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And so it was with great reluctance that Helga and Bartholomew Richter settled for their new butler on an applicant with the highest qualifications, the most impeccable references, but one who too came saddled with a fabulously unfortunate name. The Lerpa.
It was not so much the name itslef as the inordinate pride he seemed to take in it. When rang for, he heralded his own entrance. "The Lerpa," he would call out as he crossed the threshhold, as if a VIP bearing that silly moniker were in direct tow.
Adding more the the Richters' unease, The Lerpa was wont to case their epic corridors well into night's loneliest hours. In his off-duty uniform of red dungarees and a bare, sunken chest, The Lerpa would creep along the walls, stealing from shadow to shadow on his cranelike legs.
It was on one such excursion that he nearly lost his job. Mrs. Richter, emerging nude from the south wing lavatory at just after 3 AM, collided headlong into... The Lerpa.
"The Lerpa!" he bellowed as he pushed passed her and continued down the hall, leaving the poor woman sprawled on the floor. When Bartholomew came out of the bathroom (a slick, brown sheen adorning the area around his mouth) to see about all the fuss, The Lerpa had already disappeared into the night.
"What seems to be the error, my dear?" he asked.
"Thatů Lerpa just barreled me over!"
Next morning, having resolved to give The Lerpa his walking papers, Mrs. Richter flung open her boudoir doors. Rushing in on the resultant pillow of air, a scented envelope looped up from the floor and landed on her foot. She picked it up. Embossed in gold in the top left corner was a heraldic seal reading, "From The Desk Of The Lerpa." Inside, a card from Hallmark, featuring a photograph of a kitten on a pile of garbage it had just upended, looking guiltily into the camera. "I'm Sowwwy..." the caption said. Her determination melted. The Lerpa could stay!
And it was the right move, for such an able servant proved The Lerpa that before long, the Richters depended on him implicitly to satisfy their most trivial whims. (In fact, years later, when she was quite widowed, Helga and The Lerpa came to a private understanding, altogether separate, both fiduciarily and physically, from his primary butling contract, for certain unmentionable duties relating to her pussy.)
So, to recap, The Lerpa:
Date Written: February 12, 2004
Average Vote: 4.25