Vince was stirring about the flat in the middle of the night. He sipped on warm milk with a dash of nutmeg, but he still couldn't get to sleep. He sighed, then saw a tall figure come down the stairs. It snored and motioned its hands as if it were playing an imaginary saxophone and scatted occasionally. It opened the refrigerator and its hand motioned towards a chicken leg. Vince knew exactly who it was.
"Howard," he stated to both himself and the figure. The figure grunted as it munched on the chicken leg.
"Howard," Vince repeated. The figure continued eating as he rummaged through the cabinets.
"Howard?" Vince questioned once more. The figure returned to the refrigerator and tried stuffing a very long cucumber down his own throat.
"Howard!" Vince yelled as he swiped the cucumber out of his throat and bashed him on the cheek with it.
"Ow!" the figure shouted. It was clearly seen to be Howard now. "What was that for?" He then looked at Vince and said, "Oh my God, you're hideous! Don't kill me, I've got so much to-" Vince hit him with the cucumber again and said, "It's me, you idiot! This is my nightly treatment." Vince had a green creamy substance all over his face. His hair was in curlers and he wore a fuzzy red bathrobe with pink trim and matching slippers. Even when sleeping he continued to maintain his androgynous fashion statements.
"Oh," said Howard, embarrassed, "Hi Vince."
"Hi," his friend replied coldly as he made two thin cucumber slices with a knife. He then put the knife down and said, "Howard, you need to stop with this sleepwalking, and even worse, sleep-eating. You ate that chicken leg I was saving to make chicken broth."
"See, if you knew the next thing about broth, you'd know you need more than a puny chicken leg to make a whole pot of broth. Besides, aren't you a vegan?"
"No Howard. That was a long time ago. Anyway, that's not even the part I'm worried about. You could have choked on this cucumber!"
"I don't even like cucumbers," Howard retorted.
"Well, obviously when you're sleeping you do!" Vince said as he showed him the bite marks on the cucumber.
Howard was silent for a few seconds then said, "That was probably Bollo..."
"Oh sure, blame it on the gorilla." Vince sighed and said, "The worst part is, I need the cucumber."
"For my eyes."
"Your eyes? Can't you get the same vitamins from a carrot?"
"Vitamins? What do I need vitamins for?"
"Well, Vince, vitamins are a vital part of a man's diet. Y'see..."
"Okay, okay okay! Sorry I asked. Didn't think I was gonna get lectured. Anyway, here's why I need the cucumber." He took the two cucumber slices he had just cut and placed them on each of his eyes.
"That's it?" Howard laughed.
"What? It's part of my beauty treatment. Y'see, when you eat cucumbers, these so-called 'vitamins'," he said as he motioned his hands in air quotes around the word "vitamins", "Improve your eyesight. So putting them directly on your eyes will absorb the vitamins more quickly."
"What kind of logic is that?"
"A genius logic."
"Not it's not, it's rubbish."
"Well, can you prove me otherwise?"
Howard stammered. "No..."
"Okay then." Vince then whacked the cucumber in Howard's direction.
"What was that for?" Howard shouted.
"You're being a twit," Vince replied with a giggle.
"How am I being a twit?"
"You just are," Vince said with a grin.
"That's it," Howard said with a determined smile as he lifted a long loaf of French bread from off the kitchen counter and began to whack Vince with it. Vince continued to whack Howard with the cucumber with decent aim despite the fact he had cucumber slices on his eyes. Naboo and Bollo heard the noise from upstairs, so they went down to see what was going on. Just when they arrived, Vince accidentally hit Naboo with the cucumber and knocked his turban off.
"Ow!" Naboo groaned, "What the hell's going on down here?"
Vince raised one cucumber slice just enough above his eye to see what he had done.
"Oh, hey Naboo," Vince said with a hint of guilt in his voice, "I couldn't sleep so I came downstairs for a glass of warm milk and then Howard sleepwalked down here and started deep-throating a cucumber so I swiped it from him and hit him upside the head with it. Then he got defensive and hit me with French bread."
"I wasn't deep-throating it!" Howard protested.
"How would you know? You were asleep!" Vince teased, "You were all-" and then Vince motioned what Howard was doing to the cucumber with his hands and made bizarre munching noises as he did it. Vince then chuckled and murmured to Howard, "Practicing for Bob Fossil, eh?"
"No, I'm not practicing for Bob Fossil!" Howard stammered, "If anyone needs to practice deep-throating Bob Fossil, it would be you!"
"Me?" Vince laughed, "Fossil hates me! He called me a cross-dressing porn star from outer space once!"
"Actually, that was your mother when you showed up to your sister's wedding in a sparkly leather jumpsuit," Howard retorted.
"Oh yeah..." Vince recalled, then he paused and said, "But Fossil hates me nonetheless. The only one of us he ever liked was Naboo. Only because he makes him tea, which is amazing, by the way. Like, seriously, have you ever tried it?" Vince said as he nudged Bollo, who looked exhausted. He held a teddy bear in his arm and had a nightcap on his head. Vince continued, saying, "It's even better than Starbucks, and Starbucks is brilliant. Even more so than-"
"Shh!" Naboo commanded as he tried to adjust his turban. All he was wearing was the turban and some tartan pajama pants. "Let's all try to get back to sleep. I have a special trick that can get us tired in no time."
"Is it one of your magic spells?" asked Vince.
"What?" Naboo said confusedly, "Oh no, not a magic spell. Just melatonin." Naboo then went to the medicine cabinet and reached for the bottle of the pills. He gave one to each of them with some water. Just when they were about to go back to bed, the doorbell rang.
"Aw, damn it! Who could that be?" Vince groaned. He ran up to the door, touching the walls as he walked because he couldn't see anything with the cucumber slices on his eyes and needed a sense of where he was going.
"Look, Mr. Stupid-Door-To-Door-Salesman-Guy," Vince said to whoever was at the door, "We don't need your bloody wrinkle cream or whatever the hell you're selling. I have this avocado spread on my face right now and it works wonders. You should try it."
Just then, the figure at the door lifted a cucumber slice from Vince's eye and said, "It's me, you cross-dressing porn star from Mars!" He then ate a piece of the vegetable and put it back on Vince's eye.
"Mum?" Vince asked, then remembered the figure had just spoken, and he realized that was not his mother's voice and said, "Oh, Bob Fossil. Sorry. It's just my mum called me that once when I showed up to my sister's wedding in...you know what? Never mind."
"Yes, Hello Vincey," Fossil said, unimpressed. "I've come to tell you there's a new animal at the zoo."
"But we don't work at the zoo anymore..." the three other humans said at once, and Bollo said, "I no live there anymore..." while they said that.
"I don't care!" Fossil shouted, "It's very rare. Bainbridge went out to Black Lake the other night and caught it himself. What a man of action!" Fossil rubbed his nipples as he said this.
Vince nudged Howard and said quietly, "Ha! Dixon Bainbridge is definitely the one who has to start practicing deep-throating Bob Fossil around here." The men chuckled at this remark.
Fossil then snapped at them and said, "Hey! What's so funny?"
"Oh, Howard was just telling me about the time he worked as a drag performer to put himself through university," Vince lied. Howard shot him a look which Vince obviously couldn't see thanks to the cucumbers on his eyes.
"Go ahead, Mr. Fossil," Naboo said, calmly and respectfully, "We're fully engrossed in your story."
"Yeah, emphasis on 'gross'," Vince murmured, and Howard and Naboo simultaneously nudged him on each shoulder, to which Vince said "Ow!" and pretended to look interested in what Fossil was saying.
"Well, anyway," Fossil continued, "He got that guy with the scales."
"You mean a fish?" asked Howard.
"No! Not a fish!" Fossil said, "That guy with the scales and lips who glows in the dark."
"You mean an angler fish?" asked Vince.
"No, not that," Fossil replied, "That guy with the scales and lips who glows in the dark and has whiskers."
"Some sort of angler-catfish hybrid?" Howard asked.
"Howard in an angler fish costume?" Naboo said flatly. Vince laughed at his remark and gave Naboo a high-five, but Howard was not impressed.
"Uh," Fossil stammered, "I think 'angler-catfish hybrid' could be the technical term for it, but I have no idea. Anyway, he's very angsty and moody and I was wondering if you could help calm him down."
"Don't you have other people who work at the zoo now who can help you with it?" Naboo asked.
"Yes, but they all suck," Fossil replied, "Would you help me...please? I'll give you all a raise."
"We don't work at the zoo," they all said.
"Whatever. Just help me because we're friends, right?"
They all replied with various affirmative answers, like, "sure," "yeah," "totally," or "I guess so."
Fossil smiled and said, "Then what are you waiting for? Let's go!"
"Right now?" Vince whined, "But it's 3am!"
"I don't care!" Fossil shouted, "The van's outside, let's go!" They all followed Fossil to his van, and Vince tripped twice because he still had the cucumbers on his eyes, but Howard guided him. When they finally arrived at the zoo, and all their old co-workers were there, like Mrs. Gideon, whose hair was down and a bit messy rather than in her usual bun at the top of her head and did not have her glasses on yet. She wore a fuzzy green bathrobe and purple slippers. She let out a yawn and Howard stood next to her, hoping she would remember him.
"You're probably all wondering why I brought you here," Fossil shouted through a megaphone, "Well, just the other day, Dixon Bainbridge caught a mysterious creature from Black Lake. I'm going to unveil this bizarre, freaky guy with big lips, scales, whiskers, who glows in the dark, likes to be funky..."
"He didn't mention the funky bit before," Naboo whispered to Bollo.
"I've got a bad feeling about this..." Bollo replied.
"...Has seaweed hair..." Fossil continued. Howard knew who Fossil was talking about, so he moved himself a bit away from Mrs. Gideon, because he knew if he didn't it would only result in embarrassment.
"I have a worse feeling about this," he murmured to Bollo.
"And wears a tutu!" Fossil finished. He removed the curtain that was covering the animal's cage. There, the scaly man-fish stood.
"Hi there," he said.
"Who are you?" Vince asked with wide eyes, admiring the sea creature's attire.
"I'm Old Gregg. Pleased to meet ya." Then the creature paused and looked around, asking, "Where's Howard?" Howard hid behind Bollo.
"Oh, he's over there," Vince said, then he went over to Howard saying, "Look at this guy! He's a fashion genius! That tutu and sparkly jacket with the tie look amazing on him. Oh, and the boots, of course. Do you think I should start wearing a tutu?"
"Vince, that's Old Gregg. Remember the guy I met on the lake who you rescued me from?"
"Oh yeah," Vince recalled, "I have his card." Vince showed him the maroon business card with a gold frame and lettering that said nothing written on it but "I'm Old Gregg." "Why, does he not like you?" Vince asked.
"No," Howard answered, "In fact, he loves me. He's obsessed with me, frankly."
"Aw, that's adorable!" Vince said mockingly, then he sang "Howard and Gregg sittin' in a tree; K-I-S-S-I-" Howard cut him off, and said, "Vince, shut up and hide me!" Bollo moved, so Howard hid behind Vince. Vince shouted back to Gregg, saying, "I really like your jacket! Where can I get one like it?"
Old Gregg glared back at him and said in his infamous Southern American accent, "Silence, mothah-lickah."