Join Date: Jan 2006
"Not 'A' zoo," the panda-man replied. "Thee Zoo."
"Well... what am I doing in any zoo?"
"Why, the same thing everyone else is doing in the zoo, dear boy!" And he laughed, like I'd said something funny. So far, I failed to get the point. Besides...
"But there's no one here! Nothing here but pandas!"
Panda-man cocked his head, as if he failed to get my point. "Yes?"
Did he not understand me? "Pandas!"
"Yes! Aren't they wonderful? So soft, and cuddly, and docile, and quiet, eh?"
"Yeah yeah, soft and cuddly," I agreed, just to avoid an argument, but he wasn't finished.
"Yes, wonderful creatures, pandas. So long as they have everything they need, they make no trouble, they demand little more than food and a place to sleep. Every zoo should be filled to the brim with them!"
"That's great," I nodded. "But I am not a panda! I am a human being!"
"Yes, well, that's something to discuss," Panda-man replied. "Isn't it?"
"What's to discuss? I am not a panda... discussion over!"
"Ah. Well then," he nodded sagely, "let's table that particular point for now."
"Good. So: Tell me how to get out of here."
"Out of here?"
"Yes!" He was beginning to really cheese me off. "Out of here! I want to go home!"
"Home! You know... I feel so broke up, yada, yada..."
"But my dear chap! You are home!"
"This, my boy, is your home!" Panda-man waved an arm expansively, taking in the screens surrounding the round chair on every surface. "Why would you want to leave it?"
"Oh, I don't know... because I'm not a panda?"
"Ah... that again..."
"All right, knock that off! I am not a panda. You can't make me stay here."
At that, Panda-man cocked an eyebrow, which gleamed through his white makeup. "Oh?"
"This place might hold a panda," I said smugly, "but it won't hold me."
"Hold you? My boy," Panda-man chuckled. "We won't hold you."
Now it was my turn to cock an eyebrow. "No?"
"No, of course not!" he laughed. Then, as abruptly, he stopped, and leaned forward conspiratorially. "But you won't leave."
"We'll see about that," I said.
"Yes, won't we?" Panda-man smiled... and at that moment, the door through which I had entered opened on its own. I was startled by the obvious theatrics... but nonetheless, I headed for the door without another moment's hesitation.
As I walked out, I heard the Panda-man call after me: "Be seeing you..."