From: Key Halverson


Dear Click and Clack,

Back in the early 1980s, my friend John was a young upstart attorney teaching law at the University of Illinois. He had also managed to get himself elected to the board of directors for the Friends of the Springfield Zoo. John had a colleague who hosted a Springfield public access cable TV show and thought it would be a great idea for the zoo to do a homespun version of Joan Embry of the San Diego Zoo's appearances on the Tonight Show... The board loved the idea... and since John was the most telegenic of all the board members... he went on the show.

After a brief question and answer period with the host, a handler from the Springfield Zoo brought out a European Golden Ferret. John took the little guy in his arms and started discussing ferret virtues like "What a great pet — just like a cat! They're so soft, gentle and loving."

Meanwhile, the handler returned to the stage, this time with a Cook's Tree Boa Constrictor. The ferret took one look at the boa and intrinsically knew he was about to be somebody's dinner on public access TV. Fight or flight? This ferret flew — out of John's arms and right up his fancy pant leg. Not wanting to ruin his television debut, John felt it best to keep the discussion going and opted to ignore the ferret as best he could. He did a remarkably good job, too — with the exception of a few on-screen twitches and jumps, you'd never know he had a ferret about to make a nest in his Skivvies.

Of course, the cameraman knew this to be a chance in a lifetime. When he could stop laughing, he made sure the protuberance scooting up and down John's pants was prominently featured on screen.

Back in the day, this was the most requested program on Springfield public access TV.