CUSTOMER: I wish to register a complaint.
CLERK: Sorry, mate, it’s time for lunch.
CUSTOMER: Never mind about that, my lad. I wish to complain about this pelican that I purchased not half an hour ago from this very Oval Office.
CLERK: What’s wrong with it?
CUSTOMER: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. It’s dead. That’s what’s wrong with it.
CLERK: Naw, mate, he’s resting.
CUSTOMER: I know a dead pelican when I see one. And I’m looking at one right now.
CLERK: No no, he’s resting. Remarkable bird, eh? Beautiful plumage.
CUSTOMER: The plumage don’t enter into it. He’s covered with oil.
CLERK: No, that’s his natural color. He’s a Louisiana brown.
CUSTOMER: All right, then, if he’s resting, I’ll wake him up. Hellooooo, Peter Pelican! I’ve got a lovely, delicious fish for you right here.
CLERK: See? He moved.
CUSTOMER: No, he didn’t! You grabbed his tail!
CLERK: I did not!
CUSTOMER: Helloooooo, Pelican!!! Testing. (bangs pelican on the counter several times.) Now that’s what I call a dead pelican.
CLERK: No, no, he’s stunned.
CLERK: You stunned him just as he was waking up. Louisiana browns stun easily.
CUSTOMER: Enough! That pelican is definitely deceased! And when I purchased it not half an hour ago in this very Oval Office, you assured me that’s it’s total lack of movement was due it being tired and shagged out after a prolonged squawk.
CLERK: Not only that, he’s probably pining for the bayous.
CUSTOMER: Pining for the bayous! What kind of talk is that? Why did he fall flat on his back as soon as I got him home?
CLERK: Because he just lost his bayous, and that’s how Louisiana browns pine. Oh, look at his beautiful plumage.
CUSTOMER: I took the liberty of examining that bird when I got him home, and I discovered that the only reason he had been sitting on his perch in the first place was that he had been nailed there.
CLERK: Of course he was nailed. If I hadn’t nailed him him there, he would have have muscled open those bars, bent them apart with his beak, and voooom!
CUSTOMER: Voom? His lungs are full of oil, methane, benzene, hydrogen sulphide, methylene chloride, and then there’s the dispersant with propanediol, ethanol, butanedioic acid, sorbitan mono-(9Z)-9-octadecenoate, 2-propanol, and hydrotreated light petroleum distillates.
CLERK: He’s pining!
CUSTOMER: He’s not pining! He’s passed on! This pelican is no more! He has ceased to be! He’s a stiff! For the rest of life, he rests in peace! He snuffed it. He kicked the bucket. He shuffled off his mortal coil! He brung down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir immortal! He’s extinct in his entirety! This is an ex-pelican of an ex-species!
CLERK: Well, I’d better appoint a commission then. We’ll look into the causes and get back to you in six months.
CUSTOMER: A commission? I want my refund now.
CLERK: Then you’ll have to see the tsar. I’ve appointed a tsar to handle all of that.
CUSTOMER: A tsar? Then what is it you’re doing?
CLERK: Now that we’ve learned how the Louisiana brown pelican pines, I’ve granted 400 more licenses to drill in the Gulf. And I’m authorizing this garden slug to replace your pelican.
CUSTOMER: Does it waddle, swim and eat fish with its incredibly large beak?
CLERK: Not really. But it can live in sludge.
CUSTOMER: Then it’s scarcley a replacement, is it? I get the picture! No pelican, no refund!
CLERK: I never wanted to be a clerk, anyway! You know what I wanted to be?!!? A lumberjack! Sing, sing, sing, everyone! I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay, I sleep all night and I work all day…