Couch Potatoes

Tinkerbelle was slouched, almost supine, in Klepto’s spot on the baby seal skin couch in the White Home. She had her long bare legs stretched out and her tiny feet propped on the coffee table. A crystal bowl so big she could barely see over it was in her lap and she was slowly eating potato chips out of it as she watched her father giving a press conference on TV. She was wearing the tiny sheath dress that left her shoulders bare and only completely covered her private parts when she stood upright and still. He was wearing his formal pink and gold diamond patterned pajamas, the long red tie that hung to his knees and his big red nose was polished so it caused a glare in the cameras.

He said, not quite shouted, “The so-called media have had a field day making a so-called scandal about the so-called revelations about my so-called National Security Advisor’s so-called call to Russia. I did not fire him because he so-called called Russia. I fired him because he got so-called caught so-called lying about it to our so-called Vice Precedent, the Suit. The former national security advisor is a great guy, a lovely monkey and a great pet. He called the so-called Russians because that was his so-called job and if he hadn’t done it I would have to him to whether or not it was a violation of the so-called law. I say ‘law.’ How else are we supposed to co-ordinate with our so-called enemies?”

With her mouth full of crunchy chips and her fingers shiny with grease Tinkerbelle said, “It’s the servants I’m going to miss most.”

“But you have servants at home,” said the Wicked Witch of the West who was behind her standing straight as a doctor’s balance scale and just as conscious of her weight. She would have killed for Tinkerbelle’s chips. Or legs. Or boobs. Or youth. Or money. Or…

“But we pay those people. They have to be nice to us or we fire them. Actually, we fire them a lot, usually right before payday. But these guys are free. They do what we want just like our regular servants but we don’t pay them. I know it’s an esthetic difference, but I’m a deep thinker,” Tinkerbelle said.

“I’m going to miss the security,” said the Wicked Witch of the West. “Every time I show my badge that lets me in where the little people can’t go, I get an orgasm with my panties on. Sometimes, I leave something in my car just so I can go back to get it and go through security again.”

“I’m going to miss telling the most important man in the world what he thinks,” said Little Hitler. He was sitting cross-legged in an armchair with a gallon rum raisin ice cream melting in his lap, slurping up the liquid bits through a straw.

“Don’t be silly,” Tinkerbelle said. “Daddy doesn’t think. He reacts.”

On TV, Klepto was going into his second hour of diatribe.

“The so-called media. They are a greater threat to this country than the Russians—who are our friends—or the Islamic terrorist or the Mexican drug dealers who are coming into this country in greater numbers every day. The fake media I call them, some of them—the ones who tell the truth about me, not the ones who lie about how great I am—keep harping about so-called illegality and so-called treason and so-called lying to the so-called FBI. Such dishonest people. Do they think I care about such things? I am the so-called Precedent—Pre-ce-dent—for crying out loud. I have more important things to think about like what a great victory I had in the election I lost by three million so-called votes. I won by more Electoral votes than any Precedent since Reagan, even though every Precedent since then got a lot more Electoral votes than I did. Let’s face it, no one thought I would get any. At all. I mean, I’m a clown after all and who would vote for a clown, except an idiot?” He circled his tiny thumb and forefinger and bounced his hand up and down to signal he was making an important point like he did when he was trying to make a difficult target for Pecos Bill the sharpshooter from his first circus to shoot through. “Then we found out how many idiots we have in this so-called country.” He paused for effect. When he was campaigning, this where the crowd would go wild. “Very important to know that,” he said. “Very important.”

Just out of camera range, Harlequin had been giving him the cut sign for half an hour but Klepto decided to take another question.

A respectful young man in a yarmulke and full beard stood up and tossed him a softball. “Everyone hates the Holocaust. Would you condemn it for the record?”

“Sit down and shut up,” Klepto groused. He was a strong leader. He could cow a naturally respectful Yeshiva school graduate like a pro. “I’m the least anti-Semitic person on the earth. Jesus wasn’t less anti-Semitic than me. Some of my best friends are Jews. My son-in-law is a Jew. There he is over there giving me the heave-ho. Give him a hand there people. He’s giving me the heave-ho sign. No chance, Hymie. Harold? Hansel? My daughter is a Jew. Sort of. I mean she converted but you can’t really convert. And I was talking to a Jew just yesterday.”

The young man begged, “Please condemn the painting of swastikas.”

“Quiet! Quiet!” Klepto threatened as if he had any right to talk to people who didn’t work for him that way. “Those signs are painted by Hillary Clinton and her daughter in the middle of the night to make it look like my supporters did it. But only the so-called fake media are fooled. Not Fox and Friends. They believe any baloney I tell them and repeat it like it was the gospel.”

“I like being close to the nuclear football,” Little Hitler said. “I think, someday if I play my cards right, I can get the clown to blow some country up.”

“Can you get him to blow up Nordstrom’s?” Tinkerbelle asked.

“I’m going to miss the easy money,” said the Scarecrow. He had hung himself on his hook in a far corner of the room and he had to raise his voice to be heard above the TV. “Just a couple of weeks ago, I arranged for the Prime Minister of Taiwan to call Dad. The Precedent of America never talks to the Taiwanese for some reason, somebody told me.”

I told you, you idiot,” growled Little Hitler who was getting ten percent of any deal he set up.

“Maybe it was you or somebody,” the Scarecrow said and smiled deviously. “So then there are news stories about one China, two Chinas, three Chinas? Something. Pisses off the Commies, anyway. Then Dad drops a few hints and makes nicey-nice and boom, the Chinks give him the trademark rights he’s been suing for like for ten years. And he shuts up about Taiwan. Something for nothing and the chicks are free,” he sang and wiggled his fingers as if playing an air guitar, though it was impossible to play air guitar while he was hung up on his scarecross.

“I’m going to miss the lion hunting,” the Cowardly Lion Hunter said. He was lying full out underneath the coffee table Tinkerbelle rested her feet on.

“There’s no lion hunting,” Tinkerbelle said gently. She had a soft spot for her special little brother. Next to him, she seemed so much smarter.

On TV, Klepto was taking more questions, “Will you meet with the CBC,” asked an African-American reporter or as Klepto would say, “a black.”

Seeing the blank and somewhat frightened look on Klepto’s face, she rephrased her question and asked more slowly. “Will. You. Meet. With. The. Congressional. Black. Caucus?”

Klepto flushed. He took off his shiny red nose and sniffed. He pawed the ground in his big red clown shoes. Then he made his scowly face and pointed like he was about to say, “You’re expired!” but instead threatened, “I’ll meet with anybody. You set it up. Are these friends of yours?”

“Mr. Precedent, I’m a reporter. I don’t set up meetings.”

“I know all black people know each other. So do the Jews. You bring them here and I’ll meet the hell out of them. I’m not afraid of them. I’m a strong leader. I’m not afraid of the blacks. I could walk down the street in Harlem and shoot people and not lose a single vote.”

“The motorcades!” Tinkerbelle exclaimed and everyone else in the room gave a sympathetic moan. “Barreling down the street. Flags flapping. Lights blinking. Everyone has to get out of your way. The car is bullet proof and absolutely silent. You can see people outside. Calling, waving, giving you the finger and you blow right past them.”

“The motorcades!” they all sighed.

Tinkerbelle snapped her fingers and a dignified African-American man in a white jacket stepped forward purposefully. “I’m switching to ice cream,” she informed him. No need to tell him the flavor; he knew. In fact before Tinkerbelle realized it, the crystal bowl had been taken away and was replaced by a silver tray bearing a large bowl filled with ice on which floated a smaller bowl holding a full pint of Cherry Garcia. Tinkerbelle picked up the silver spoon and said, “Get the bucket ready. When this is done, I purge.”

The butler gave a little bow and an approving smile. He had seen them come and go. They’d be gone sooner than most.

Like reading about Klepto? Wouldn’t it be great to see him too? Contribute cartoons or other artwork and I’ll put it on the site. Let’s see what this Klown looks like!

Also, if you enjoyed this post, check out my Amazon Author Page. Thanks!


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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