The Count Takes a Vacation
Frank Bruni sat by the fire in his stately chateau, absent-mindedly running his hands over the lace trim of his princess sleeves.
He felt he had lost his edge in recent weeks. Count Frank had found his marriage to Lady Wednesday Dining less and less interesting recently. Whereas he used to enter the bedchamber every week with rapacious gusto, he had recently been performing his sirely duties missionary with the lights off. Had the knights and ladies that populated the Watteaus and Bouchers which lined his crimson corridors come to life, they might have spied Count Frank’s wandering fingers diddling under the skirts of Madame Travel Section and the Duchess of Television.
This wasn’t the real Frank! No; he shook his head as best he could in his Shakespearean ruffled collar (it sounded like a deck of hotel sheets being shuffled casino-style). His two best friends—a Lalique crystal coq named Philibert and an old copy of Diderot’s Encyclopédie that he called Dennis—seemed to look up at him from their booster seats with accusatory glares. Although they were dead, and also objects, Frank knew that they were disappointed in his philandering. “I’m so sorry, Dennis,” he whispered aloud, tears plopping onto blank parchment.
And speaking of lesbians, there was one more person that Frank knew he had disappointed: The Count’s personal jester. She had falled off the ball in the past two weeks. His jester was a distant female idiot whom he had never met but whose weekly online epistles were the equivalent of a humpy dance performed in his honor by a fat girl in a Technicolor dream unitard with a potentially sterilizing camel toe.
Not everyone enjoyed the Count’s weekly proclamations; there was always someone grumbling about his qualifications, complaining about his stars. But when Frank saw his retarded little jester howling and dancing in her trash heap in Brooklyn, the dirtiest princess of a mentally compromised kingdom, it made him smile under his handlebar goatee.
That was it: He needed a vacation. He unrolled his thick woolen longjohns and threw them into the fire, creating an enormous puff of flames and a small mushroom cloud that smelled like broccoli and Beefeater. He coughed and apologized to Philibert and Dennis, not noticing the subtle thud of a chamber maid who had dropped dead in the corner. “To the Bahamas!” He bellowed. “Until October 26th, I bequeath my pen to Marian Burros!” he exclaimed, while somewhere in Brooklyn, his Jester, too, bequeefed, in the hopes that the Count would return with a renewed sense of Countliness; in return, she promised to get a third, even fourth, amateur lobotomy. No, their partnership was far from over...
Cue “Vacation” by the Bangles