Some Gentle Readers might have seen this joke in an “earlier edition.”
One fine day a young mother brought her toddler to the zoo. It wasn’t for educational purposes; she merely wanted her daughter’s attention on the animals so she could chat with her friends on her cellphone for most of the afternoon. And so this undoting Mom’s attention was firmly elsewhere when the little girl ambled up to the lion’s cage to gawk at the king of the jungle.
The beast seemed to be “in repose.” He lay flat on the earth with his eyes closed, his head resting on his forepaws, his magnificent mane flattened against his neck. The little girl was fascinated by His Dozing Majesty and unwisely stuck a hand through the bars in an attempt to pet him.
That proved to be unwise. The lion immediately awoke and charged toward the bars, grabbed the girl’s arm, and strained to pull the rest of her into his cage. Mom, her attention at last redirected toward her progeny, leaped to her feet and, not knowing what else she could do, screamed shrilly.
Fortunately for her little girl, a young man standing nearby knew how to do something more constructive. He leaped toward the scene and punched the lion in the head with his full strength, stunning the beast and forcing it to release the girl’s arm. The man pulled the girl to safety and was checking her for injuries as applause sounded from those nearest the incident.
As the shaken mother and daughter hurried away – Mom excitedly narrating the event to her telephonic friends – a bystander approached our hero and announced himself. “Excuse me, sir. I’m a reporter, and I’d like to write a story about your heroic deed. Would you mind sitting for a brief interview?” The young man smiled and assented, and the two took seats on a nearby bench.
The reporter took out his notebook and pen. This conversation followed:
Reporter: “What’s your name, sir?”
Hero: “Adam Smith.”
Reporter: “Would you kindly tell me a little about yourself, Mr. Smith?”
Hero: “Well, certainly. What would you like to know?
Reporter: “For a start, what do you do for a living and what brought you here today?”
Hero: “Well, as it happens, I’m about to leave the Marine Corps after a ten-year enlistment. I was on my way to the local Republican Party headquarters to offer my services for the upcoming election season.”
Reporter: “Ah, I see. Thank you very much!”
And with that the reporter closed and pocketed his notebook and walked away. And the next day, the front page story in the local daily was headlined:
And Steals His Lunch