The Democrats in Denver. The Republicans in Minneapolis-St. Paul. And the Fibertarians in the smaller of the two party rooms on the second floor, near the fitness center.
I came home from the gym this morning to find a Fibertarian Party round table in progress. The convention’s right around the corner, you know. Next weekend. If you can’t be here, I think they’re broadcasting it on Chicago Public Access. Or maybe Animal Planet. I can’t remember.
Dolores was there, of course, along with Mrs Teitelbaum, Harry, Victorine, and a sheep I’d never seen before.
Dolores had the floor, by which I mean she and Victorine were exchanging simultaneous streams of bilingual invective while Harry blew on his rape whistle and called for order. Mrs Teitelbaum jumped up and hustled me back into the foyer.
“This is a closed meeting,” she said. “Unless you have one of the little access passes you better scoot. I don’t know how you got past the security guy anyhow.”
“Mrs Teitelbaum, it’s me, Franklin. I live here.”
“They said no exceptions. You better scoot, I know how to use this!” She rummaged in her wicker purse and whipped out a tazer.
“Harry!” I shouted, flattening myself against the wall, “Please tell the delegate from apartment 1507 to stand down and let me in!”
Harry hustled over. “It’s okay,” he said. “He’s with me.”
Mrs Teitelbaum looked disappointed. “I thought we were having a security breach,” she said glumly.
“No,” said Harry soothingly. “Maybe next time.”
“You said that when they delivered the sandwiches,” she pouted.
In living room, glass shattered.
“Uh oh,” said Harry. “They must have moved onto the next agenda item without me.”
“You’re just in time, cupcake,” said Dolores. “We’re almost out of beverages. Take a coupla fifties out of my lingerie drawer and go get us something with backbone.”
“Not for me,” said the Unknown Sheep. “Four bottles of spring water, Icelandic. Thinly sliced lime, organic. Why are you not writing this down?”
“Meet my new image consultant,” said Dolores. “My cousin, Lana.”
“Hi,” I said. “I’m Franklin.”
“Should I care? Wait. No. Don’t care. Lime. Organic. Now.”
“Gimme the latest from the key demographics,” said Dolores. “How am I playing with the elderly?”
“Well,” said Mrs Teitelbaum, “Yesterday after Senior Yoga I asked around and most everybody thinks you’re just a slut.”
“I’ll write ‘no change,’” said Harry, scribbling on his note pad.
“Way up,” said Harry, “Because you accidentally slipped Julio a fistful of twenties during Mucho Guapo night at the Lucky Horseshoe.”
“Super,” said Dolores. “Now, wardrobe. We were in the middle of discussing that when Mademoiselle Chanel here got uppity.”
“Eef you lahk,” said Victorine pertly, “Ah go back to Québec zeese eenstahnt.”
“Stop being a primadonna and show me the sketch for my acceptance speech.”
Victorine pushed a half-eaten pizza out of the way and propped up a large drawing of Dolores in a navy blue suit.
“Is she supposed to run for president in that?” snorted Lana. “Or host a Methodist bean supper?”
“Eet ees classique,” sniffed Victorine. “Eet weel flatter zee feegure.”
“Don’t talk to me about her figure,” said Lana. “The last time I saw that much real estate in ruins I was inspecting the Lower Ninth Ward after Katrina.”
“Should I write that in the notes?” said Harry.
“No,” said Dolores. “Let the record show that the candidate feels very confident about her level of badonkadonk and that the image consultant is not exactly an oil painting, herself.”
“Au contraire,” said Victorine. “She look to me lahk a Monet. Eef you get too close you see she ees beeg mess.”
As Lana reached for Victorine’s left ear with her teeth, I decided to go spend the rest of the day at the coffee shop. But when I opened the front door, there was a loud WOOF and suddenly I was on the floor underneath seventy pounds of dog–Tom’s Boxer/cannonball mix, Augie.
“Security breach!” screamed Mrs Teitelbaum.
“Hi, Augie,” said Harry. “Augie’s our new chief of security.”
“You’re kidding me,” I sputtered, trying in vain to push the security chief’s slobbery tongue away from my glasses.
“Nope! He volunteered! He’s even working for free.”
Augie woofed proudly.
“I think,” whispered Harry, “that he has a crush on Dolores.”
“Great,” I said. “A little romance. That’s all we’ve been missing around here.”
“Hotcha!” said Harry.
“Woof!” said Augie.
To be continued.