• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 08
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Endangered Species

I carried that ring around with me for six weeks. I had plans to poke it in fancy puddings, hide it in pillows. I knew you would eventually unwrap or hang it around a favourite dog's neck. I even contemplated a drone delivery but didn't trust the local operator. But it was always there for that opportune moment and when that day came it was bittersweet ⁠— you, teary, made your case, you were honest (and I respect that) you were going to tell me sooner but... I understand. All you needed was five thousand pounds. The ring burned a hole in my pocket. I thought long and hard about love and realistic expectations; I was a fit, desirable man who won her heart on a zip-line in Montana ⁠— my humour coming a strong second. How could I refuse what she needed if I truly loved her? I pawned the ring that very day and instead of the ubiquitous knee-bending, my love was handed over in a large envelope of crisp, plastic twenties (I asked for it in twenties so it looked more, but got a mix of fifties and twenties, but the envelope still looked substantial). We said our goodbyes. The next day, I patted my pocket and you were missing. I never thought in a million years that I would lose you to Harry the Sniffer; a six-foot, 600-pound Eastern Lowland gorilla wedged somewhere in an Ape Sanctuary in Africa. I doubt he carried a diamond ring in his pocket or rode on zip-lines telling jokes yet he'd won her 'forever' heart. I decided not to write or buy jackets with pockets; oh, and it might be a while before I donate to a wildlife fund... Here's a good one. What do apes call sunbathing? OranguTANNING. (Yeah ⁠— I still got it.)