Apprentice
Backs Against The Wal-Mart

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Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Twelve: Use Your Words

Commercial: Creepy robot fingers probing and stroking and touching and fingering and rubbing and frottaging the new Lexus, inside and out. Is it possible to engineer desire? I have neither the time nor the inclination to go there, but (A) GROSS and (B) see, Tammy?

The boys take a "stretch" limo (two trashy concepts I don't understand, one building on the other) to DreamWorks and hang out with (and by that I mean "bore") Katzenberg. Sean writes an intense love letter about Katzenberg now that's a lot like the paragraph immediately above. They sit down and they -- and by "they," I mean "we" -- learn all the fuck about the movie, which they preview and laugh so, so hard at. Sean writes a love letter to the movie, and to William Shatner. I don't have the energy to discuss this behavior with you anymore, I really don't. Sometimes, Sean, we like to feel like the prettiest girl at the ball, but if you're so interested in proving how immensely enthusiastic about girls you are all the time, when you tell us we're the prettiest, we aren't going to believe you, and it's going to be kind of an insult. That is my advice to you, but it is also a metaphor for my other advice to you, which is: stuff and places and companies feel the same way. Your ability to switch asses mid-kiss is not lost on us. They go into the booth and schmuck around and do their lines, where these two dudes are barbecuing and something comes flying from over the hedge, I guess, and they both go "Whoa!" and it's stupid and it takes a billion years for this. "Whoa!" Not interested in letting us down, Sean goes wildly overboard, of course, in discussing the experience: "I truly believed in my soul that I was 'Barbecue Barry'; I was like, 'Man, I'm feeling you, man! I'm feeling you!'" I'd like to feel this: Click, click, click. There's more shadowboxing, and then Sean shitting himself as they watch the scene. He gets all kind of Elliott Yamin with the teeth and the self-conscious "Did you see how excited I am? Hey. Hey! Having a great and hilarious time over here! Sweatin' with joy!" Everybody screening their wonderful "Whoa" performances applauds and they applaud themselves, of course, and the DreamWorks people fake-huddle and Katzenberg says, "You're hired!" Which is, see, a joke. Which Sean doesn't get, so then we sit through a love letter to fate and destiny and serendipshit about how he hopes somebody else says that phrase to him soon.

Roxanne and Allie are so, so bummed. About the task, and not their obnoxious behavior, because they would be "great" in a cartoon, because their voices are fit for stardom. If Roxanne were a cartoon character, she'd be...see, I don't know cartoons! The only cartoon I ever watched was Pepper-Ann, because I support my lesbian sisters. And Mo Rocca used to write for it. If I were making up a cartoon, though, Roxanne would be "Snopes McGee," a no-nonsense kid who was always solving crimes like Encyclopedia Brown, and Allie would be the pixie-voiced villain, "Sweetie Penmark," who fools all the adults into thinking she's sweet as pie, when really she's just biding her sociopathic time. The first season would end with her diving into the town lake for her penmanship award, and all you see is bubbles, and that's the cliffhanger. The second season would reveal that she's faked her own death and it's actually her that ruined the school play, and this particular hijink has set her back a grade, and that's what really causes her to break with reality because she already knows subtraction and she hates being treated like she's not Gifted & Talented, so she leads an abortive coup during naptime that results in the permanent disfigurement of the school's Language Arts teacher: ironically, she bites through her own tongue and can no longer properly pronounce coronal consonants, so she has to just grade essays all the time, which gives her the ability to perfectly mimic all the students' handwriting, including the seemingly repentant Sweetie Penmark, who is eventually struck by lightning after the Language Lab teacher tells her to do a role-playing project about "Bendanin Fnanknin," thus finally getting revenge for her tongue disability. It's kind of high-concept, but that's The N is for.

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