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Your lifestyle, your quirk
This week, Parks and Rec took on a lot of serious issues in a humorous way. First off, the cause du jour of texting while driving is taken on when Tom is found guilty of tweeting behind the wheel, causing an accident. Though he denies it, his Twitter feed is full of tweets about driving that confirm he was on Twitter at the wheel; he even tweeted that he had crashed into a fire hydrant. The judge at his trial orders him to spend a week with no screens: no television, phone, computers, or anything else with a screen. He doesn’t handle it well; though he lives three miles from town hall, he gets lost on the way to work without his GPS. He deals with the technology withdrawal by making a low-tech Pinterest board on a bulletin board and making an iPhone out of cardboard. Ron decides to help him by taking him to his off-the-grid cabin.
The next issue dealt with is the rising rate of Chlamydia, especially among senior citizens. Leslie notes that most seniors never got proper sexual education; when added with the availability of erectile dysfunction drugs and all the time retired people have on their hands, the disease is spreading rapidly. Leslie hosts a meeting to teach seniors about safe sex. The seniors are eager to learn because most are sexually active, some with more than one partner at a time, and up until now their main concerns were broken hips, heart attacks, and a partner dying on top of them. Chris shuts the meeting down because Pawnee’s morality watchdogs, Marcia and Marshall Langston, show up to prevent the lesson. It turns out that Pawnee’s laws about abstinence-only education apply to the whole town, not just schools, so Leslie’s presentation is illegal.
Anne is suddenly dressing like a cowgirl because of her new cowboy boyfriend, Ricky. They just got back from a dude ranch and Ricky bought her a hat and blouse, so she looks like she belongs back on the ranch.
Back at Ron’s cabin, Ron has to show Tom that he doesn’t need WebMD to pull a splinter out. Ron suggests that Tom talk about what he does on the Internet to get it out and cleanse himself. He starts, but ends up talking about his Internet activity for the entire day, causing Ron to cut him off. He believes that Tom is addicted to technology, which Tom agrees with. To celebrate this new step in his life, Tom asks for the keys to Ron’s car to buy some celebratory steaks. Instead, Tom drives to Best Buy to buy a burner phone and uses it to tweet, which he is doing when he crashes Ron’s car into a tree. Tom believes that he turns to technology so often because his real life isn’t so great. Ron agrees not to tell the judge about this indiscretion if Tom reads a car repair book from front to back and helps him to repair his car.
Over in Washington, April and Ben meet the congressman they’re working for. His responses indicate that he’s not listening to what you’re saying and when he sits in his office, he stares at a wall smiling. April believes he is a robot.
Leslie finds out that 85 percent of Pawnee’s citizens support the abstinence-only law, so she feels that it would be unfair to try to change the law (even though sex education is needed among the seniors). Leslie agrees to make an abstinence-only presentation with the Langstons to the seniors. Marshall Langston, who is flamboyant, raps about waiting for marriage (he waited for some time after marriage, too). Leslie begins the presentation by reading a religious pamphlet about how the devil lives in the nooks and crannies of our bodies, but the seniors demand to see a condom put onto a banana. Leslie obliges and is hit with a censure from the mayor’s office.
While Chris is proud of Leslie, he recommends that she apologize publicly for her illegal presentations. Leslie appears on local television to say that she’s sorry, but in a twist, she apologizes for antiquated laws and vows to work to change them. She wears the censure like a scarlet letter on her chest. Guess that’s her next project.
Leslie points out to Anne that she is trying to become like Ricky instead of staying like herself. She dressed in plaid when she dated Andy and spandex when she dated Chris, now she’s moved on to cowboy shirts and Daisy Duke shorts with Ricky. Leslie convinces her to stay herself.
So if you learn anything from Thursday night TV, maybe it should be that sex education is important, texting while driving is a bad idea, and that you should be yourself in relationships.