Hello, dear friends.
I am an educated man. I went to a highly-regarded university and a top business school. I am articulate, proper, professional and well-groomed. I turned down offers from major Wall Street banks, hedge funds, private equity groups and my father, the vintner. Instead, I opted to be, as Ari reminds me ad nauseum, a lowly Hollywood assistant, holding fast to the fading hope that I will one day be a high-powered, in-demand power broker.
While my salary is pennies compared to those offers from the business world, I have acquired several skills I cannot imagine are taught in the financial institutions of New York, London or Hong Kong. Below are just a few of the skills I have unexpectedly acquired while at the Miller/Gold Agency:
Espionage — Most movie spies are fleet of foot and muscle-strong. They trek to far off locales and they have mastery of various weapons and an innate ability to operate any vehicle on any terrain. I, on the other hand, am neither fleet nor fierce. I have been out of the Pacific Time Zone once since the late 90s. The only weapon I've ever used is a letter opener and I have six points on my license. Despite this, I have evolved into one of the finer spies in the world. Just last week, for instance, I observed and reported the attempted poaching of one of Ari's most important clients by a slimy rival agent at an IHOP in the Valley. Without this information, Ari would not have been able to thwart the attempted poacher, nor would he have been able to alert the town that the rival agent drives a Kia. Blackmail — Ari has taught me that everybody has something they want to keep under wraps, you just have to look closely. A big-time director refused to consider one of Ari's clients for the lead in his new movie. As soon as said director received photos of him leaving an all-male revue in South Beach, the role of Marvel's newest superhero was being offered to a 5'4" soap opera star. Intimidation — I've learned that the threat of violence is acceptable in business. And that, occasionally, the threat needs to be carried out. Now, I am not the most violent soul. In fact, I might be the least violent person I know. But, I'll let you in on a little secret: Ari is not a violent person either. He just screams and rants and raves and flips out to give the impression that he will cut your intestines out and feed them to you (that's a direct quote). Perception, I've learned, is 90% of the battle. The other 10% is the will to actually hit a guy when you need to. I'm working on the second part. Maybe I'll get boxing lessons when I'm an agent. If I am ever an agent. Creative Degradation — Ari has also taught me, through no particular effort on his part, that any English word can be used to create a new and horribly offensive racial or ethnic slur. Here are a few I've come up with on the spot using a random word generator: Random Word: Burger.
Insult: Ass Burger.
Used in a sentence: "Hey, I'm going to get some fast food, you want me to bring you back some? Oh, I forgot, they don't have Ass Burgers." Random Word: Extortion.
Insult: Anal Extortion.
Used in a Sentence: "Hey Lloyd, Jim here is a lawyer. Maybe he can defend you on those anal extortion charges." Random Word: Swim
Insult: Semen Swim
Used in a Sentence: "Lloyd, maybe I'll let you leave early while the sun's still out and you can get in a semen swim." Random Word: Priestess
Insult: High Priestess of Guy-Intology
Used in a Sentence: "Lloyd is very religious. In fact, he's the High Priestess in the Church of Guy-Intology. He's gay."
As you can see, it's impossible not to be happy with the residual benefits of my career choice. Who needs money when you can learn to be a monstrous jerk?!
Until next week, this is Jerk-In-Training, Lloyd Lee, signing off.