So this one time, I'm working a day job at the State Zoo. Just flunky work, but it kept the bills paid.
It was Easter Weekend, the single biggest family day of the year. Problem was, the dolphins were, well, feeling a bit of spring fever themselves. They were shagging all over the place, and management were freaking out.
In just a couple of hours, the zoo was going to be filled with impressionable young children. They'd see copulating sea mammals. There'd be moral outrage. Funding would be pulled, people would have to apologize on Oprah or something.
"There is one chance," said the Head of Marine Research. "Baby seagull meat has the proven effect of reducing, possibly even eliminating, a dolphin's libido."
Much smiling and hand-clasping all around. Except for me, of course.
I got a stick and a sack and directions to the seashore.
So I set off. It was a fair walk through the forest, but spring was in the air and I had my earphones and the radio to keep me company. It wasn't so bad.
The zoo was having an awful day. There was a big announcement on the news that one of the lions had broken loose. Fortunately, the keepers had put a few tranquilizer darts in it before it jumped the fence. I walked carefully, but saw nothing.
It was a great morning at the seashore. The sun was warm, the air crisp and salty. I went up and down the sand with my stick until the sack was stuffed full and dripping with baby seagulls. Time to head back to the State Zoo and a day of mucking out cages.
But on the way back, what did I see? The lion!
This great, tawny beast lay right across my path. The empty cylinder of a trnaquilizer dart still hung in its flank. I stood a moment, listening to its great, rumbling snores and looking from side to side. There was no way around through the thick trees.
I was as quiet as I could be. Gently, I crept up to the sleeping lion. I raised one foot, moved it slowly over the dangerous cat's body. I didn't dare breathe.
Just as my toes set down on the lion's other side, a cop jumped out from behind a tree and cuffed me.
"But, officer, what's the charge?"
And he said....
"Transporting young gulls across the state lion for immoral porpoises!"
ANd for suffering through that joke, you may have a mock cover...