“Hey, what do you know about these…uhh…Kardashians?” my brother asks me one Saturday when I’m over.
“What’s there to know?” I say. “They unload their dirty laundry all over television and the internet every week. I don’t know anything about ’em, and I still know too much about ’em.”
“Hm,” he says.
“I know if you toss a Givenchy bag in front of them on the sidewalk, they’d be on it like fingers of the same hand,” I said. “Knocking little kids out of the way and sh– to get it.”
“You watch that show of theirs?” he says.
“No,” I said. “Do you?”
“No, no,” he almost shouts back.
“That’s not what your Hulu queue says,” my niece says.
“I went into dad’s Hulu by accident a couple weeks ago,” she tells me, “and saw it in his ‘continue watching’.”
“You did that?” he turns.
“Oh, good thing you don’t keep any meth in the house,” I said.
“I heard that the one got pregnant,” my brother shrugs.
“That was, like, yesterday,” I tell him. “Unless you two got the same celebrity astrologer, how could you have known that weeks ago?”
“All right!” he says. “I heard two of them were having a fight, about the one’s…third wedding…,”
“Third ceremony, same wedding,” my niece says.
“…and then what the other one did afterwards, directing a…fashion show by the same designer. Who designed the wedding.”
“Oh, you heard that?” I said.
“God, make me say it out loud,” he says.
“All right, you wanna know what I know? I’ll tell you what I know,” I said. “They epitomize everything, and I mean everything, wrong with the world today. Talentless. And immensely famous for no other reason than they have metric shit tons of money, which they had stuffed in their diapers from the start, are pathologically obsessed with fame, image, pathologically compelled to be in front of cameras and are scared to death of losing anything because they got nothing else but the way they look, and are scared to death of losing that, too. I mean, you seen inside the house the main one lives in?”
“Who’s the main one?” my niece says.
“What’s-her-face. The one that got them all famous in the first place.”
“The mom?” she says.
“Nah, all she did was marry a rich guy. That ain’t enough to make you famous. The other one. The one who made the porno. Paris Hilton’s sidekick. Back when Paris Hilton was ‘The Kardashians’. It’s like a museum in there, in that house. And that’s not a compliment—I mean a real f—ing museum. You even been to a museum before?”
“Yeah, I think so,” my brother says. “Anyway, I heard of them.”
“There’s a chair, maybe a bench. A hundred feet of space. Then another bench. Maybe. Too much open area, hardly any furniture, everything the same two colors, and about all the warmth and comfort of a CIA black site.”
“That was mostly her husband’s doing. Before the…unpleasantness,” my niece says.
“You know what was ironic?” I said. “Was that she dumped him because he said too much to the media. I don’t blame the guy for not knowing where the line was, how do you know? What I do blame him for is being too dumb to not even get that a line existed someplace. You know, and that if you think something foul and atrocious about someone—like a race of people, say—you don’t go broadcasting it to strangers you don’t know in podcasts and social media, or to someone holding a microphone or camera in your face.”
“How much did he lose, ‘cause of that?” my brother says
“You know she’s trying to be a lawyer now, right?” my niece says. “Kind of?”
“Of course,” I say. “If her courtroom cases are anything like her show, I think I’d rather do reruns of Night Court instead.”
“She’s not doing it for a TV show!” my niece says.
“Uh-huh,” I say. “Her whole life is a TV show. You think she’d try being a lawyer if there weren’t cameras following her around all the time?”
“So you do watch it,” my brother says.
“No,” I said.
“I’ll give you a hundred bucks right now if you can name ‘em all,” he says.
“All right. There’s the main one,” I rattled off. “The one with the face. The plain one. The twins. And the mom. And the dads. Though one of the dads is a mom, and the other one’s dead, I think. And there’s a brother in there, somewhere. I’ll take my hundred bucks in cash, thanks.”
“Which one got pregnant recently?” he says.
“All of them?” I say.
“Uh-huh. What are their names?” he says.
“Karen. Katrina. Kandace. Kookie. Kus D’Amato. And…Kolonoscopy.”
“Kus D’Amato,” my brother says.
“Unmarked, unfolded bills, thanks. Preferably in all ones.”