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The doorbell rings.
I stand there for a moment in the living room, wondering if I should answer it. Nobody I know is supposed to be here today. So that means that whoever is ringing the doorbell is probably somebody I don't know.
In fact there is no telling who it could be.
And these days--now that I am a fairly well known C-list celebrity villain--the simple act of answering the door could put me in some kind of peril--either actual physical peril or just the mental anguish of having to deal with somebody I really don't like.
There is also the danger of somehow causing damage to my carefully crafted persona. For example, someone might catch me doing something rational in a weak moment rather than acting consistently angry and stupid. Even though I am trying to add some complexity to my character--a softer side--it would be a complete disaster if my devoted fans found out suddenly that everything bad they ever trusted as genuine in my character was in fact a base ruse. That is just the sort of thing that could really undermine my career as a hated public figure.
But I'm even more concerned about my actual safety above and beyond just the safety of my image. What I've found to be true is that--for all my notoriety--it's really the average people out there in the world who are the dangerous ones and far more crazy and reckless than I can ever even pretend to be.
The reason is because many of them take the villain act to heart. And because apparently they have no other driving purpose in their empty lives than an incessant craving to focus on people such as me. As someone they deem "famous"--even a third rate celebrity like me--I become the lightning rod for their crazy impulses. The truth is I think that they all secretly want to be me, as if that is such a great thing. It's a decent income is about all. But maybe if you can bring down a celebrity then somehow some of that "fame" will rub off on you...?
Many of these righteous lost souls seem to identify with my "victim," Ken the Crying Man. Perhaps they've had their arms metaphorically ripped off by some mean person or persons at some point in their lives--well, that's probably true for everyone. We've all been symbolically disarmed or at least beaten down at one time or another and probably many times. That's life.
But at least take it out on the person that did that to you. It's like they want to exact some kind of revenge on me as a sort of proxy. And for Ken of all people (who's doing quite well for himself, by the way, thanks to me and my arm-removing robot).
On the other hand the person waiting at my door could also just be some reporter or photographer from some rag mag casting about for some dirt, some rotten low-hanging fruit they can mash up and smear onto a virtual page somewhere and call pudding. And if they can't rely on somebody like me to say or do something ridiculous or mean-spirited in public, who can they then?
It would mean some free publicity for me, and something for them to feed to their devoted flock of dimwits. I like the rumor magazines. It's almost as if we have an unspoken agreement: I see a camera; I make a ridiculous scene in public; they pay me back for my efforts by turning it into news; I parlay my newsworthy relevance into a paid appearance somewhere. It's the circle of life. Because as Candy often points out, any news coverage is good news for me, even if it's something scandalous--in fact, the more scandalous the better.
So now I am thinking, If it is a reporter or photographer--or both--then I ought to be able to provide them with some usable outrage. It's the least I could do. Since Mom will be recharging in the back room for another couple hours...hmmm...what outrageous thing could I say or do that would make some sort of news...?
I rush back to my bedroom. And tossing my jeans and t shirt away I pull on a tight silver glitter-covered sleeveless top left behind by Tanya and a pair of tight black mesh g-string bikini underwear that I was handed in a gift bag at an appearance. The nice thing about being a celebrity of sorts is that people hand you all kinds of free things in the hope that at some point their product might show up on you in a photo or 3D recording. I get all kinds of weird stuff.
Next I pull on a tight fitted royal purple robe with long tendrils of frilly white trim that was one other such gift and mess up my hair, then grab a thick two-foot long heavy rubber black battery-operated double-dildo (still not sure where that came from--it seemed to somehow materialize one day in the back seat of my car after an all-night party in some big house somewhere which I can still barely remember in momentary--and ongoing--flashbacks). But it's a prop which serves the dual purpose of bringing an outrageous visual aesthetic while still maintaining the functional practicality of a heavy truncheon. Having said that, I must confess that I've never utilized it for its intended purpose, so I don't know if it works very well as an actual dildo or not.
I rush back to the door, the feathery frill of my robe tickling my chin as I hold the heavy dual penis-scepter half at the ready. I peer through the peephole into the outer courtyard.
Nobody is there.
I quietly unlatch the door, open it with caution and peer out. Nothing. So I open the door wide and tiptoe out there all the way to the corner of the house. I am gripping my giant double-ended club in concealment behind me but still ready in case I need it as I lean my head around the corner. I see nothing but the empty street before me. I freeze and listen. Nothing.
Okay. So I go back inside.
The dog bot is there standing just inside the door.
"What is it?" it asks.
"Nothing," I say, annoyed. "If you were a real dog, you would be doing this kind of security work for me. Instead, it's like I'm protecting you. What's wrong with this picture?"
"Hmmm," says the dog bot, "I could probably download a security dog app online. Would you like that?"
"It's a start," I say. "Is there something that would improve your hearing and smell? That is what dogs are known for, you know."
"I've never thought much about smell," ponders the bot, "how does a dog smell?"
"Some smell worse than others," I say.
The dog bot looks up at me. "What does that mean?"
"Never mind," I say, sighing. "With all your self-conscious chatter and know-it-all, you still have no idea what a joke is, do you?"
"No," says the dog bot, "should I laugh?"
"Well...not now!" I scoff.
"Ha ha ha ha," laughs the dog bot.
I shake my head. I sigh. "The timing matters."
"So I want you to go outside in the front and look around," I say, "that's what a real dog would do."
The dog bot walks over to the front door, and I follow. I open the door.
It hesitates. "What will I look for?"
"You'll be looking for people," I say, "or anything that looks suspicious."
"What does suspicious look like?"
"Just go out there...look around...then come back in here and tell me what you've seen. I'll decide if it's suspicious or not." I leave him standing there wagging his tail in the mechanical way he does. Meanwhile I go back into the kitchen to find myself a snack.
I grab some cheese and crackers and carry them over to the table and sit down. I am still carrying the giant dildo for some reason. It comforts me somehow. There is movement in the living room. The dog bot is standing in the corner lifting its leg.
"What the hell are you doing?" I demand.
"I have been accumulating moisture in my hydraulic system," it tells me, "I have to drain it before I go outside."
"Oh my god!" I cry, rushing in there, "what the hell do you think the outside is for? Jesus!" I say. "How many times do we have to go over this?"
"I don't want to kill any grass."
"But it's okay to kill the carpet?" My voice is rising.
"Real dogs misbehave this way all the time," it says, "and people love their dogs."
"I thought you wanted to be a human!" I say. "If you're going to be a dog, then I want the good aspects too. Dogs watch out for humans--they will fight and die for their masters. At least give me that," I finish bitterly.
"I protect you from computer viruses."
"That's not even close to the same thing!"
I watch in dismay as a stream of fluid emits from between his back legs in a horizontal direction downward. I am about to really go off on him when I notice something strange. The fluid is deflecting off of something invisible and dribbling backwards toward him again and from there onto the floor.
I lean over in the direction of the mystery and wave my arm in the air and it strikes something, some unseen something that is there and solid. Just then something pushes me hard on the shoulder and I fall back onto the floor directly onto my ass.
"You've never heard of a stealth cloak?" interrupts a voice.
Then a small man appears out of thin air standing there in a white two piece suit with puffy blond hair. He is holding a gun in his right hand. He has a blond beard and small bright black eyes.
"Holy shit!" I say, "you scared the shit out of me." I can't seem to look away from the gun--this is the first time I've ever had a gun pointed at me, and I'm finding it very unsettling. It's pointed at my face. The result is a really bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I want to run, but I'm afraid if I move at all he might shoot me. But there is a fundamental part of me that really, really wants to run.
"Don't run," the little bearded man tells me.
"Okay. I won't."
"And drop that-whatever it is."
Still seated, I slowly set the double-ended dildo aside. My only comfort is a tiny voice inside me reminding me that if he'd wanted to kill me he could have already done so. Quite easily, in fact.
"What's this about?" I ask him. I am falsely asserting my control.
"A talk," he tells me, "you're going to tell me the truth."
"A talk," I echo. "Okay. What's that for, then?"
"This?" he gestures with the gun, "is for big guys with bad tempers."
"Well...." I've realized all at once that there is a new downside to playing a real-life villain with a mean streak. I also realize all at once that I am still dressed in the frilly robe, glitter shirt and black mesh g-string underwear.
"When I'm in my own home I dress funny," I explain.
"Oh? I didn't notice." He smiles thinly. His eyes glance over at the giant black dildo.
"You can stand up," he says, "but don't try anything. Just...go slow."
I stand up slowly. I pull my gaudy robe around me. "Do you even realize all the laws you're breaking?" I ask. "I mean, this is still my house, right?"
He shakes his head. "Don't worry about it," he says. He gestures with the gun toward the couch. "Sit."
"So now what?" I whine.
"Now we can talk."
"Are you some kind of a fan?" I am wondering where this is going.
This draws a slight smile. "No," he says, "you actually have fans?"
"Well...what do you want then?"
"I told you," he says, "to talk."
"That's all?" I ask. I nod at the gun. "Can you...point that somewhere else?"
He appears hesitant.