Season 3, Episode 7: “Where is Klemper?”
ANNOUNCER:Previously, on Lester Klemper, JAG Officer, Second-Class
Klemper: Your honor, the defendant has copied my Tweets, and used them to mock me.
Judge: And this is the business of the court because…
Klemper: My severe immunodeficiency, glutton intolerance, possible dementia…
Judge: Did you say glutton intolerance?
Klemper: I hate fat people.
Klemper: Well, anybody fatter than me.
Judge: And now you want to file a civil lawsuit against a sitting judge alleging he infringed on your civil rights as a handicapped individual? That’s gotta be the stupidest thing you’ve ever done…
John Hodge: (rising to his feet from a table in the front of the courtroom) Actually, your honor, my readers list it among the top five stupid things, but still not number one. We have a list…
A Latin man in the gallery leans forward and smiles…
Aaron Walking: (rising, holding a laptop) Actually, it’s a searchable database.
Scene: Another courtroom. This time, Klemper and most participants are in uniform. A military judge presides.
Judge#2: Your complaint states that you were a fighter pilot, a JAG Officer — although I’m pretty sure that’s not the best way to abbreviate that…
Klemper: Sir, I’m pretty sure I know best how to write my Naval JAG title. For six years I alternated between duties as an F-16 pilot and a Second-Class JAG Off.
Judge#2: And now you are here to represent yourself in a civil suit against several individuals who — and I’m quoting here — “mock your Vietnam-era service to your country, your physical limitations and your girlfriend.” Really? Your girlfriend?
Klemper: This whole thing has taken the wind out of her.
Judge#2: Your affidavit says she feels deflated. So tell me about your service…
Klemper: I am a disabled Vietnam-era veteran, suffering from the inevitable physical deterioration after years of serving his country nobly in uniform.
Judge#2: Were you ever in Vietnam?
Klemper: No. Not technically.
Judge#2: Were you injured in wartime?
Klemper: Years later, actually. What’s the matter, judge? My time with the Marines on the beaches of Beirut not good enough for you?
Judge#2: How much time was that. exactly?
Klemper: I was “in country” for a couple of hours. Just long enough that when I talk about it, I like to stare off into space and squint…
Judge#2: You said in your previous remarks that your Navy career ended when you broke a leg falling down some stairs., and dislodged a kneecap. Wow, did that hurt?
Klemper: No. Not at all. It wasn’t actually my kneecap.
Main Title Sequence: (Upbeat music by Mike Post) Klemper in camo, Klemper driving a Camero, Klemper jumping over the hood of a late-model Chevrolet, Klemper pushing a dirtbag’s face onto the hood of a car. Klemper standing in full dress uniform in front of court, pleading a case.
Klemper: (voiceover) I’m Lester Klemper. After my Naval career, I spent 30 years as an investigative journalist. Now I’m defending the undefensible, taking on justice wherever it rears it’s ugly head, and defensing myself from a cabal of internet blow hards.
Scene: Interior of seedy motel room. Klemper is naked except for dingy shorts. He peers into a monitor of a laptop, and faces an enormous microphone. His arm is taped from shoulder to wrist, and hangs from a sling. Klemper is speaking into a microphone. As he speaks, the camera notes the microphone cable is disconnected, and the laptop shows a flashing message: “No Free WiFi Service.”
Klemper: We’ve passed the Rubiocon, listeners. I am defying a court order to appear in Maryland. Think of me as George Wallace — defying the… No, I’m the black students segregationing…no, I’m the Freedom Riders and Rosa Parks, except I’m not getting on the bus! (He stands and grabs the microphone, pacing the room.)
Scene: Crowded JAG squad room. FBI Agents and JAG personnel mill about until the FBI Director bursts in, with assistants in tow. Everyone stops talking as the director speaks.
FBI Director: As you all know, a JAG officer is missing. We’ll spare no resource. I want drones in the air, a darkened command post with blinking phones plus computer screens with maps. The Navy, FBI, Homeland Security and the Coast Guard will coordinate with…
Agent L’Orange: Sir, I’m sorry. It’s Klemper.
FBI Director: The guy with the cub scout recordings? How the hell did he end up in JAG?
JAG Officer: Fed to Fed? We drew the short straw, sir. We gave him some busy work and he just dropped out of sight. He keeps changing his location, code name and cover. He calls it rebranding, but it makes it impossible to locate him.
FBI Director: How long has he been on the lamb?
Unnamed Agent: That’s really just a rumor, sir.
FBI Director: (pausing…looking around the room.) Well. (long pause) That’s lunch. John’s buying at the steakhouse.
The director bursts out of the room with assistants following quickly.
Scene: Black and white soft focus video, clearly a flashback. Klemper is in a hotel room, sitting on a metal framed chair. He gets up, but the chair sticks to his behind. His hips are wedged between the arm rests. He tries to shake it off him, but knocks over a lamp. The chair follows him around the room as he shuffles to the bed. The lamp cord is entangled with the chair, and it also swings around the room, and the bulb explodes. He finally knocks the chair loose, but it snags on his boxers, which slide dangerously down his hips. He kicks the chair, which careens back toward him, and his leg becomes entangled in the arm. The bare light bulb from the lamp electrocutes Klemper for a brief moment, and he stumbles. In kicking the chair free, he tumbles to the floor, reducing the chair to a tangled mess of bent pipe and upholstery. He is motionless on the ground for the rest of the scene. A small cat wanders into the shot and scratches his arm about 2 inches above where his bicep would ordinarily be. A drop of blood stains the carpet.
Scene: Same hotel. Color. Teams of agents from the FBI, CIA, MI6, Manchester United, The Emotions and the Postal Inspector’s Office poke around looking for evidence.
Agent L’Orange: Either there was a struggle here…
Assistant Director Polanski: Or the chair thing, again.
Agent L’Orange: We found blood on the carpet of a hotel room. It tested as menstrual blood, but we are not sure we can rule out the possibility that it is Klemper’s. We also found a typewritten note, including the phrase “I will always carry with me, heartfelt affection for my beloved, the cat.”
Close up of note.
Agent L’Orange: We think it is possible that Klemper forgot to type “and” right there before the words “the cat.” Based upon Cheetos debris, misspellings and garbled syntax, we have confirmed it was written by Klemper.
FBI Agent: His last assignment was to get close to a cadre of bloggers, to investigate and infiltrate. We put him up in a trailer park, far enough away from our office so that he would never actually come into work. Instead, it appears that he ended up suing most of his targets. And this… (holding up a printout running several pages) He wrote this for a major website. Man, who knew he was fixated on cub scouts and anal stuff?
An awkward moment of silence follows, as three female Agents, one male Postal Inspector and a uniformed Webelo stop their work and raise their hands.
Agent L’Orange: We’ve put surveillance teams at buffets and diners. Just in case he turns up. What’s his favorite meal? (Uniformed officer hands him a note.)
Agent Grandy: Stroganoff. (shakes his head in sadness.) He sure loved strogan —
Agent L’Orange: The State Police have located a mobility scooter about a mile from here. We think it is related to the case since there’s sidewall damage to the tires.
Assistant Director Polanski: Let’s roll.
Scene: Interior, squalid hotel room. He is apparently recording or broadcasting. His arm is now covered with orange magic marker lines, making his wounded arm now look like it has been written on with orange magic marker.
Klemper: I have identified the elusive mocker who mocked me. He will be added to my multi state federal civil rights lawsuit. The Other Latin F-er, you are mine. You’re not even Latin…As an investigative journalist, I can find anyone.
(Extreme close-up as Klemper looks into the camera.)
Real name — Gino Venzini of New Jersey. I have your birth certificate. Mother’s name Angela “Legs” Turazzi, and father Big Gino Venzini. I know all about the loan sharking. Money laundering. And you make fun of me? You call me fat! I have a picture of your Godfather. Geesh! That’s fat!
Announcer: Next week on Lester Klemper, Second Class JAF Off….
Judge #1: Klemper! I told you specifically never record any proceedings in my courtroom.
Klemper: (on computer monitor) Actually judge, if we listen to this tape that I secretly recorded last month when I testified by computer…you said you didn’t want to see me record anything…You said “Klemper, I don’t want to see you recording anything“…and clearly you didn’t see me recording, as my phone was hidden.
You also said you didn’t want to hear about me posting courtroom recordings online. As it clearly was Mr. Hodge who informed you that I posted this recording online, he is the one who is defying you, as you clearly did not want to hear about any secret recording… (audio fades as camera fades to black)