Monday, January 15, 2007

The Spoiler: Part 7 -- Katlyn's kiss-off

“Harry, you’re probably wondering why this is happening. Why you’re watching me on this tape. Why I got Shawna to drop this bomb on you. Well, it’s because you’re a loser, Harry. And a wimp. And if we had this talk in person, you wouldn’t take it like a man. You’d argue and scream and, who knows, even cry. I spared you all that. You might not appreciate it now, but someday you’ll thank me.”

“You go, girl,” Shawna said to the screen. She stepped out from behind her desk to reveal a short leather skirt and matching boots – the all-American dominatrix look. She shrugged back her shoulders and tossed her hair for the camera.

Now, I’m not a sweater. But I was dripping like I’d just stepped out of a Turkish bath. I looked pathetically over at Shawna, who had undone her bun and removed her glasses and pinstriped blouse – her HR drag – revealing a paper-thin crimson chemise that clung to her breasts in seeming defiance of gravity.

I couldn’t speak. A barely audible inner voice piped up something like, “Humiliation. The whole world knows.” Suddenly, I was a three-year-old in my parents’ home in Newark, in the center of a group of relatives who were laughing at me for walking around in my rubber pants.

I tried not to look at the hidden cameras, which could be anywhere, so I kept my eyes fixed on the screen. I’d missed a few words, and Katlyn was speaking into the camera with quite the professional panache, “I’ll be back with all-new reasons why you’re such a loser after this.”

A commercial came on. A young couple frolicked in an open field. A Closeup of their toddler smiling. Shots of a tranquil, perfectly manicured, suburban lawn. There was even a bunny rabbit. A preternaturally calm male voice said, “Precious moments. From ConRon. The energy people.”

Shawna turned off the tape.

“How was that?” she said to the hidden camera. “Super, Shawna,” replied a voice from a hidden speaker. She walked out of the room. A half-minute later, a small, wiry man entered and handed me a clipboard holding a form.

“If you don’t mind signing this…”

“What is it?”

“A release.”

“What if I don’t?” I managed to mew.

“I guess you could sue us.”

I looked at the young woman – a pretty redhead with purple highlights and huge, round eyes.

“Go ahead. It’s your fifteen minutes,” she said.

More hesitation.

“You know how many people would love to be dumped by Shawna Jade?”

I signed. On my way out, after they gave me a copy of Shawna’s tape, I overheard a tall, nerdy guy ask the receptionist, “I’m here for the job interview?”

I kept going.

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