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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
Any Tool's a Weapon if You Hold It Right

Shawn's stroller immediately breaks down, and he heads into a high-end baby shoppe like the one his mum ran in another life. Turns out that they carry exclusively the Yippity! line at this place. "We got the Yippity! Sport, the Yippity! Deluxe... And our best-seller, the Yippity! Dragon." As a person who has done this dance of death many a time and can now visualize how many buttons you have to push just looking at it from twenty paces, the Dragon is clearly worth the $800. It should be called the Yippity! Sex Machine.

Yeah, you can get one of those umbrella-looking foldy things for about twenty bucks, but you're going to hate not having handlebars or anywhere to put your iced latte. And if you don't mind your kid's fingers getting chopped off and littering the streets and gutters of Williamsburg. And forget about somewhere to stash that Kindle, unless you don't mind the smell of baby barf, or have one of those rare babies whose crap treats gravity like a law and not just a suggestion to rebel against.

For $100, Shawn can get the Yippity! Sippity, which is the iced latte-holder with which one can customize his or her Yippity! device. Shawn tries to fight the power, but since he's not yet old enough to work the fellas like the rest of his family, it's a losing battle. So he Shawns out and makes fun of the guy's job instead. The guy unleashes just a barrage of topical Weeds-type soccer mom jokes about our timely times and the housing market and online Scrabble and lap-band surgeries and like the World of Warcraft, and takes off. Even for this show, it is a heady gumbo of suburban wink-wink.

Nathalie comes into a room where a heavyset careerman is cuffed, facedown, in what soon becomes clear is a quickly drying puddle of urine. Apparently the hooker was late for her day job, and had to take off, the guy says, clearly not yet hep to her real game. Nathalie is floored by this, and intrigued by the grossness, and in some ways lit up by the whole "little boxes on the hillside" part where this guy is rich and white and has so few problems that he needs to occasionally get tied up and peed on.

"Let me get this straight. So, you invite a hooker up here, have her cuff you to the bed, drink a $20 bottle of Evian, and then pee on you. Did you at any point happen to think who might have to clean it up?" The irony, it escapes Nathalie more often than Nancy escapes fate. God forbid somebody have to clean up your mess, good sir. But lest we think that this is about sisterhood or the underclass or the fact that drug dealing arises naturally from the need for shadow economies when women and minorities are denied entrée into exactly the realm this guy is the master of, Nathalie just lets him twist.

"You're not exactly in the power position, so I suggest you be a little more respectful to me, the fucking maid." Not maids in general, no, just this one pretty white lady one, who broke a picket line to get here. She sits down and considers him awhile, and he promises her "a nice tip." How much? Twenty bucks. She gives him this hilariously complicit sort of pout like they're actually negotiating something real, with a soft hurt "hey" behind it, and he relents. She grabs his wallet, and of course it's empty, and then pointedly reads off his name and address. This cuteness thing -- in addition to the good-acting, can't take your eyes off her thing, which never went anywhere -- I mean, I just love Nathalie. It's not going away. She is just a delight this season. They fixed so many things.

"Oh, please. I'm cold, you know? At first, I was warm..." Aaaaand that's enough of that, so she cuts him a deal. "You want your freedom, I want mine. I'll leave some sheets for you, right here. How about today you be your own maid? Sound good? Don't worry about the tip." There is something so Nancy about this, like, the thing she can't handle is touching this prostitute's pee. Of all the things she regularly does, like running from the cops and the entirety of Mexico, the one thing she just can't bring herself to do is change the sheets.

Meanwhile, Randy is having trouble with a similar dilemma: Apparently the fact that he's cute as a button and aggressively charming doesn't work on everybody. Particularly Chef Wagner, who has no interest in Randy's untrained culinary bullshit, and who himself apparently went to L'Ecole Your Mother's Vagina for his own training. He beats up on Randy some more, and silences him henceforth. No! That's like his one power!

Nancy takes off her nasty wig and lets her pretty Nancy hair out to play, sitting at the bar with a glass of white wine and staring into the middle distance and thinking about hooker pee. Dude appears, and hits on her with a sour little joke that he's in the FBI: "FBI. Federal Bureau of ... Interested in you." She's a little bit charmed, because the Normal Newmans from Normaltown are the new them and maybe this is what normal is like. He chuckles self-deprecatingly and sits down, with no idea why she just froze up like that.

"What do I do? Excellent question," Nathalie stalls, going dark for just a second. "I own my own business. A dance studio. Modern dance. I studied in Paris and..." They discuss Paris in some easy-reader Français and before she knows it, Nathalie starts telling the truth. It's about a dead woman, and in some ways a lie, but it's still true. Her eyes light up. "9th Arrondissement. It was great. It was so great. Um... But then New York beckoned..." And then Seattle. Little bit of a lacuna, then Seattle.

"I get restless. And this opportunity came along... My own business. No one looking over my shoulder. You know?" She doesn't have kids, dancer Nathalie. Does she have a husband or a boyfriend? She has both. She has neither. She has "a history of killing anything that could conceivably work out." He likes that answer; not everything is meant to have a long shelf life. She thinks about going upstairs. In only to get revenge, in some obscure way, on the guy who called her the fucking maid.

Immediately Don Kruszewski, Hotel Manager, appears, yanking her away and yelling in front of the guy and taking away her wine and calling her beautiful hair a wig. (Something there, I'm not sure I see it yet exactly, but I like the idea that her wig is more real to this fellow than her real hair. Maybe it's just that Nathalie is easier to believe than Nancy, and so now when Nancy goes walking it's like she's in costume. That's very Nancy, very Lacey, very Nathalie. I'm not sure I see the whole thing yet. I just know I hate the wig, and I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to. The wig is the enemy. The Wigemy.)

"No staff at the bar. I don't care if you're off the clock... Look at me. Go and drink down the street. Okay? Second, guess what. You're not off the clock yet. Okay? Because one of our valued regulars, Mr. Lounsberry, he just called Housekeeping to say that his sheets had not been changed, and his bed had not been made. Get up to 612 immediately and do your job, huh? While you still have it." Nathalie smiles regretfully at Vince and he's embarrassed for her and it's all very real for like one second. Nathalie, for a second, was a terrific idea. She just got lost in the narrative.

The note upstairs says: Dear Maid: You know I love paying women for dirty jobs. Thanks! She pulls on rubber gloves and strips the bed and shrieks quietly the entire time and like, I get that it's a hooker's piss and there was clearly a pong, maybe she ate asparagus on her way to work that day, but woman, you got three kids. You have dealt with urine. In abundance.

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