I always liked the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," but until Monday night I never knew how much.
In the latest episode, the show's best characters—the delightfully sleazy Barney and the comely Robin with the odd masculine taste—are set for with their last night out before their impending nuptials. The plan is to relax and celebrate "everything that makes us awesome" at their favorite table at a familiar bistro.
They are drinking tumblers of Scotch at the bar, when Barney says he almost forgot something. He produces a plastic bag with two cigars. An appreciative Robin coos, "No way. Is that...?" Barney confirms, "El piramide, the first cigar we ever smoked together." (Small point of order: If memory, of an episode aired years ago, serves me right, the pyramids they actually smoked first were Partagás, which these cigars didn't appear to be, but I'll have to take that up with the show's continuity department.)
Their revelry almost immediately ends when an obnoxious p.c. yuppie couple complains. Robin explains that they're not going to light them up. They just want to look at them.
"Right," says the woman. "The smell even when they're unlit is very..."
"...pungent," the so-called male in the relationship finishes her sentence. He even wants them to put the bag away. "It's just reeeeally unappetizing."
When the couple steals their table by the window, the games begin. In unison, Barney and Robin decide to "make those smug, obnoxious sons-of-bitches pay." I've said too much already, so I won't ruin the clever way they go about it. Hopefully, you have it on TiVo, or can watch it online.
Anyway, the way the writers quickly got the point across that this couple was just unbearably awful was to present them as baseless cigar haters. Even when Barney and Robin didn't plan to light up, they imposed their opinionated will. And the viewer immediately understood the scenario. You know those people. Obnoxious. Perfect.
Alas, the show is about to run its cycle as the whinny main character, Ted, appears set to finally reveal how it is he met the kids' mother.
Well, at least there's always syndication.