Dating Kate Beckinsale…Not

Jerry Weingrod was having a terrible night. He had gone to a conference in Dallas and had basically slept through every session. The speakers had the ability to cure insomnia. He was there as a representative of his company ‘’The Movie and Streaming Data Experts.’’ What his company did was take sample numbers from potential hits on streaming platforms and project total numbers. These projections were sold to Broadcasters and Advertisers so they wouldn’t miss out on buying into the next ‘’Big Thing.’’

The last project that Jerry had helped sell was via one of the very popular aggregation sites. It was ‘’Bella the Brown Cow’’ What happened with Bella was three times a day she got milked by different people and her thoughts were posted. It was a bizarre site that had caught on and everybody wanted to see what Bella thought about the ‘’unique’’ people who were pulling her teats. When she reached her thirty fifth million viewer, Bella became the Golden Cow for her owners and those who were sponsors. One cheese company who bought sponsorship early in the game couldn’t handle demand for their product and were buying up dairies across the United States to fill orders. It was the dream.

The truth was Jerry and his company didn’t need to be at the conference. They had been invited to participate and were ‘’industry guests’’ so they paid for nothing. The fact they walked the halls and sat on panels during a couple of sessions re-enforced the fact they were the leaders in statistical analysis and projections and the conference was to be considered ‘’Top Tier’’ for having them involved.

After listening to a guy drone on about the next big demographic shift, Jerry decided that he had enough. He was tired and his plane back to New York was leaving early the next day.

The problem was the three hundred pound guy sitting against the door. Jerry attempted to let him know that he wanted to leave, but the big man was oblivious and didn’t move a muscle, so Jerry was forced to stay till the end.

As the lecturer was winding up he suddenly blurted out ‘’I want to thank Jerry Weingrod for staying and listening to my facts and figures. I am a huge supporter of The Movie and Data Streaming Experts, and I look forward to working with them in the future.’’ Nobody including Jerry applauded, but guilt got the better of him and Jerry shouted out ‘’Great lecture, I’m certainly going to recommend you to the company’’ and then he blasted out the door.

There was all kinds of action happening in the hall and people were talking about the meet and greet in Ballroom A, so Jerry decided to check it out.

When he walked in he was pleasantly surprised. There was all kinds of food and an open bar. He grabbed what looked like chicken on a skewer and headed to the bar area. He was at the front of the line when a woman behind him tapped him on the shoulder. She spoke with a British accent. ‘’Hello, my name’s Kate, I’m wondering if you could order me a Vodka and Cranberry.’’ When Jerry’s turn came he asked for a Jack Daniels on the Rocks and the Vodka Cranberry combination. He received both and turned around to give Kate her drink.

She smiled, thanked him profusely and asked if he wanted to join her at a table. Jerry nodded and followed her to the back of the ballroom where a few tables had been set up. They sat down and she said, ‘’Thank You for being a gentleman and getting me my drink, it’s nice to know chivalry isn’t dead. What’s your name and where are you from?’’

After taking a sip of the Jack, Jerry replied ‘’I’m Jerry, Jerry Weingrod and I come from Syracuse, New York. I am one of the guys who founded the Movie and Data Streaming Experts. What’s your name?’’

She smiled ‘’My name’s Kate Beckinsale. I come from London, England and I’m an actress. Maybe you saw me in my biggest film, Pearl Harbour. I’m here because I’m working on an app that allows movies that target a specific age group to stream directly to their phones and then we do negative option billing. We are doing very well, but we want to increase our reach and penetration in the United States and Canada. We are conquering Australia, New Zealand and Western Europe. The States is our big goal, but there is so much privacy legislation it has slowed us right down.’’

Jerry was fascinated, here was this brilliant, intelligent woman talking to him. The fact that she was a hugely successful actress made things even more enticing.

The song ‘’Knights In White Satin’’ filled the ballroom and Kate asked Jerry if he wanted to dance. She didn’t have to ask twice. He couldn’t believe how she could just glide across the dance floor, her body control was magnificent.

She whispered into his ear while blowing on the words ‘’Jerry how do you and your stats people get such accurate numbers. I promise I won’t say anything but I’m curious as to what kind of sample size you use.’’ Jerry and his partners had made a vow to never discuss how the empirical data was mined. He could feel Kate pressing against him as the song changed to George Benson and Give Me The Night. Jerry Weinograd had never been so distracted in his life. Was he going to end up in bed with Kate Beckinsale? He hemmed and hawed and finally thought what the hell. ‘’We go to five different states and get thirty people in each state, ask them identical questions, factor in age, socio-economic status, and culture then multiply by three hundred million. We can usually glean all the important information from that.’’

Kate smiled at him ‘’Wow, I find intelligence really sexy’’ and with that she gently kissed his cheek. I only have one other question, and it’s not do you want to come to my room cause I think we both know the answer. The question is how can you be so accurate when it comes to predicting how women will respond to stimuli if you use such a big sample with no preconceived barriers.’’

Jerry had a throb in his pants. Kate Beckinsale was his dream woman. She asked the most intelligent questions he had ever heard. ‘’We uh, always make sure to add one extra question in the surveys for women. It’s a specific question and our Sociologists read the responses and then we graph them on to the overall results. We do that polling in different states from the main polling to compare attitudes to create our social sciences statistical model.’’

Kate threw her arms around Jerry’s shoulders. ‘’You really turn me on. I’m going to the bathroom, and then I’ll come back, have another drink and then we’ll go to my room for some more private talk.’’ She got up and headed for the doors while Jerry sat back down. He caught Kate talking to someone as she was leaving and the guy was staring at him. Jerry hoped it wasn’t Kate’s boyfriend. He had no desire to rumble.

Ten minutes passed so Jerry went back to the bar and ordered another Jack and went back to the table. He kept his eyes fixed on the door. As soon as Kate returned he would sweep her off her feet. After another ten minutes Jerry started to have a bad feeling in his stomach.

He stood up and left the ballroom and walked over to the deserted Hospitality desk. Fortunately one of the conference organizers walked by and stopped. ‘’Are you having a good time Jerry? This conference has been our best ever. Can I help you with anything?’’ Jerry slowly looked around. ‘’I met the actress Kate Beckinsale in the ballroom, and I’m wondering what suite she’s staying in, cause she told me to come and visit her.’’

The very officious organizer went behind the desk, fired up the computer, turned to the registration pages and typed in Kate Beckinsale. He spent a good five minutes looking and shook his head. ‘’Sorry Jerry, you must have the wrong name. There’s no Kate Beckinsale registered for the conference. What does she look like?’’

It was then that it hit Jerry like a ton of bricks, she was famous, all he had to do was show her picture via Instagram. When he looked at her Instagram page, his heart fell to the floor. The woman in the ballroom was no Kate Beckinsale, she was an imposter. She had been pumping him for information and was obviously unscrupulous. He really thought he had met a bonafide great actress. The disappointment was tremendous. The fake Kate had been very smart, but at the end of the day she was a phony.

Jerry thanked the organizer for helping solve the Kate puzzle and told him to be on the look out for the fake Kate and headed for his room.

After he opened the door and turned on the television, and fell on the bed, Jerry started to laugh. He would never betray his company and everything he had told the fake Kate was fake which made everything ironic.

Netflix came across the screen and Jerry selected a movie. ‘’The Only Boy In New York’’ starring Kate Beckinsale. As he started to fall asleep he thought, if I can’t meet the real Kate Beckinsale, at least I can fall asleep watching her. He laughed one last time, somewhere out there was the fake Kate Beckinsale with fake information, it really was some kind of funny.

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Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.

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Alan J. Schwarz

Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.

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