SCENE: (A bunch of lab rats are seated in a meeting room. An important-looking rat (just go with it) is directing the group and reading off a clipboard. His nametag reads: Mr. Whiskers – Manager)
MR. WHISKERS: Alright, we just got some new jobs that we need to assign. Let’s see, we got a diabetes medication. Anyone feel like testing a diabetes medication?
OTHER RAT (from crowd): Sure, I’ll do it.
MR. WHISKERS: Thanks for showing the initiative. That’ll make a great resume builder. This next one is a toughie. Who’s ready to contract ebola for the next 6 weeks?
(A young rat eagerly raises her paw from the back row.)
MR. WHISKERS: Candance, we both know you’re not ready for this. This ebola project requires a rat with some experience.
(A salty, old rat raises a leg.)
MR. WHISKERS: Bruce, perfect. Hey, if you’re still alive after this one let me know how it goes. Alright, I’ve got another really good opportunity here if you’re interested. Anybody want to get injected with a scorching case of herpes?
MR. WHISKERS: Come on, guys. Jerry, didn’t you do the pubic lice study last year? You’re perfect for this.
(Jerry reluctantly and wordlessly consents.)
MR. WHISKERS: Thanks, Jerry. I’ve always seen you as a herpes kind of rat. Let’s see, next we got a new lipstick that needs to be rubbed in somebody’s eyes. Who’s going to step up?
(No rats volunteer.)
MR. WHISKERS: Somebody’s gotta do it, guys. Anybody want to get some brownie points?
(Room remains silent. Mr. Whiskers sighs, exasperated.)
MR. WHISKERS: I’ve been holding my tongue on this one for a while, but the lack of work ethic around here is really starting to chap my ass. Too bad ChapStick already tested their product so I can’t even get some of it for my own heinie. Let me tell you, if you don’t want this cosmetic job, there are plenty of rabbits, guinea pigs, and monkeys that’ll happily take it instead.
(Room does not appear persuaded.)
MR. WHISKERS (tone more somber): Look, I know all of you wish you could be hanging out as some plucky seven-year-old’s pet, eating yourself to death and passing time until the little sucker comes to pick up your feces. But we can’t all have that. My brother, he really wanted that life. And you know where he is now? Snake food! So suck it up. I’d take this lipstick job if I could, but I’m currently assigned to an uppity little urologist whose “research” consists of neutering me into oblivion. (deep breath) I need one of you guys to pick up the slack on this one. Please.
(One of the rats volunteers.)
MR. WHISKERS (more relaxed): Thank you very much. Lastly, we have your classic maze set-up. Do it right, you get a piece of cheese. Do it wrong, they’re gonna shock the bejeezus out of you. Anybody like to gamble?