It will be alone, not talking to anyone, surveying the scene coyly. When it walks by, ask it to settle a bet between you and your friend. Collect a dollar from your friend when it confirms or denies that Neil Patrick Harris is immortal. This will be the first thing you ever have in common. Spend the rest of the night pointing out other coincidences. Accidentally brush your arm against its furry leg. Mention you are tired of relationships and simply want to share moments: you’re a “stop for a drink, share the kill, and mate” kinda person. Tell it you aren’t scared to walk home by yourself, but you also aren’t one to turn down a ride from an attractive Bengal tiger.
Elephants appreciate the subtle details of life, like the sight of a bra strap, the endearing mispronunciation of a word, and the feel of sand between their toes. Feel free to compliment its three exquisite toes on each hind foot. Casually mentioning that African elephants have three exquisite toes instead of four (like the Asian elephant) will impress it and show it that you are really serious about the relationship and understanding its true needs and desires.
Capuchin monkeys frequent Internet chat rooms. To accelerate your efforts, focus on chat rooms with names like Longer Than 40 Centimeters, Single2Single: Finding Love in the Midcanopy, Organization for the Furtherance of Organ-Grinding Professionals (OFOGP), We Heart David Schwimmer, and Ooo-ooo-oo-o-ah-ah-ah-ee-ee-ee-ee.
Get a dugong smiling and you’ve got a dugong loving. They respond surprisingly well to the one about the golfer and the genie. Always open doors, offer to pay for the meal, and buy it flowers. They like flowers. Especially when the petals are submerged and fluid underwater. It is living poetry. Flaunt your comfort with commitment and your desire to be fiscally stable. Leave poems for it lying around: refuse to tell it if they are by famous poets or if you wrote them. Snuggle. Sigh only of contentment.
Take up water-skiing, bungee jumping, and snowmobiling. Venomous semiaquatic snakes are fascinated with people who enjoy totally useless extreme sports that require little actual physical prowess. Wear spandex. Buy a Nalgene. Attend outdoor concerts. Suggest that you should go on a bike trip one weekend. Give it a bag of your homemade trail mix and suggest going to a tapas bar that you heard was really phenomenal.
Nod your head to the music and act oblivious. Let it buy you a drink. Make the drink a double. Lower your inhibitions as much as possible, for panthers are known to be experimental and borderline degrading in the bedroom. Play along: you can tell this story at parties for years. Remember the safety word.
Help it set out snacks for the children on Sunday. Tell it these Kmart cookies taste even better than real Oreos. Begin attending church functions on weeknights. Allow your smiles to be casual, then awkward, then apologetic, then embarrassed in a giggly sort of way. Buy a set of coasters with yarn crosses on them at the ostrich’s craft-fair table. Add the words “handbag,” “stockings,” and “trousers” to your vocabulary. Admit to the pastor that you think the ostrich is very kind and that you wish you had its faith. Everything will work out OK.
Buy a gun. Stop wearing your seatbelt. Place yourself in the “smokes more than one pack a day” subgroup. Have sex in public. Tell the doctor you don’t need his fucking liver. Buy a motorcycle. Get married in a chapel on the outskirts of Reno. Tell it you don’t give a shit about what its mother says, this was meant to be, baby.