You may know me as the E-Trader Baby—the phenom that is the stock-talking infant from the commercials—but the name’s Thurman Hendricks. I know, Thurman. Thanks, Dad, like, sorry I turned out white and not linebacker-sized. But whatever, play the hand you’re dealt. And that’s what I keep telling myself lately, play the hand you’re dealt. It’s a stupid cliché, something my dad’s been saying my entire twenty-four months on this earth, because he’s just that kind of guy, the kind who embraces clichés as a kind of worldview, but I find it apt at this particular time, nonetheless. You see, things aren’t exactly warm milk and perfect burps right now. In fact, in my estimation, my current situation is basically three not-so- great things:

1. Thermo-Ozone Research, LLC (TOR) – Pretty much a can’t miss startup coming out of Cambridge, like, two Harvard kids whose sole purpose for existence was to create a false ozone through the selective heating and cooling of water vapor, essentially tricking the oxygen molecules to jumping ship and to bond in nice little groupings of three. The concept was brilliant, the specs perfect. It just didn’t work. Not even a little bit. So that was everything I had, 45K, plus a hardy10K from Michelle, which brings me to the second crappy thing in my life:

2. Michelle – You probably remember that things were a little rocky with Michelle from that commercial a year ago. First off, it was horrible for my parents to be filming that, like, we’d had the agreement that my play dates were exactly that, mine. But they kept the feed running. So when Bethany was over—nothing was even happening, just kicking it in my crib—Michelle Skypes, gets mad, and then a month later, her embarrassment is broadcasted into every home in America during the Super Bowl with a fricking forty-three rating! Jesus, can you imagine? But I got it smoothed over because I’m good like that and, really, I love Michelle, those cheeks like the fattest of milk sacs, like you can tell Mrs. Johnson breast-fed well into eighteen months, unlike my mom, who cut me off after six, but that’s a different story. But what’s important is that things were finally good again, Michelle-wise, and then I convince her to dump all the money she made from appearing in that embarrassing commercial into Thermo-Ozone Research. And well, that’s 10k she’ll never be getting back. The last thing she said to me two weeks ago was make it right, or we’re done, which brings me to bummer number three:

3. E-Trader is done with me – Fin. Finis. Don’t call, don’t text, don’t Skype. Thanks for coming. The suits didn’t even have the decency to inform me of this decision in person. They did it over mail, postal for God’s sake. It was such BS, like something about a child nearing twenty-four months with the ability to talk is not uncommon. Like, can you believe that? Sorry, I’m getting older. That’s what happens. How many other two-year-olds do you know capable of managing funds, creating portfolios that would make Buffett cream his pleated khakis? Like, I still think I have a skill set most don’t. Jesus. So I’m washed up. Sweet. Two years old and washed up. Done in the entertainment business. And my little nest egg is squashed, thanks to those dweeby kids from Harvard, and Michelle won’t talk to me. Washed up, broke, and single. This is my life.

[Continued in Confrontation 110]