Klepto leaned to the right, so far that his puffy hair touched his shoulder. No good. Then he leaned to the left. But whichever way he leaned he could not see past his big red shoes to the TV. He was always watching TV. It gave him something to tweet about. But today there was something he really wanted to see.
“What will I do about this?” he demanded of his daughter, Tinkerbelle, who was always standing ready despite the fact that she was a mother and ran her own business. And his.
“Well, you should always tell people that whatever you’re doing, it’s for the good of the country. And say ‘jobs’ a lot,” she answered with a smile. She spoke in a smooth mellow TV presenter’s voice, just as they taught her at her finishing school. In fact, it was the only thing they taught her.
“I mean about the shoes,” Klepto said and gestured. His angry wave made the rose and gold diamond pattern on his silk pajamas ripple like a disturbed reflecting pool and the silver fibers of its pompons shook.
He looked to Harlequin, his son-in-law. “You could lean decisively one way or the other,” Harlequin said in a calming voice.
It slowly dawned on Klepto that his son-in-law wanted him to make a decision. Didn’t Klepto pay people to do that for him?
Klepto made a face, not because he was displeased but because he had gas. He had so much gas and spent so much time controlling it that his face basically took on the same contortions as his anus. Especially when he was talking. Then it was hard to tell what was words and what was gas escaping. Not that Klepto cared. He just let it fly.
“You could just relax your feet and look down the middle between them,” Tinkerbelle suggested. This seemed like palace intrigue. Her father looked confused, though it might have just been the gas. “Sort of spread your legs,” she explained.
He liked it when she said things like “spread your legs.” He pulled his eyes away from the image on the screen and looked at her. She was a real piece of ass, as his radio talk-show host friend had once pointed out and made him acknowledge. Her legs were long and white beneath the tiny skirt that barely covered her private parts, or “pussy” as Klepto said. She was barefoot as Klepto’s women were required to be when they were in the private areas, but she stood on tippy-toes anyway, partly out of vanity for the way it made her legs look, partly because she had worn stripper heels for so long her tendons were deformed.
“If you weren’t my daughter, I’d date you,” he commented. It was true, but The Tin Woman, his current wife, wouldn’t put up with it. She put up with everything else. Just not that.
“If you weren’t my father, I’d spray you with mace,” Tinkerbelle answered. Then she gave a little bounce and giggled to show she was only kidding. “Now you have to do one thing or the other.”
Klepto spread his feet. It worked! His long red shoes opened like gates and the TV was perfectly viewable, no leaning involved.
“Wait, what’s this?” he demanded. The screen did not show what he expected. He called “Hey, Jose, change the channel.” The Mexican national whom Klepto—actually one of Klepto’s henchmen—worked for food and the promise of not being deported, bent and touched the button. “No!” Klepto shouted. “No! It’s not on!”
Klepto reached for his phone. He loved to watch TV and he loved to tweet. He liked the way his fingers perfectly fit the tiny keys on his phone. He never understood why people complained about how hard it was to type on the little keyboards. They were very dishonest people. They would have to stop tweeting about how hard it was to tweet. Or there would be consequences.
“Stolen!” Klepto tweeted. “Dishonest politicians promise inauguration then cancel. Sad.”
“What are you looking for, Daddy?” Tinkerbelle asked.
“The ceremony! The show! The incantation? Inebriation? Inaddition?”
“The inauguration?? Tinkerbell asked. A tiny line formed between her sculpted eyebrows.
“Yeah, the in-thing with the new President.”
“That’s you, Daddy!”
“Me? That can’t be right.”
“I know. Crazy, right? Anyway they’re waiting for you.”
“Me? Me! They expect me to be there?”
“It’s part of the job,” Harlequin said but when Klepto gave him a puzzled look, he explained, “Part of the show.” Klepto had never had a job in his life. He only owned things he bought with money he inherited or, when he ran through all that, appeared on TV because he was famous for being born rich and using the money to make a public ass out of himself.
Klepto heaved a sigh and gestured for the two former NYC police detectives who were his bodyguards to come in and lift him upright. He grumbled, “What else are they going to want me to do?”