(referring to an offer he made to Donna for her signed Rangers Pennant)
Hey, don't believe those collectible prices they quote you on the TV, Miss. That market's pumped like Holland Tulips
, in the early 1600s are the earliest known example of a speculative bubble in collectibles. There are known instances of a tulip bulb costing more than ten times the annual income of skilled craftsmen. Since then, Tulip Mania
has become a byword for a speculative bubble.
Title: Oscar, Meyer, Weiner
A weiner is a packaged meat product, akin to a sausage. Often called "hot dogs" in the USA, there is a strong name-brand recognition with a company named Oscar Mayer, who, for many years, ran a series of very successful ad campaigns with slogans like "I'd love to be an Oscar Mayer Weiner". There are even jokes surrounding the catch-phrase with a man singing it absent-mindedly as the last of three wishes from a Djinn. The title connects aspects of the statuette theft storyline, given the Oscar statuette, the connection to film (of which MGM -- Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer -- is one of the most well-known studios), and the euphemistic use of the term weiner to refer to a man's genitalia, especially in the case's connection to homosexual oral sex.
This episode is heavy on racial issues, some are overt, others subtle. The central case, of an upper-class, very liberal couple brutally killed in a robbery, which matches other robbery-murders in which the known descriptions of the perps are black, leads to questions about race-based connections to the couple. Naturally, there is some animosity on the part of those questioned, despite the facts of the case. Sipowicz, who has done everything by the book, takes personally the accusation of racism from one of the men questioned. At the end, Fancy invites Sipowicz to have dinner with him, in a crowded restaurant frequented by blacks, to make a point: "These people are all doing their jobs, no matter how they feel about you. Why do you feel uncomfortable? Now suppose they had guns and badges." It's an effective scene with a good point. Though Sipowicz was just doing his job, and doing it properly, it doesn't change some of the underlying feelings about a very complex situation, and calls for an effort to be tolerant all around.