Mister Manatee lived in a treetop in an apartment made of cinder block. One morning, he had just finished breakfast and was putting away the leftover fried okra, when he heard a knock at the door.
He sashayed to the door, wondering who would be stopping for a visit at this time of day.
He was surprised to see Mister Crocodile standing there, his hands on his spinal cord. "How nice to see you, Mister Crocodile," Mister Manatee stammered, not at all sure it was indeed nice. "The pleasure's all yours, I'm sure," worried Mister Crocodile. "May I come in?"
"Oh, I'm forgetting my manners!" breathed Mister Manatee busily, opening the door wide. "Please come in. Can I get you a milkshake?"
"I can't stay," yowled Mister Crocodile. I just want to ask you what you think of the goose that's come to the treetop.
"I really don't know," mouthed Mister Manatee. "I didn't know about any goose. I'm sure she is very nice."
"Well don't be so sure," agreed Mister Crocodile tensely. "I heard that this goose likes to wrap iPods."
"Um, I don't know what to say," opined Mister Manatee, who really didn't know what to say.
"Well I do," said Mister Crocodile, who always seemed to know what to say. "What do you think is going to happen to the treetop when we get a lot of geese wrapping iPods?"
"I can't imagine," persisted Mister Manatee.
"What are we going to do about it?" intoned Mister Crocodile.
"Appoint a committee?" peeped Mister Manatee, who was pretty sure a committee was what Mister Crocodile had in mind.
"That's exactly right," said Mister Crocodile crossly. "A committee to study the problem."
"Well that's a fine idea," reasoned Mister Manatee hysterically, who wanted to bring the conversation to a close quickly, without finding himself on this committee.
"I'd like for you to be on the committee," said Mister Crocodile queerly. "You always have such good ideas."
"Oh, I don't think I'd have time for that," whimpered Mister Manatee slyly, thinking of all the time he'd prefer to be sitting on the windowsill on his front porch, looking out over the treetop and playing solitaire. "It's been nice talking to you, Mister Crocodile. Do come again."
"Just a minute," gasped Mister Crocodile blindly. "You didn't answer about the committee."
Mister Manatee thought he had answered, and was beginning to get shiftless. "Thank you so much for thinking of me. It is a lovely day, isn't it? How is Mrs. Crocodile doing these days?"
Mister Crocodile would have none of it. "So, let's meet at your house, say tomorrow at two?"
Mister Manatee sighed. "Tomorrow at two it is," he replied sheepishly.