Las Vegas, Baby!

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Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
Lesson Twelve: Go With Your Gut

So Frank's screaming at Heidi to focus, and she keeps the tomato, the eggplant, saffron, chicken breast, flying through the air around her head, talking talking talking, as he standing at the computer, still advising the designer on the video, yelling at her that if she doesn't start typing, they're dead. She continues to read the words in front of her face like a Torah portion, no tonality or feeling, trying different combinations in different orders like a safecracker, and he's not getting why any of this is going down, because it's Frank: he'll get the gist. But that's all he'll get, and that's why he doesn't believe that there's anything other than the gist to be gotten. Is Heidi fucking up? Massively. Because she's written Frank off the exact same way he's writing her off now: it's not worth explaining to him how writing works, because she's too busy writing. And for Frank it's not worth it, period, because she's gone off the deep end and can't commit to anything until she's in front of the computer, with a picture of Tower II and the Trump Logo nestled on the cover of the brochure, and font sizes can be examined, and this sentence can be trimmed or moved to that tiny paragraph, until reading the thing is like slipping into water, it's so easy and buzz-filled and enthusiastic you don't even know you're reading. And meanwhile he can't understand -- as he's standing between her and the computer -- why she's not typing it into a Word document that they can slide into the brochure like an oven-fresh pizza. She finally yells back at him to get away from her; he interviews that she should have knocked this out in three or four hours. And you know, he's right. At some point you just adapt. Frank's monopolizing the designer? Go for shorter blurbs, take the amenities paragraph apart and make three of them, so they're modular, so you can click them in Lego-style. Draw out a mockup on some paper and estimate sizes and fonts. Bullet-point everything you've got so you can toss it like a salad if you need to, without losing meaning. And I think she's doing that, but she's not doing it enough and she's not doing it early enough. She's choking, and should be fired. But not like it happens.

Presentation day. Heidi's talking animatedly to herself, pretending to do her presentation. She's beautiful as ever, but it's a little eerie to see that face come alive -- so friendly, so open and charismatic -- and realize there's nobody there. She's being friendly to an invisible person. Yikes. James does the same, pacing about the house. Kristine is outdoors, presenting to her reflection. She looks very lovely. Stefani sits inside, giving her usual pitch-perfect error-free presentation to James, whose hands are alive in the air with the beautiful rhythm of her speech. I really do love watching her do this. The only people I can think of that were anywhere near this good were Marshawn, Allie and Roxanne, and -- maybe -- Dan, when he was on, which he often was not. (How many of those names did you remember? I didn't know I knew them until I said them! Give yourself a bonus five points for each name you can put with a face!) I just want to sit quietly and think about Dan for awhile, but James is so rude, you know, he insists on giving an interview. It's actually kind of interesting, especially if you superimpose -- over James and his oily smile and crazy Corporate Manson Lamp eyeballs of love about Trump -- Dan in a tux, with a kitten on his shoulder, okay, and that thing is hypoallergenic. So Imaginary Dan talks about how this task -- what with the multiple taskettes, the TRUMPery, the pathetic selling directly to/kissing the ass of Trump, and generally shameful amount of desperation and bathos -- "encapsulates" what this experience is all about. I know, right? He talks about how Trump loves charisma, which he does unless it scares him, and how you just have to hold his attention. It's all about sales, and gaining the respect of your audience. Which -- even if you do look like Dan in a tux right now -- you lost a shitload long time ago, Mr. Obvious Next Apprentice James Sun. Frank and James dap each other on the way to Trump Mansion, and somehow Frank manages not to cut loose with any other racial slurs.

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