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60. Grave

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Boss Lion proceeded solemnly down the dirt path. She cradled the bouquet of flowers as she approached the grave. Boss Squid stood morosely to the side. Boss Wolf was behind him talking to a tree.

“Here’s lookin’ at you, Kid,” Boss Wolf said to the tree.

She looked down at the grave and sighed as she read the epitaph again.

Boss Stag, he could not be topped.

He had ambition, but then he popped.

Boss Lion smiled under her lion helmet. She knew Boss Stag would have approved of their rhyme.

She still meant what she had said to the Steward. Boss Stag was, by all accounts, a jerk. He was snooty, self-absorbed, and she couldn’t get behind the homicidal tendencies he had developed by the time he exploded. But she still loved him. She was alone in a universe that hated, or was at least grossly indifferent towards reference humor, until she met someone who appreciated it as much as she did. Someone who showed her that no matter how obscure—or pointless—your interests may be, you don’t have to enjoy them in solitude.

She wanted to tell him how she felt. Her hope was that they would do that whole thing where Boss Stag would eventually realize that the one who he loved the most was standing in front of him the whole time, and he would rush over to tell Boss Lion that he loved her. Also, she would be getting on a plane or something, but then Boss Stag would catch up to her at the last minute and tell her how he felt. Then at that climactic moment, Boss Lion would respond to Boss Stag’s pleas by saying, “You had me at hello.”

Of course, Boss Stag would have to begin by saying hello. She would sound really stupid if Boss Stag never actually said hello.

Boss Lion knelt down in front of the grave. They didn’t really have a body to bury, since he popped like a cartoon character. Instead, they buried his helmet and the remains of his tracksuit. Boss Lion felt like this was good enough.

Boss Squid stood behind Boss Lion. “Anything you want to say?” he asked.

Boss Lion thought for a moment as she struggled to come up with an appropriate eulogy. “Oh captain, my captain,” she began. “Um, love means never having to say you’re sorry. And, um, there’s no place like home. And so, in conclusion, you’ve got a friend in me. Tusk.”

Boss Squid sighed. “He probably would have really liked that,” he admitted.

“Still,” Boss Lion replied, sitting on her knees, looming on the freshly overturned dirt beneath her. “I get the feeling that he left us too soon. Like his soul yearns to make one final reference.”

At that moment, the decaying arm of Boss Stag shot out from the dirt, straight up and grabbed Boss Lion by the throat.

As Boss Lion screamed in terror, Boss Squid rolled his eyes. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” he sighed.

Boss Wolf waddled over to the scene. “Stay tuned next time for the thrilling conclusion!” she shouted to nobody in particular. “Same bat time! Same bat channel!”


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