, particularly for its verisimilitude and perspicacity in capturing the zeitgeist of the period, which is a phrase that the {synonym for “affected pedants”} who watch Mad Men would understand but you probably don’t.

The main character is Don Draper, the firm’s {now-obsolete profession} in the show’s first few seasons, and later a partner. Don is a handsome and {synonym for “handsome”} charmer who has bedded approximately {large number} women over the course of the first four-plus seasons. No, more. {Larger number}? Close enough. Anyway, he’s quite the lothario, much to the dismay of his beautiful but {any negative adjective} and {any negative adjective} now-ex-wife, Betty.

Don seems to live a charmed life—successful career, beautiful family, seemingly endless pipeline of gorgeous young women who are defenseless against his {synonym for “handsomeness”}—but he has a dark secret: his real name isn’t Don Draper. It’s {slang word for “penis”} {American poet surname}. Like James Gatz/Jay Gatsby, another iconic character who isn’t quite what he claims to be, Schlong Frost/Don Draper moved to New York from the sticks and adopted a new identity in order to pursue the American Dream.

Don is played by Jon Hamm, a handsome and {synonym for “handsome”} actor who has probably bedded {large number} women since landing this choice role. No, more. {Larger number}? Close enough.

Anyway, Don is far from the only cad on the show. Roger Sterling, a {precious metal} {canine species} with a penchant for young secretaries, carries on a longtime affair with Joan Halloway, the firm’s alluringly {synonym for “voluptuous” / “curvaceous”/“shapely”/“buxom”/“zaftig”} office manager. He later seduces one of the new hires, Jane Siegel, then falls in {love/lust – choose one} with and marries her before realizing she’s {any adjective unrelated to beauty} and starts up again with Joan (now married herself), ultimately getting her pregnant.

Speaking of unwanted pregnancies, in the show’s first season, one of the firm’s ambitious, {any negative adjective} young account executives, Pete Campbell, who is engaged at the time, knocks up co-worker Peggy Olson during a brief liaison. Peggy, who starts out as a secretary but quickly becomes a rising star as a {now-obsolete profession}, somehow doesn’t know she’s pregnant until she goes into labor. She chooses not to raise the baby herself, never tells Pete about it, and Pete marries Trudy, whose father is the key to Pete landing a crucial account for the firm.

Meanwhile, Don has a season-long affair with a beautiful {minority marginalized in the 1960s}, Sal remains a closeted {minority marginalized in the 1960s}, Lane falls in love with a beautiful {minority marginalized in the 1960s}, and the firm continues hiring {minority marginalized in the 1960s (plural)} to handle administrative duties while enduring constant condescension and sexual harassment from the {only group not marginalized in the 1960s (plural)}.

Sound absurd? {Large number} Emmys say otherwise!


Michael Wolman’s humor has appeared in Defenestration, The Big Jewel, Hobo Pancakes, and The Mad Hatters’ Review, among others. Some women say he looks “a little, but not really” like Don Draper “in the right light.” You can follow him in the blogosphere at wolmanr’s.tumblr and in the Twittersphere @WolmanTweets, but honestly, do you really want to keep up with someone who uses words like “blogosphere” and “Twittersphere”?

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