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'Curb Your Enthusiasm': Larry's laws of life

November 9, 2009 |  7:20 am


"I'm Larry David and I happen to enjoy wearing women's panties."

Throughout the seven seasons of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry David has marched to the beat of his own drum, embracing the quirky idiosyncrasies that make him the curmudgeonly individual that he is.

One of those little quirks is Larry's insistence on following his own unique code of ethics and living his life according to certain irrefutable Laws and Regulations that exist only in his mind. 

On this week's episode of "Curb," Larry issued five new edicts to which he said everyone he encountered should ascribe.

1) There are only two ways to injure your neck. Though Larry often finds himself at the receiving end of a butt-kicking from the universe, every now and then something goes his way. To wit: After promising ex-wife Cheryl the role of George's ex-wife, Amanda, in the "Seinfeld" reunion, Larry discovered that Jerry wanted to give the part to someone else, namely Valerie (guest star Elisabeth Shue) ... but Valerie ended up having to drop out of the project after she injured her neck. While Larry was overjoyed at being able to fulfill his promise to Cheryl (and perhaps pave the path to reconciliation in the process), he soon embarked on a witch hunt to determine just how Valerie hurt her neck, whether it was a car accident or a certain sexual act that he contended Valerie performed upon Cheryl. Only Larry David and Jeff Greene would consider that these were the only two possibilities. (For the record, it was a car accident, after all.) 

2) Cheryl was there, therefore she's the best actress for the role. I can't quite understand Larry's logic with this one. Yes, these events actually happened to Cheryl, and Larry (very thinly) fictionalized them here and changed the character's name. But just because Cheryl lived through the turbulent-airplane/TiVo-guy situation doesn't mean that she's automatically the best person for the job. Especially since her reading didn't come anywhere close to Valerie's professional and hysterical performance. Sorry, Larry. Not a lot of wiggle room on this one.

3) There is no difference between wife and ex-wife status. Having met up with Valerie at the audition, Cheryl went to lunch with Valerie and her boyfriend Dennis and was propositioned about having a threesome. Despite the fact that she told Larry about the conversation and that she was flattered (but didn't say anything to indicate that she went through with it), Larry confronted Dennis at his office and told him Cheryl was off-limits. Um, hello, there's a major difference between propositioning someone's wife and propositioning someone's EX-wife. Despite the fact that Dennis seems like a total sleaze, Larry is completely out of order. He's not married to Cheryl, and she is free to do whatever she wants, despite his wish that if she were to participate in a ménage à trois that it should be with him. File that under NEVER.

4) You take my pants, I take your pants. This is where things get really fuzzy. Larry did leave Banana Republic without paying for those pants as he didn't want to wait around for a few hours for the store to reopen after a fire alarm was sounded. And, yes, the store should have been able to hold onto his pants, but Larry really shouldn't have just taken off without paying for his pants or waiting to get his own pair of trousers from the dressing room. (Still not sure how Larry managed to have his keys and wallet with him while trying on pants, however.) But his eye-for-an-eye mentality is just shortsighted, really; because the store lost his pants (or, excuse me, because his pants are "gone") doesn't entitle him to steal a different pair. 

5) Everyone deserves an "adult critique," even children. Only Larry David would complain about a $1 cup of lemonade made by children at a neighborhood stand and demand his money refunded after being dissatisfied with the product. Though the kids' mother was a loony herself (she followed him to Jeff and Susie's house and threatened to call the cops if he spoke to her kids again), Larry really does need to bite his tongue, even if it's being stung from too many lemons. Especially when kids are involved. They might be in the "kids bubble" as the menacing mom claims, but Larry needn't burst it.

But lest we think Larry is all bad, there is the fifth and final law of this week's episode that proves that Larry might just be a softie at heart:

6) No matter how ridiculous the request, always stick up for your best friend. Even when that means Larry's covering for yet another extramarital dalliance by claiming that the panties discovered by Susie in Jeff's car actually belong to him. And, despite attempting to overact the "tranny" side of the pantie-wearing equation, Larry does commit wholeheartedly to the ruse, even going so far as to don some tight red women's underpants and disrobing when accused of shoplifting by the "West Side Story"-oblivious Officer Krupke. If that's not the definition of friendship, I don't know what is.

What did you think of this week's episode? Do you follow any of Larry's Laws? Is there any hope for Larry and Cheryl to get back together after this latest blunder? Will Jeff ever learn his lesson and stop cheating on Susie? Still singing "Officer Krupke"? Head to the comments section to discuss.

-- Jace Lacob (follow my musings on television, food and more television on Twitter at @televisionary)

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Photo: Larry David, from "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Credit: Doug Hyun / HBO