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Published May 14, 2011
The Cincinnati Zoo, in front of a parrot enclosure.  Betrand, a rotund zookeeper with an ironic mustache, gives a desultory look in either direction.  Heinz, a fellow zookeeper, stands nearby.  He is short, with a crewcut and carries a zoo directory.

BERTRAND

Another day of casual hominid dominance at the ol’ zoological garden.

HEINZ

Looks that way.

BERTRAND

Are you familiar, Heinz, with the etymology of the term ‘zookeeper’?

HEINZ

I’m not.

BERTRAND

Just seems taunting.  I mean, we don’t get to actually keep the zoo, in any meaningful sense.

There are terrified screams from the left.

HEINZ

I told them not to knock down those tiger enclosure walls.

BERTRAND

We’re merely pawns in the system.  For instance, last week I had an excellent suggestion for remodeling the leopard exhibit to replicate the Hall of Mirrors at the court of Versailles.  The result would’ve been a provocative commentary on how we mock the unenlightened menageries of Louis XIV while at the same time refracting and reflecting their fundamental nature.

HEINZ

That’s like my girl’s room.

BERTRAND
Yeah?

HEINZ

She’s got a Lion King bedspread.

MELANIE runs toward the guards.  She looks frightened and harried, with her hair in disarray.  A large claw-scratch on her arm is bleeding.

MELANIE

The tigers are mauling everyone at Yak’s Yogurt Yurt!

HEINZ

Tell us something we don’t know.

BERTRAND

These new administrators.  They’re all about ‘interactive exhibits’.

HEINZ

Some animals are meant to be looked at.

MELANIE

They’re out of control.  They’re attacking the women, scaring the kids, making a mess of all the yogurt toppings.

BERTRAND

It’s a sardonic commentary, isn’t it?  Tigers don’t even like yogurt.

Heinz consults his directory.

HEINZ

“Yak’s Yogurt Yurt tempts your tastebuds with such toppings as blueberries, peanuts and crushed Butterfingers.”

BERTRAND

Crushed Butterfingers.  Says it all, doesn’t it?

HECTOR, Melanie’s estranged husband, walks in from the right.  He pulls out a handgun and speaks directly to Melanie.

HECTOR

Typical.  My tortured heart is bursting while you enjoy a pleasant day at the zoo.

Hector shoots Melanie, who falls to the ground, dead.

HEINZ

Can I help you find an exhibit?

HECTOR

Where are the weasels?

[BLACKOUT]

Saliva Masters lovers should enjoy my e-book Space Command and the Planets of Doom, available for a wallet-stunning $0.99: http://amzn.to/atEZo9

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