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Observe and Report

Ooh, hey now! G’Day, mates! It’s me, you’re old friend Steve Irwin! You know, the Croc Hunter. Yeah, I’ve been ‘ere in the afterlife for a while now. I’m sure you remember me, right? Ok then, great! What’s that? Aw, no… don’t be sad I’m gone; this ‘ere is a great place! In fact, there are all sorts of wild and marvelous creatures up ‘ere that lots of people have never even ‘eard of. So what I’ve been doing is studying these creatures so we can better understand them, and make sure there ‘ere in the great beyond for when our children and grandchildren die!

Now remember, I’m a trained professional with many years of experience handling dangerous animals. If you’re going to try this at home, make sure you know what you’re doing so you don’t get killed!

Alright, let’s take a look at this guy. Woweee! What a funny looking bugger he is! This is a Cerberus, guardian of the river Styx. He likes to hang out near the banks of this ‘ere river, just like my old friends the crocs! Let’s have a closer look. Eeeassy buddy, I’m not going to hurt you… Alright, as you can see, this Cerberus is veery mad. Easy, fella. I just wan’t to have a look at ya. Alright, DON’T try this at home. I’m going to tackle him….AAAARRRGGGHHHH…..

Crikey! That Cerberus sure didn’t like us! Not a lot is understood about those wily buggers, so I’m really trying to earn their trust so that I can get right up close and study them. No worries, though! There are plenty of other marvelous creatures… right! Look over ‘ere! This little girl is called a Quetzalcoatl. Isn’t she a beauty? Doesn’t she look just like a lizard with feathers? That’s because she is! Alright, here we go darling, let’s ‘ave a look…whoa! She doesn’t like that! Eeeassy girl… Alright. You should only ever grab one of these by the tail if you’re a trained… AAAARRRGGGHHHH…..

Wow! These creatures are really dangerous! So little is known about them, though, we’ve got to make sure we protect them. And to do that, we need to… quick! Run over ‘ere with me! See that? That’s a Gorgon! Now, despite being in some pretty famous Hollywood movies, there really isn't much known about these awesome creatures. Isn’t that unbelievable? Here, let’s swing around here and ‘ave a closer loo…

Fan Fiction 2

Recently, I wrote a piece of fan fiction for this blog. I did this because A) It’s a guaranteed path to riches, B) I am an amazing fan fiction writer, and 3) I couldn’t think of anything else to write. For a recap on what fan fiction is, please see the old post, because I really don’t have time to explain it all over again. I’m busy cashing checks.

One thing I have learned is that while cross referencing different characters and genres is encouraged in some fan fiction circles, my first piece was a little too “all over the map” for most people’s liking. But that’s what they said about Santa Claus when he was writing the Bible. Just saying.

Anyway, here’s my latest piece of fan fiction.

“We’d like to thank you all for coming to Chewbacca’s wedding,” said Hillary Clinton. “Please exit through the back of this enormous Space Hotel Ballroom we are in.”

I started making my way to the back of the ballroom. I noticed there were a lot of shady looking characters in attendance. “Chewy definitely didn’t invite everyone,” I thought. “These must be the bride’s guests.”

I made it through the doors, and noticed I was standing in the middle of an empty field. “Where is everyone?” I thought, just as I heard the giant doors slam behind me. “It’s a trap!” I yelled.

“Who are you talking to?” I heard coming from the distance. Just then, through the fog, I saw a figure moving towards me. It was Chewbacca. Chewbacca with the voice of Martin Sheen.

“You’re an imposter!” I said. “Actually, are you just another Wookie?”

“No, it’s really me, Chewbacca,” he said. “This whole wedding has been a lie. I have never even met the bride.”

“None of this makes any sense,” I said. “This is patently ridiculous. Take off that Chewbacca suit.”

“Ok,” Chewy said, “but you’re not going to like what you see.”

“Then eat lead,” I said. And I shot him in the chest 4 times.

The Dalai Lama showed up. “Right on cue. You’ve been growing out your hair again,” I said.

“Yes,” he said, “I’m trying to look like Tom Cruise from Top Gun.

“Maverick,” I said.

“You know too much!” said the Dalai Lama, and he shot me in both knees. I fell to the ground, bleeding profusely on the snow.

“Finish me off, Dalai Lama,” I said. “Or are you afraid of what I might do to you if you do? Do finish you off, I mean.”

“I know what you meant,” he said. “For years, we have listened to the stories of you, John McClane, the renegade New York cop. We’ve heard how you know too much. So let me ask you: how did you come to be here at Chewbacca’s wedding?”

“That wasn’t Chewbacca, pal,” I said. “And neither was he,” I said, motioning to the corpse on the ground. “I actually think that was Martin Sheen. Or should I say the next Dalai Lama?!”

“You win this time, McClane,” he said. Then he turned into a snake with wings and flew away.

A chopper touched down next to me. “Are you coming?” asked Angelina Joie.

“Yippee ki yay.”

The End

Dear Zoo Puma

Today’s “Dear Zoo Puma” will be written by guest advice columnist Niko Bellic, of Grand Theft Auto IV fame, who is filling in while Zoo Puma deals with an illness.

Dear Zoo Puma,

My husband has been having a very hard time reading and watching television lately, but he refuses to wear eyeglasses. I’m worried that he may have trouble seeing when he’s driving or at work in the machine shop he owns. How can I convince him to wear the glasses he so obviously needs?

Flint, MI


That is very good question. In my country, when I was boy, there was Croatian boy with glasses. He was teased. Then… I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just say I have seen a lot of pain in my life. Let’s say maybe he was executed when his father was found to be making trouble for the Army.

I would tell husband to wear glasses, and maybe if he doesn’t listen I can come and convince him for you? I don’t want trouble. I give you my cell phone number, and you can call.

Maybe if husband realize that I will bury him like a dirty traitor, maybe he wears glasses then. But I don’t know. This country is so confusing to me. I am sorry for your problems.


Dear Zoo Puma,

It seems to me that a lot of the products sold via infomercial are really awesome sounding ideas, but I don’t want to get scammed by shady business people. I just have an uneasy feeling about infomercials. What do you think, should I take the plunge?

Detroit, MI

Hi Dan,

I have same problems. This country has so many people who lie. In my country… I saw too many lies. Too many consequences for the pain of lies. Sometimes I wonder why I came to Liberty City.

I have used Ronco Showtime Rotisserie oven in my apartment. It is good oven. I can set it and forget it. But maybe you refer to products like hanger system for closet. I cannot be sure of this. My closet does not have hanger system.

Maybe you can order product you like and see if it is good product. You will not get answers from me, I can’t tell you. Capitalism is disease in this country, and is no better than system in my country. I wonder why there is so much… it is complicated. Perhaps only way to fix problem is to… I don’t know. I hope you find good product.


Dear Zoo Puma,

My girlfriend has really begun complaining about where I’ve been taking her on dates. She’s saying that we need to start visiting places that are more “sophisticated” and “mature.” I’m not sure I’m ready for that sort of thing. Any advice on how to get her to back off?

Cleveland, OH


This is good question. I am not sure why women are acting like they do, but in my country it was not normal to be bossed like child. But, here in your country, women are very sure they do not want to go to strip club with your drunk cousin on every date. Also, they do not like to hit pedestrians more than only one or two times when dropping off from date.

I have also learned that women here do not like violence on date. So, do not bring on drive-by shooting job you need to do for favor to drug dealer you know. Before I come to this country… I saw many things… I don’t know.

I could talk to your lady for you about my country, where I saw a village full of women… it was hard. But I was young, you say? Some things can change you, make you do things you don’t know are right. I don’t want to talk about that anymore.

Maybe take your lady to comedy show, or to nice bar. Then, when you drop her off, she will take you inside for sex. Unless you are wanted by police. Then you must drive around first.

Good luck,

Have A Cigar

Come in here dear boy, have a cigar
You’re gonna go far.
Ever been high?
We kinda hope you die,
You’re gonna make it if you try.
They’re gonna love you.

Well I’ve always had a mad respect and I mean that most sincerely.
Your band will be electric,
Hope you never stop to think,
Oh, by the way
Heard of Pink?

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
We call it riding the gravy train…

We’re just coked out. We’re so glad you sold out.
Don’t worry ‘bout an album out,
Have you seen these people?
It’s a halftime show and iTunes scene.

Everybody else is fifteen… have you seen the charts?
This is technically called art,
It could be Lady Gaga’s “Monster”
If we all wore latex, like in my dreams.

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
We call it riding the gravy train…

Dear Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

I’m growing increasingly frustrated with my wife’s insistence upon not utilizing the HD channels available to us with our cable subscription. She’ll DVR standard-def programs, order standard-def movies on demand, and every time I look, it seems that she’s viewing a program is standard-def that’s available in HD. I keep asking her why we bother to pay for the HD package! Plus, the SD stuff looks so crappy and pixilated; I’m not sure what’s wrong with her. Any advice?

New Haven, CT

Hi Dan,

When you speak to your wife about this, what kind of tone are you using? I’m guessing it’s a “non-effective” tone. You need to step it up if you want to get results. See, in the jungle, when I wanted someone to cut the shit, I would bite them. Not really hard, but enough to get the point across, you know? It seems, though, that you humans have a problem with this sort of behavior, so I’ll tell you what happens to me here in the zoo if I happen to object to an order from my human handlers.

If I don’t immediately comply, I’m poked at with a stick. So the next time you confront your wife, try jabbing her with a pole. If that doesn’t work, go get some more people with more poles, and have them start yelling and poking her, too. Now, your wife sounds pretty stubborn, so I’m guessing you’ll have to take it to step three. Basically, just walk away like you’ve given up. Then, from a safe distance, shoot her with a tranquilizer dart, put her in a net and lock her in a small room. You should be able to enjoy the HD picture then. If she wants to watch with you, you could try putting her in a small cage in the room while you go about your business of securing the proper HD picture. After you let her out, make sure you start putting her food in a different place, and maybe take away one of her toys. That’ll get the message across.

Good Luck,
The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

I’ve noticed that there seems to be a ton of road kill this time of year; any idea why?

Alexandria, VA


I’ve thought a lot about this myself. I thought about it a lot until it occurred to me that animals have no fucking concept of cars, roads, or absolutely any of the circumstances that lead up to their becoming ‘road kill.’

Now Sally, we’ve never met, but I’m guessing you might be one of those people that honks at animals in the road, right? That’s awesome. Picture this: something 200 times your size is barreling towards you at 40 miles per hour, and you’re standing there frozen. Suddenly, this huge object that you do not understand makes a noise that you completely fail to comprehend. Then you die. Does that make sense? I know, you’re thinking “I would move.” Bullshit. Sally, humans invented trains, there is absolutely zero question as to which direction a train will move in, and yet people get hit by trains. If you’re so concerned about road kill, start walking.

It’s like the other pumas and I used to ask each other back in the jungle: “why don’t humans just climb a tree when we’re chasing them down? Oh yeah, that’s right, because we climb trees better than they sit on couches.”

Drive safe,
The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

It seems to me that every election cycle starts earlier and earlier. Do you think this sort of thing really serves us, the people that these politicians are ultimately supposed to be representing and, ultimately, serving?


Sacramento, CA

Hi Roger,

You know, I haven’t really been following politics too much lately. Can you tell me who’s running on the “Free the Fucking Zoo Animals” platform this year? In any event, I hope whoever gets in can fix the economy, because my retirement prospects really blow now that I live in a zoo.

Here’s my take: I hope whoever wins the election is the one who’s going to lead you stupid-ass humans down the road to destruction. Not so much because I hate everything about humans except for your delicious taste – which I do – but mostly because I’m looking to live in one of those awesome, post-apocalyptic worlds where zoo animals escape and roam the city streets.

So, unless there is a FFZA candidate running this year, please vote for whichever candidate seems the most likely to just totally mess shit up. Or, if there is any candidate who says “let’s replace our soldiers with predatory animals armed with weapons”- please vote for them. In fact, please be that candidate.

I just hope whoever gets in solves the whole health care debate, because I’ve got an abscessed tooth going on here, and in case you don’t know, that’s pretty much lights out for pumas. Oh no wait, yay! I live in a zoo! That means now I’ll just get mushy soy pellets instead of crunchy ones. Phew! I thought I might actually be able to die with dignity there. Thanks for cheering me up, Roger. I hope your guy wins, and I hope you live in a zoo one day.

The Zoo Puma

All Grown Up, Episode 1

Hi! I’m Abby Wright! I’ve just moved here to New York, to well, um, well… it’s kind of a long story. You see, way back in high school Darren Fields and I were the cutest couple. We were so icky-dicky cutesy wootsey, deep in love forever, never going to break up, always…well, you get the idea. Well, you know how they say that love only comes once, and then it moves to Manhattan to work on Wall Street? Yeah, that pretty much happened to me. What did I do? I went to college to begin my fashion career. In Ohio. So yeah, it wasn’t going so well.
 So now I’ve decided to move to the Big Apple to win back the love of my life, and oh yeah, really make it in the fashion world!

It all started when I answered an ad for a roommate…

I walked into my new apartment, and it was totally filled with funny smelling smoke! “Hello! Hello!” I called out… no one answered, so I grabbed the fire extinguisher and started spraying it everywhere! Just then, I saw Dani, my roommate. She was hanging upside down in a tie-die shirt and leggings, and she came down from her balance bar and said “whoa, whoa, totally harsh. Can I help you?” I told her who I was, and said “sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt your, ummm…”

“Yoga,” she replied. “I was balancing my Chi.” Just then the sprinklers went off… Oh man!

“My jacket!” I cried out.

Just then, Mr. Chang walked in. He’s our landlord. “What going on heah?” he asked. “Who you?”

“Oh, Mr. Chang, I’m Abby,” I said. “I just got here, and um…”

“Rained on my yoga parade,” Dani said. She’s so funny!

Mr. Chang wasn’t so happy! “You peepoh ruin ah rug, you pay for ah rug,” he said, and stormed out.

“Don’t mind him,” Dani said, “he always forgets to eat his Chi-rios. Ha! I’m going to write that in my journal. Now, where did I put that…?” She looked around for a while, and pulled out some of the funniest stuff! Like a teddy bear in a tie dyed shirt, and old Chinese take-out box full of crayons…really wacky! Eventually she gave up and said “So, do you need a hand with your stuff?”

“Sure,” I said. We turned to go down to my taxi, and there was a man standing in the door. He had on one of those fur hats, a tee shirt, some funny boxer shorts, and boots.

“Am Yuri,” he said, “iz good meeting you…”

“Abby,” I said.

“Veel Abby,” he said, “I am zinking vill be good for us to neighboring. I drive taxi. Hugh need ride, Yuri take you. Yuri take you innyvare.”

“Um, ok,” I said.


When I finally got settled, Dani started showing me around the apartment. It was really great and airy, we were really lucky to be able to afford it!

“You sure do have a lot of plants,” I told her.

“They help me balance my…”

“I know, I know, your Chi,” I said. “I have a feeling that my Chi will be pretty balanced before too long…” Just then I saw what looked like a big log leaning on the wall…”what’s THIS?” I asked.

“It’s a didgeridoo,” Dani said. “I play it to balance… my… um, inner peace. And Chi.”

Just then, there was a knock at the door. Dani answered.

“Yo, hey, it’sa me, Antony,” the man said. He was holding a brown paper bag. “So Dani, how’sa you Chi? Oh,” he said, turning to me. “I’ma Antony, I worka in the restaurante downa the stairs. What’sa you’re name?”

“I’m Abby,” I said.

“Wella, Abby, I’ve gotta the besta little treat for you girls ina this bag. It’sa some cannolis.”

“Hmm, “ I said, “I’m kind of on a diet…again.” I frowned and pinched my belly.

“Whoa-ah whoa-ah, what’s ah this ‘diet, diet, diet’?” he asked. “You Americans, you drive ah me crazy with ah you’re diets. You need to loosen up, you need to enjoy ah the flavor of ah life, you know?”

Dani had started digging into the cannolis. “Mmmm…,” she said. “These REALLY help balance my chi.”


Well, that’s just a taste of what I’m doing here in New York, and I haven’t even gotten into Darren, and my fashion internship, and my, my… oh my! There’s so much to tell you about! Well, I’ll be back real soon to let you know how I’m doing! Remember, follow those dreams, even if it means going to Manhattan to find your ex-sweetheart and working for free at a fashion agency! It will come true! Your dreams!

All Grown Up

Starring Isla Fisher as Abby Wright, a small town girl who's chasing her fashion designer dreams, and her dreamy high school sweetheart, to the Big Apple. Abby's dreams soon get complicated, however, when she realizes her former sweetheart is now a powerful Wall Street executive, planning his engagement to a well known New York socialite! Join Abby as she navigates through the crowded streets, fashion runways and cast of colorful characters on "All Grown Up", Tuesdays this fall on CBS.


 Abby Wright: Hailing from suburban Ohio, Abby is a strong minded, independent, small town girl with big time dreams. After realizing her fashion designer career was going nowhere in Ohio, Abby follows her heart, and her high school sweetheart, to Manhattan. Join Abby as she attempts to make her dreams, in both love and in fashion, a reality!

Dani Spring: Dani is a free spirited artist living in Manhattan, whose ‘roommate wanted’ ad Abby answered upon arriving in New York. Always ready to deliver a new-age witticism or a wacky solution to Abby’s problems, Dani’s hi-jinks might just prove more than Abby can stand!

Adrian Burke: A proud, gay, African-American man, Adrian is Abby’s co-worker at the fashion design firm she has begun interning for. Always there to dish out advice dealing with men, fashion, men and men, Adrian is Abby’s best friend and confidante.

Darren Fields: Darren is Abby’s high school flame, who moved to Manhattan several years ago to work on Wall Street. Now a high powered broker for a major financial firm, Darren – unbeknownst to Abby – is planning his engagement to a New York socialite and heiress. Can Abby win back the man of her dreams, or will Darren’s new lifestyle prove too much of a gap for the pair to overcome?

Anthony Dellatorrio: Anthony works at the Italian restaurant, owned by his father, which sits below Abby’s apartment. Anthony quickly develops a crush on Abby, and is always there with a shoulder to cry on, some pasta to gnosh on, and some second hand Italian advice for Abby whenever she gets too uptight and forgets to enjoy the flavor of life.

Mr. Chang: Abby and Dani’s landlord, Mr. Chang is a Chinese-American immigrant who consistently applies his traditional discipline and exotic, old world flavor to the girls’ shenanigans. Will his iron clad demeanor rain on Abby’s New York adventures, or will Abby’s heart of gold end up teaching Mr. Chang his own valuable lessons?

Yuri: Abby and Dani’s neighbor, Yuri is an Eastern European taxi driver who keeps strange hours and even stranger habits! Always showing up at the strangest times and under the strangest circumstances, Yuri’s constant romantic advances and strange requests always keep Abby on her toes!

Look for “All Grown Up” this fall at GhostOfTyrone!


9:17am: Hi! Oh, thanks for welcoming me back to the office. What? How was my vacation? Um, you don’t really care about that, I think. Oh you do? Why? Are you obsessed with me, or are you looking to co-opt my memories, or something? I’m sorry, that came out wrong. My vacation was great. You weren’t there. None of you were there, in fact. In case you’ve been absent for the entire history of everything, that’s the entire point of fucking vacations: To get away from where you usually are. For me, that’s here in the office with you. Right, sure, some people like to travel. Do they ever ask you to come? No? That’s weird; you seem like such a sharing group of people.

Did you happen to pick up on the fact that most people seem excited to go on vacation? I sure was! Ok, so let’s do the math. I was excited to get away from you, and now, even though we haven’t spoken in the days and weeks leading up to my vacation, the minute I get back, you want to ask me what it was like to be rid of you for one measly week. Do you have any vacations coming up? I hope so. Did my asking you that make you think this was one of those conversations wherein I want more than a “yes” or “no” out of you? I hope not.

Bye. Yep, see you at lunch maybe, bye.

1:42pm: Yes? Sorry? Oh, my foot tapping is bothering you? Can I ask why? Can I ask how my foot tapping bothers you, yet you do not bother yourself when you type like an angry raccoon holding bricks? Really? You’ve never noticed that? Oh, I should have said something? No, actually, you should just learn how to fucking type like someone who isn’t Frankenstein’s monster, and then no one will have to “say something.” By the way, could you stop asking me to stop tapping my foot? Thanks so much.

Bye bye now.

4:26pm: Oh hey. Yeah, I was hoping you weren’t going to talk to me as we stand here taking a leak next to each other, but what? Do I have any plans for the weekend? Which weekend? It’s Monday. Oh, it’s never too early to think about the weekend? Is it even possible for that to be true? Anyway, um, I don’t know. I was thinking of asking everyone in the office if they just wanted to forget the fact that we get every Saturday and Sunday off and just start coming here seven days a week. So if everyone says “yes” I’ll be doing that. Think about it: you could bring your family, your pets, your awesome recipes you always tell people about. And then we could just live it firsthand with you. How awesome would that be? Like, you wouldn’t have to complain about potty training your puppy, you could just bring the damn puppy here and have it shit all over everybody’s stuff. Then we’d really connect, you know? I’ll send out an email to see who’s in.

I guess if that plan doesn’t pan out, there’s always the same general weekend sort of activity that 99% of Americans engage in every weekend. I’ll be doing that. Oh no wait, this weekend I’m going to the moon. Yeah, can you believe it? No, I’m totally serious. Why would I lie to you? No, I’m not being sarcastic. I’d better get going, the rocket launches in about an hour. Oh no wait, I thought it was Friday…. It’s only Monday. See, I was confused because we were….ok, later man.

Fan Fiction

So, I’ve recently discovered the strange and enormous world of fan fiction; and by “discovered” I mean “I found out it exists.” For those not familiar, fan fiction is a mostly on-line genre of fiction wherein famous characters act out “unofficial” storylines within the framework of their pretend worlds. Except sometimes they go outside their well known pretend worlds, and go into other pretend worlds. Also, it’s not only movie, t.v. and other fiction characters being written about; sometimes it’s historical figures, present day celebrities, basically anyone you could theoretically be a fan of. Oh yeah, and a lot of these writers inject themselves into the storyline, because what could be cooler than that? Essentially, if you ever read about Luke Skywalker and some nerd you’ve never heard of battling a Terminator on the now thawed planet of Hoth and Zooey Deschanel is involved in anyway, you’re reading fan fiction.

I know what you’re thinking: “These writers must be MILLIONAIRES!” I know, I thought the same thing. Which is why I’m pretty excited right now. You see, I might say that I could write this stuff in my sleep. And if I did say that, I would be referring to the fact that I literally dream fan fiction. And to think, until I discovered fan fiction, I had no idea what was going on in my head at night. Let me give you an example. This was just last night’s dream…

It’s me and David Caruso, sitting on my couch playing video games. Except the television is huge, and my living room is kind of like the living room in a television commercial. But it’s definitely my couch. Caruso tells me he’s going to get a beer. Then he floats into the kitchen.

“Wow, you can fly!” I say.

“All celebrity actors can fly,” he says, “except one. I just got a call. It’s Brad Pitt. He’s broken. We need to rescue him, he’s stranded on the island of Sodor.”

So David flies to Sodor, and I ride the Old Spice centaur guy. To the island. We get there, and David says “there he is” and points to:

"You DO NOT talk about Fight Club"

“Where?” I ask.

“Right there, him,” says David.

“Yo Dave, I’m totally broken,” says Brad Pitt. “Something on the tracks. I need to get Maddox and his sheep friends off the mountain before the storm hits. Fix me, dudes.”

I turn back to David Caruso, who now has really, really long arms. “Brad, I don’t think we can help you. You might never fly again,” he says, dunking a basketball into a hoop that’s about 30 feet away and wasn’t there 4 seconds ago.

Just then, the door bursts open. It’s Abraham Lincoln. “I’m Dr. President Abraham Lincoln, I can handle this shit,” he says. “As you know, doctors are allowed to write prescriptions, which I will do. Here you go, Brad Pitt.”

Apply one cowbell twice daily. Fever cured. Boom

“Thank God,” says Caruso.

“But I’m afraid there’s still some bad news,” says Abe. “The Soviets are still planning to attack today at 6pm.”

“You go warn the president,” says Brad Pitt, “I need to get Jennifer Anniston off the mountain.”

I start to ask him if he meant Angelina Jolie, but Abe interrupts. “There’s no time!” he yells.

So, we show up at this really cool looking house that’s totally not the White House. “The president will be in there,” says Lincoln. “I need to go get ready.”

So Caruso and I go inside. “There he is,” he says, “we’d better grab a seat.”

I look up to see the president.

Let me show you a little something I call "Number One."

“Turn to page 67 in your textbooks. Engage,” he says. Suddenly I realized we are back at school, and President Picard is my teacher.

“Wait a minute,” I say to Caruso, who now has those Geordi La Forge glasses on. “What about the Soviets?”

“We’re setting the perfect trap,” he says. Sure enough, I looked up and Patrick Swayze was standing outside the window, about to launch a rocket straight at the president. It was 5:59pm.

“Those damn Soviets are early!,” screams Zooey Deschanel, who I've just noticed is sitting next to me.

“How you doin’?” asks Caruso, and they start totally making out.

“No making out in my class!” yells Jean Luc Picard.

Realizing there is no time left, I crash through the window to confront Patrick Swayze. “You’re dead, Swayze!” I yell.

“You’ll never wake up alive again, comrade!” he yells back.

He fired his rocket… and I black out. I come to in the forest down the street from my house. The Coca Cola polar bears are there. “We won!” they yell.

The End

Needless to say, that is the greatest piece of fan fiction ever, and I’m new at this, and barely even trying. You’d better try to be my friend now, because I am guaranteed to be a millionaire any minute now.


Dear Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

I’m been reading a lot on the internet about the benefits of eating organic food and free-range, hormone-free meat. A Whole Foods Market has just opened up down the street, but the food is so EXPENSIVE!!

Is eating completely organic food worth the expense, or is it OK for me to cut corners with some items (like cheesecake!! I LOVE cheesecake!!)?

Dan S.
Little Rock, AR


That’s a tough one. On the one hand, I felt a lot better when I was living in the jungle, eating a completely organic, free-range diet. On the other hand, that could also have to do with the fact that I wasn’t living in a fucking zoo, as I am now. I’d like to tell you to follow your heart on this one, but from the sound of it, it’s going to literally explode momentarily. So why don’t you follow your balls and eat whatever the fuck you want to eat? Evidently you humans are the undisputed rulers of this planet. Why the fuck does eating seem to be so difficult for you idiots?

Hell, come down to my zoo and eat me. Please, in fact. I won’t even try to eat you. See, I’m into all that free-range, organic shit, too, which pretty much takes you off the menu. Plus, I do want to die because, again, I am in a cage in a zoo, waiting for a human to come clean up my shit piles. Which, by the way, remind me sooo much of cheesecake, so you can imagine how hard this is for me, asshole.

The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

I’m a huge Lady Gaga fan (def one of her “little monsters” 4-eva!!). My father says her music is not rock, but I’m like “IT TOTALLY ROCKS”! Then he gets all mad and tries to get me to listen to a bunch of his old music which sucks except that it is on vinyl which is kinda cool. He says that kids have no idea what REAL rock music is, but he’s totally wrong. Am I right?

Anna T.
Oakland, CA


How old are you, 15? 12? So your Dad is what, 40s-ish? Yeah, Greg Kihn Band and Dire Straits totally rock. Uh oh, hold on to your fucking seats, here comes a little My Fucking Sharona! You’re both idiots.

Do you want to know what rocks? Ok, close your eyes. Hear the light pitter-patter of footsteps, fast footsteps. “Tish tish tish”, like a hi-hat. Now, hear heavier, faster footsteps getting louder and louder. “Thum thum thum”, like a bass drum. Now add some heavy breathing. Then a huge fucking scream, like Steven Tyler-meets-James Hetfield-meets-whoever the fuck Lady GaGa is.

The end. I call that one “I Just Fucking Ate You.”

Before you go to bed tonight, see if you can come up with the video for me.

Thanks sweetie,
The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

My job has recently informed me that I’ll be relocating from St. Louis to Detroit. Now, I’m a die-hard Cardinals fan, and my 5 year old son is just starting to get into sports. My question is, should I maintain the family heritage of rooting for St. Louis, or should I encourage him to root for Detroit’s local teams to avoid potential ridicule and ostracizing on the part of his new friends?

Thanks a bunch,
St. Louis


I was just thinking about this the other day. Kind of a long story, so bear with me here. See, I overheard some of my handlers talking about “breeding me.” Let me tell you, a million things went through my mind. I thought, “I don’t really think that’s possible, seeing as the sedatives that they mush in with my food pellets make my dick about as useful as the ass end of a dead worm when it comes to sexy time with a lady puma.” Then I thought, “oh no wait, they’ll probably pump me full of stimulants and then introduce the lady puma into my cage. Umm yeeaaahhhh... There’s no way that will work. I wonder what will happen next, after the lady puma is like ‘don’t even fuckin’ try it.’” Then I thought, “Hmm, then they’ll probably restrain me and have some unlucky fucker manually arouse me, like they do with horses. I wonder if I’ll like that.”

Then, most importantly, I wondered “Wait, what teams will my potential offspring root for? Shit! Where will he be raised? I hope they have a hockey team there!” Me, I root for the pumas, but for all I know, they’re pretty much extinct. It can’t be looking that good for us if it’s come down to some 20 year old zoology student coming into my cage and jerking me off when I’m half cocked and restrained from head to toe. Maybe if they ever bring that lady puma around, I’ll ask her what’s up. You know, small talk before she’s artificially inseminated with the sperm that has been manually extracted from my puma dick, Dick.

Good luck with the new job,
The Zoo Puma


GhostOfTyrone 9/14/2011 10:26am
To: Dave
Subject: Re: Bad News


Just read your email. Man, that’s too bad about you and Melissa. I thought you guys would get married. Did she really not say why? This can be tough, man. This is when you need your friends. I am here for you, and I have an idea.

I’ve noticed that when some people go through difficult times, they have a big road race, so that’s what we’re going to do. Like a 5k or something. We can do it in your town. Think about it: we can start a website, like, make it look all fancy, throw the New Balance logo on there, and boom. Race time.

Here’s the thing: nothing brings people together like a 5k, Dave. And you need people right now. You need hundreds of out of shape, sweaty strangers laboring through the streets of your hometown, snarling traffic. You also need a few big time douchebags who are just waiting for another charity 5k to totally dominate. You need it for you.

You work in IT, so get this website running. Don’t worry about money, we’ll make this a race where people need to pay to run. Those are the best kinds of races. They make people care about you when you need them to, and that time is now. Do you know who else would totally get down with this? The local schools. Once you get the site up, send them an email asking if the students would be interested in handing out water and numbers to the runners. It’s free labor; schools can never say no to this shit.

Oh man, we could have a sweep car, too. Did you ever notice that about a third of the entrants into these 5ks end up walking the last half, like that’s an option? Not in this race, buddy. We can have sweep cars with mounted speakers yelling things like “Pick it up or get off the road! CHILDREN are beating you!!” or “You are a disgrace! This is the RUN to heal Dave, not the heart attack simulation walk!!!” and “Hey baby, tell your mother that baby weight is no excuse for sucking at running!” It would be for motivation. People in ski masks could jump out and be like “Hand over your number! You are EMBARRASSING DAVE!!!” Is there a Weight Watchers or one of those “women only” gyms in your town? Sponsors. Let them know that’s the whole point: we are interested in healthy women. A sick woman has given you a heart problem, and we are fucking running until we have the cure, bitch! Maybe leave out the “bitch” – but you get my point.

Dude, this is going to be awesome. Think about it: we’ll have this awesome road race, and your problems will be solved. Plus, we will have thousands of dollars.

Oh my God, doesn’t your cousin know the Gin Blossoms? One of the guys? Dave, the Gin Blossoms may not have known it when they formed, but they were made to play post-5k charity cookouts. And that’s what we’re having after the charity 5k. Dave, if we can surround with hundreds of joggers, THEN hundreds of people listening to the Gin Blossoms and eating hot dogs, you will be cured on the spot.

Get to work, Dave. This is no time to let life get you down. This is the time to draw on the strength of those around you, and the strength of hundreds of jogging strangers. It’s time for a 5k.

I will be the treasurer, so keep me updated.



The Chase

So there we all were, on a bus travelling along a remote Peruvian road. Modern by Peruvian standards, the vehicle still creaked and groaned each time we hit a bump, or took a turn in the haphazard fashion that our driver had taken to employing. I’m sure he did this in the interest of time; there could be no mistake now.

The sky behind us was turning green.

Each of us ignored this as well we could, but to again be faced with the immediate prospect of another encounter was creeping into our collective psyche. I did my best to entertain Bianca as she bounced along with the rest of us, clutching her doll. She soon grew tired of my act, and returned her vacant stare to the horizon before us. I knew her thoughts remained clouded with the horror of the raid, the feeling of her mother’s blood on her face, and our world’s newfound emptiness that her life so perfectly represented.

I made my way to the rear of the vehicle, where Anders and his brother were conversing quietly, albeit through clenched teeth.

“I am done speaking to a toaster,” Anders declared.

“Anders,” Zelle countered, “Lemons might be the pearl of the jungle, but they're nothing to start a family feud over. In my travels to Guam, The Dutch Antilles and Nebraska, I've met a lot of people and animals. I've listened to a lot of music. I've tried snorkeling. I've seen the hollow stares of the spider monkey, calling ‘Zelle, Zelle, I have twice the thumb power, yet you mock me. Zelle, Zelle.’ I have eaten the spider monkey with pommes frites in Bangladesh, and felt its four thumbed wrath wreaking havoc amongst my aluminum innards. I've caressed sweet Nigerian sleep, still reeling from spider monkey fever, with the screaming flies eyeing me a thousand fold from there perches in the brush.

What we've got to think about is tomorrow: How much coffee do I have left? Where are my sunglasses? Why am I crying? How do these eyes continue to cry? Why am I crying, Anders? There - you don't know. Neither do I. In conclusion, I am confident that like the shark and the wasp, we can peacefully coexist like two kernels on the cob. Of corn. Which the Native Americans called maize.”

Zelle sank back into his chair. Anders turned to me with a look of desperation on his face. “His circuits are failing again. We might need to take him offline for a bit.”

Anders knew I would not approve of this. “He is our only source of information here in Peru,” I reminded him. “Taking him offline would leave us too vulnerable to errors in navigation; and I’m assuming you’ve seen the sky.” His reaction told me that he had not. He turned in his seat to press his face to the window, and screamed.

They were upon us.

Zelle mechanically lurched forward. His plastic brow bulged as his musculature attempted an expression, though which one I’m not sure.

“This is death,” he said, now standing. “This is death’s arrival. This is the hour we learn what we shall never learn, and entrench ourselves in the foreign circumstances that harbor us. This place, this time, so focal to us, so intimate, yet we cannot understand this road, this vehicle, even our own beings as they were to us moments ago. Would we prefer a bed in a hospital? A beach? Lungs full of raw sewage? Perhaps, but to death, preference is an addendum to the absolute. This is the absence of expectation.”

As Zelle spoke, the roof of the bus above him began to split apart, and with a sudden thrust the vehicle was torn in two. The rear of the vehicle detached, carrying away Anders and Philippe. I could hear their cries as I watched Zelle tear apart at his midsection, pulled simultaneously upwards and downwards. For some reason, I could not look away from the odd sight of the various bodily and mechanical fluids his remains were leaking as they splattered upon the still rotating, severed axle that was grating the gravel road beneath us.

My stare was broken when Bianca screamed. I turned to her as her eyes, bathed in horrific green, were fixed just past my shoulder, her mouth agape. I then briefly felt the very odd sensation of fingers inside my brain, and beheld the strange sight of my own screaming face as my eyes were forced from their sockets and dangled just in front of my mouth.

Finally, I joined Zelle, Anders, and the rest of humankind in realizing the absence of expectation.

Hightower, Episode V, Part Two

From The Journal of Dr. Rick Hightower, M.D., soon to be adapted into an ABC primetime drama entitled Hightower:

I was eating lunch at a trendy restaurant, sitting outside and looking at all of the hot chicks stroll by. The city was looking good, and so was I. I was waiting for a hot chick to come and talk to me when my phone rang. It was V.J.

“Hey buddy, I’m a little busy,” I said as I smiled at a hot chick. “This had better be important.”

“It is important,” he replied. “It’s R.U.F.U.S. He’s started to transmit information to us. I’m picking it up here at the penthouse hideout.”

“Hmm,” I said. “Anything good?”

“You’ve got to see this,” he replied.

“Well this I’ve got to see.”


When I arrived, V.J. had the computers up and running. He showed me a monitor that was displaying video feed.

“Whoever is holding this camera is incredibly short,” I said.

“No Hightower,” said V.J. “that’s R.U.F.U.S. He’s broadcasting live.”

“Like a webcam,” I said. “I’ve seen these before. Type ‘shower.’”

“No, Hightower, he’s at Saleem’s hotel, like your plan called for.”

“Oh right,” I said. “Ok. Type ‘kidnapped Chinese hot girl.’”

“Hightower, it doesn’t work like that,” V.J. said.

“Well how does it work, buddy? What is this thing good for?” I asked.

“It was a secret prototype when we deployed it in the field, Hightower!” V.J. yelled. “We can only give it directional instructions.”

“Calm down buddy,” I said, “let’s have a look around.” We looked around until we saw a door that had a bunch of guards standing in front of it. The guards started speaking in Arabic.

“Watch this,” said V.J., and with a few keystrokes, subtitles of what the guards were saying popped up on the screen. They were talking about kidnapped girls.

“I think we’ve seen enough,” I said. “Let’s go.”

“Hightower, we can’t just burst into that hotel suite, it’s guarded like Fort Knox,” V.J. said.

“I know buddy, I know. Leave the planning to me.”


When we arrived at the hotel, I had yet to come up with a plan. “We’d better stretch,” I said to V.J. “I’m pretty sure we’re going to be dodging a lot of bullets up there.”

“Hightower,” V.J. said, “I thought we’d work out some kind of plan here, maybe try to go in undercover, or work out some sort of deal.”

As I cocked my gun I said to V.J. “V.J., we don’t negotiate with kidnappers.”

We took the stairs up to the penthouse suite. Outside the door there was a bodyguard, so I shot him. He flipped over the railing and fell through the stairwell to the bottom floor, landing with a thud. “That oughtta get his attention,” I said.

We burst through the door, and there was immediately a huge shootout. The guards all had Uzis, some even had those awesome looking smaller Uzis, and they were holding one in each hand. “That’s awesome,” I thought to myself. “V.J.!!!” I yelled as debris from everything that the Uzis were hitting sprayed around us. “Get to the girls; I’ll take care of these guards with Uzis!”

V.J. ran off as I provided cover, and I started picking off the guards one by one. I ran out of bullets, so I had to think of something fast. I ran over to a dead guard and picked p his two Uzis, one in each hand, and began firing when I realized they were normal size Uzis, not the smaller awesome ones, and the recoil was too much. I sprayed the entire room, including the enormous ceiling to floor fish tank.

As the wall of water rushed to me, I leapt up on the counter and closed my eyes. Nothing happened, and the room went quiet. I opened my eyes to see all of the guards laying there, dead. “Electric eels,” I said as I saw the creatures writhing on the floor. “Shock and awe.”


Our driver pulled the limo right up to the Lear Jet. Shen Shi was standing beside his luxury car with his bodyguards. We opened the door, and V.J. and I stepped out, followed by Shen Shi’s daughter. She ran to her father’s open arms. He nodded to V.J. and I, and I gave him a thumbs up. They started to climb the steps to the idling jet, and V.J. and I turned to enter the limo.

“Hightower!” yelled Shen Shi. “Whatever happened to Saleem?”

“We never found him,” I replied. “But that wasn’t our job. Our job was to find your hot daughter, and we did. I don’t think we’ll be hearing from Saleem again.”

With that, Shen Shi boarded the plane, and V.J. and I got into our limo.

“Hightower,” V.J. said, “can we really just let Saleem get away with this?”

“Well buddy, we’re going to assume he learned his lesson here.”

“But Hight…” V.J. said.

“Nope, don’t want to hear it,” I said. “This is the right way. The only way.”

“This makes no sense,” said V.J. “he’s a criminal mastermind.”

“Which is exactly why we’ll be ready for when he strikes again,” I said.

“But we had him at the…”

“Buddy, let’s just let the good times roll,” I said. Then I put on “Let the Good Times Roll” by The Cars on the stereo, and we drove off.

Dear Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,
We’re writing to you today because we think you need a bit of perspective. You see, we are the lab chimps recently released from our facility in Austria, and we think you need to realize that although you are in a zoo, things really could be much worse for you.
For years, we were subjected to cruel treatment and human experiments. Here is a link to a story about our plight, and our release.
We ask that you please remember all of the unfortunate animals who are abused in this manner. We do understand that your captivity may be stressful to you, but we again ask that you try to maintain a sense of perspective and curb your combative demeanor.
Sasha, Zeke, Bonzi, et al.

Dear Chimps,
All I can say is “wow.” That letter really moved me. And I don’t mean “I moved from one side of the cage I’m still in to the other side of the cage I’m still in” – I mean, it really changed my perspective. Before I read your letter, I was all like “I’m a puma in a zoo.” But now I think “I’m a puma in a zoo.” Totally fucking different.
You see before, I hadn’t really ever thought about experiments, or getting out, or whatever. But now I do. See, I think “The zoo experiment goes as follows: humans will see how long I can live in this zoo, and then I will die in my cage, and then they will figure out how many humans it takes to remove a dead puma from his fucking zoo cage.” Man, thanks for opening my mind. Extra special thanks for sending the link. I really got to test my cage’s broadband on that one.
This is all making me pretty emotional. Let me ask you: are Kleenex products safe for animals, or do they save that sort of shit for the rabbits and give you guys the really psychological crap like PTSD? Whatever.
Listen, congratulations on being free. I’m pumped for you. But mostly, I’m pumped for the predators in whatever jungle they eventually release you to, who will have some easy snacks on their hands soon enough.
Enjoy Freedom,
The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,
My friend has asked me to help him move. Being a good friend, I’ve agreed, but I’m concerned this might turn into one of those “help me PACK, THEN help me move” things. Any advice on how I can prevent this?
Eric A.
Pittsburgh, PA

Yo Eric,

Great question. That’s a really great question for me, because I have a lot of experience with moving. In fact, my experience with moving is two-fold. First, I got moved to this fucking zoo. Unfortunately, I was unconscious for the entirety of that episode, so I didn’t really get a lot of input into the whole “bring that, throw away the lamp” stuff. I do have experience in moving some stuff though. There’s a log in my enclosure that’s light enough for me to carry around in my jaws, so I move that sometimes. It’s not really a log, I think it’s made of some plastic composite that’s probably giving me a cancer that will go undetected and untreated and eventually cause me to die in excruciating pain, but remember: lift with your back.

Here’s my advice, Eric: don’t lift any plastic logs with your pussy human jaws. Avoid that, and your miserable day of freely moving from one place to another should be more bearable than the litany of awful cancers I’ve just helped your ridiculously weak human immune system avoid.

The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,
I just want you to know that our class is so excited for our field trip to your zoo next week! All of the students are ready to have their pictures taken in front of your enclosure, and we’re really excited to see all of the other animals, too! Hopefully it’s a beautiful day so that you don’t hide in the way back of your enclosure like you did during last year’s field trip.
Miss Tamalyn
Woodridge Elementary 2nd Grade

Dear Miss Whatever,
I have a message for your class:

The Zoo Puma

An American Poem

Oh, spite and hatred

The tools of wrath and envy.

Lo, how the soldiers of aggression work

At the behest of rage,

And I will smash them all over your face.

And laughter, love, peace

The delight of worlds both known

And those yet yearning for light,

These, the bright spells of Heaven’s pleasure

Are totally for pussies whose asses I will kick.

Let it be that all those might know

These forces and their callings.

For as the blessed gentle souls

And cursed raging ghouls engage,

Together they will hear the choir singing

Get the fuck out of my way.

Baby Bump

Dear Beyonce,

I am so happy for you. Ever since I heard the big news about your baby bump, I can hardly contain myself. I was so angry that I missed the VMAs, so boy was I relieved when it turned out that I could find pictures of your baby bump on CNN! You look so happy in those pictures. Not just happy for yourself, but happy for all of us. That’s why I’m such a fan, really: because you realize how special you are, and how much your baby bump means to all of us. I saw that picture, and I thought “I know exactly what Beyonce is thinking right now. She’s thinking ‘I am a sassy, confident woman. And I can get pregnant, too! I’m going to inspire all of the ladies out there to try to be just like me, Beyonce!’” You go girl!

You know, I think I’m like a lot of people. I read all of the celebrity magazines, I watch Access Hollywood, The Insider, all of those shows. It’s really nice to see a celebrity who is so giving for once. I’ve had enough of Charlie Sheen, if you catch my drift! Man, I wish I could come to your baby shower. I’ll bet there will be a lot of celebrities there, and I’ll bet it won’t be too trashy, like a Kardashian baby shower. I don’t approve of those girls, or the way they prance around half naked all of the time. Your outfits are always classy and sexy. I really wish I had a body like yours. Maybe you can put out a mommy workout tape, I will totally buy it! I mean, I’m a dude, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a workout video. Actually, it would also be pretty weird if I had a body like yours. It would be really weird. It would probably be awesome for an hour or so, like, right when I got the body. Would I get your face, too, or just the body? Would it be like a total body swap? I’ll think about it.

I’d also just like to let, wait, what? Me? No, I’m not drunk. What? No you don’t. You don’t smell anything, Beyonce. Don't start this. Maybe you’re drunk. Oh my God, and you’re pregnant. What is wrong with you? You’re just like those other celebrities after all. What? You don’t want to…we’re not arguing. YOU stop yelling. I’m not arguing with you, Beyonce. No, you’ll know when I’m arguing, I can get nasty. I’m NOT nasty now, because I’m not drunk like you are. Did you ever think of that? We’re fighting because you’re drunk, and I’m ashamed of you. Don't make this about me. You know what? You know what? You only have, like, two songs that anyone even really knows, Beyonce. And one of them is like 9 years old now, and the other one is only famous from its video. You’re a fraud. Where are you going?

Me? ME? I’m not sorry, why would I be…? Oh, because you’re crying? Ha, nice try. Get a hold of yourself. No, YOU have a problem. No, listen. LISTEN. I’m done with this. I’m done. Because we’re arguing because of you. What? Oh, I’m being insensitive? Right, right. I’m the one throwing accusations around. Why are you always trying inventing my weaknesses for your argument working to be right? You try to invent me all for a wrong look. Like Spiderman being in Iraq, but there were never bombs, Beyonce. It was a circus tent sale, that thing, just like this is. Huh? This argument, right now. What? That makes perfect sense…you are so drunk. I can’t even talk to you. You can’t even understand what I’m saying. It’s called an analogy.

I can’t take this anymore. Oh, I will leave. No, you know what? You leave. Bye. BYE.



Dear Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

With technology moving so fast these days, my wife and I have been reluctant to purchase smartphones. However, my contract is up this month and we’ve decided to take the leap. That said, we were wondering if you could recommend whether we go with Apple’s iPhone or any of the multiple Android phones available.

Dave T.
Sarasota, FL


Wow, you’ve really got a problem on your hands there. Whenever I find myself facing a problem I just sit in my cage. In the zoo. Unless that problem happens to be that my “handlers” have neglected to clean up my shit pile, in which case I need to be mindful to sit in the other part of my cage. That being out in the direct sunlight, or rain, or snow… Before you say it, I’ve tried shitting out in the open, but wouldn’t you know it, that’s where my “handlers” insist upon placing my food. You know, so that I have to be visible to spectators for at least part of the day.

As far as your question, I could really give a fuck about smartphones, Dave. I’m a puma in a zoo. I would say go with the Android though, because Apple users particularly bother me, walking around outside my cage, blissfully unaware at how fortunate you humans are that my ancestors no longer roam your lands. I hate you.
The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,
 Have you ever noticed how a bunch of the Eddie Murphy action-y comedies from the 80s, like the 48 Hrs movies and The Golden Child, use that riff from Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” over and over, but the song itself is not on the soundtrack or anything? Is there a story behind why that is?

Thank you,
Reno, NV

Dear Reggie,

Yes! I noticed that at last week’s movie night. That’s where they let all of the animals out of our cages, unfurl a huge fucking screen and let us watch classic Eddie Murphy movies from the 1980s. I thought I heard a familiar song over and over as I ate one of the flamingos…now I know it was “Superstition.” It’s been bugging me all week. Almost as much as the fact that I’m in a zoo, douchebag, and they never let me out of my cage. And even if I was lucky enough to have some stupid kid drop his portable DVD player down into my enclosure, it would probably have some stupid Yo Gabba Gabba crap in it. Not that I’d even bother trying to watch, as you see Reggie, I have no opposable thumbs. You win again. Have fun evolving on your couch with Doritos the next time Comedy Central plays those horribly edited movies for you and your stoner friends, asshole.

The Zoo Puma

Dear Zoo Puma,

My husband’s snoring is out of control! We’ve tried all of the popular home remedies, and even tried a prescription mouthpiece, but nothing is working. Do you have any advice? Please help!

Madison, WI

Hi Diane,

Wow, that must really be tearing your marriage apart. Have you tried kicking your disgusting husband out of the bed? No? Oh, because you would be so lonely at night. Right. That would just be devastating, lying there in your bed, alone. Kind of like laying on hay spread out over concrete, which is how I sleep. I can’t tell if it’s the loneliness or the fact that I’m sleeping on hay spread out over concrete that keeps me up at night, but I’d trade both of those and one of my balls to live the kind of life where fucking snoring is atop my complaints list.

I apologize, Diane. I actually have heard about a certain cure for snoring: it’s called getting eaten by a fucking puma. So feel free to visit anytime. Sure, after I ate your husband, they’d shoot me. Whatever, I give up.

The Zoo Puma


Dear Mr. Jeffries,

I’m your student, Adam Harrison. I have guidance class with you third period on Thursdays. I say “student” because I can’t think of another word that fits, but you are not my teacher. You are my guidance counselor, and I am writing you to communicate one simple message: back the fuck off.

I’ll keep this quick, because thanks in part to your killer instincts, I guess I have A.D.D., so I probably won't be able to focus for long anyway. Thanks for that enjoyable chapter in my life, by the way. Good thing my family are a bunch of feel-good neo-hippies like you, they’re really supporting me through this awful disease. Also, no they’re not. Now when my Dad calls me a “retard”, I think he really means it.

I didn’t know what to do when I was struck with the symptoms of “not wanting to do my homework” and “having trouble paying attention to bullshit about Napoleon for 50 minutes” and “wanting to bang everything” – but fortunately you had the answer: Put me on pills and start some extra mentoring! At least I make some cash selling the pills, so thanks, I guess.

Anyway, the main point of this letter is to formally request that you stop trying to tell me what to do with my life. I am 17. No one knows what they want to do. I know you think maybe some kids do, but that’s bullshit. Those are the kids who have agreed to go along with whatever their parents have decided they should do. My father has simply decided he wants me to get the hell out of his house when I graduate, but I’m not sure how well that pays. Do you follow me?

You had me take a standardized test the other day that recommended I would be a fine Park Ranger, or maybe a lawyer. Who came up with this test? I’m not huge on the outdoors, and I don’t know much, but I know I don’t want to be a lawyer. And how the hell are those jobs even related? Are park rangers and lawyers cut from the same cloth in your mind? That's some bullshit, man.

Look, just leave me alone. I will still come to guidance class on Thursdays, but don’t talk to me. And our “progress sessions” on Mondays are over. They’re done. Unless you want to just let me come to your office and take a breather. No bullshit about college, careers, my family, nothing. Just let me take a little break. From what? My life. I am a 17 year old boy. I am assuming you were 17. Do you remember that? I’ll remind you: it’s like being on steroids all day, except if that in addition to zits everywhere, hair everywhere, aches, etc., steroids made you a chronic masturbator with braces. Oh yeah, I forgot the crippling rage. There's that, too. Man, how could I not be pumped to learn shit all day?

In closing, I am in no mood to discuss my future with you. I don’t care that “Mandarin is the language of the future” or that “computer programming skills will always be in demand.” I am 17. Tell you what; should I ever decide to give up on life, I’ll ask you how I can become a guidance counselor.


Adam Harrison


An old man walked into the woods with his dog, just as he had done every day for the past thirty years. As he walked the familiar paths, he greeted each tree with a “hello friend”, just as he had done every day for the last thirty years. The old man was kind and gentle. If he ever happened upon a rabbit, or a deer, or perhaps a fox, he would greet them with the same “hello friend” that he bestowed upon the trees. Rain, snow, wind, none of these things could keep the old man away from his beloved woods.

“Rusty,” said the old man to his dog, “you’re not the first dog I’ve been out in these woods with, and God willing, you won’t be the last. But you’re a good friend to me, and I thank you for that.”

“Whoa, whoa. What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Rusty. “Are you about to kill me or something?”

The old man’s jaw dropped as he looked down at Rusty, who met his gaze, gently panting. “Earth to Bob,” said Rusty. “You’re freaking me out.”

“R..Rusty…you can talk,” stammered the old man. “I can’t believe this.”

“Why?” countered Rusty. “You talk to animals. You talk to frigging trees. Wait, wait, you were doing that, and you didn’t know….?”

“You’ve never spoken to me before, old friend,” said the man.

“Because you’ve never freaked me the fuck out like that, Bob,” said Rusty.

The two walked quietly down the paths for a while longer.

Finally, Rusty spoke again. “Nice day, right Bob?”

“Yes,” the old man answered.

“Well, you’re actually dead,” said Rusty. “That’s why I can talk. You died in your sleep last night. This is Heaven. Helen is probably here somewhere, and I suppose your old dogs, too. Congrats, Bob. You’ve made it.”

The old man stopped walking, and was silent. He held up his hands and looked at them. They began to tremble, and the old man began to sob quietly.

“Bob, Bob. I’m kidding,” said Rusty. “You’re not dead. I’m messing with you. Lighten up.”

“I don’t understand,” said the old man. “What is happening to me? Rusty, am I losing my mind? You can talk. My dog and I are talking. I am talking to trees. To animals. My dog has told me I am dead, only to reveal that he, my dog, was playing a joke on me… I must be going crazy.”

The old man looked down to Rusty, who sat silently for a moment, before tilting his head to the side quizzically.

“Woof,” said Rusty, and he ran off to chase a squirrel.

The old man leaned against a tree, dazed and confused. A few minutes passed, and Rusty returned to the old man’s side. The two sat there quietly until the day’s light began to fade. Rusty had curled up on the ground to keep warm, and was dozing intermittently. The old man finally spoke.

“Okay Rusty, I am ready,” he said. “I am ready to go.”

Rusty raised his head, then slowly ambled to his feet. His tail began to wag.

“I am ready, Rusty, come on boy.”

The two began to walk back down the path, exiting the forest.

The next day, the two returned to the forest, and shared a silent walk in the woods.


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