At the Fleishacker Zoo

This story by Bill Crowley is found in the Dishonorable Mentions Category of the Y2K Bulwer-Lytton contest. The Annual Bulwer-Lytton writing contest is based upon the much stolen beginning line by Snoopy, “It was a dark and stormy night…” The contest is run each year by the Department of English at San Jose State University. The award is given to the worst lead-in to a dreadful story.

After twenty years, twenty years as head avian keeper at Fleishacker Zoo (Combs’ note: in San Francisco), Norman sat distractedly on his Ethan Allen post-colonial solid mahogany settee, pulling at his nose, and going over one more time the stupidity that had cost him his labor of love, because he knew that he was responsible for putting the locks on all the bird cages–the Bald Eagles, the tropical Toucans, the Marbled Godwits, all of them–but that miserable Thursday evening he had missed a cage for the very first time as he had daydreamed on by the Bay Gulls enclosure, and they had escaped, and there went his job–all because he forgot to put the locks on the Bay Gulls.

Chris Cole tells us:

Instead of being trained to stay in their cages, it’s quite natural that the gulls would just fly oy vey…

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