by Norm De Plume
Illustration by Jackson Powerfight
The zookeeper gently fluffed the plume on his ceremonial fore and aft zookeeper’s hat before carefully placing it on his head. He meticulously aligned the zookeeping medals on his left chest, adjusted his scarlet sash, and hiked up his jodhpurs. He pulled a lacy silk handkerchief from his sleeve with a flourish, and used it to buff a nearly invisible smudge from his shiny knee-high leather boots.
Moving slowly, he gathered himself to his full height and with visible disgust removed a banana peel that had gotten stuck to his Prussian blue tunic when he landed in the gutter. He took a quick pinch of snuff, and, mustering all the dignity he could, flipped his middle finger at the glaring bouncer. He staggered down the street, never to return. There were other zookeeper bars in this city, goddamnit.