The orange menace knots his power tie. When finished he looks down to inspect the result. Its tip grazes a knee, sways and grazes the other knee, and so on back and forth between his knees, just as the tip of a perfectly deployed tie ought. He tapes the tie-tail, rendered too short to reach the keeper loop, firmly into place. Then he inspects himself in the full-length mirror. He likes what he sees. The orange menace grins, and a relief of orange putty, the shape of a walnut, forms on the pediment atop his scrofulous lappet.
– “Everyone knows what a long tie means,” says the orange menace.
– “Ha-ha!” says Marco Lepsi. “The holocaust indeed!”
– “The what?” says the orange menace. “What the hell a—? I was talking about my schlong, obviously.” He picks up the gun, tucks in into his pants. “Why on earth would you say the holocaust?”
Mr. Lepsi asserts that he is himself a fervent practitioner of the simile and the metaphor. However, Mr. Lepsi further explains, his analogies invariably refer to the holocaust, or to slavery, never to his member. “You caught me off-guard, with this metaphor of yours pointing neither to the holocaust nor to slavery.”
– “Sometimes I talk about my dick,” says the orange menace. “You’ll get used to it.”
Mr. Lepsi prayed to the Lord.
– “Oh Lord,” said Mr. Lepsi. “Tell me Thy will.”
– “Marco,” said the Lord. “You have a nice house in West Palm Beach. In a gated community. A cabinet position just makes sense, don’t you think? It’s a logical next step.”
– “Lord, that is a very good point,” said Mr. Lepsi. “But am I worthy?”
– “You grew up in a house, so you know about housing, right?”
– “Yes, Lord,” said Mr. Lepsi. “I grew up in a house.”
– “And as for the urban—well, you know,” said the Lord.
– “No, Lord, I don’t understand,” said Mr. Lepsi. “What about the urban?”
– “You know, Marco … the urban,” said the Lord.
– “I’m afraid I don’t follow,” said Mr. Lepsi.
– “Never mind,” said the Lord. “Mr. Crusher follows me.”
– “Lord, does Mr. Crusher know Thee?”
– “What I meant is that it’s a white guy thing,” said the Lord.
– “Ah, yes,” said Mr. Lepsi. “A white guy thing, yes of course.”
– “How long have you been living in West Palm Beach, anyway?” said the Lord.
Mr. Crusher approaches Mr. Lepsi and shakes his hand. They retreat to the parlour where they sit in a pair of gold, Louis XIV chairs, looking out over the Geld skyline.
– “I’m so happy for you,” says the orange menace. “You’ll be tremendous.”
– “I’m honored you think so,” says Mr. Lepsi.
– “I really do,” says Mr. Crusher. “You know, as soon as I heard the word urban, I thought of you, I said, ‘Marco is the guy, a tremendous choice. That’s who I want, Marco.’”
– “I have a lot of ideas about housing,” says Mr. Lepsi. “About housing and urban development.”
Mr. Lepsi tells the orange menace some of his ideas—for example to convert inner-city tenements into pyramids for the storage of grain, to arm the homeless with guns and knives so that they may defend themselves from the Nazis, and to abolish federal public housing.
– “Public housing is like slavery,” explains Mr. Lepsi. “And the next thing you know, a public bus arrives at your door and takes you to a place where they say you will be given a public shower, but it’s not a shower, it’s actually a public gas chamber, run by the slave owners.”
– “The slave owners?” says Mr. Crusher.
– “Yes, the slave owners, who are Nazis as a matter of fact,” says Mr. Lepsi.
– “I had no idea,” says Mr. Crusher. “We can’t let this happen.”
– “Oh I agree,” says Mr. Lepsi. “Totally I agree. The only sensible place to live is in a gated golf and country club, preferably an estate with a Mediterranean theme.”
– “Tremendous. And do they have much gold there, in the gated club?” says Mr. Crusher.
– “I am working on it,” says Mr. Lepsi. “You see, the Lord spoke to me and he said I ought to have a lot of gold, that it was His will that I, you know, have more gold than I have right now.”
– “No!” says Mr. Crusher.
– “Yes,” says Mr. Lepsi. “What do you mean ‘No’?”
– “I mean, I’m amazed,” says Mr. Crusher. “Because I also had a dream, and the dream that I had said I should have a lot of gold—that I should turn everything into gold.”
– “Really? That’s amazing,” says Mr. Lepsi.
– “It is, it is. Do you think it was a message from God?”
– “I do,” say Mr. Lepsi. “I really do.”