Still uncertain, you lift the tinfoil crown and slowly lower it onto your head. There is a smattering of gloved applause, though some in the group still throw suspicious, venomous glances at you. The hobo ladies swoop into a giggly, salivating cluster around you. Perhaps this wasn't the best idea. Still, having the unwashed masses on your side might come in handy.
A sensation of kingly dominance swells within you. You stand straighter, puff out your chest and make your first royal command:
"Bring me some pants!" you boom out. It was quite chilly outside and your scrawny legs were getting goose pimples.
The hobo ladies fly away from you like a flock of startled birds and settle around a stolen shopping cart that appears to be full of garbage. After several minutes of rummaging, whispering and giggling, they return bearing a pair of pants that may have, at one time, been made of corduroy. Now, the pants were dominated by a rainbow of patches, stains and loose threads.
"They were Greg's," the woman who handed them to me whispered in reverence before backing away.
Stifling a grimace, you thank the woman and put the pants on. Greasy Greg was several inches shorter than you and the hems of his pants hang well above your ankle. They also smell, oddly enough, of parmesan cheese.
"King!" the hunchback says, "What may we call you?"
You are about to answer when you are distracted by police running outside the alley. They run past you, but then something else catches your eye. It's Pauleen! She's across the street, still in her karate robes, talking to an officer. She points up towards the broken window and then down at the alley. The officer nods and switches on his flashlight, signaling her to follow him. They're coming right towards you!
"Oh God," you say, and look desperately around for some avenue of escape. The other end of the alley opens onto a small, quiet street. You instinctively start for it when the hunchback stops you.
"My King," he says, his cockeyed stare meeting yours, "We are at your command. Where you go, we follow." There were mumbled agreements and solemn nods from the rest of the congregation. Your eyes move between your subjects and the small group of officers that have gathered at the mouth of the alley, led by Pauleen. The moment of decision is upon you.