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"Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
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Conferences The Apprentice: Martha Stewart General Discussion Forum (Protected)
Original message

Estee 55195 desperate attention whore postings
DAW Level: "Playboy Centerfold"

11-17-05, 03:29 PM (EST)
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"Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
LAST EDITED ON 11-17-05 AT 06:17 PM (EST)

{Establishing shot: a large country manor. It's very large. (If it was a sports car, we'd all be screaming 'Overcompensation!') A woman is standing in front of it. She's of indeterminate age and, thanks to way too much plastic surgery, indeterminate species. She's pacing back and forth, looking very much like a caged animal with raw meat in front of it -- raw meat that's been hooked up to deliver a massive electric shock. Each forward series stops very abruptly against the border of an invisible cage, followed by an ankle pivot that shouldn't be biologically possible and a furious stride back towards the house. The woman begins to talk as she paces, the impacts of her footsteps becoming harder with each passing sentence.}

Martha: 'Hi, I'm Martha Stewart, and to demonstrate how much better than you I really am, I've just asked NBC not to renew my show for a second season. It's become painfully obvious that Donald has no chance of living up to the high standards I set every week, and there's no point in embarrassing him further by staying on the air, especially since the man seems to be completely immune to embarrassment. But I still love Donald even while wanting him to die. Of course, that's the way I feel about all men and any woman whose only aspiration in life is not to become me. Because that's the real reason for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. We exist to create a world full of clones. All women must act like me. All women must decorate like me. All women must be me. If you are not me, you will be mercilessly culled in my new Martha Stewart Living Hell Concentration Camps. They're very good things. I decorated them myself. No more boring grey and white stripes for the subhumans! I thought something in spring colors would take their minds off being made into Martha Stewart Formerly Living Lampshades. Don't you just love the way light refracts through skin?

'So in last week's lesson on How To Be Exactly Like Martha In Every Way Or Else I'll Have You Tastefully Killed Too, my little happy homemakers were asked -- it was really an order, but I have such a sweet way of phrasing them that people feel like helping poor little me out -- to help QVC out by selling products during supposedly-live air time. I'm an expert on supposedly-live, and I'm not just saying that because my bark needs trimming. Since QVC is the second leading producer of completely useless products that cost too much and do nothing whatsoever -- I'm the first -- it seemed like a perfect match. A Martha match. A lesser avatar to my divine status as the only true woman on Earth. But naturally, my candidates could not live up to my example. They were not clever. They were not perfect. They were not me. Except for Jim, who would like to be me, or at least the me I don't normally let the cameras or the courts catch, and might even be willing to have the surgery to prove it. He even has my complete lack of ability to perform for the cameras on supposedly-live television. So when Jim wandered off his mark, blew his lines, and messed up the entire presentation, I didn't write him a very polite death sentence for it. Instead, I blamed Howie for not keeping Jim under control, the same way I blame everyone in my organization for not going to jail instead of me, and I gave Howie what he deserved. What everyone who cannot be me deserves. What half of Martha Stewart Walking Dead got after they refused to sacrifice themselves for me. How dare they! Don't they know who I am? What I am? What I will do to them once I finally take over the world? Nothing will stop me! Nothing can contain me! Nothing shall --'

{A sudden, extremely loud, very rapid beeping sound rings out across the land. MARTHA's face flushes with the blood of a hundred murdered infants.}

Martha: 'Oops.' {takes a step backwards. Beeping stops.} 'Err... roll something?'

{The opening credits swallow hard and roll. A parade of faces flash by. No one has any idea who half these people are. Including Martha. And that's just the ones who are still here. The completely inappropriate music finally finishes playing, the unintentionally funny shot of the corn fades away, the camera shows that it's night and so much for Martha/Superwoman's 'all stories take place during the day' theory, and we join the waiting monks and nuns in -- huh. What are we going to call this? Donald's minicorps live in Suite #1, and the justifired move to Suite #2. This is a loft, which would be just another word for 'suite' if it didn't have Martha's stink all over it. It's a non-tastefully decorated waiting room for the gas chamber. We need a good term to describe that, and 'Loser Lodge' is taken. Let me think -- got it. Let's join the occupants of Stalag 17 in their door-watching game, already in progress. DAWNA walks in first, the only one spared from Primarius' latest tongue-lashing. And when you've been lashed by Martha's tongue, you know it. The wounds never heal.}

Dawna: 'I can't talk about it. It was horrible. It was evil. It was -- Jim. Jim, I tell you! JIM! How can people expect me to act like that! I can only speak ill of others when there isn't a camera in my face! I don't know if I can face another boardroom conference room! I can't lose this week... I just can't... I'll die if I lose this week... I'll never be Martha if I die... Martha's living dead and I don't know how to do that... Maybe if I finally let Mr. Burnett bite my neck...' (confessional-tell) 'I don't like hurting people, but I think I really hurt Bethenny and now she's going to sit on my head until I hatch...'

{The front door opens, and the guards kick-shove BETHENNY and JIM back into Stalag 17. DAWNA catches BETHENNY before she hits the floor, which sort of makes it look like they're hugging each other and apologizing for the conference room problems: isn't editing fun! JIM weebles and wobbles, but doesn't fall down. Again. AMANDA is having trouble with the concept.}

Amanda (c-t): 'At this point, I have no idea what Martha is looking for. It's not a competent employee. It's not someone sane. It's not a person with any delusion of ability whatsoever. Jim's still here, and that knocks all three out of the box in one go. Maybe she's just looking to keep the strangest people around in the name of driving up the ratings -- oh, God. I'm still here!' (mainstream) 'Maybe I just won't do anything tomorrow and give Martha an excuse to get rid of me. Since I have no chance of winning the so-called job, there's no point to my sticking around just to give someone a foil in the interview process.'

The rest of Matchstick, choral response: 'Sure, Amanda! That won't sabotage us tomorrow at all! We'll just work around you and win anyway!'

Amanda: 'I guess she isn't looking for people who can piece together cause-effect relationships, either.'

{Early morning, and all good little future slaves are out of bed and exercising. The phone rings, and MARCELA, clad only in a large white towel and the shredded remains of torn-apart dreams, answers it. MARTHA wants all remaining experimental test subjects in front of the monitor at nine that morning, so she can give them their next task without actually having to be in the room with them. This isn't a case of Donald needing a few minutes away from the stink of failure. This is 'I only have so much time I can spend across the border before the warden shocks me into a state of deeper stupor'. This removes half the fun from the series, which was waiting to see just when the built-in taser would go off. The other half is hoping someone will rig up a remote control that'll let them trigger it whenever they want.}

{Everyone gets dressed, the appointed hour comes, and the monitor turns itself on. MARTHA is standing in front of a wall that's displaying a few hundred color patches. An unpaid extra is pointing at them for her, since Martha only gets fifteen minutes of court-allowed pointing time per week. Thanks to the plea-bargain, her shilling time is unlimited.}

Martha: 'So I think those colors -- whrrrr! skrrrickt! -- would work best -- oh, hi! You've happened to surprise me in the middle of a Martha moment of perfection! Now how did that happen? zzzt! <click> I was just picking the cover colors for a February magazine, because it's never too early to start the plan of mass brainwashing through chromatology. Hello Jim, Primarius, Matchstick, and go ahead: read something into that.' {The SLAVES shift position uncomfortably, except for JIM, who beams. Or eats a small bird. It's hard to tell.} 'You may have noticed I'm holding a cup of coffee. I don't have half of Donald's acting ability: I have three hundred times his amount and don't want to show him up again. So I'll just get directly to the unpaid -- well, you're not getting paid -- shilling. This week, you will be working for Braun, promoting their new Tassimo machine. It makes coffee. It makes tea. It makes hot chocolate. Perfectly. Every time. Each one contains three grams of extracted Martha Stewart Living DNA. They are all my children, and I'm very proud. I want you to sell my children into slavery at a suggested retail price of $169, just like I did for Alexis so many years ago. I still have the stub of the check... You'll each get a retail space somewhere, presumably in Manhattan, for one day. Each team will receive a budget of $40,000 to fix up their space, arrange promotions, and do whatever they have to in order to win, up to and including having people on the other team killed, starting with the men. The team with the highest gross sales wins the task: profit margin doesn't count and neither does recovery of expenses or saving part of your budget. That team will get another one in a series of increasingly spectacular rewards that are, once again, all about me! The other team gets an even more special experience: time spent with me in the conference room, where I will personally send one of you off to be several patches in my next color sample wall. Won't that be fun?'

Everyone, choral response: 'Yes, commandant!'

Martha: 'You're all so sweet! I could just eat you all up!' {Looks at RYAN. Licks her lips.} 'Come back with your coffee cup or in it. whrrrr! blrrrat! Bye!'

{The teams split up to confer. Primarius, consisting of JIM, BETHENNY, and DAWNA, decides to make JIM the Project Manager on this one, because the women are a little afraid of what might happen if they don't. JIM feels that with only three people left, they'll have to split the duties equally on this one, especially since that'll give him more of a chance to spread the blame.}

Jim (c-t): 'I am the PM! That sounds so grandiose. Let me try it again. I was going for regal. I am the PM! There we go... I'm happy to be doing this, because I can't lose. Marcela is heading up Matchstick and the last time I went against her, PM versus PM, I won. This means that statisticly, I will win every time I confront Marcela. It also means that if I play the lottery once and win, I could be a billionaire in less than two weeks. I'm just waiting to pick my spot.'

{Primarius is a little worried about dividing a task of this size -- standard and easy to accomplish by any normal human beings, which means that for DAWs, forget it -- among only three people. DAWNA does some Internet research and finds that all of Donald's insta-businesses entering the city have spawned a secondary enterprise: companies that exist solely to help people establish a retail operation in only one day. This sounds like a good plan to Primarius and gives them a shot at crossing over to Donald's show next season through the gift of money, so they decide to hire the closest company. They'll receive assistance in set-up, display, promotion, sales, and the rest of the field -- if they can get the firm to work within their budget. It's at least the start of a plan, although it doesn't leave much room to scramble for backup if failed negotiations take several hours.}

{Meanwhile, Matchstick, now consisting of MARCELA, LESLIE, RYAN, and AMANDA, is also conferring around the computers. MARCELA wants RYAN to type up a list of questions to ask the Braun people. RYAN tells her he can't until the computer loads up. MARCELA, who doesn't understand 'load up' unless it's phrased as 'baking time', thinks RYAN is being insubordinate.}

Marcela: 'I sense attitude... from that direction... yes, Ryan has attitude -- he is not one hundred percent here -- he is being pulled into the Attitude Dimension -- come back, Ryan, come back...'

Amanda (c-t): 'Maybe I'll just lie on the floor and count cracks in the ceiling for the rest of the day. I'm going to be fired sent home anyway after I made those comments to lead off the episode. Besides, it'll be fun to see what Marcela can get done without me. Or Leslie. Or Ryan -- revolution! Revolution now!'

Marcela (c-t): 'Lamb? Slaughter? Baaaa!'

{Back at Primarius:}

Dawna (c-t): 'I'm going to talk to the insta-retail people while Jim and Bethenny check out the store. I need to make sure we win on this task. Jim and Bethenny have an alliance. They only say nice things about each other in front of Martha and gang up on whoever's left over. Right now, that's me. So I have to make sure we win, or I'm going to get Jim Bethed to death. By the way, I do realize that going off by myself like this gives them more time to plot against me, but at least it means I don't have to listen to Jim's so-called Lost spoilers for a few hours. He thinks Shannon was stabbed by a third party! Who could possibly believe that?'

Jim (c-t): 'As of this moment, any loss is the fault of the insta-retail group. Which by extension, is Dawna's fault. Which by further extension, means I am a genius of extreme caliber. Am I good or what?'

{It's now time for Donald's Lesson Of The Week the Ask Martha question, which is 'Why is passion important for your business?'}

Martha: 'Because your frustrated sex drive needs to be put to good use. You'd really think people would be eager to get in bed with the future ruler of all surviving humanity... Go figure. Maybe that'll change once my new magazine is published. It's called Martha Stewart Sex.' {sounds of dozens of people simultaneously throwing up offscreen. Must be the camera crew.} 'I personally approved every single illustration in every issue. And just to make sure they have the right note of perfection, I posed for them too!' {sounds of dozens of people simultaneously drinking Kool-Aid. It's grapety-suicide good!}

{Matchstick checks out their retail space, which has nice wooden floors and great brick walls. It looks a little like the shell of a stylish cafe, so they're ahead 1-0 before the game even starts. MARCELA c-t feels she can't lose to JIM a second time. MARCELA also c-t feels that the task is all about food. Why? Because food is all she knows. Well, food and fine dining. And breathing. Therefore:}

Marcela: 'We need a pastry chef to help us sell the hot beverage machines. A celebrity pastry chef.'
Amanda: 'Come again?'
Marcela: 'Don't you know chefs are the only real celebrities in the world?'
Ryan: 'What about movie and television stars?'
Marcela: 'I don't know. Can they cook?'
Amanda (c-t): 'Food, glorious food. It's all that's in Marcela's skull...'
Leslie: 'Why don't we go out and look at the neighborhood? It's not fair if only Jim and Bethenny get a chance to plot against people.'
Marcela: 'I don't know...'
Leslie: 'There's a street fair food fest six blocks away.'
Marcela: 'Let's go!'

{MARCELA and LESLIE leave.}

Ryan: 'So, in summation, we've got no plan, no marketing, no direction, and we're going to sell coffee makers by giving away pastries. So what are you going to wear to the conference room?'
Amanda: 'Well, we've got fifteen thousand dollars left over in our budget. What if we go behind Marcela's back and see if we can hire any real celebrities for that price, then run the names by her when she returns? She's got to recognize at least one of them.'
Ryan: 'Gee. That would be horribly disloyal. Can I go first?'

{Out on the street:}

Marcela: 'They're all plotting against me.'
Leslie: 'Ignore it.'
Marcela: 'They don't want me to win.'
Leslie: 'Forget it.'
Marcela: 'The editors are giving me a lot of face time.'
Leslie: 'You're screwed.'

{MARCELA returns to find RYAN on a walkie-talkie phone with a talent agent, which broadcasts the sound all over the room and blows the plan a little early. MARCELA c-t feels this represents her team trying to set themselves up for failure, because no success in the history of the universe has ever occurred without pastry. RYAN's busy trying to decide between Paul Schaffer and Mary Tyler Moore, neither of whom should need the money this badly, so MARCELA tries to ask AMANDA about what's going on.}

Marcela: 'I can't do this by myself. I'm the custard filling. You're supposed to be my layers of flaky crust.'
Amanda: 'Of course I'll be your crust. I'm just worried that after all this is done, people won't want to eat us.'
Marcela: 'But we're so sweet and tasty!'
Ryan: 'Hey, everyone! The talent agent just told me I could get big pussy for this show!'
Everyone else: 'What?!?'
Ryan: 'Big Pussy! From the Sopranos! He's available and he'll be happy to come in for only fifteen thousand dollars! Come on, people! Don't you think that what this task really needs to work is just the right touch of pussy? Everybody loves Big Pussy!'
Amanda: 'Thank God this is a blue state.'
Marcela (exact quote): 'How are we supposed to print a flier with 'Big Pussy' on it?'
Ryan: 'Hey, it works at 53rd Street and Broadway.'
Marcela (c-t): 'I will now attempt to say 'Big Pussy' without wincing.' {fails} 'Damn.' {mainstream} 'Ryan, we need to go with the celebrity pastry chef. Don't you know they have their own managers these days? Cookbooks? Hours of broadcast time on the Food Network? A recognition factor of -- me? Coffee and pastry go together. Coffee and Big Pussy do not. Alcohol and Big Pussy are the perfect mix, and if this was the home martini machine, I might agree with you. As-is, there will be no Big Pussy in this task.'
Ryan: 'But -- but I really wanted to get Big Pussy...'
Marcela: 'You can do that on your own time. A pastry chef is much more interesting than Big Pussy. Or anything else.' {walks away}
Amanda: 'So what's going on?'
Ryan: 'She's just not into Big Pussy.'
Amanda: 'But -- but she told me I was her flaky crust...'

{ALEXIS and GEORGE2 enter.}

George2: 'So what's the plan?'
Marcela: 'I'm going to hire a celebrity pastry chef instead of Big Pussy, and everything will somehow work out before they play the happy song at the end of the movie.'
Ryan: 'Marcela, I just checked online, and none of your top five celebrity pasty chefs can make it. However, Big Pussy is always available.'
George2: 'Do you have a Plan B?'
Marcela: 'Does killing Ryan count?'
George2: 'No.'

{MARCELA alternates between c-t and mainstream, complaining about how RYAN was making her look bad, hiring her #6 celebrity pastry chef herself, and then back to c-t to tell everyone that she was wrong: she's not only the custard filling, she's the flaky crust and even the icing drizzle on her good days. She could do the entire task by herself. Except that she can't do the entire task by herself. Except that she can. This is one of Martha's Final Seven, and yes, you kind of had to see the rest of what they started with. Ivana's starting to look pretty smart right about now, isn't she?}

{DAWNA is wrapping up the negotiations with the insta-retail people. While this isn't the sort of job they normally do because they've heard of Mark Burnett and they're afraid of how they'll be edited, the chance of a villain edit from turning DAWNA down is too strong. They take on the job for only $30,000 -- but that includes the money they'll use for set-up, promotions, et. all: it's not all company fee. DAWNA calls JIM and BETHENNY, who have reached the hot-red interior of their store with its dirty surfaces and resting-height micro-counters that make it look like there should be a sign outside: 'Spiked Saki Sold Here!' JIM takes the call, asks how it went, finds out DAWNA committed three-quarters of their budget without consulting him in any way, has a small heart attack, and finds out they can't get away from the contract. BETHENNY encourages JIM to let the blame fall on DAWNA if the plan fails (and the credit go to JIM if it works), with her arguments including a bug-eyed look that would win her the presidency of the Marty Feldman Fan Club in three seconds, which is all anyone can stand to look at it. JIM, who's always up for letting people shoot themselves in the foot because his trigger finger is getting blistered, agrees.}

{Back on Matchstick territory, the usual discussion is taking place.}

Everyone but Marcela: 'We need a marketing plan.'
Marcela: 'How long do you have to bake one of those for?'
Amanda: 'I just don't understand how a celebrity pastry chef gets people in the door.'
Marcela: 'If you had a better plan, like, I don't know, I'm just coming up with this out of nowhere, the sudden acquisition of a Big Pussy or something, you could have told me during the day! If you have an idea, let's hear it now.'
Amanda (exact quote): 'Whatever.' {walks away}
Marcela: 'Wait, what? The editor's notes I wrote on my palm don't say anything about 'Whatever'! Is that the name of a chocolate sprinkle? Come back! I need the recipe!'
Amanda (c-t): 'It sure looks like Marcela's cooking up the perfect firing dismissal. And it still won't be enough to overcome the power of my opening statement. Damn you, EPMB! DAMN YOU -- oh, well. I guess I'll just try to sell units tomorrow and hope for the best.'
Ryan: 'I still say we would have done better if we'd been selling Big Pussy.'
Amanda: 'That's usually more of a giveaway.'

{The next morning dawns, and both stores will open at 9:00 a.m. Marcela's staff of promoters and employees, hired completely off-camera, are briefed on the Tassimo's operation. The pastries are put out. The doors are flung open. And before you can say 'Let there be misleading shots', the store is filled to capacity -- and then some. People are being turned away at the door. There's no room. Dozens of people are crowding the shop, milling about, happily chatting, and eating pastries. And then they leave to tell their friends about the great free pastries (with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate) they got. More people show up to eat the free gourmet pastries, and the cycle continues. Mind you, they're not buying anything, especially not with Matchstick starting their sales off at $299 a unit in hopes of getting a jump on their numbers. But it's free food in Manhattan, and that's going to draw a crowd. Not a single penny, not even in tips, but my, look at all those people eating. Alexis and George2 drop by and see 1. A lot of free food. 2. A lot of people eating it. 3. Ryan and Amanda laughingly despairing about #1 and #2. After a while, Marcela starts to drop the price, then stops hoping on the Power Of Pastry: it's her second chance as PM and she doesn't think Martha will retain a two-time loser, so her only hope is to actually sell something. Now.}

Marcela: 'See the bar code on top of this little packet? That's your drink mix code, and that's what tells the machine how to prepare your coffee. Now that means you can only buy official Tassimo drink mixes for the rest of your life, because nothing else will work with our machine, and we're really just trying to drop you into a money pit which you won't escape from until you come to your senses. Plus Flavia did it first anyway, but we have less variety in our drink mixes and we think that's a real selling point. Will that be cash or charge?'

{Meanwhile, over at Primarius, which has decided to decorate in Early Bordello -- gee, they should have gone for Big Pussy -- the doors have just opened, but the insta-retail people don't have all their gimmicks in place yet, and there's no foot traffic. Or signage. Or sales. Or free pastry. What there is would generally be known as 'a miracle', because JIM has lost his voice. He's fine in the earlier-filmed confessionals, but every time he speaks in mainstream -- croak. We don't have to listen to JIM very much for a few minutes unless he drops into c-t, which he does to complain about DAWNA spending $30,000 of his money. That's right. His money -- well, mostly. He was going to split it with Voldemort after the show. Inspiration fee.}

{Eventually, some promotional stuff starts to arrive, which takes the form of people wearing giant coffee cups wandering the nearby streets to see if they can get customers inside the store. Fliers are probably involved somewhere. One of the standard rules for this show is fliers+Manhattan=doom, but it's never been flyers versus a pastry chef before. And BETHENNY is playing wild card, taking over the insta-retail squad, sending them out to blanket the neighborhood, get people into the store, and sell hot beverage machines before handing out the $3.99 per dozen day-glo cupcakes that just arrived. It's retail first, 'have a cookie on your way out' second, and that focus is giving Primarius a little help with the people who actually wander into the store. And there are a few wandering in now -- and still more as the fliers do their minimal good -- and others who just want to find the place the giant wandering coffee cups are coming from and destroy it. Around lunchtime, the flow really picks up, and we learn about the twist Primarius threw in: since only retail sales count and expenses don't subtract, they spent money on gifts to be given away with purchases. Baskets. Cookie Of The Month Club. JIM shutting up for five whole minutes. In the real world, this kills your profit margin and sends you into the red. In the Reality World, this is really working, which impresses ALEXIS and GEORGE2.}

George2 (exact quote): 'They have that salesman's desperation in their eyes. Of course, Jim always looks desperate.'

(The sales day ends, and the teams gather in the abattoir conference room.}

Martha: 'So this is a rematch. I recall Jim winning the last one, which let him stay around for a few more tasks and add his unique personality to every episode. Of course, I am completely neutral and will not let that influence me in any way. Marcela, how did you do?'
Marcela: 'The pastries were delicious.'
Martha: 'Jim?'
Jim: '*croak*'
Martha: 'You lost your voice! You can't say anything! You can never interrupt or express an opinion! Oh, if only you weren't married... Alexis, I want a new magazine launched in three months: Martha Stewart Cheating. George2, could you give me the task summary?'
George2: 'Unlike some people, I can keep this short. Matchstick started at $299 a unit, but lowered their price throughout the day until they hit the suggested retail. They sold nine units for a total of $1891 while handing out $14,138 in pastries to people who didn't buy anything.'
{JIM and BETHENNY struggle to keep their faces straight.}
Martha: 'Alexis, what about Jim's Golden Girls?'
Alexis: 'Primarius hired a PR firm, terrorized the populace with giant coffee cups, and gave away everything but the store -- but that last doesn't count here, so let's just get to the grand total. They sold thirty-six units for a total of $6621. Jim will now favor us with a victory laugh.'
Jim: '*croak*'
George2: 'Matchstick, you just didn't have any fire. How ironic is that?'
Martha: 'Well, Primarius, I was thinking about your reward. I could let you experience zero gravity, which was the greatest reality show reward of all time, bar none. I could give you ten thousand dollars each in jewelry or fine clothes. I could even introduce you to the New York Liberty. But instead, I'm going to give you something better than all of that combined: a trip up to Bar Harbor, Maine, to visit the house I can't get to because of this little fashion accessory here. Since I haven't been there for a while, you'll spend the day dusting, polishing, and performing all the maintenance that I would normally give people screaming nervous breakdowns for not executing correctly. After that, you'll tour my shoreline by river while repainting my boat. Alexis will go along with you to make sure you don't break anything. Have fun!' {Primarius looks exactly as thrilled as you'd expect.} 'Meanwhile, Matchstick will see me here later, and we'll figure out just how much an anti-million dollar quote is worth these days. It's not half as much as my hair coloring job, I'll tell you that. Has it been twenty minutes already? Time for a touch-up!'

{There isn't much to say about the so-called reward. Since Primarius is aware of the cameras, they're very careful to say how nice it is and how little it sucks and whatever other lies come to mind. The Maine shoreline is in fact beautiful and Martha's presence has only tainted a small portion of it, so the view is nice. The house tour is just what you'd expect: boring. If there's any highlight, it's this:}

Alexis: 'The house was originally owned by the Ford family and dates way back to their early days. Here's a letter from Henry Ford on the wall. My mother admires Henry. He had certain ideas she respects. You know -- uniformity -- only letting people have one kind of design and telling them it's the only thing they wanted to begin with -- some things having to do with respect of certain Germans from a given era that I really can't mention here but I think you get the idea -- all the really good things.'
Primarius, choral response: 'That's nice.'
Alexis: 'Here, have a lobster sandwich! Bethenny, you get the vegan one. They're made from my mother's recipe following my mother's directions under my mother's supervision!'
Dawna: 'Alexis, I'm sorry if this is an awkward question, but do you ever have a thought of your own?'
Alexis: 'A what of my what now?'

{Back in Manhattan, Marcela is having just a small psychotic break. Nothing to worry about.}

Marcela (crying): 'Why won't she let me cook for her? It's all about cooking... it's always about cooking... it's not selling and promoting and hiring and firing and managing... it's the food, always the food...' {sniffs} 'Why doesn't she give me a chance? Why did I come here? What did I do wrong during my audition for Wickedly Perfect?'

{The day trippers return, and Matchstick-minus-Marcela chats with Primarius.}

Amanda: 'Worst. Task. Ever.'
Ryan: 'She skated. She kept saying 'I'm just a chef! I'm just a chef!' She relied on all the business people to do the work for her. Of course we were going to let her down. And she kept saying something about missing the opportunity to do a perfect body disposal in the woods. Does anyone have even the vaguest clue what that was about?'
Jim: (now temporarily de-croaked) 'Ryan, are those nails in your hand?'
Ryan: 'I'm not going to crucify her or anything... I'm just going to take her to the edge of the cliff, stand right behind her, and chant 'Jump! Jump!''
Jim (c-t) 'I don't like what Matchstick is doing here. They're setting Marcela up for the fall. Everyone else on Matchstick is stronger than Marcela, and that means they're worse competition for me. I'm going to see if I can say a few encouraging words that'll help her get through the massacre conference room. If she comes out in one piece, it's to my benefit. Fifteen to eighty barely-attached pieces would be even better.'

{With that said, JIM finds MARCELA, takes her into one of the Stalag's closets for a little privacy where only the guards can overhear them, and gives her the plan of attack. MARCELA got people into the store. Hundreds of people. Her pastry chef may have been no good for selling hot beverage makers, but that was the job of the rest of her team. MARCELA, for all her faults as a PM, did generate a crowd. What she didn't get was people closing the sales -- and she can blame that on the rest of the team. She can even say they were setting her up. She can, in short, do everything JIM would do in her place, and that might even include making it to another episode. MARCELA is immensely pepped up by JIM's advice, and resolves to change her earlier strategy of 'walk in. Fold. Be carried out.' JIM's dream of having himself versus the weakest possible competitor in the Final Two is a strong one, and for now, it's swept MARCELA into its wake. She just doesn't recognize her place in it as 'the weakest'. Yet.}

{Death palace Conference room time.}

{Four AUTO-FOOT SHOOTING IDIOTS walk in and are greeted by a smiling MARTHA, GEORGE2, and ALEXIS. This is never a good sign. Everyone takes their seats.}

Martha: 'Marcela, please list some of the many ways in which you fall short of being me.'
Marcela: 'I didn't throw a massive tantrum and fire all of these people while I still had the chance. If I'd been alone, I could have done something. With people around me, I'm vulnerable.'
Martha: 'You are learning. Amanda, don't you support Marcela's analysis?'
Amanda: 'I support Marcela in many things, as long as they're not related to our tasks. Ms. Stewart, Marcela knows food. Marcela loves food. Under the right circumstances, Marcela even is food. But this task wasn't about food. It was about selling something that went with food. Personally, I'm not seeing any connection here.'
George2: 'Like my tissue-donating father, you seemed to spend most of your time in a coma.'
Alexis: 'No, you're wrong there, George2. Like your tissue-donating father, they seemed to spend most of their time dead.'
Ryan: 'I still don't know how we could have lost by that much when I was trying so hard for a zero-sales shutout...'
Martha: 'Don't worry, Ryan. You missed by over four thousand dollars. We'll just call that close enough for now.'
Ryan: 'I take some of the blame for this. I didn't see Marcela selling those units in time to stop her. I was distracted! Damn those world-class eclairs!'
Martha: 'Do you know what's really bothering me here? None of you are following my recipe for lamb slaughtering.'
Leslie: 'I'm using a Mexican dish -- but I'll stop, I'll stop, I know it's not what you would do... But since we're on the subject, I want to mention that both Marcela and I are Latin-Americans, just because I know you want to keep certain parties from spotting your master plan through all the minority bodies that are in the way. Not that I don't love your plan. I do. I want to be a part of it. From the winning side.'
Martha: 'Let's table that for now. A highly-polished Martha Stewart Death By Overpriced Fake Wood table. Was there any cooperation on this team? Any real -- teamwork?'
Marcela: 'Does the word 'Whatever' ring a bell?'
Martha: 'Amanda, did you 'Whatever' Marcela?'
Amanda: 'She 'Whatever'ed us first! Pastry chef, remember? A pastry chef who probably doesn't use your recipes either? We had a chance at Big Pussy, Ms. Stewart! Big Pussy could have been a saving factor for us! Big Pussy might have been the most important thing in our lives! Alexis, can't you see where I'm going with this?'

{ALEXIS looks visibly uncomfortable.}

George2: 'Didn't you get the idea that something was going wrong? No Martha recipes -- bad thing. That's like not serving Kool-Aid.'
Marcela: 'When you walked in and Ryan did the behind-the-back no-chef announcement, I had a moment of something less than Martha-happiness. I can't work with a team that doesn't respect me enough to wait until I'm out of earshot.'
Amanda: 'We were trying to give you motivation for your big crying scene! I saw the editor's notes on your palm!'
George2: 'Amanda, what do you do, anyway?'
Amanda: 'In the real world? Lawyer.'

{The show takes a very brief CPR break so everyone can be brought back after their deaths from not-surprise.}

Amanda: 'I have a garden... I like to decorate... I'm not sure how I would fit into your company, but everyone needs more lawyers... And I'm flawed! I think that's important for someone who might do public relations. People don't want to look at a representative and say 'That's perfection. I can never live up to that!' They want a role model they can have empathy with -- someone as screwed up as they are. I fit that need perfectly.'
Martha: 'Since we have a few minutes of show to fill, let's pretend I didn't just make up my mind while you were saying that. Marcela, what would you bring to my incredibly expensive table?'
Marcela: 'I could have been the Mexican version of you. I want you to be the Caucasian version of me. I want to work for you. I want to show you the secret inroads to my culture. I want you to be the leader of my people. I want you to annihilate our unique heritage. I want to be your Judas goat and march my countrymen into the camps with your banner held high before me.'
Martha: 'Very interesting. I assume that you're sending Leslie to temporary safety because she cued you onto this track?'
Marcela: 'Yes ma'am.'
Martha: 'Makes sense to me. The rest of you, wait in the lobby.'


Door: 'Clique.'
Martha: 'We have a minute to kill. Let's talk about the weather. How's my Martha Stewart Snow Angels special coming along?'

{In the lobby:}

Ryan: 'Don't question my loyalty! There's nothing traitors hate more than having their loyalty questioned! It makes us look bad! I gave the same energy to this task that I gave to every other task! I just gave it to not selling!
Marcela: 'To coin a phrase, 'Whatever'.'
Ryan (exact quote): 'Just because you couldn't organize a team doesn't mean we sabotaged you.'
Marcela (exact quote): 'Wow...'

{MARTHA pretends to treat her receptionist like a real person, and the trio gets called back into the gas chamber conference room.}

Ryan: 'I pledge alliance to the flag of the United Mental States Of Marcela! And to the pastries for which they stand!'
George2: 'Did we miss something?'
Marcela: 'No. It's just the same thing that was going on in here. Except that I think he has some Latin blood and he's scared to tell anyone.'
Martha: 'Hmmm. Three Judas goats... Look, here at Martha Stewart Living To Dominate, we're trying to take over the world. We're trying to do what Marcela alluded to: one culture, one voice, one thought. Mine. There's a lot of room for grunt work in that, and I can always use another flunky to take the fall for me. I learned that lesson the hard way.'
George2: 'That's why she bought my test tube!'
Marcela: 'At this time, I'd like to bring up some small part of Jim's strategy.'
George2: 'Good idea. Does Leslie figure into that?'
Marcela: 'In the words of the future ruler of the world, 'three Judas goats'.'
Alexis: 'Mom! I did it! I thought of a justification for the dismissal! It's the no-support thing Amanda mentioned earlier! We can't hire someone who won't support their leader! She so totally won't die for you like I would -- I'm still your favorite, right?'
Martha: 'Whatever. Amanda, do you have a defense for that statement?'
Amanda: 'Not really. I pretty much realized I was doomed when I saw the earliest editing.'
Martha: 'Then I'll wrap this up. First, I think you're all far too polite. If you have the right idea, you should stomp out all other concepts and keep people from admitting they ever existed. Second, the right idea is my idea. Remember that.'
Everyone else in room: 'Yes, Ms. Stewart.'
Martha: 'Ryan, you're fun to look at and if I let you go, there's only Jim left for gazing, and the magazine won't be out for a while yet. I can't do it until I've published an official guide to it. It's a Martha Stewart Mind Control Thing. Marcela, you can give me the souls and skins of forty million people, and that's just domestically. I have no problems with that at all, except for the hour I'll need for the initial pattern match and mastery of the leather technique. Amanda, you are a generic female Caucasian lawyer, and eight million of you graduate from school every year. And what's more, you had the chance for some time with Big Pussy and you passed it up. Anyone in this city could tell you the mistake you've made. Except for Alexis, by court order. Now shake my hand so I can acid-burn your coded tattoo onto your palm, and we'll say goodbye.'
Amanda: 'Can I say 'Whatever' again -- OW!'
Martha: 'It didn't have to hurt, dear -- well, actually, it did. So long.'


Martha's letter to Amanda:

'Dear Amanda,

Don't worry. One day, I'll finish subjugating your people, too, and then you'll be truly happy. Until that bright day, find pleasure in your garden. Just be sure to use only approved Martha Stewart Seeds And Row Patterns. I'd hate to come for you early.

With no more than the usual contempt,

Next week: Skiver and the Final Six. Well, the Final Six. I can only hope on Skiver.

(Let the record show: this one was canceled before I ever got to it. And Martha thinks she brings death? Hah! Study at the feet of the master, fake blondie!)

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Epis... PagongRatEater 11-17-05 1
 RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Epis... Tough Cookie 11-17-05 2
 RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Epis... ARnutz 11-17-05 3
 RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Epis... ginger 11-17-05 4
 RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Epis... mysticwolf 11-17-05 5
 RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Epis... kathliam 11-18-05 6

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PagongRatEater 12973 desperate attention whore postings
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11-17-05, 04:05 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
Wow! I felt like I actually watched the episode AND it was entertaining.

Seriously, this was a great summary. Too many great lines to single any of them out and your dedication to theme created a truly funny summary. Absolute 100% genius!!!


I already know you don't, but I REALLY want to believe you look like the Pringles guy. J Slice

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Tough Cookie 256 desperate attention whore postings
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11-17-05, 04:30 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
Wow, quick work with the summary, hilarious as always Estee

Siggie Courtesy of tribelphyl!
And that's the way the cookie crumbles

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ARnutz 13792 desperate attention whore postings
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11-17-05, 05:40 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
Ha! Great job (as always). I actually watched 10 minutes of this episode!

... but you're slipping! This one was only 7,279 words.

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ginger 22511 desperate attention whore postings
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11-17-05, 05:50 PM (EST)
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4. "RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
You've gotta be sick of me telling me how brill your summaries are by now Dahlin.

But I will again, anyway...just because you're still hanging in there writing them.

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mysticwolf 10692 desperate attention whore postings
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11-17-05, 06:23 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
"Amanda: 'I have a garden... I like to decorate... I'm not sure how I would fit into your company, but everyone needs more lawyers... And I'm flawed! I think that's important for someone who might do public relations. People don't want to look at a representative and say 'That's perfection. I can never live up to that!' They want a role model they can have empathy with -- someone as screwed up as they are. I fit that need perfectly.'
Martha: 'Since we have a few minutes of show to fill, let's pretend I didn't just make up my mind while you were saying that."

LOL! I thought exactly that when I saw that scene. What an idiot.

Terrific job, as always, Estee.

A Tribephyl Awesome Autumn

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kathliam 3666 desperate attention whore postings
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11-18-05, 11:55 AM (EST)
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6. "RE: Official RTVW M-Apprentice Episode #9 Summary: For Want Of A Big Pussy (another adventure in rough paraphrase)."
Definitely worth waiting for, Estee. And it was the mere thought of your summary that prompted EPMB NBC to can this piece of shite program.

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