Ortha Wistler sat in a comfortable leather chair that rested atop the plush carpeting of her tastefully decorated high-rise apartment getting the worst news of her life.
Molly Wong sat across from her with the incriminating letter in her hand and a smug look in her eye.
“Your buddy Martha Stewart went to jail for this for a long time,” Molly said with a mean smile.
“You’ll never be able to prove that letter was to me or that I acted on the information in it,” Ortha said
“Bullshit”, this e mail came directly from his URL to yours, and I’m sure there’s a record of your investing in what he told you to.”
“You realize I can afford the best lawyers on the planet, “Ortha retorted. “”You realize people love me.”
“People hate you just as much,” Molly said. “I used to watch your show, I was even moved by it occasionally. But, then I had the misfortune of finding out what it was really like to work for you. You made a horrendous mess every day, no tips you complained about the kind of cookie left on your pillow….”
“Okay…okay…What do you want; how much?”
“I don’t want money …I mean I do, but it’s not that simple….”
“Well, then what do you want?”
“I want your endorsement.”
“My endorsement of what?”
“I’ve written a self-help book”, I want you to endorse it. I want to be a guest on your show and I want you to tell everyone that it changed your life.”
“It isn’t just up to me,” Ortha said.
“Bullshit, they’ll do what you say.”
Ortha asked Molly to bring her the book and a large glass of whiskey. She sat and read it while Molly watched TV. She finished it quickly as it was only two hundred pages, she was accustom to reading several books a week. She asked for more whisky as she read. She couldn’t believe the shear idiocy of what she was reading.
The book said that you could have anything you wanted by bathing in baby oil for an hour every night in the dark while screaming positive affirmations and tossing the towel you dried off with into the nearest body of water. Ortha was shocked not only at the sheer lack of imagination or a core philosophy, but at all the grammatical mistakes.
“Well, what did you think,” Molly asked.
“I think it was the most horrendous piece of simple minded nonsense I ever had the displeasure of reading. I wish I could wash my eyes. Do you honestly think anyone will take you seriously? You think you can be a self-help guru? What are you twelve? What experiences have you had? What have you overcome; Any real self help guru has a story of strife.”
“I was a maid”.
“You were a maid in a fancy hotel, on summer break from Brown.”
“I have a degree in Sociology.”
“Which is a blow off class,”Ortha sputtered. “People will think I’ve gone off the deep end if I endorse this.”
“No they won’t It’ll sell like hotcakes if you endorse it even if it is stupid. Okay, I was only a maid for a short time, but the one thing I learned is that there’s nothing worse than being poor. My coworkers were miserable. They all hated you and your ilk, but at the same time they wanted your money and your power. They all watch your show, some of them even cry when they see it. There desperate to believe they can have what you have and will believe any ridiculous nonsense at all because the truth is too depressing. They want to think that they are just like you save for luck. You’ve done a damn good job of making yourself look like an ordinary person. You use ordinary language and if you want to talk about stupid let’s talk about some of the movies you say you like. How come you’ve never made your IQ score public, it’s off the charts isn’t it?”
“It’s not like I’m corrupting your integrity here, Molly said.
Ortha took another drink and stared at the wall.
“I’ve seen the books you endorse on your show and I also had a peak at your Kindle when I was cleaning up. It’s amazing that someone sitting around reading Voltaire for fun on their vacation is the same person who recommended, The Successful Sisters Guide to Self Esteem. But your appeal isn’t limited to the greater proletariat, you also have a large following among the upper class.”
“Yes, and there the one’s who’ll be too smart to listen to this garbage, you impudent fetus.”
“Bullshit. I grew up around those silly bitches. My mom was one. Some hot chick marries a rich guy in her late twenties. At first life is great she enjoys the material pleasures she’s given. Her trouble starts around the mid-thirties. A slight sense of insecurity begins. She has plastic surgery and he has an affair. Then the forties hit, he leaves her for someone younger. Her kids are entering junior high. The child support will be gone in eight years and by that time she’ll be pushing fifty. She realizes she can no longer trade on her looks and she is too lazy to read a book so she turns to spirituality, nothing is more pathetic or gullible than the aged hottie. “
“I could send you to jail for blackmail.”
“Not without saying what I was blackmailing you for, “Molly pointed out.
A week later Ortha stood back stage staring at the two empty chairs on the set. She took a deep breath and prepared herself to sell The Truth.