Hilary Duff's Celebrity Apprentice

The time: 12 a.m.

The date: November 20th

The place: Butter, 415 Lafayette Street

Sighted: "Saw Hilary Duff and Hayden Panettiere getting out of a suburban outside Butter. Both hurried in and sat quietly at a table most of the night. Both looked good but are very tiny in person."

Any fool knows that the key to success on Wall Street involves buying low, selling high and wearing Preferred Stock cologne. However, few realize that the other ticket to extreme riches is achieved by diversifying one's portfolio. With gas prices rising, the ozone disappearing and childhood obesity ballooning out of control, celebrities like Hilary Duff and Hayden Planetarium realize that in order to protect their assets, they must divide and conquer. The days of getting by on mediocre acting skills, eating disorders and implants are over. Indeed, celebrities must have at least three back up plans in case their WB show gets canceled or they ruin their careers by accidentally starring in Christmas with the Kranks or Mona Lisa Smile.

Matriarchs Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, pioneers of the celebrity-branding trend, shrewdly realized that, having no talent besides being twins, they could market themselves as terrible singers as well as terrible actors. Following the successes of their terrible albums, they discovered that they were also terrible at many other things, including designing clothes, starring in movies, and making calendars. Unwittingly, the twins stumbled upon a core celebrity tenet: mediocrity in many areas adds up to greatness.

Once it was confirmed that one actually didn't have be good at anything in order to be great, celebrities quickly codified the exact path to overexposure and a cheapened image. Step one: declare either acting or singing one's primary talent. After tepid reviews, implement step two by following up acting with a music album produced on a Muppets Casio keyboard, or if a singer, by starring in a movie about a singer. Step three: produce a perfume that smells like lilac pantyliners. Finally step four, produce a garbage clothing line to be sold at Dave and Barry's.

Aside from MK and Ashley, J.Lo, Mariah, Jessica Simpson, Kimora Lee Simmons, Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker and Paris Hilton, Hilary Duff is the undisputed high priestess of the mediocre path to greatness. Starting as a second-rate actress, Hilary became an international celebrity by producing an underwhelming album, launching a fragrance that smells of baby powder and hawking a line of rags sold at ghetto department stores everywhere. Thus it's no surprise that Hilary is hanging out with Hayden at Butter - Hayden's album drops in 2008.