In Which A Person Gets What That Person Deserves.

As press conferences go, this one is on the crummy side. Usually there are some kinda little bread things that have butter or onion or something, or at least free pop. It’s also usual for there to be more than one reporter.

On the other hand, as Count Weirdly’s press conferences go, this is positively sumptuous.

Oh, And Santa Doesn’t Exist Either.

It’s always funny. Not so as you’d actually laugh, just enough to make you smirk, like seeing the arrogant plumber who was so confident when he ignored your account of what the sink was doing bust your water heater and flood your basement: yeah, that’ll be hell to clean up, but in the meantime you were right and he was wrong. It’s that sort of satisfaction coming here, because I know going in that whatever the Count is announcing, it isn’t real.  If he thought he could really read minds, he wouldn’t tell anybody about it.

You’ve got your standard cast of characters. There’s the bored cameradog, who’s taught himself to film and think about video games at the same time. There’s the perky cutely-stupid reporter, who shouts ‘AMAZING!’ because she really honestly thinks it’s AMAZING because she really honestly thinks everything is AMAZING. There’s the green man in a nightdress and top hat, and there’s his temp , judging by his expression, is just now realizing that he’s being paid far too little to justify getting a scalp massage from a clammy man with a mustache. There’s Max, hungover and in agony. There’s the usual assortment of vultures and spiders and exanimate blobs. And there’s me, the soul of patience.

I c-c-can feel the b-brainwaves, Count Untowardly announces, the n-number is th-three!

AMAZING comments the reporter, Alright, Ladies and Gentlemen, this reporter is going to try something unprecedented! Count Weirdly will now read my mind on Live TV!

What? goes the assistant.

What? goes the Count.

The cameraman doesn’t say anything. If it wasn’t for his thumb on the focus button, I’d swear he was dead.

Th-that won’t work, Count Weirdly stammers, very obviously uncomfortable which is weird because you’d figure he’d be a better liar by now, the b-b-brain waves have to be… c-calibrated. Yes.

Really? AMAZING!

“He has other powers too, you know. If you were to pick a card, any card, in fact, from a deck, he would be able to then tell you what card you picked. Or if you gave him a pencil, he could mystically turn that pencil into rubber.”

The Count glares at me, but the reporter is interested. Wow, that’s AMAZING!

“I was actually being sarcastic.”

AMAZING!

“No, that means I think it’s not amazing.”

Oh. This appears to be disheartening news. You mean, you think reading someone’s mind isn’t amazing?

“No, I mean that he isn’t reading anyone’s mind!”

But he just did! It was AMAZING!

“Here’s how that works, lady. The assistant just clenches his jaw whatever number of times the dupe picked, so-”

Aha! But how does Count Weirdly know that the assistant was going to do that? He must have read his mind!

“Wow.”

I know, it’s AMAZING!

“You know what, my partner has a pretty bad headache, so I think we’re gonna split. You go right ahead and publish your, uh, findings on the subject.”

My AMAZING findings.

“Those’re the ones. Just one piece of advice.”

Yes?

“Don’t let him try to read your mind. Wouldn’t want him to hurt himself.”

The Final Word.

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