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"I don't care what you have to do or what you have to promise. If he wants my firstborn, he can have her. My Porsche? Here're the keys!" Stephen threw them on the conference table. "Call random men from the phone book and hold casting calls with free beer and hookers. Find a sexy, single man to star in my reality television show that starts taping in, I don't know, say TWO WEEKS?"
Brynne looked down the conference table at her assistants. Studying their reflections in the table, Josh and Katy refused to meet her eyes.
"How hard could it be to find a man to live in a castle, fool around with a dozen hot women, and get paid for it? You. Will. Find. The. Perfect. Man. Now. Understood?"
Could Stephen know how much the veins in his head throbbed when he got upset? In a creepy kind of way, it was fascinating to watch. At least it would be if the veins weren't throbbing in her direction.
He stomped out of the room, leaving Brynne to face her cowering assistants. "You heard him, guys. Dig out every contact you have. Make more calls. Send out email blasts to every blog you've ever run across. Go to restaurants, bars, and churches if you have to. If we don't find the perfect bachelor, we're all screwed. Got it?"
Brynne had been in television long enough to know what was at stake. With production slated to begin in fifteen days, every postponed day meant $20,000 lost. Sound technicians, camera and light crew, equipment, and location rental--it all added up to having a tough time finding work anytime soon. Even if she didn't create this mess, it was Brynne's job to clean it up.
From her office, she could hear desperate calls being made.
"Bill, this is Katy fromRFP Productions. I saw your modeling portfolio and wanted to know if you'd be interested in participating in the reality show 'The One and Only.' You're already married? I see. Are you happily married? Sorry to hear that. Let me give you my number in case anything changes in the next week or so. Thanks."
Why exactly had she thought television production would be such a rewarding career?
"Greg, this is Josh ... you know from Sigma Phi last year. I was wondering if you had thought of a way to pay off your school loans yet. I remember you saying how you were buried in debt. Well, I can get you $75K for a couple weeks' work. Seriously. No, no it's totally legal. I work for this production company, and we have to cast the lead male and you'd get to hang out with all these hot babes. What? No, I swear to God it's not like that ... it's television, not porn. I swear ... listen, let me come over, and I'll show you a DVD of last season ... Greg? Greg?"
How many more credits would I need to go back to college and become a paleontologist, or a chemist, or basically anything other than what I am doing right now? She glanced outside at the New York City meter maid putting tickets on car windshields.
She seems happy. When she's done for the day, she just puts up her hat and notebook, or whatever it is she puts away and goes about her life. She probably even gets to have a life beyond-meter maiding. Who knows, maybe she even gets to have hot sex at the end of the day. But polyester makes my thighs itch, and I look bloated in blue.
The situation wasn't Brynne's fault, but she was responsible for fixing it. As the newly promoted production coordinator for "The One and Only," she only had the job because of Beth, the newly unemployed production coordinator.
Beth failed to discover Season Four's upcoming Prince Charming, Stephen Flick, was a convicted criminal. Because he legally changed his name after his convictions, the background check failed to catch it.
Old habits die--well, hard and as the preseason publicity started, calls poured in to the network's switchboard. A number of women in their seventies and eighties recognized Stephen Flick as the peeping tom who had been hiding in their bushes outside their bedroom windows. With eleven convictions for indecent exposure behind him, he now had at least another dozen charges pending.
While disaster may have been averted, a serious problem remained. They still needed Prince Charming to start taping for the new season, and they needed to find him fast. The crew was ready, the castle was rented, and setting was perfect. Assuming she found Mr. Right, Brynne was anxious to spend a few weeks on the beach at Ocracoke Island, off the coast of North Carolina.
Admitting defeat for the day, Brynne threatened her staff with bodily harm if they were not much closer to a solution by Monday morning and headed for the subway. She scanned the crowd, looking for the perfect man. He had to be handsome, but not perfect, athletic, but not overly muscular, masculine, but not chauvinistic. Oh--and he can't be gay, have a criminal record, bankruptcy, divorce, wife, kids, or even a girlfriend.
Hell, I've been looking for the perfect man for the last five years without success. What makes me think I can find one in two weeks? How long would it take to get the homeless guy in the corner cleaned up and sober?