Joe the Plumber put on his Carhart jacket and let the screen door slam behind him. There was just one news van parked across the street now as opposed to the fleet of them that had been there the week before, and the even bigger fleet the week before that. But Joe the Plumber knew they’d be back. He’d gotten a taste of the glory and he wanted more. This must be what black people feel like when they smoke crack, he thought. He wasn’t sure if he recognized the reporter who was standing on his lawn, slicking back his hair and getting ready to do a “toss” back to the studio. Joe had picked up all kinds of expensive Hollywood lingo in the past couple of weeks. Food is called craft services, and the words what get put on the bottom of the screen is called a chyron. He was basically Tom Cruise for how deep he had worked himself into the entertainment world. Boy would he like to meet Tom Cruise. Yeah, he’d seen something in the check out line of the grocery store about how Tom had gone a little crazy, but Top Gun, motherfucker! Joe the Plumber nodded to the reporter.
“Hey Sam,” the reporter said. “Got a minute?”
Joe the Plumber grimaced, the sunlight reflecting off of his bald head. “It’s Joe, man, everyone knows that.”
The reporter smiled, not unkindly. “But, I mean, your name is Sam, right? It’s not actually Joe. Right?”
Joe the Plumber opened the door of his pickup truck and spat onto the driveway. “Well, when my brand of Joe the Plumber pasta sauce takes off and doesn’t say Sam Pasta Sauce on it then you’ll know.” Joe wasn’t fully satisfied with his retort, but he was not the kind of person to spend much time reflecting or correcting for mistakes. Fate rewarded the bold! He slammed the door of his pick up truck and rolled down the window. “You will be able to send your apology to me at my mansion, when I get a mansion!” he yelled, and peeled out.
Joe the Plumber pulled up at the Halloween party and walked inside. All of his old buddies were there. It had gotten so hard to talk to people who didn’t really know. It was funny how in just a few short days, these people that he’d grown up with had less in common with him than Clint Eastwood. Now there was someone who’d been through what Joe was going through. If he could just have a beer with Tom Cruise and Clint Eastwood. It would probably be hard to tell which of the three was the famouser! Joe grabbed a beer and stood in the corner. He knew everyone was looking at him. The celebrity. They probably wanted to ask for his autograph but felt weird about it since they were his best friends. He’d give it to them, though, if they asked. He’d sign anything they wanted. Because of how good they used to be friends before he got so famous.
“Hey, Sam,” Joe’s friend Sarah said. She was dressed like a sexy dental assistant. “How you holding up?”
Joe lowered his voice. “Sarah, it’s Joe now. OK? I don’t know why you people are always trying to sabotage me, but you’d think our years of friendship would help keep your jealousy in check.”
Sarah glared at Joe but didn’t say anything. “So,” she finally said, “what are you supposed to be?”
Joe looked at this woman who didn’t understand anything about the world. She’d never done medical-grade cocaine all night on Richard Branson’s jet on the way to a private Mariah Carey concert on Necker Island. Of course, that was un-American behavior, and Richard Branson was a total fag as far as Joe was concerned. But those were the types of experiences available to him now.
“Halloween is for civilians,” Joe said, and walked out of the party without talking to anyone else. They would all know. When he was Secretary of Entertainment and Danica Patrick was giving him handjobs in the back booth of the Waffle Hut after hanging out backstage at the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert with President Palin, they would realize.