Five Low-Level Conspiracies Jesse Eisenberg Should Accidentally Discover While Alone—and Content to be Alone—on a Seven-Day Bahamas Cruise

Content to be alone, but somewhat “shocked” that, at this point in his life, there wasn’t anyone that he wanted—that he really, honestly wanted—to accompany him on this cruise.
Eisenberg was raised partly in New Jersey.

1. The entire kitchen crew plans to serve 10% less meat in every meat-oriented dish (and at the four midnight buffets) on the next cruise, then 11% less, 12% less, 13% less, etc., until someone notices, selling the extra meat to [they aren’t sure yet; three separate people, the sous chef and two interns, are currently researching coastal meat markets] and splitting the money evenly, saving [an amount they haven’t decided upon yet because the person who said he would research standard bribery rates keeps only saying, in an increasingly annoyed voice, that he already emailed his brother, “who knows these things,” and is waiting for a response] for emergency bribing situations. Jesse should discover this by accidentally entering a storage room, opening the door marked “crew only” and actually walking fully into the room and closing the door behind him in an extended tic of inattention (on his way back to his room after a relatively boring night losing $340 on blackjack; staring at the ocean thinking vague, self-conscious thoughts about “the abyss” and “the dark unknown”; and watching a 80-minute juggling show) and briefly being audience to five kitchen crew members shouting loudly at each other, to a degree of pandemonium that they don’t process Jesse’s presence at all, in an argument about where the extra meat should be stored. Before turning 180 degrees, walking to and opening the door with a neutral facial expression, and stepping back into the hallway, Jesse stands in place 3.4 seconds, vaguely and briefly confused why all these people are in his room, hearing only a layered shouting that almost sounds like a crowd’s “roar” at a football game. In his actual room, two decks below, in bed, seven minutes later, after brushing his teeth, the lights out and his eyes closed, Jesse is able to discern that one crew member was shouting “store the extra meat in a freezer near dock at Nassau, that way we can sell it to one of the casinos,” another was shouting “I’m fucking not carrying 600 pounds of meat, of shrimp and lobster, of chicken, off this ship in broad daylight,” and a third was shouting “this isn’t going to work, this isn’t going to work” in a less forceful, almost quavering voice. From those three sentiments Jesse Eisenberg is fully able, he feels, in his half-asleep state, to discern the general outline of the kitchen crew’s low-level conspiracy, which he views, after analyzing it a little, in his last seconds before falling asleep, as “really, really misguided” but “admirable, in its own way.”

2. The entire cleaning crew, including those with double duties of cleaning and managing an area, for example “recreation room” or “gift shop,” plans to collectively “disappear” 10:33PM to 10:36PM on the first night the ship is docked in the Bahamas, at Freeport. They plan to do this by “ducking” into storage rooms, bathrooms, behind curtains, or simply hiding under blankets in their own rooms, memorizing their facial expressions and body postures before vanishing and then, three minutes later, reappearing with the same exact facial expressions and body postures, as if nothing had happened (the time from 10:33PM to 10:36PM will be spent meditating or—for the majority of the cleaning crew who claim it’s “impossible” for them to meditate or that meditation “isn’t real, isn’t a real thing that can be done, not really it isn’t”—thinking about what it would physically feel like to be the 8th page of a 256-page book). They are going to do this because the youngest member of the cleaning crew, who despite being only 18 claims to have a MA in sociology from Harvard (he actually did plan to major in sociology, but at a community college in Vermont, and he only considered it for a few weeks the summer before his senior year of high school, which he never completed, “dropping out” the second week), is paying them each $20 to do it (initially he actually planned on charging them each a $20 fee for his services in coordinating the experiment), with the added incentive that all their names, and headshots, will be included in the experiment’s results, which are predicted to be viewed by the scientific community as “truly revelatory,” if not “utterly game-changing,” to the point that “everyone involved will definitely appear on Larry King Live, it’s not a matter of if, or even of when, but of if Larry King will still be alive, with all due respect to his family, of course—or, no, wait, no, I forgot he’s retiring, but you get what I’m saying.” Little does the cleaning crew know they’re actually the “control group” (usually shunned by most media, who tend to completely ignore that experiments have control groups) and that, additionally, they’re involved in an experiment that doesn’t exist in a manner that could ever receive media coverage or scientific recognition, because the high school drop-out, at some point, maybe on one of the four consecutive nights when he ate entire boxes of Kashi cereal after drinking two to four beers, the third week after “dropping out” of high school, honestly completely forgot the second, third, fourth, and fifth steps of the scientific method and shortly after also completely lost interest in ever relearning. Jesse should discover all this one afternoon when he is licking a large mound of ice cream from a small bowl, on his back on a reclining chair, poolside, staring vaguely at an area of sky not far beyond the railing, and the high-school drop-out approaches screaming—actually full-on and even “loudly” screaming—”MARK SCHNEIDERMAN! MARK SCHNEIDERMAN!” before proceeding to nonsequiturly reveal his entire plan in a stream-of-consciousness, chillingly unsolicited manner (“…so I convinced them to let me pay them $20 each to coordinate their collective vanishing, for three minutes, well it’s the janitors actually, all of the janitors, though I’m one of them and won’t be doing it, so I guess it’s not all of them—I’m not doing it, as the mastermind, you know, I should, like, oversee things—well, maybe I will, maybe that’s the best thing to do, to do it with them, to be in there, doing it, but the thing is they don’t know they’re just the placebo for [Jesse stopped himself from listening at this point, focusing all his energy on extricating himself from the situation]”), following Jesse all the way down to the El Camino deck, where Jesse, after standing at the door to his room for what seemed like 15 minutes, staring mostly at the high-school drop-out’s mouth continuing to speak in an animated and unceasing manner, forcibly interrupts to say “I’m going to sleep,” and is completely ignored, it seems, but feels, at this point, like it’s completely acceptable for him to simply open his door, go in his room, shut the door.

Eisenberg has appeared on The Conan O’Brien show.

3. Half the kitchen crew plans to gradually phase-out “striped bass,” replacing one of the three main course options of the second dinner of the cruise with the tastier and more tender but, to some, less visually-pleasing “sea bass,” in secret from the other half (actually 46.77%) of the kitchen crew, in order to preempt any possible disagreements that could lead to years of bureaucratic activity. To do this they have hired a conceptual artist (from Craigslist) to attend every cruise, for free, in exchange for spending his first 40 hours of each cruise drawing stripes on one side of 650 “sea bass” (the other five or so days the conceptual artist is free to do whatever), with that number decreasing gradually as “sea bass” are introduced, with “white-out” and thin Sharpies, onto some menus (eventually there will be a meeting where half the kitchen crew “reveals” to the other half that they’ve actually been serving “sea bass” the past [whatever amount of time] with stripes drawn on, followed by a series of charts, graphs, and reports “proving” that “sea bass” is preferable “financially, emotionally, politically, and even aesthetically, actually”). Jesse should discover this when, walking past an area of the casino featuring $2 slots that is weirdly low-lit, he overhears the conceptual artist “fighting” with an older member of the kitchen crew, who seems to be holding in his bare hands a half-eaten “sea bass” with a stripe on it zigzagged to a degree that, at points, it overlaps four other stripes. The kitchen crew member is loudly whispering “your Craigslist listing said ‘reliable,’ did you not put ‘reliable’ in the listing, now look at this stripe, look at this stripe and tell me you’re ‘reliable,’ did you not make this stripe, did you not do this” as the conceptual artist simultaneously whispers, equally loudly, “you don’t ‘get it,’ I am reliable, that’s why I told you last week to hire another artist, did I not tell you last week to hire another artist, that something like this was going to happen if you didn’t get another artist, that my vision was blurring when I got to around 400 fish.”

Eisenberg has been published by McSweeney’s.

4. Jesse’s agent and manager are planning to “accidentally” sign him on, in a binding agreement, as the voice of the as-yet unknown “villain” character in Toy Story 5, scheduled to begin production in early 2014. Jesse should discover this when repeatedly refreshing his Gmail account on his MacBook Air while seated at a large table with seven strangers at the cruise’s last midnight buffet and receiving a new email from his agent to his manager, it seems, on which he is accidentally CC’d and in which it is detailed what seems to be an eight-part, bulleted, at least 3000-word “Plan To Guide Eisenberg in a ‘More Lucrative’ Direction.” Jesse actually deletes the email, either because he honestly doesn’t care what happens to him or because he doesn’t feel able to “deal with” the matter at the moment or because he is so excited and glad to be in Toy Story 5 that he doesn’t care, currently, that his agent and manager are able to do something like this to him. We don’t know exactly why Jesse deletes the email. All we know is that four minutes later he could be seen moving “beautifully thin pieces of roast beef wrapped elegantly around lightly steamed, bright green stalks of asparagus” onto his plate, between two varieties of “lukewarm roll” and a small pile of cocktail shrimp.

5. The two families—the Smiths, the Wongs—with assigned dinner seating at the same table as Jesse are planning to convince—or coerce, if necessary—Jesse to “hang out” with them in one of their rooms the last night of the cruise, with intent to “feed him alcohol until he does something ‘out-of-character,'” which someone will film with their iPhone and put on YouTube. Jesse should discover this when he’s had five glasses of wine and Michelle Smith—the 39-year-old mother of Ken, 14, and Sharon, 12—is pouring him his sixth glass of red wine and Paul Wong, the husband of the Wong family, himself on his eighth glass of wine, lying on his back on a top-bunk bed, points the TV remote at Jesse and says while looking not at Jesse but, with unfocused eyes, in the direction of his wife, who is lying on another top-bunk bed, [something Jesse is only able to discern, somewhat disbelievingly, though without much alarm, due to being drunk, and actually having been in a lot of situations like this before, as “that’s his sixth glass, just keep filming now and just don’t stop, just Jesse Eisenberg being drunk will just be really funny, there’s one of that other guy got like 400,000 views, just don’t stop filming”].Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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