On Wednesday, a former meerkat expert at the London Zoo was ordered by a judge to pay 800 pounds in damages to a monkey handler who she had assaulted with a wine glass at the zoo’s annual holiday party upon learning that the woman was having an affair with her boyfriend, the llama-keeper. —The Associated Press
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Caroline Westlake…………….a meerkat expert with a hot temper
Kate Sanders……………………a monkey handler with a need for vengeance
Adam Davies…………………..the two-timing llama-keeper who thought he could keep his dirty secret safe
Time: winter of 2014
Place: the London Zoo Christmas party in the grand butterfly hall
[Curtains open to a festive scene inside the grand butterfly hall of the London Zoo. The ceiling is strung with tinsel and an enormous fern tree is holding court at the center of a party. Tables are stacked with pyramids of Champagne and in lieu of music, the stereo system plays monkey noises and gentle cricket sounds. A group of zoo workers gather by a table topped with pigs in a blanket and crudités.]
Zoo Worker #1: Some party, eh?
Zoo Worker #2: I love the cricket soundtrack. Is that a male Gryllus cricket that I hear?
Zoo Worker #3: Wow, Sandy. You really are an entomological expert. What a pleasure!
[The three zoo employees munch awkwardly on carrots and garlicky dip in the silence that follows. To their relief, they are saved by a loud clatter coming from the main entrance of the hall.]
Zoo Worker #1: What’s all that racket?
[They turn to face a scene, which is quickly unraveling in front of at least a hundred partygoers. A woman, identifiable as Caroline Westlake, is shrieking.]
Westlake: Did you shag my boyfriend, you grungy monkey handler?
Kate Sanders: That’s none of your business, you lowly meerkat expert!
[Enter Adam Davies, stage right.]
Davies: [Attempting to laugh off the commotion] Ladies, ladies. Can’t we talk about this genially in the monkey sanctuary? Not in front of all these homo sapiens?
[Both women look at him, growling. Westlake reaches for a wine glass, ready to break it over Davies’s head, when a butterfly flutters in front of her eyes. The glass goes off course as it leaves Westlake’s hand and instead smashes right into Sanders’s face. Chaos ensues.]
Zoo Worker #3: [In a comedic, fourth-wall-breaking tone] It seems like we’ve got the animals running the zoo these days!