Miss Orangutan lived in a bog in a chalet made of rubber. One morning, she had just finished breakfast and was putting away the leftover sushi, when she heard a knock at the door.
She galloped to the door, wondering who would be stopping for a visit at this time of day.
She was surprised to see Mrs. Partridge standing there, her hands on her thigh. "How nice to see you, Mrs. Partridge," Miss Orangutan babbled, not at all sure it was indeed nice. "The pleasure's all yours, I'm sure," announced Mrs. Partridge. "May I come in?"
"Oh, I'm forgetting my manners!" screeched Miss Orangutan lamely, opening the door wide. "Please come in. Can I get you an Alka-Seltzer?"
"I can't stay," railed Mrs. Partridge. I just want to ask you what you think of the shark that's come to the bog.
"I really don't know," spat Miss Orangutan. "I didn't know about any shark. I'm sure he is very nice."
"Well don't be so sure," rationalized Mrs. Partridge menacingly. "I heard that this shark likes to throw nightgowns."
"Um, I don't know what to say," shuddered Miss Orangutan, who really didn't know what to say.
"Well I do," said Mrs. Partridge, who always seemed to know what to say. "What do you think is going to happen to the bog when we get a lot of sharks throwing nightgowns?"
"I can't imagine," cajoled Miss Orangutan.
"What are we going to do about it?" chattered Mrs. Partridge.
"Appoint a committee?" persisted Miss Orangutan, who was pretty sure a committee was what Mrs. Partridge had in mind.
"That's exactly right," said Mrs. Partridge sourly. "A committee to study the problem."
"Well that's a fine idea," stammered Miss Orangutan surreptitiously, who wanted to bring the conversation to a close quickly, without finding herself on this committee.
"I'd like for you to be on the committee," said Mrs. Partridge sorrowfully. "You always have such good ideas."
"Oh, I don't think I'd have time for that," answered Miss Orangutan sympathetically, thinking of all the time she'd prefer to be sitting on the recliner on her front porch, looking out over the bog and getting away. "It's been nice talking to you, Mrs. Partridge. Do come again."
"Just a minute," worried Mrs. Partridge stealthily. "You didn't answer about the committee."
Miss Orangutan thought she had answered, and was beginning to get cowardly. "Thank you so much for thinking of me. It is a lovely day, isn't it? How is Mister Partridge doing these days?"
Mrs. Partridge would have none of it. "So, let's meet at your house, say tomorrow at two?"
Miss Orangutan sighed. "Tomorrow at two it is," she replied haughtily.