This one has some dust on it from the back of the drawer. Revisiting it, I see it's not a bad idea, so maybe I should stop being so lazy and finish it.
When my son was little, we meandered weekly around the Nashville Zoo. As small children do, we both examined everything from an ant to an anteater. We also faithfully watched the Kratt Brothers on PBS and reenacted them in the house and at the Discover Center. We even met the Kratts. I bought my son every plastic zoo animal possible. He still has buckets of animals, and perhaps when he has an office, he'll display them. For a brief moment, I thought maybe he'd become a Zoologist, but Tennis is more in the picture today.
No matter what we did together, though, I couldn't stop my mind from conjuring up the other story.
SHERBO WILL MANAGE
the Murville Zoo
Sherbo Morris is a guy who doesn't fit in anywhere yet fits in everywhere. He's smart but really dumb. He means well, but his amazing ideas can't work in a real business environment, but luckily places of employment have a way of working situations out even with the poorest of management.
"Perhaps the best way to describe Sherbo Morris' mind is to imagine a giant chalkboard extending the blackness of night. Every person he meets writes on that board in specific columns, pointing arrows and crisscrossed ideas with just one minor fault - it erases."
"Like an overloaded circuit, my best friend will black-out in a middle of a conversation. He's still stands there, but his eyes tell you that he's receiving messages from Rectangle World and not hearing what you're saying about you Auntie Furgas' gall bladder operation and the fact that if she weren't so fat it would have gone better for her."
"Mr. Cosines isn't such a bad guy. He just couldn't tolerate an employee who didn't understand the significance of time. Sherbs told me that he couldn't wear a watch because it binds and irritates his wrists as if he'd once been a shackled slave in a former life."
"Just at that moment when the pinkest flamingos in the world appeared beside his grill, he'd been staring at his plastic flock and wished them real. When two actually moved toward his dinner, he thought this was now his turn, but when his wife and child saw the flamingos too, he sighed with relief that he wasn't going insane like his uncle Pat, sister Elisa and cousin Mark.
"Dr. Funke wrapped a pale pink bandage around poor Fred's leg, such a condition he'd never seen before and he is a man ready for retirement. Fred's over-squat body crumpling underneath that entire belly and those little legs quite unable to take the strain."
"A tear fell from the doc's eyes, but not because of the sadness of the bird's condition, which was truly pitiful, but from that stank rising from this slimy slogging shrimp-filled stream."
"Sherbs, look into my eyes, and hear me, chalk it in this time. It is not a good idea to let all the animals free even if they weren't born free."
"A gross grouper landfill is just not sanitary and one janitor cannot clean everything."
"Okay, here's what I'm thinking. Comedy routines are out of style. Well, just by coincidence, no one likes hyenas and black back jackals either."
"What's a black back jackal?"
"Exactly," Sherbo answered.
"See what you've done. The giraffes don't even want to come here anymore. They hate you!" the bully wailed, looking around for something to throw at the girl. The Magnolia flowers would have to do, but the flowers within reach didn't rip off so easy. The kid above him snickered either from the idea of pelting these girls with Magnolia blossoms or that the mean boy was unable to rip the flower out. In any case, that kid held tight to the highest branch, thankful because he would be alive a few seconds longer than anyone else."
"When one girl is threatened, we are all threatened!" the Director of GUFs (Girls United Forever) said holding up Sherbo's No Girls Allowed sign. An industrious sort edited it. In addition to adding the I, they blacked out the No and painted a pink and orange butterfly. President GUF positioned herself a few steps up the tree house so she could look down on her constituents.
WE WILL NOT BE BARRED!" she screamed.
"Something new scrolled into his mind as he rolled over in a ball like a binturong. The binturong did the same. He was searching for the answer of the age-old question, "Why is apple juice not called red juice when orange juice is called orange juice?"
"Sherbo Morris was able to get everyone, all of them, together, every kind of human and nonhuman, and they were smiling and not knocking over fences or trampling each other anymore. They stopped and enjoyed the beauty of the glistening rays of sun off this newly formed lake."
"That takes care of our flamingo problem," Forester said. I just nodded. Ignorance is bliss and whoever said that was a genius."
"Sir, I'm sorry, the zoo is closed. You'll have to come back another day," William said.
"Look Mister, do you know how hard it is to get a flamingo in a Corolla?"
"You see how a person can't get that question formed just right."
"There's nothing lucky about hanging on to a dead grouper," Pete cuhd.