Well I know one thing, avoid going to retirement homes…

OVERTHINKING IT: The OTHER Things I Learned From Watching Breaking Bad

So the most intense show about cooking meth and the consequences of cooking meth is finally over. After five long seasons, we finally see what happened to Walter White, his family, his on-again-off-again-on-again-off-again-on-again partner Jessie Pinkman, and the rest of cast of this modern Greek tragedy on AMC. Like all good shows, we can learn things from them. Now obviously we learned from Breaking Bad is that we should never, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER dabble in the realm of illegal substance. You’d always wind up in jail (and shiv’d), riddled with bullets, or turn into some kind of primordial soup thanks to “Mr. Hydrofluoric Acid”.

Still, there are other things that this show has taught us and we yet don’t know about it. And I’m not just talking about raspberry/cotton candy flavored rock candy can be an excellent prop for crystal meth (which from what I heard is delicious) or that some actors have good range (seriously, they turned the dad from “Malcolm in the Middle” into the most badass character ever created for cable TV). I’m talking about the little small things that may one day pop out of nowhere and be some helpful advice or at least help you in a tough game of Trivial Pursuit. You’ll thank my overthinking mind for this.

Okay we cool? Cool.
Moving on.

1. Never hire a lawyer that works out of a mini-mall.

“You don’t want a criminal lawyer. You want a CRIMINAL lawyer.”

Aside never trusting lawyers in general, you should never really trust one that parked his service right next to the Orange Julius. I mean if you haven’t learned your lesson from Lionel Hutz, you can damn well learn from Saul Goodman. The man’s performed heinous acts aside from the whole “Heisenberg thing with the meth”. Think about his other ventures. Illegal possession of a tiger? Saul knows a way to get it to Texas where it’s legal to own one, meaning he likely did it before. Have too much money that will get the feds’ attention? Five words: laser tag and nail salon. And if those weren’t enough to drive the stake home, he once convinced a woman that he was Kevin Costner (and after doing “Waterworld” and “The Postman”, not even Kevin Costner wants to be Kevin Costner).

So if you need legal advice, best you actually save up a few bucks and avoid the guy who’s business shares a trash receptacle with the Chinese restaurant with the “C+ Rating” from the health inspector.

Unless, of course, you need a guy who knows a guy…who knows a guy that can do your dirty work and get rid of those “ape bones” your neighbor found in his petunias (and for a couple bucks extra, your neighbor can be sent on a trip to Belize).

2. The balder you are, the more dangerous you are.

According to this logic, Mr. Clean would be the most dangerous man in the world.

As mentioned in “The Oatmeal”, the less hair you had on you head, the more dangerous you were. Don’t believe me or the comic? Let’s make a few examples.

Walt. Jr – Full head of hair. The only threat he made was to the cereal boxes in his kitchen cabinet.

Gale Boetticher – Nearly had all of his hair. He’s a full blown hippie scientist who made the best cup of coffee through the use of a Rube Goldberg machine.

Jesse Pinkman – Early seasons he was just another suburban white kid gangsta wannabe who just cooked horrible meth and had a full head of hair. Then in later seasons, he got a very close buzzcut and he shot the hippie in cold blood and did other nasty things.

Gustavo Fring – Chicken shop owner with peach fuzz hair. Killed an entire cartel with one bottle of tequila and managed to get people killed after his own death (see the Madrigal board member).

Walter White – Thanks to his strategical and quick thinking he racked up more kills than a high ranked Heimerdinger player in an ARAM game of LOL. His most known kill-streak was using his connections with Jack (who had thinning hair btw) and ganking nine prisoners in different prisons within a two minute time frame. And Walter’s hair during all of this? Bald with only a mustache.

(Though that’s up there with what he did in the final episode, where he channeled his inner-TF2 engineer and took out and entire neo-nazi compound. Sad to say, he had a full head of hair during that time).

Anyway, what we learn from this?

Having hair = sanity and likelihood of being non-threatening.

3. Never ever use stevia.

And they said using five packets of splenda in my Chik-Fil-A ice tea was going to kill me.

Lydia Rodarte-Quayle aka the most high-strung business executive ever to exist/not-really-exist, kind of reminds me of Teru Mikami from “Death Note”. They both are in high-powered positions and follow a strict routine. They also will do anything to make sure they meet their goals. Unfortunately due to their strict routine lifestyles, it causes their end. In Death Note, Teru Mikami’s strict way of doing things causes him to be caught in the police’s trap which eventually leads to his death.

In Breaking Bad, Lydia is known to always do the same thing, drink tea with only and I mean ONLY, stevia. Due to her obsession with the sugar substitute, she doesn’t realize she accidentally drank her tea with ricin laced with stevia. Which goes to show, maybe changing things up a bit wouldn’t kill you. Which is why when I use splenda, I make sure I get them from different Circle Ks and Starbucks in my area.

Though speaking of stevia, after it was used as a deadly plot device in the series, I wonder how the sugar substitute industry is going to counter attack the negative publicity.

“Hmmm….might want rethink that marketing campaign, boys.”

4. Taking high school physics class seems to be a better choice.

Either this is a scene from Breaking Bad,
or someone just happened to take a picture of me during sophomore year chemistry.

For those who don’t know, I didn’t do well in chemistry class. Hell, I barely passed it thanks to a nearly clueless chemistry teacher who never understood the concept of “never tuck your shirt into your underpants”. In Physics class, I succeeded because I was influenced heavily by watching stuff blow up. Which lead me to obsessively build a largely overpowered potato cannon that fired a potato so high into the air, that when it came down, the spud indented itself into next door neighbor’s front lawn.

Think what would happen if I was good at chemistry class. Where would I be now? Well instead of typing this article at 2:30AM in the morning, I would be jumping out of an RV stuck in the New Mexican desert only armed with my glasses and my underwear.

5. Don’t ever trust overly nice people who work in food service.

“He seems nice. And he told us about the new spicy chicken tacos they’re going start severing next month.”

Look at “good” Gustavo Fring. As the owner of several Los Pollos Hermanos restaurants in the Southwestern United States, he’s the nicest man ever. He loves Chilean cooking, playing golf with his superiors from the German home office, and runs his restaurants like a tight ship.

“He seems nice. And he told us if we cross him in his meth distribution business,
he’s going go kill us all with a boxer cutter!”

Then look at “bad” Gustavo Fringe (aka the real Gus). He wiped out an entire cartel, made an example to Walter and Jesse thanks to his friend Mr. Box Cutter and Mr. Victor, and distributed meth throughout the southwest through tubs of fried chicken batter. He did all of this while hiding in plain sight. Of course, when he left us, at least he went out with a bang and left nothing but a mark (and half of his face).

Which has taught me this. Be cautious of fast food workers that are overly polite. Which is why I don’t give my name at Chik-Fil-A (seriously why do need to know my name, I just want to clog my arteries), refuse to be called a “guest” at In-N-Out Burger, and ignore the pleas of “there’s only a three packet limit on honey mustard sauce, sir”.

Oh sure, you’re just saying that because if I take more than three, I’ll uncover your distribution secret! I’m onto you. I’m onto you burger jockeys! (Especially you Johnny Rockets!)

Many unorthodox yet helpful things can be learned from this AMC show and many other programs on the television box. All it takes some overthinking and a bit of time and you can also catch many lessons that you were unaware of. Now if you excuse me, I have to call a local Home Depot for a replacement bathtub.