Klepto the Clown was slumped on his couch made of the skins of baby seals and slouched over to one side. It was an uncomfortable position, but it was the only way he could see past his big red clown shoes to the TV. He loved TV. He had been watching it all night. But now he was distracted by the entrance of his daughter, Tinkerbelle. “Here’s the first one, Daddy,” she said.
“One what?” Klepto groused. He was bleary from his semi-sleepless night but the appearance of his daughter always roused him. Her dress barely covered her bottom so her long legs looked white and bare and everyone around her lived in a constant state of suspense wondering when her ample bosom would burst its bounds. He had a hard time looking at anything else. Except the TV.
“The Parade of the Secretaries, like you wanted,” Tinkerbelle said in the soothing voice she had learned over years of practicing to be a TV pitchperson, a mostly hypnotic incantation but with chirps of emphasis tossed in at the right moments like when urging the audience to click on the BUY button on the remote control.
“Oh, uh,” Klepto grunted barely remembering.
Tinkerbelle’s husband, Harlequin, opened the door. He wore an Armani suit jacket parti-colored in gold and pink (just like Klepto’s) over the traditional tights, one leg white, the other black. His tiny conical hat sported two crimson pompons that matched his Hermes tie, the color of his alma mater. Or so he was told.
Julie, the talking dog, entered on all fours and leaped onto the tightrope that Harlequin had miraculously made to appear in the space between Klepto and the television. Though Julie did an amazing job balancing on the tightrope, Klepto kept trying to peer around him to watch Morning Joe.
Julie wore the same parti-colored, diamond-patterned silk pajamas as Klepto, but his were ill-fitting and awkward despite his tailor’s best efforts. Like Harlequin, he wore a tiny conical hat but his was pink and gold like his potential boss’.
He smiled hard while he balanced and sang a little song.
“I’ve seen a lot of countries.
I know a lot of thugs.
I talk them out of terrorism
And how to beat up mugs.”
It was a terrible song, but he was doing it while balancing on a rope and not losing his hat.
“Mug? What’s a mug?” Klepto demanded.
Harlequin made Julie disappear. “Next is the guy from the wax museum,” he called through the door and porters rolled in the next candidate.
This guy looked the part, but the way he kept grinning was starting to creep Klepto out. It was a winning smile, but it never went away. And where was that voice coming from? This guy talks like a salesman, Klepto decided. Takes one to know one. If there was going to be a slimy salesman in this enterprise, it was going to be Klepto. Keeping this guy around might make him look bad. “Next,” Klepto growled.
A strong smell entered the room. Klepto lifted his red rubber nose and sniffed. He was very sensitive to smells. Sulfur! Was it the Devil? Klepto cowered on the couch. The Devil had come for him. He was terrified of the Devil. Now judgement day had come!
Then he saw the Oil Man. Looking like a six foot tall chocolate fondue fountain made of West Texas Sour, he somehow poured himself into the room sucking up all the light and stinking up the place. “I went to Chad and I took the oil,” he intoned like the ghost of Jacob Marley. “I went to Angola and I took the oil. I went to Guinea and I took the oil.”
Klepto was mesmerized. This guy was good at taking the oil. “Did you go to Russia and take the oil?” he asked. He liked to seem engaged.
“Not yet. But when you make me secretary I will go to Russia and I will take the oil.”
“Not yet? Loser!” Klepto spat. “Next.” The smell was making his head hurt.
The Oil Man said, “I can cut you in.”
“Done,” Klepto said. What a dealmaker he was. Then he leaned over and told Jose to switch the TV to Fox and Friends. He sniffed until the smell was gone.