After Five Years, I Think I Can Be Trusted With The Turtles Again

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Vol 36 Issue 27

Area Maggot Has Urgent News About Reincarnation

NEONTA, NY–A cabbage maggot called a press conference Tuesday to reveal "urgent" news concerning humanity and the afterlife. "First and foremost, I can tell you from firsthand experience that reincarnation is very real," the maggot said. "Second, though becoming a corporate attorney may seem like an easy route to making loads of money and living the good life, it will ultimately leave you feeling profoundly empty inside. Become a teacher or social worker instead." The maggot then returned to eating a rotting dog carcass.

Needle-Exchange Program Attracting 'Druggies'

CLEVELAND–A city-sponsored "Be Safe, Be Clean" needle-exchange program is in limbo due to suspicions that "dope-heads" and "druggies" may be using the program to obtain free drug paraphernalia, sources reported Monday. "Our intent was to encourage citizens who regularly use syringes to hypodermically inject substances into their bodies to use clean syringes instead of passing needles back and forth between friends, thus reducing the risk of disease," program spokesman James Dunwoody said. "But instead, our program seems to be attracting junkies and other unsavory criminal elements." Dunwoody said the program will be discontinued if the city's smack fiends do not stop abusing it.

Young Couple Hasn't Yet Realized They Don't Have To Do Grocery Shopping, Laundry Together

BREMERTON, WA–According to observers, Jon Lowe, 22, and Rachel Dennard, 21, have not yet realized that grocery shopping and laundry can be accomplished by a single person. "I was at the laundromat yesterday and saw the two of them loading clothes into the dryer together," fellow Bremerton resident Michelle Ganz, 37, said Monday. "I guess being apart for the time it takes to toss some shit in the wash is an eternity of longing for those two."

Zweibel's Metamorphosis

Observant readers of this paper know that the first week of August is traditionally set aside in the Zweibel household for the scald-cleaning, acid-etching, and shriving of my iron-lung, and this year was no different. Last Sunday, Doc McGillicuddy arrived in my bed-chamber and, with the help of the stable-boy Augustus and a pair of swarthy roust-abouts from the village smithy, removed my time-blasted carcass from its tomb. An audible hissing pop accompanied the loosening of the last bolt, and at the sight of my leprous fore-arms and the great plates of scabrous horn which have overgrown my chest, the roust-abouts screamed like a pair of God-damned fat ladies. Doc McGillicuddy, seeing that I was apoplectic with rage, filled my veins with the laudanum and transferred me once again to the wheeled death-bed that is my temporary resting place on these occasions. Exhausted from the effort, I fell into a fit-ful sleep.

Bush Takes The Lead

Gaining steam after last week's Republican National Convention, presidential candidate George W. Bush enjoys a strong lead over Al Gore in the polls. What do you think about his recent surge?

Sign Of The Crossed

Well, Jeanketeers, I really messed up big this time. No, I didn't put dark clothes in with the light ones again. And, no, I didn't accidentally erase hubby Rick's Winston Cup series videotapes, either. I'm having a hard time knowing how to put this, but, well, let's just say I'm sorry about all the born-again Christian stuff I said in my last column. I thought I was born again, but I guess I'm not.

Republicans' 'Diversity Through Imported Africans' Plan Criticized

WASHINGTON, DC–A plank in the Republican Party platform calling for a 'Diversity Through Imported Africans' program is drawing fire from civil-rights leaders. "I do not see why the NAACP would be opposed to the further enrichment of our nation's glorious patchwork of races," U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), co-author of the plan, said Monday. "We merely seek to increase America's already remarkable diversity through the importation of 10 million strong-backed West African males. These healthy, disease-free males from such nations as Gabon, Benin, and Togo will only add spice to the wondrous cultural stew that is America." Helms added that the plan will also create millions of jobs in the fields of housekeeping and farmwork.
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After Five Years, I Think I Can Be Trusted With The Turtles Again

Look, Mr. Budig, I'm going to lay all my cards on the table here.

As you know, I've worked here at Metro Zoo for almost eight years. And in that time, I've largely been a model employee, arriving at work on time, uniform clean and pressed, and always completing my daily tasks in a manner that was satisfactory at worst.

Yes, as we both know, there was that one unfortunate incident five years ago in the Reptile House. We certainly don't need to dredge up all the nasty details of that, as I think we both remember them well enough. But a lot of time has passed, and I feel strongly that I can be trusted with the turtles again.

As I have tried to make clear on many occasions, that particular incident occurred during a difficult time in my life. I was going through a very messy divorce, one which cost me, among other things, my apartment and my car. I have spent several years in therapy and can unequivocally state that I am in good emotional shape and have come to terms with the major issues from my past.

Also bear in mind that I have accepted my reassignment to Jungle World without complaint or incident, performing my duties in a largely exemplary fashion. And when you took me to task for my tendency to walk from Jungle World to the supply area via an extremely circuitous route that happened to take me past the Reptile House, I complied immediately and curbed that behavior.

As you'll recall, I was very sad to have to leave the Reptile House and all my close friends who live there, but once you made your decision, I didn't challenge it. I'd like to think that doing so demonstrated professionalism and maturity on my part.

You may also recall how I offered to personally apologize to every man, woman, and child who witnessed the incident in question. Both you and the police department strictly forbade it, but I would like it noted that I made the offer nonetheless. I believe that shows just how remorseful I was for what occurred, as did my offer to clean up the entire mess myself, on my own time and at my own expense.

And, of course, most important of all, let me just say for the thousandth time that I never, ever meant to hurt even one of the zoo's wonderful, wonderful turtles. From the bottom of my heart, I mean that.

Allow me to cut to the chase: After five years without incident, I wish to be reassigned to the Reptile House. My reputation precedes me in this matter, and I think it would be an ideal way for me to gain closure. I loved my work in the Reptile House, my background is geared toward the care of reptiles, and I feel that I can best serve you, the zoo, and the greater metro community if I am allowed to work with the reptiles–not just the beautiful turtles, whom I revere and whom it would injure me a thousand times over to bring any harm to, but the other reptiles, as well. You know, the lizards and whatnot.

On a final note, I would also like to say that reptilian psychology is a dicey game at best and, quite frankly, there is nothing to suggest that Sheldon has any recollection of the incident, much less any lingering psychological trauma. If he's over it, why can't the rest of us be, too?

I beg you, please let me go back to the Reptile House. I won't let you down this time. Promise.

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