December 13th, 2000 by Clark Humphrey

on our fictional alter-egos, hotheaded entrepreneur and self-styled “revolutionary” Benny Bucks was still scrambling to maintain control of his startup company RevolutioNet.

It hasn’t been easy on Benny; but nothing really is. His last ex-therapist told him he treats everything from business to freeway commutes as a holy war between himself and the infidels.

His therapists generally last as long as his girlfriends, for the same reason. He leaves them as soon as they say something he doesn’t want to hear. These days, though, there are a lot of people telling him things he doesn’t want to hear, and he can’t get rid of them easily.

Lord knows he’s tried. But nobody he’s talked to (or, more accurately, shrieked at) will lend him the money to oust his current investors, who’ve imposed a new management above him.

Another thing his last ex-therapist said was that Benny needed to do better at delegating authority. Benny fired the therapist before she could also warn him about ceding authority.

The result: Benny and his new boss Debbie try to spend as little time in the same room as possible. When one’s in the office, the other’s holding court with a laptop and cell phone at the nearby coffeehouse.

Kirsten, the sullen barista, has already given Debbie a nickname. “Demographic Debbie,” in Kirsten’s eyes, is the personal embodiment of a certain standard of perfection held by advertisers and politicians. She’s barely 30 but well within the top 15 income percentile.

Debbie dresses professionally, in neutral colors. Her hair is always precisely in place. Her tan hose is always runless; her mid-heel shoes are always scuffless. Her laptop’s wallpaper image is a snapshot of her posing in a tasteful smile with one ex-college-jock husband, two cherubic young sons (one in a soccer jersey), and an angelic preschool daughter.

Debbie’s always pert and polite to Kirsten, in the manner of a matron trained from childhood to be “respectful” to the servants. Debbie always apologizes for not having exact change, always states her drink requests with perfect elucidation, and always buses her table afterwards.

Debbie’s being so totally perfect only makes Kirsten secretly hate her more. Sure, Benny Bucks is a major annoyance, but at least he’s got a (misplaced) passion for life.

Today, Debbie’s perkily chatting away on her cell. She’s efficiently parceling out instructions concerning the new accounting system she’s imposing on the company, over Benny’s dead body as usual. She confidently tells her aural correspondent that she’ll have the first new numbers within the week. She’ll have a recommended plan of action within the month. She’ll know whether the company’s salvagable within the quarter.

Enter Benny, striding in aggressively, lost in his own cell talk. He’s ranting at the top of his voice about how this prissy broad’s out to ruin him and everything he’s created. She had the nerve, he complains, to slash his salary, cancel his company-leased personal SUV, and require her own approval on any future company purchases.

Why, that bitch even dared to tell him, HIM, that he had no idea how to run a company. The bitch is on his list for a good taking-out and soon, Benny screams. She’s due for a takedown, a huge takedown–

He’s still in mid-sentence when he finally notices Debbie seated at the back table, holding her cell phone up to capture Benny’s every word.

The sparks, as they say, fly.

Debbie, calmly and sternly (and while remaining seated), accuses Benny of being a pompous hustler who can no longer expect to cover up his stupidity and incompetence by merely out-shouting his underlings and insulting those he depends upon.

Benny, loudly and leeringly, accuses Debbie of being a cunt and a whore, of trying to impose outdated old-economy rules on a new-economy company that needs to move fast and cut the crap, and again of being a cunt and a whore.

As they posture and pout and barb and keep their cell phones on, Kirsten silently makes her own prediction: Debbie and Benny will be laid within the week, living together within the month, and split up within the quarter.

TOMORROW: Intelligent black people on TV–it’s something you have to pay extra for.

REMEMBER: It’s time to compile the highly awaited MISCmedia In/Out List for 2001. Make your nominations to clark@speakeasy.org or on our handy MISCtalk discussion boards.

IN OTHER NEWS: MS temps settle the lawsuit.

IN OTHER OTHER NEWS: When you get fired after three decades as a professional “Beauty,” the result isn’t pretty.

IN OTHER OTHER OTHER NEWS: After the partisan governor, the partisan secretary of state, and the partisan state legislature, it all came down to the partisan high court.


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