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The Small Print

Every once in a while the machinations of clients can actually get to us here at JAD. We like to think that normally we know the score and can accept the insanity and inanity that is working in the entertainment industry. It is the price we pay, as they say. But there are those times when it gets to be a bit much and we wish for great bodily harm to be inflicted upon those that contract us to do the dirty work of advertising the product.

Generally these wishes go unfufilled, much like those of Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan, who wish to be taken seriously, or Paris Hilton, who wishes that her vagina was more selective.

But this afternoon we were actually given the opportunity to make these violent dreams a reality and so much more besides. At least, we think that is what happened. You be the judge.

Sometime after lunch, the receptionist buzzed to inform us that we had a visitor and would we like to have them come up? This was most unexpected, as we are generally not allowed visitors of any kind to our cell office and had certainly not been expecting anyone. We said, yes, send the visitor up. For whatever reason it did not occur to us that the stoned reception lady had not told us the name of this surprise guest. But we had just spent the last 5 minutes banging our head against our desk in post-client call ecstasy and could be excused this lapse.

Presently a man dressed in a neat Armani suit with black shirt and matching black tie entered. It was hard to make out what exactly the suit was made out of. At first one would have assumed it would be silk, but it seemed to move somehow. But without moving. Had we not been currently nursing a splitting headache corsets client no. 1, we might have been a little cropped out by this.

The gentleman carried a compact rectangle under one arm. It was black of course, but had no zipper or visible clasp. The edges were round, but the material it was made of was impossible to make out. It reflected nothing but neither did it show any surface details. It was as if it was sucking in all available light and giving nothing back. It crossed our mind that if the next Powerbook looked like this thing then it was time to mortgage the house and buy more Apple stock.

Without a word the well dressed man sat down in the available chair across the desk from us. He reached a perfectly manicured hand into a pocket and produced a card and handed it across the desk. We picked it up.

It was a American Express Black card. The kind you hear about. The one that gets you a free handjob when you book your plane flight. The one that when a starlet uses it to cut lines of coke, the coke moves aside on its own, so as to not blemish the blackness that is the card. The one that you have to make a sacrifice to get, like killing your agent and maiming your best friend. Or at least wounding your friend severely. The agent has to die either way.

This one had our name on it.

The man spoke.

"We understand that you have some business that you would like to see done." The voice was deep and smooth, like Barry White's. It occurred to us that we had that voice our post-company holiday party stories would get much better. We could not take our eyes off the card. We were not entirely sure that we were not drooling.

He continued. "This card can make it happen. We have sent you an e-mail with the phone number of some people who are very, very good at what they do. Call them and give them the number on this card and it will be taken care of." The voice that was Barry White somehow sounded like it was dangerously sharp.

Somehow we remembered how to work the muscles in our face that could effect speech. "How did you know?"

"We've known for some time. We've been kind of backlogged. This town gets very busy around awards season."

We nodded. We still were looking at the card.

"This is what we do. We fill a need. You want something, we can make it happen. We give you the means to make it so. All that and more. This is a value-added proposition."

"More? Like what?"

"Like anything. The Black card has no pre-set spending limit. There is never an approval call. You just use it. Use it all you want." Barry White sounded turned on.

"I see." For some reason, we were still unable to look away from the card. It seemed to have the same finish as Barry's case. "So what's the deal?"

"That is the deal. You use the card. It is yours to keep."

"APR?"

"None."

"Fees?"

"This card has no fees."

"Salad tossing?"

"We appreciate the offer, but we have no need of any kind of remuneration from you. We are not a studio boss."

"So why are you giving me this?"

"Well, quite frankly, we need more liabilities on our balance sheet. Accounting. Some of our outstanding cards have not been used enough, so we're giving you this one gratis. It's actually Bob Guccionne's old account, but he's managed to fuck up his situation beyond our ability or desire to repair it. But we can't close the account for tax purposes, which is why I'm here. So have a good time with it."

And with that, the well-dressed man with Barry White's voice was gone. We put the card down on the desk and looked at it for some time. It was sexy and dangerous. It begged to be stroked.

There was a flashing window on the computer monitor. Incoming mail. We filed the message away for later.

The possibilities for client no. 1 might be close to endless. This could take a while...

Comments

Teaspoon said…
Dude,

AMEX Black cards are beautiful. I have been handed two in my life time. Unfortunetly I could not use them as my company does not accept AMEX but just holding the card and knowing full well what they truely represent was a bit of a thrill. And I did have the overwhelming sense that I should stroke it, but I did not.
Gil The Carnie said…
AAARRRAAA! BUY ME A MONKEY! By da' way "machinations", good word.
Latigo Flint said…
...and then train Gil's monkey to attack Client #1 during board meetings!
darthmoridin said…
t -
They are beautiful. Also lethally sharp, as we found out when we whipped it out to pay for our dry cleaning in Studio City. It went right through the poor old lady's neck... but fortunately she fell backward and didn't bleed on our Hugo Boss suits, although we suppose the plastic would have protected it anyway.

gil -
The monkey is in the mail.

lf -
This would have been a good idea had I read it before gil's request—the monkey has been ground up to fit into the priority mail envelope and is sadly beyond the realm of training. Let's be honest, it's beyond anything besides being a monkey burger or monkey tar tar.

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