Q&A–A Klepto the Klown Komic

KLEPTO: First all you fake news organizations have to sit in the back. Real newspapers like The New York Post, Christian Broadcast. You’re up front. InfoWars guy, come sit on my lap. I don’t know if I should put my hand up your ass or you should put your hand up mine.

INFOWARS: What!

CNN: He means you’re a dummy. Like with a ventriloquist.

KLEPTO: You from the Communist News Network, beat it.

CNN: But I can’t see from the back.

KLEPTO: Be quiet. Don’t be rude. Where’s that spastic guy? Get him up front. He’s funny. Okay. First I want to show you a lot of pieces of paper. Whenever my lawyer visits me, he brings a lot of paper and charges me a shitload of money. So paper must be important. I have a lot of paper; that makes me important. No, legitimate. That was the word I wanted to say. I’m very legitimate. Big time. And I want to tell you I signed every one of those sheets of paper. Most of them. Well, I signed something. Now questions.

ABC: You promised you would build a wall across the border with Canada. Did you mean Mexico?

KLEPTO: No. If I said Canada, I meant Canada. But Mexico will pay for it. Trust me. Big time.

ABC: How will you get them to pay for it?

KLEPTO: That’s enough from you. Don’t be rude. Be quiet.

KLEPTO nods to his private security guards. They roll up the sleeves on their brown shirts and throw the reporter out the door while the Secret Service watches.

KLEPTO: Those guys all used to be Boy Scouts. Can you believe it?

KLEPTO takes off his big red nose, sniffs like a horse and puts it back on.

The reporters shout and wave, which is ridiculous because the list of questioners had been circulated before the event. They are betting KLEPTO would forget.

KLEPTO: Not you. Not you.

KLEPTO points and frowns as if he is deciding. Actually he had forgotten.

KLEPTO: Yes, you with the nice tits. Go ahead.

FEMALE REPORTER: When will you release your taxes?

KLEPTO: No one cares about my taxes except you and your tits are overrated. Your paper is failing. Nobody reads it. Who reads The New York Times?

KLEPTO makes a face and holds up his hands for a reaction.

The crowd, which is mostly made up of paid staffers, right-wing propagandists and people his men in brown shirts rounded up from the homeless shelter, cheers. One of the guys from the homeless shelter starts to chant “Lock her up!” and KLEPTO’s National Security Adviser runs onstage to join in. He shakes his fist and unfurls his big black wings. Tinkerbelle gently grabs him by the tail. He gives a simian shriek and lets himself be tugged offstage.

In the confusion a man with a beard stands up and before KLEPTO can stop him asks,

MAN WITH A BEARD: Won’t building a wall with Canada increase the cost of imports?”

KLEPTO eyes him suspiciously.

KLEPTO: Who said anything about a wall around Canada? The wall will be around Mexico. And it’s going to be a great wall, I promise you. And it’s going to go all the way around, not like some half-assed wall. You see the dishonest press? Lying about me. I never said Canada. I don’t even know where Canada is. So dishonest. It’s a shame. Isn’t it a shame?

KLEPTO holds up his hands and his paid supporters cheer.

KLEPTO: Okay you.

YOU: There have been reports your staff was in contact with the Russians as they were hacking your opponent during the election. Yes or no?

KLEPTO: Yes or no what?

YOU: Contact? Hacking?

KLEPTO: I don’t know anything about hacking. I know a lot about hacking, more than the so-called intelligent people. Computers are very complicated with all those little wheels turning around and the levers and the bells and whistles. It’s impossible to detect a hack unless you burst into his bedroom and take pictures of him with his pants down. I know from experience. There is no hacking. There is no such place as Russia and its leader is a great leader. We’re good friends. I’ve never met him. He’s truly powerful. Very manly and masculine. Fit. Strong.

KLEPTO (lowers his voice and seems distracted): Gentle.

KLEPTO (declaiming again): And it wasn’t just my opponent. The Russians hacked my computers too, but they didn’t release anything because they wanted me to win because I’m a great negotiator and they want that experience of negotiating with me because I’m so tough. I’ll just walk away. Not because I’m soft and will give them whatever they want. Unless they ask nicely. So no. No hacking. There is no such thing.

A man in a white robe and pointy hood stands up.

KLANSMAN: Klepto you look great. What’s your secret?

KLEPTO: Finally a good question

The room goes quiet.

KLEPTO: Clean living.

And the room bursts into laughter.

Author: leonardrysdyk

Leonard Rysdyk is the author of more than a dozen novels, stories, articles and poems. His work has appeared in many publications including Snow White, Blood Red, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aboriginal Magazine and the New York Review of Science Fiction. A professor at Nassau Community College, he teaches literature (including science fiction), cultural history (including the history of science) and is an acknowledged innovator in the field of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI), a subject on which he has lectured and consulted.

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