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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.

"That… 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:

The End

Date Written: February 12, 2004
Author: qualcomm
Average Vote: 4.25

02/19/2004 Phony Millions (4): Imaginative and weird. I kind of like it. Give it a chance. I like the recap in the end.
02/19/2004 scoop (5): one star off for mispelling the Lerpa. but this is a six-star job, so, there you go.
02/19/2004 Jon Matza (4): Liked it, (esp 3rd paragraph, Hallmark card bit) w/a few reservations, particularly the wacky 'recap' list at end. Also, omitting the clause "...for certain unmentionable duties relating to her pussy" rather than spelling it out would've been stronger - it's still implied. Good yarn, though. You're through to the next round.
02/19/2004 Mr. Pony (5): Riveting.
02/19/2004 qualcomm (3): just a rip-off of Lurch, from the addams family.
02/19/2004 Texxx (3): The Lerpa's got nothing on this butler. I like it, but the writing's a little clumsy.
02/19/2004 Dylan Danko (4): I agree with Texxx. The writing is clumsy but the "From the Desk of the Lerpa" thing and the pussy cat card were splendid.
02/19/2004 Will Disney (4): A strange, good short, and the 2 paragraphs starting with "Next Morning" are splendid!
02/19/2004 scoop: If I may, Messrs. Danko and Texxx, to criticize this short for its "clumsy" writing is like dismissing The Wizard of Oz for its jarring shifts from blac-and-white to color. The practiced stiltedness here underscores the entire tone. To point, if it were unclumsily written, it would have been less funny. Duh.
02/19/2004 Mr. Pony: The Lerpa also has nothing on Feldspar Eats a Bowl of Diarrhea, which you should all visit and vote on favorably; after visiting Texxx's short, of course.
02/19/2004 Jon Matza: Let's not forget about this classic!
02/19/2004 Mr. Pony: Heh.
02/19/2004 Dylan Danko: any publicity is good publicity
02/20/2004 qualcomm: hey disney, is this "fuck me" one of those anonymous names you were talking about instituting?
02/20/2004 Will Disney: no, it's an unregistered guest name. unregistered users can submit comments and can pick a name, which will be shown in italics and preceeded with an asterisk. it could be a genuine stranger or it could be one of the usuals who logged out and then submitted it etc.
09/27/2004 TheBuyer (5):