Vlad, The Great and Powerful Vlizzard of Odds, had been taught since his cub days in the Spook School to keep his eyes peeled for useful idiots. People who have useful information and exploitable weaknesses are hard to find, but useful idiots often present themselves, desperately seeking attention, hoping to feel important by selling out their country.

Klepto was one such and when later he proved to be eminently blackmailable, well, that was just sweet. The problem was that he was not proving to be very useful.

Really how hard was it to drop a few sanctions and then cause a distraction? There’d be outrage when the sanctions first went down but all Klepto had to do was drop his pants in public or open his mouth on pretty much any subject and the eminently distractible American public would divert its gaze. That’s why there were three rings in an American circus, because the people couldn’t concentrate on just one thing for more than ten seconds. Russian circuses had just one ring and the Russian press had just one source, Vlad.

Instead all Klepto produced was distraction. The inane lying. The overt use of his public position to line his own pockets. And the bragging that drew attention to it, followed by denials followed by confessions. This guy was in so much hot water, there was no space to sneak in a sanctions-drop. Vlad’s heart went out to his old friend the Oil King, the current Secretary of State. He looked so miserable in his “job.” His real job, the one he thought he signed up for was to get sanctions lifted so he could retire. And Vlad was sure the two old pros could cobble together some excuse to drop the sanctions and let Ex/Mo OilCo start drilling on the six hundred million acres of land it had leased if only Klepto would give them five minutes of peace to do it in.

King looked so sad and confused every time Vlad saw him on TV. King had spent his life surrounded by professionals laser focused on exploiting third world countries for their natural resources and now he was surrounded by clowns who could not decide not what to do next but what they were doing right now. All King wanted was to drop the sanctions and retire to the Big Rock Candy Mountain Ex/Mo would build as a thank you present. He thought he’d be there a month ago.

The worst part was there was nothing Vlad could do. He had the P-tape ready to drop on Wikileaks on a moment’s notice. Ditto for the records of loans Klepto had outstanding to Vlad’s friends’ banks and elaborate proofs of Klepto’s money laundering operation but what good would any of that do him? Klepto was alredy trying as hard as he could to please his Vlizzardly master. He just kept fucking it up.

Luckily, Klepto was having more luck alienating the Europeans. One thing that clown could do was piss people off. Klepto seethed hate—most kiss-asses did—and he got hate in return. And he had pretty much promised not to come to the aid of the Europeans in the event of a conflict. That would set the Europeans against each other—Europe was at best a committee and no committee ever won a war. Not that Vlad could afford to fight a war. But while the committee bumbled, he would be able to pick off Lithuania without any worse repercussions than street protests in Paris, the ultimate sign of impotence, and Poland would start looking for a protector. Germany? Yeah, right.

Maybe Klepto was not such a bad clown after all. Even if he didn’t bring in the oil money he might precipitate the fall of Europe anyway. Vlad didn’t really need the money; he was already the richest man in the world. He called down to the dungeon and told them to get ready to waterboard some Pussy Riot supporters. In the meantime, he’d snack on potato chips and caviar and watch the P tape. Then go down and watch girls smother.

Hound TV Interview

Klepto liked being interviewed on Hound TV. He felt they appreciated him and they treated him with respect. And they liked to send the business reporter to do the interview—as if he knew anything about business! Anyway, she always treated him the way he thought interviewers should treat him and he felt he understood her questions. Although it was hard to make out what she was trying to say when she had her mouth full.

“What did I learn as Precedent?” Klepto interpreted. “Well, it’s hard to learn a lot when you have as great a brain as I have, Sweetheart. That’s your name, right? I don’t want to be disrespectful. I’m always respectful to women, except when they’re bitches. I can say that because I tell it like it is and I know you’ll clean it up for me. Anyway, I already knew more than my generals when I got here. Because I watch all the shows. I watch your show, at least when it’s about me. You’ve got a hell of a figure. I’d say: body nine, face six. You’re a financial reporter, so I know you understand numbers. And you know I watch all the shows.”

Klepto slid forward to the edge of the baby seal skin couch so it would be easier for the Hound TV network reporter to interview him. And he slouched back to that made it easier for Tinkerbelle to massage his scalp. He loved being interviewed.

“Anyway, I learned that healthcare was much more complicated than anyone suspected. In fact, before I came along, everyone thought I’d sign a bill on my first day in office and fix the whole thing. Just because I said I would. Also I had a wonderful dinner with the emperor of China. Or is he the king?” He raised his eyes to his daughter who suggested “Prince.” She was Special Advisor to the Precedent after all.

“Hm?” the interviewer asked.

“Anyway, he told me China was not a currency manipulator. I was pleased to find that out, because I thought China was a currency manipulator. Whatever that it is. I also told him we bombed Iraq—”

“Iran,” the Special Advisor corrected.

“That’s right, Egypt. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen—”

“It has a little medallion that says KLEPTO on it,” the Special Advisor said.

“Hm, hmm, hmmn?” the reporter asked.

“I think relations between the our country and Oz are the worst they’ve every been, worse even than during the Cuban missile crisis. Things will be much better when I get done with them. I think the Vlizzard of Oz is a strong man is a very great leader and Oz is a strong country and our country is a very strong country—“

“It’s just a lover’s quarrel,” the Scarecrow interjected excitedly from his Scarecross at the back of the room.

“Dad and the Vlizzard will be having make up sex soon,” said the Cowardly Lion Killer from under the coffee table, next to the reporter.

“Now boys,” Tinkerbelle scolded. “You know you’re not supposed to talk about sanctions yet.” TCLK scowled at her and the Scarecrow stuck out his tongue.

“Hmmn? Hm, hm, hm?”

“I really like the Grim Reaper. But I don’t know him very well. He’s just a guy who works for me. He happens to have the office next door in the Pale House. He joined me very late. I don’t even know where he came from. I never listen to him. I go like this when he talks.” Klepto covered his ears and shrieked loudly. The reporter was so surprised, she nearly bit his dick off.

“Do you have anything to say about Bill the Leprechaun?” she asked, catching her breath before getting back to the interview.

“Bill is a great guy. He could never have done any of the things they said he did. The same way I never could have done the things I said I did. And all of those women who filed lawsuits against him were liars. In fact, they were the same liars who filed complaints against me. It’s fake news just like the Russians intervening in our election and currency manipulation and the Syrian nerve gas attack.”

“We believe there really was a Syrian nerve gas attack,” the Special Advisor corrected.

“Damn right. We’ve been looking for an excuse to launch some missiles to make Dad look strong. Whoosh…BOOM!” said the Scarecrow.

“Yeah, after he’s been looking like such a pussy after he blew the travel ban and health care. Nobody can say his first hundred days are a failure now. BOOM!”

“BOOM!” said Klepto rolling his eyes back into his head and letting his whole body go limp. “Cake,” he whispered, maybe to himself.

The reporter got up from her knees, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and swallowed hard. “Thank you, Mister Precedent.”

“That was a great interview, Sweetheart,” Klepto said. “Probably an eight or a nine. How about another one tomorrow around four thirty? I’ll give you a scoop.”

“Scoop,” said the Cowardly Lion Hunter.


So, have we been wrong about the Big Guy after all? Despite all this smoke about connections between his campaign and the Russians and all his sweet-talking bromance with Vladimir Putin, does this nasty missile strike against Putin’s other puppet, Al-Assad of Syria, mean Trump is actually his own man?

If you were a Russian spy handler and you had a highly placed asset in the American government–I’m not naming names, now–who was overplaying his part ineffective in doing your bidding and on the verge of blowing his cover, what would you do? If the way he was messing up was by being too friendly, the best way to give him his credibility back is to let him pick a fight with you. It can’t be much of a fight. You don’t want to get hurt in any way and you don’t want it to get out of control. Just a quick dustup.

So what if you get your Syrian puppet to commit an atrocity, which is the kind of thing he does all the time anyway, and make sure there are plenty of cameras around getting really graphic images. Stuff that’s hard to watch and usually gets covered up.

Now, you know your asset watches TV, is volatile and loves to divert attention from his many failures. Here’s a chance for him to flex some muscle. Say launch 59 cruise missiles at an air base. But you talk first. Cruise missiles can cause real destruction, and you don’t want that. Turns out, they don’t have to. Maybe some planes get blown up. Maybe they’re decommissioned planes. All your people are safely out of the way because your asset who is always bragging how he wants to keep the enemy guessing tells you and the Syrians what he’s going to do. And he doesn’t even crater the runway. Planes can be taking off and landing in the morning.

Your asset looks strong strong at home and you condemn it in the press so he looks independent. Then put the incident behind you. Blame the Syrians.

And your asset in America gets a white wash.

Pretty soon you’ll do something praiseworthy–like promise to keep nerve gas out of Syria. (That’s easy. It’s what you promised Obama.) Now it’s time for some make up sex.Then the oil man comes to Moscow and rewards you for cooperation by revoking sanctions. Whew! You can’t believe it took this long.

Sounds convoluted? Remember Putin was a spy. This is how he works.

Shiny Things–A Klepto the Klown Comic

Tinkerbelle was sitting at the table with papers spread before her like a schoolgirl doing her homework. She looked cold. She always looked cold. Maybe it was because her skin was as white as snow. Or as talcum powder and foundation, anyway. Or maybe because her tiny green strapless, sleeveless sheath dress covered so little of her. She shrugged her bare shoulders and crossed her bare ankles. On the back wall, her brother the Scarecrow was hanging on his Scarecross staring mindlessly into space while her other brother, the Cowardly Lion Killer, was prone under the crystal coffee table, his chin propped on his fist staring mindlessly at the TV his father was watching with tortured animation.

“He’s going to talk!” Klepto groused and pulled another lock of orange hair from the fringe around his bald white pate. “The Flying Monkey is going to spill the beans.”

“Maybe he won’t,” The Cowardly Lion Killer said.

“Why else would he want immunity?” Klepto demanded forgetting who he was talking to, chip off the old blockhead.

“Who wouldn’t want immunity?” his son asked. “It sounds delicious. Like with sour cream and fruit and chocolate chips. I would talk for that. I’d say all sorts of stuff. If I could think of anything to say, I mean.”

“That’s infinity, you knucklehead. It’s a dessert,” growled his father. He pulled out some more hair. “He means he’s going to blab so he won’t get prosecuted.”

“Prosecuted? That sounds terrible,” chimed in the Scarecrow roused from his stupor. “Isn’t that the doctor who looks up your ass? I’d say anything to avoid that.”

“That’s persecuted, you knucklehead. Prosecuted is when they try to pin a crime on you and if you don’t pay, you have to go to jail.”

“Who are they going to prostitute, Dad?” asked TCLK.

“First him,” Klepto said pointing at the image of the Flying Monkey as the news kept running a clip where he said, “If you get immunity, that basically means you’re guilty,” again and again. “And if he talks, then it’ll be me.”

“What’s he going to talk about, Dad?” asked the Scarecrow. He furrowed his brow and tried to remember things. If he only had a brain…

“Everything! Me. The deal we have with the Vlizard of Oz where he gets to run things while I’m Precedent. The money. The unspeakable things we did in Russia. He knows everything. Our only hope is that there is SO MUCH to talk about, they won’t even think to ask him about it all.”

“But if you’re prostituted, all you have to do is pay them off, right?” asked TCLK. He turned to look up at his father through the crystal table. “That’s what you always do.”

“You can’t pay these guys. At least I don’t think you can. Can you? CAN YOU?” Klepto raised his voice to get Tinkerbelle’s attention but she was engrossed in her homework.

“Hey! You’re my official advisor now. I need some advice.”

“Sure, sure,” said Tinkerbelle. “Daddy, you should read these things. They’re called intelligence reports and I’m allowed to see them now. They have all sorts of juicy gossip in them. Did you know that Angela Merkel is a woman? Really. And she’s the leader of someplace called Germany. And someplace called England is run by a woman too. I didn’t know women were allowed to run countries. In fact, I thought that’s why you ‘won’ the ‘election’—because the other one was a woman and not allowed to run the country. Amazing. Look at this. Did you know Obama was kicking ISIS’ ass before we got here?”

“Fake news! Those guys are part of the deep state that’s out to get me. There’s nothing in those reports but facts and you can’t trust facts, they change all the time. Now get over here. I didn’t make you special advisor to read reports all day. Get to work.”

Tinkerbelle gave a little pout then flounced to her spot behind where Klepto sat on the couch.

She knew her moment had come and she had to perform an action for the good of the country, for her husband, her family and herself.

End of part I

Drip, Drip, Drip

When Richard Nixon was suspected of covering up the Watergate break in, the country was shocked at the fact that the President was using his office to cover up political hanky-panky. Nobody liked or trusted “Tricky Dick” or thought such deeds beyond him but no body thought he was selling out the country in any way, shape or form. He had won the election—his second—convincingly and a lot of his policies were clearly good for the country. He’s the man who gave us the Clean Air Act, for example. When suspicions arose, a special prosecutor was appointed and when the evidence came—drip,drip,drip—that he was as guilty as we thought, public opinion and support in Congress swung around and it was time for him to go.

Suspicions swirl around Trump. Every day there’s another drip of evidence that something is up. But it’s not that he was involved in hanky-panky, though he was, or covering up some dirty tricks. We suspect that that he is acting in some way in the interests or at the behest of a foreign government, our primary enemy or opponent on the world stage. This is the kind of crime that would have shocked Nixon and he had been McCarthy’s errand boy. I suppose we’ll need a few more drips before we can get our heads around the idea that we’ve got a sort of Manchurian president, but we shouldn’t wait too long to do a full investigation. If Trump is Putin’s puppet—and he sure acts like it—then we need to know and to get him out. And if he isn’t then he needs to be cleared. And he needs to explain why he has acted toward Russia the way no one else in America does so he can get to work as President.

It’s time for Trump to release his taxes in an open forum and let the truth come out for all to see.


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!


Monkey Business

“Okay, give me the manager’s report from my Big Top in Florida. What’s it name? Marble Lego,” Klepto directed. He was sprawled on the baby seal skin couch watching TV between his splayed clown shoes in full relaxation mode: long red tie off, dressing gown on. “I don’t own a bath robe,” he blurted for no reason. Other than that he looked as he did day and night: diamond patterned pajamas in pink and gold, big red shoes, big red nose.

Tinkerbelle tippy-toed forward. “Good news there, Daddy,” she enthused. “Membership is up 50%. The new higher fees didn’t discourage anyone. In fact, we’ve been flooded by applications.”

“Who are these eager beavers? Anyone I know?”

A tiny vertical line creased Tinkerbelle’s perfect make-up between her eyebrows as she read names with some difficulty. “Dostoyevsky. Pushkin. Tolstoy. Gogol. Stravinsky. Scriabin. Tchaikovsky.”

“Never heard of ’em. They sound Russian. I love Russians.”

“Well, if they’re Russians, they love you. They not only paid in full up front, but they come every night you’re there. The place was lousy with them.”

“Did they ask for pictures? I love it when they ask for pictures.”

“They take a lot of selfies. They got a whole bunch of the guy who carries the football.”

“The what?” Klepto asked.

“The nuclear codes. In case you have to start a nuclear war,” Tinkerbelle reminded him.

“Oh, yeah, that guy. Handy to have around. Well, if they’re all paid up and active members—and by that I mean people who run up bar bills, restaurant bills, spa bills, greens fees—then more power to ’em.”

Tinkerbelle turned paler for a moment and whispered, “You don’t think they’re spies, do you, Daddy?”

Klepto and Harlequin laughed. Klepto asked, “Who would spy on me? I say everything I’m thinking.”

“But, Daddy, don’t you have…” Tinkerbelle lowered her voice. “Secrets?”

“Have you been talking to your mother? I’ve never had a secret in my life. I just enjoy my privacy. For business reasons. There are no prostitutes and no pictures. I don’t even know how to urinate on a bed.”

“Tinkerbelle was just being careful,” Harlequin offered. “She’s just looking out for you, you know.”

“Right. Of course. What else? Tell me more good news. Any other news is just fake like your tits.”

“If you weren’t my father, I’d spray you with mace,” Tinkerbelle muttered but then thought about how Klepto was going to eliminate the inheritance tax and calmed down.

“We’ve finished a complete turnover of the staff,” she announced.

“All the old Josés are out and new Josés are in?”

“All temporary workers, signed at even lower wages. And they seem much more, I don’t know, professional than the last bunch. They are tall and pale and muscular. Sort of…rigid.” She blushed.

Her husband, Harlequin, raised his eyebrows.

Klepto said, “They sound awfully white. Where are they from, Guatemala? Guatamalans are the cheapest.”

“No. They are from someplace called ‘Kremlin.’ I guess it’s in South America,” Tinkerbelle said.

Klepto considered. “Are you sure they are working cheaper?” he probed.

“Oh, yes. They were adamant about working for us. Some of them even bargained us down to be sure they were hired.”

“I like what I’m hearing. Except that word, ‘Adam Ant’?”

“‘Adamant. It means ‘hard,’” Tinkerbelle said and caught her breath.

Just then the Wicked Witch of the West burst in, tears streaming from her eyes. Blowing in right behind her was a creature with leathery wings, fangs and a tail.

“I can’t believe you threw me under the bus,” the WWotW shrieked. Her rigid worn features, like a doll’s from a previous generation, were as contorted as rigid features can get. Even her rictus smile was somehow forlorn. “I went on TV and said this guy,” she jerked her thumb at her hairy, winged companion, “had your full trust. Then Humpty Dumpty goes on TV and tells everybody you’re considering the situation and finally this.”

“What? What?” Klepto said. He was so concerned he actually took his eyes off the TV but left the sound on. An ad for psoriasis was playing. “What is going on?”

The winged creature stepped forward and said, “I served you badly. I apologized and resigned. Here.” He held out a paper with a scrawled signature.

Klepto attempted to grasp the situation. He was a strong leader and now was time to show it. “Who are you? What did you do?” he demanded strongly.

But the WWotW was still bawling. “I can’t go on TV and talk nonsense out of both sides of my mouth if I don’t know what the real facts are. How else will I keep from telling the truth by accident? I’m left with only saying random words. You know how hard that is? Just try it.”

Klepto was pretty sure that what he usually said was random words, at least in public, but he couldn’t be sure because he never listened when he talked. He assumed nobody else listened either.

“I’m your National Security Advisor, sir,” said the creature. “Or I was until I resigned, which I just did.”

“What’s a National Security Advisor?” Klepto asked skeptically. He got all his advice from Harlequin with some help from Tinkerbelle so who was this pretender? But—strong leader—he cut to the chase. “Never mind. What did you do?”

“I talked to the Russians about how we were going to lift the sanctions, recognize the Ukraine as part of Russia, invite them to invade Latvia and hold Fourth of July celebrations in St. Peter’s Square.”

Klepto’s eyes narrowed. “Didn’t they know that already?” Klepto had told the Vlizard of Oz on their direct line in the Ivory Tower.

“I was confirming it, sir. It’s just that, when I was asked if I had made the call I told everyone I didn’t: the Suit, Humpty Dumpty, even you. And the press—”

Klepto said, “Very dishonest people. Always coming up with facts. But what’s the problem? We lie all the time. When do we not lie?”

“I got caught.”

Klepto’s eyes went wide. Even louder than the TV he yelled, “YOU GOT CAUGHT! How could you let this happen?”

“The phone was tapped. I knew it, but I forgot. I’m kind of an idiot, sir.”

“We’re all idiots,” Tinkerbelle said soothingly. She could not stand to see an animal in pain.

The WWotW bawled, “And he made me lie for him. So I got caught too. I never get caught. I can squirm out of anything.”

“That’s it,” Klepto said. He frowned, pointed his finger and said, “You’re expired!”

“I already quit, sir.”

“If I say you’re expired, you’re expired. The Precedent can’t be questioned. Isn’t that right?” he said looking at Harlequin.

“What do you think, Klepto?”

“Get out of here you big ape,” Klepto said. “You flying monkey.”

The people in the room were shocked. Even the WWotW paused in mid-bawl.

Klepto said, “Yeah, I can call him that. I’m not politically correct.” He turned to Harlequin. “Who else you got?”

Magically another National Security advisor appeared. He was older, calmer, grayer, but…

“What’s this another flying monkey?” Klepto asked

“It’s all we got,” Harlequin answered.

“Sir,” the Wicked Witch of the West said softly. “I hate to bring it up, but about the Chief of Staff. You know how the Cowardly Lion Killer is always eating him? Maybe it’s the Chief of Staff’s fault.” She was careful to let her voice rise at the end of the sentence as if she had asked a question but the look on Klepto’s face gave her the impression she made her point.

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!

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