His parents had named him Czar. Sometimes he went by Tsar, depending on his mood. His sister’s name was Duchess, but they usually referred to her as “Princess.” They had two dogs: Steven and Georgette.

He was the only kid who couldn’t spell his first name by the time he got to first grade; his parents had never made it clear to him whether he was a “cz” or a “ts,” so he was constantly writing “Tzar,” or “Csar” on his papers in school. He often wished they had just added another vowel or two, and then he could be Cezar or even Caesar.

On the weekends, he would wander around in his bathrobe all day with a metal cup he called his “chalice,” and try to philosophize about “the deeper meaning.” But there was no one to listen.

And despite all his attempts to distinguish himself, everyone always said he was just like Larry.

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