The Boo-tiful People

By "Brithound"

(Author's Note: as far as I've been able to discover, we never did officially find out Hello Nurse's actual name.)

"And here today we've been given the privilege to see at work one of the biggest names in the field of creative science!" The gushing tones of a professional journalist came as a voice-over to a live shot of a meeting room at one of Toon California's most famous companies - the notorious Acme Industries.

In the room were four human toons and a lab rat, all wearing white laboratory smocks and intent expressions as they followed what their chief was chalking on the board at the end of the room. Eventually the equations were finished and he stepped away to show the finished answer.

"That's incredible!" the first scientist gasped. "It all makes sense now! You've cracked the formula!"

"This will work. We'll actually be able to recycle all the world's used tyres into calorie-free chewing-gum and rubber joke-shop crutches." The second nodded, stroking his beard. "Saving the environment and making us a fortune at the same time."

"So - yet another breakthrough from the leading light at ACME," the journalist's voice held exactly the right awe content to comply with official Best Media Practices and Standards. "And now a word, if we may, with the man himself, Professor Beaumaris?"

"It's pronounced "Boo-Maris,"" the lab rat corrected her. "He's not the talkative kind - but his actions speak far louder than words."

The toon in question nodded humbly, walking out of the room. He was tall, his striking red hair tied in a pony-tail at the back, and when he walked his knees bent oddly for a human - the results of a motorbike racing accident years earlier, as popular rumour had it.

"Oh, well. What can we say about the Professor? The highest skill in his field – and outside the lab, surely the best of taste. Last year we reported his marriage to a fellow over-achiever, the then Nurse Jennifer Maris. Despite her humble day-job she scored one of the highest IQs on record, and holds both a Nobel and a Pulitzer Prize as well as far too many other distinctions to name." The shot cut to stock footage of a staggeringly beautiful woman in a Nurse's uniform, her blonde good looks and amazing figure only complementing her mental achievements. The scene then cut to a high-society wedding, with the same woman dressed in a pure white bridal gown walking out of the cathedral on the arm of Professor Beaumaris. She looked radiantly happy.

"Although it was certainly controversial, Nurse Maris gave up her career after her wedding. Her former employer, a Herr Doktor Scratchandsniff, took early retirement soon after and is quoted as saying "Vy carry on? Dere vill neffer be anudder like her." A sad loss to the medical profession but certainly - a joining of a pair of our nation's great and beautiful people."

The tape ended there, which was perhaps just as well. Had it run another minute it would have needed editing. The cameraman was clearly under the influence of catnip. "He's a chicken, I tell you!" His voice fell on unsympathetic ears as Security grabbed him and hauled him away. "A giant chicken!"

Professor Beaumaris drove home, his white Bentley convertible expertly handling the curves of the Hollywood Hills road as he headed back to the house he had designed and built for his bride. Pulling to a halt outside the door, he got out and triggered his convertible. It converted into a large Anime-type combat robot of his own design, which saluted respectfully and began to patrol the grounds.

"Honey, you're home on time!" The door opened and Jennifer Beaumaris stood silhouetted against the warm light inside, her negligee straining under the thankless (but usually brief) task of keeping her figure even partly concealed. She smiled. "How did the interview go?"

"Buk buk! Buk-awwkk!"Professor Beaumaris nodded his head, his red wig bobbing.

Jennifer laughed. "I love it when you speak Ancient Chaldean to me! Such an elegant language. When I learned it I thought I'd never find anyone apart from my old tutor to speak it with. Or should I say ... Bukka-buk a kuk kuk?" Her eyes flashed invitingly and as she turned she wriggled where her tail-feathers would have been had she possessed any.

Professor Beaumaris' plumage swelled with pride. Catching his wife up in his strong arms, he swept her towards their bedroom, head high. Just an inch higher than usual, but enough to knock the red wig off his head against the door-frame, pony-tail and all. He gave a squawk of panic.

Jennifer sat on the bed, her eyes wide as she took in the sight. "It's true – you really are a giant chicken!"

"Buk-buk-awwkkk…" Chicken Boo's head dipped in shame, and his forward-bending avian knees trembled. He had taken the prettiest, most talented woman in Toon California, and made her his under false pretences. His red wattles drooped as he realised that of all his failures this must be the worst. Sadly he turned to walk out of her life, leaving them both to pick up the pieces.

"Oh no you don't! Buk-uk-ukk!" Jennifer rugby-tackled and straddled her husband, pinning him to the carpet. "Oh, Boo. Honestly. When you picked me, was it because I was dumb? Of course I know. I've always known." Her lips pressed to his hard avian beak, and her fingers caressed the six-foot rooster's bright red comb lovingly. "You can invent a non-slip glue for that crazy wig tomorrow. Don't worry about it."

As she led her husband back to bed by one feather-hand, ex-nurse Jennifer smiled. She looked at their nest in the corner of the room, where their two melon-sized eggs were lovingly cradled and kept warm. "After all – don't you think I'd have – Noticed?"

The End.