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So You're About to Be Eaten By a Lion

Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck. What's up? Help! What's the problem? I've fallen into the lion enclosure! What's that? What? It's the place at the zoo full of lions. Oh, I get it. You said "lion." I thought you said something else. I'm like "What's a lyin' enclosure?" and you're all like "HAAAALP!" and I'm all like "Is it like a fenced-in area full of car salesmen? Just don't sign anything." What!? Car salesmen are not known for their forthrightness.

Getty
It could also be a country song._

Are you going to help with this lion situation or not? Oh, totally. Yeah, you've got a serious problem there. Lions. Shit. OK. First things first. Are the lions eating you? No, not yet. I don't think they've seen me. That's good. And has anyone else gone to get help? Yes, Sarah went to go get help. Who's Sarah? Is that important? It might be. Is she like your girlfriend? Yes! No! I don't know. We haven't talked about it. It's like our third date. You took a date to the zoo? Huh. What? It's just kind of iffy, hey? Animals in captivity and such. Gray moral areas. Could lead to arguments. This is when the relationship should be, you know, picking up some speed. And you're throwing down speed bumps. I never thought of it that way. You know what they say. More speed bumps equal less speed humps. That cannot be a saying. It's regional.

It's why traffic engineers are so desperately lonely._

You know, we were actually having an argument when this happened. You were sitting on the ledge of the lion enclosure, making broad sweeping gestures as you explained that the lions didn't look that sad, when one of your broadest, sweepingest gestures caused you to lose your balance and fall in. Yes! How did you know? Happens all the time. Why do you think there's a guide for exactly this situation? So what do I do? It's simple. Help's coming, and should be here in about five minutes. Four minutes, really, after all the time we've wasted getting to this point. Great. Good. So what next? Well, let's just brainstorm up some ideas for how to survive the next four minutes. Brainstorm! You think now's the time to come up with ideas? Instead of maybe before you wrote this guide? Yes, dad. Now do you want my help or not? I'm not sure any more. So my first thought is that lions are basically very big cats, so maybe we can use that. But how? You're just going to plow ahead regardless, I see. I'll tell you how. What are cats most afraid of? (long, heavy sigh) Dogs? No! Baths! Have you ever tried to give a cat a bath? They hate it. They hate water. Or maybe it's sinks. Do you have a sink handy? No. I had a feeling you'd say that. You know what kind of feeling it was?

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If you say "sinking," I will shit. I'd be lion if I said I wasn't. Fuck you. OK. That's fine. Let's keep going. Next idea: There used to be these old-timey guys called lion tamers, back in the old-timey times. The '70s, I guess. And they used to use whips and chairs and huge mustaches to intimidate the lions. Do you have any of those on hand? No. How long does it take you to grow a mustache? Like a couple weeks? Yeah. Hmm. And to make a chair? Probably faster, I'm thinking. Probably, but I don't think I'll be able to do that in four minutes. OK, but let's not rule it out yet. I think I'm going to rule out making a chair. Hey! Hey! There are no bad ideas during brainstorming. Woodworking in a lion enclosure is always a bad idea. That's got to be one of the exceptions to that rule. There are no exceptions to that rule! What if ... you're a general contractor, and the lions have commissioned you to build a gazebo? WHAT THEN? Oh shit. THAT'S RIGHT OH SHIT. THERE ARE NO BAD IDEAS DURING BRAINSTORMING. You woke up the lions! How is that even possible? You're a fictionalized, Internet-based advice guide! The trick is to give advice from down here. From the diaphragm. You get a lot more "presence" that way. Oh God, they're coming! OK, just relax. I REFUSE TO RELAX. Look. These are zoo lions, so they're probably not used to hunting things. They may have been raised in captivity. At worst they'll just think you're a plaything. What do they do with playthings? They maul them. I mean, they're lions, right? They're not gonna have the patience for board games. Shit! I know. There was some zoo in the Bay Area in the '80s where some alternative zookeepers tried setting up a big Connect Four board. You know, to pit the animals against each other in a battle of wits.

It was also done to encourage more gamblers to come to the zoo._

But I don't think it went over too well. They only got one game in between a tiger and a penguin, which ended in a disqualification for the tiger when he did the obvious thing. Spectators say there was a moral to the story, but no one could remember what it was. What. I guess maybe it was "Don't be a penguin." WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I'm explaining how cats aren't going to like playing board games with you. Relax, this is all part of the process. I've got a flowchart here and everything. You've got a flowchart with a big block that tells you to expound on the history of game-playing animals? I wouldn't say "expound," really. That was actually pretty concise. Oh God, they're coming at me. OK, we'll move on to the next box then. Do you have a flashlight? What? Of course not. Who brings a flashlight to the zoo? Prowlers, I guess. It was just a question. Wait! What is it? I do have a flashlight. My smartphone has a sort of flashlight. Shine it on the ground. See if the lions chase it. OK! They're ... sort of looking at it disinterestedly. Oh man. What? That's so sad. Cats normally love chasing these flashlights around. These lions have lost their animal spirits. That's a good thing, right? For you, perhaps. Try pouncing on the flashlight yourself. Show them how it's done. I'm not going to show cats how to pounce on things. I think that would be the exact opposite of helping my cause. "Dishelping your cause." You meant to say "dishelping your cause." I assure you that I did not. Because "neghelping" isn't a word.

You have to pay a lot for a dictionary this unabridged, but some people find it worth it._

Thank you ever so much for your help. You've been in fine form today. And look, the zookeeper's here now. I was saved entirely without your help. Maybe. What? No, fuck you. I'm saved. You may have your freedom, but do the lions have theirs? If they have no freedom themselves, can you truly be free? Yes. It's easily done if you're selfish. And that's you, I suppose. Well then go on with the zookeeper, I guess. Hey, Sarah's here, too! What, in the lion enclosure? The zookeeper says it's safe. These lions are quite tame. How's she acting? Glad to see you? Aloofish? A little aloofish, actually. Hmmm. What is it? I know what's happening here. Tell me, why would someone become a zookeeper? Because they love animals? That's good. That's the textbook answer. What's the real reason? Because ... they love animals? Because they want to make animals watch them have sex. That's definitely not correct. It is. This zookeeper has seduced your probably-not-girlfriend and intends to bed her here in the lion enclosure to demonstrate his power over the animal kingdom. That seems really very unlikely. I don't think anyone would be impressed by a display of power over these lions. Even Sarah's petting one of them and ... holy shit. She just brushed up against the zookeeper. You see? Accuse him immediately. Accuse him of zoodultery!

_

He got really upset. So did Sarah. But she brushed up against him! I'm wondering if I imagined that. Did you hit your head when you fell in there? A bit. Enough to imagine phantom arm strokings? And maybe unhelpful advice from a strange, unseen voice? I guess, although that seems unusually specific. I wonder if you're trying to tie off some legal liability you might have. Perish the thought. Anyways, you're in quite deep now; best to plow straight through it. Accuse Sarah of being a zoodulterer again. Suggest she start wearing a big scarlet "Z" on her clothes. Now the zookeeper's threatening to kick my ass. Do you have any weapons available? Anything you can throw at him or break across his handsome, zoodultering jaw? No. It looks like you'll have to make that chair then. Ow! My ass! Is it getting kicked? Yes! Comprehensively! What are the lions doing? They've fallen asleep. Congratulations, you have successfully completed this guide, and are now no longer in danger of being eaten by a lion. If you desire any further guidance, please consult our guide So You're Being Cuckolded By a Zookeeper. __________________________________

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