The Casino
Episode 3

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C | Grade It Now!
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All Bad Things

"Where are you from?" he asks, and instead of fucking lying like she should, she tells him she's from Portland (I've never been to Portland, so I could be wrong about Portland -- although Jenn's not selling it -- but I will never know, because I could be right about Portland, and then I'd be in Portland) and immediately says, "I'm trying to get a job here, actually, at the casino." Wow. That is...is it ambition? It doesn't really matter what we call it, since it's totally fake -- and what's about to happen blows the ass off my conception of "fake" anyway -- but I wonder if this maneuver has ever actually worked. For her or for anyone. It's very Sam Solovey. "I couldn't help noticing that you are the owner of this casino and I was wondering if you'd seen my tits and if you would like to give me and my breasts a job at the casino you happen to own that we are sitting in? I was going to bring a suitcase full of money with me but I forgot it at the strip club I work at in Portland." She follows up with the even more retarded "Do you know if you have any, like, cocktail waitressing in the casino or anything?" Tom replies that he doesn't know -- which we already knew he wouldn't, because 1. He's the boss and 2. He might not know what cocktail waitresses are -- and that he lets "the experts handle all the specifics." Experts on specifics such as what specific jobs are specifically available, you mean? If only there were someone we could ask, like an "Employment Representative" of some kind, perhaps with a lovely name like Deborah. I bet she'd know. "He let me know that he wasn't in charge of those kinds of things, and he kind of blew me off," Jenn laments, "but that was okay. I understand." Do you, though? Do you understand now, Jenn? No, you really don't: "In his position, I would do the same thing." Refer you to the Employment Representative? Yeah, me too. Halfwit.

But hey, it's Tom, and he's balls-out schizoid bizarre, so at the next song break he screams an introduction to Matt "Velvet" Dusk from the audience, talking over his thanks for the audience's applause, no less: "Matt? Matt? Jenn. Matt? Matt, Jenn. Jenn, Matt." Understandably and adorably flummoxed, Matt smiles. "Uh, Jenn. Nice to meet you." It's awkward, or it would be if it weren't for the complete lack of social skills evident in Tom and Jenn both. It's like being at a cocktail party where everyone is forced to stand ten meters apart. "Nice to meet you too!" she bellows. Matt "Velvet" Dusk recovers nicely, offering to "come right down" and sing a song to Jenn. Which is cool, because at least one person knows that you have to be respectful towards Tom regardless of whether he ever saw anything nasty in the woodshed. Matt starts the next song but remains onstage -- maybe he got a closer look at Jenn's attire and drew the obvious conclusion, that Tom has won her in a poker game -- and her face goes all "I just fell in love with a Canadian lounge singer of ambiguous sexuality" as she VOs that he is "an amazing singer" and that she has "a lot of admiration for him" because...wait for it..."because I wanted to be a singer. I did, ever since I was a little girl." Yes, once upon a time, somewhere amidst the cosmetology that we know about and the stripping that we can only infer, little Jenn Nelson sang into her hairbrush in the mirror, and now thanks to Matt "Velvet" Dusk she has discovered her true path in life. This is such bullshit. Jenn, forced to reevaluate her entire life up to this point, realizes that although it is suddenly her life's work to sing in a casino, she didn't have "enough drive to really go somewhere with it," because she never "went to have classes." Like she signed up for the classes, but never arrived in order to "have" them? "Even though I know that's what I want to do." My sister does this: one week she's got guitar lessons happening and it's all she ever wanted to do, the next week Avril's not cool anymore so she's in drama classes because she will one day be an actress, then she's writing poems, like that. Like all girls do, right after horses but before second base. What separates my sister Katie from Jenn Nelson are two important factors that we cannot overlook: one, she's actually pretty good at all this stuff she tries, enough that you're kind of sad when she drops them. And two, she is fifteen years old.

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The Casino

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