Klepto had mixed feelings about the SlenderMan and he didn’t like it. He would often change his position about someone or something, often from the beginning of one sentence to the end of the next but he was always definite. Otherwise he felt confused and being confused made him feel stupid and weak, small, squishy, sad, impotent, incontinent… At times like that he squealed for the Special Advisor to the Precedent and Tinkerbelle had to stroke his spikey orange hair and whisper “Big strong Daddy,” in his ear until he felt better. But about the SlenderMan…
When the SlenderMan denounced HER last July, Klepto liked him a lot. Klepto’s eyes widened, his ears pricked up and he felt a strange secret desire to drop to his knees and unzip the SlenderMan’s pants next time they met. But when Tinkerbelle explained that the SlenderMan wasn’t condemning HER—just slandering her—and was not going to put HER in jail, Klepto didn’t feel that way any more. Then in October when the SlenderMan said he changed his mind and was going to persecute HER again, Klepto felt his mouth water. But then the SlenderMan didn’t. And then he wouldn’t pledge allegiance to Klepto and then somebody implied that the SlenderMan’s Federal Bureau of Secret Police was investigating Klepto himself. That was the last straw.
So Klepto fired the SlenderMan. He thought everybody would love it. That was what he did, right? He said, “You’re expired!” and always got applause. He’d put on his frowny face to show he was serious.
But they hadn’t applauded. Some even got angry. “Big strong Daddy,” Tinkerbelle advised in her deep whispery voice.
“I have to play this just right,” Klepto sputtered. “It’s my biggest flim-flam ever. The stakes are enormous, like Klepto Steaks—more meat for the pound,” he pitched.
“Big strong Daddy.”
“I’ll appoint Julie the Dancing Bear to run the Secret Police. He has authoritarian tendencies and he’ll do anything I say. And I’ll say, “Squash the investigation!” and that will be that.”
“Big strong Daddy.”
“But what if the Congressional committees keep at it? Who knows what they’ll do to to get re-elected? We all know what I did.”
“Big strong Daddy.”
He said, “The people are angry, and they are going to get angrier when they figure out how I’m screwing them on health care and taxes.”
“Big strong Daddy.”
He squeezed his face till his eyes almost closed and his lips pressed tightly together like he was trying to pass a huge and stubborn turd. This was how he looked when he was thinking.
Then his little conical hat lifted off his head and had an idea. (He also passed a turd. But of course he was wearing a red, white and blue adult diaper under his red, white and blue Precedential pajamas, so it didn’t matter except for the smell.)
“When things get too hot, I can just pardon myself. The Precedential pardon is unrestricted. Like the conflict of interest laws. The Founding Fathers were idiots. They never imagined the people would elect a sociopath. But they did. Me!”
“Well, we showed ’em, didn’t we?” the Cowardly Lion Killer called from under the coffee table.
“Big strong Daddy,” said the Special Advisor to the Precedent.
“But I can’t pardon myself too soon. Otherwise, after I pardon myself, they could go ahead and charge me with something else. Of course, then I could pardon myself again. But they would charge me again. Then pardon. Then charge. There’s a lot I can be charged with. I mean, it’s endless. What if they do it when I’m asleep and convict me before I wake up in time to pardon myself?”
“Oh, Daddy. You never sleep. Anyway, I’d be right beside you. Big strong Daddy.”
“What if they do it on a Friday night? You have to be with Harlequin on the Sabbatical. Jubilee. Whatever. It’s the Law of Moses, right?” Klepto glanced at his son-in-law who nodded furiously. It’s not lying if you don’t say anything, he thought.
Klepto exclaimed, “Oh! I could give myself a blanket pardon! I could pardon myself for everything I have ever done and ever will do!”
“Big strong Daddy!” Tinkerbelle exclaimed giddily. Her old man didn’t know much, but he knew how to weasel out of a tight place. Which was amazing for somebody so fat.
“But what if they impeach me?” Klepto whispered with dread in his voice.
Tinkerbelle stopped rubbing his hair, her fingers orange from the dye. Harlequin shifted nervously from foot to foot, his diamond-patterned red, white and blue tights revealing his knobby knees. They had all thought this before, expected it to happen, were surprised it hadn’t happened yet. But none of them had ever said it out loud before. It made the possibility seem…reasonable.
The room became so silent they started to notice the stink from Klepto’s diaper. Then Harlequin showed what he was made of, the reason why they kept him around, aside from his family’s money which was a real fortune, not the pile of debt and empty promises Klepto lived on.
He stepped forward, bent—braving the smell—and whispered in Klepto’s ear.
Klepto said, “The House impeaches, but the Senate runs the trial. All they want is power. They’ll never vote against me. All I have to do is promise to do whatever they want.” Klepto spoke carefully as if articulating his own evolving thoughts, though he was actually just trying hard to remember and repeat the Harlequin’s exact words. His eyes were wide and voice was breathy, but he still looked more natural than when he read off a teleprompter.
“I will! I will do whatever they want! In fact I’ll be so pliable and they’ll get so rich, I’ll ask them to make me Precedent for life. And they’ll do it.”
Harlequin whispered again and Klepto repeated: “But I have to act fast. The people are pissed and getting pissier. After all, I lost the popular vote and I’m historically unpopular. They could vote out the House Republicals and even the Senate!”
More whispering. So much information was taxing Klepto’s brain.
But Klepto paused, his instinct for self-preservation pushing past his son-in-law’s dreams of glory. “But what will the Vlizzard of Oz say? I can’t promise to do everything the Republical Senators want if I already promised to do everything he wants!”
Harlequin swooped into the brown cloud for another whisper.
“That’s right,” Klepto said in the voice of a hypnosis subject repeating someone else’s suggestions as if they were his own thoughts. “The Republic Senators want to do whatever the oil and mineral millionaires want to do and Vliz wants to do whatever the oil and mineral millionaires want to do—as long as he gets twenty percent—so there’s no problem. I’ll be just like the Vlizzard of Oz! Will I get twenty percent?” he asked Harlequin. Harlequin nodded.
“I’ll be rich—really, not just fake rich with other people’s money—and I’ll be the second most powerful man in the world, Precedent for Life Klepto the Klown.”
He let his head fall back against the couch and, looking up, saw the underside of his daughter’s enormous marble breasts jutting out above him, straining against the tight green fabric of her short, sleeveless sheath dress.
“And if I ever die,” he said to his daughter, “you’ll be Precedent. The first woman Precedent of the United States. You know, if you weren’t my daughter I’d date you,” he growled salaciously.
To which she answered, “And if you weren’t my father…oh, what the hell” and ran to the front of the couch, dropped to her knees and went down on the Last Precedent of the United States.
A truly amazing historic victory, he thought.
“You know the best thing about oral sex?” he said to his son-in-law as Tinkerbelle slurped. “It’s that you can have an orgasm without actually getting a boner, which is important in my condition. Not a lot of people know that.”