At some point after you start a business, you’re gonna need to read, understand and negotiate a contract. It’s not fun, so the idea of dedicating an episode of Strip Search to it sounded both necessary and harsh. After Penny Arcade signed away their entire empire early on (when it was far more of a wooden shack than a massive territorial claim) and their book rights to a guy who fled to Alaska, bringing in business maestro Robert Khoo saved their butts and built what we know as Penny Arcade today.
Our four remaining artists got to sit down with a large contract and mark up their concerns. If you’ve read more than a paragraph of one, you know how daunting it is to read page after page of it. Afterward, they each sat down with Khoo to “negotiate” terms.
At first, I was a little let down because in that steadied shot of Maki walking down the hall of Penny Arcade’s office clutching onto his contract, I felt a little intimidated. Not by Khoo himself, but in trying to understand how far off I am in understanding labyrinthine paperwork. Instead, Khoo dry humor dictated the terms as he gave softball responses to their critiques. Instead, I realize that if Khoo was going to stonewall them and really make an argument, it would take hours to do, per person, and while that might’ve also been enjoyable, they had a schedule to keep. It’s hard to quantify why Katie won the challenge, aside from Katie being a winner in life and everywhere, but for the third day in a row, she had to pick out two of her friends to send to slaughter.
Then came the dinner. That quiet, awkward dinner. It was probably just fine in person, but watching it was weird. When Graham announced the prize at the competition earlier in the day, it seemed like a truly golden event, probably behind closed doors at some swanky place. Nah, it was at Robert’s Barney Stinson-esque bachelor pad where, apparently, they had no table to sit at. Now, I know all about unfurnished bachelor pads, but c’mon now, you have the money and the advance warning, pony up for something to make the affair a little less cold.
“Well, let’s wrap up.” signaled the end of their weird dinner as the Maki/Lexxy duel takes place the following morning. Woo!