Back when school field trips were still possible, the grade 5 children from the Bernard Madoff Elementary School went to the zoo.

That day, a disgruntled employee opened the tiger cages and let them run free. Damages were not surprisingly limited, as all the animals are regularly sedated with valium, plant-based cheeseburgers, and reruns of Frasier. Only one tiger, General Xiang was his name, posed any threat: the General cornered little Billy Iglooberg in one of the restroom stalls, where Billy had been playing Tinder, pants down, while posing as a Bitcoin bro from Switzerland. General Xiang snarled and padded the ground while Billy sat there frozen. They stayed locked in a stalemate for over an hour until Billy’s teacher, Mrs. Bonaparte, arrived with zoo security and diffused the situation.

Billy Iglooberg was a local media spectacle. His parents, Gerald and Grenadine, ushered him onto all the morning shows and talk radio lunch hours and late night variety shows. Everywhere he went, interviewers and audiences plied him with the same question: why didn’t the tiger eat you? Billy often just sat there picking his nose or readjusting his crotch while Gerald would talk about the boy’s calming aura and Grenadine would outline how she prepared all of Billy’s meals with date sugar and nutritional yeast and lamb’s blood which supposedly gave Billy the body odor of Adam in the Garden of Eden.

Nobody was pleased with the response. Gerald and Grenadine suggested bringing Billy back to the zoo and letting him inside one of the meat-eating animals’ cage. People no longer trusted zoos as institutions of authenticity; were the animals advertised truly what they were said to be? Zebras did not live side by side with grizzly bears nor did neither have much to do with blue whales or iguanas or robots.

On top of that, nobody wanted to actually see Billy die. So it was agreed he’d be put in a contained area with a number of mosquitos and after some time they’d count the bites all over his body. They chose a studio flat in a former industrial part of town with exposed brick and a mezzanine bed and locked Billy in there for a couple of weeks with the mosquitos.

Not a single bite. One mosquito was later rumored to have told his AA group that they did indeed try and feast on the Iglooberg boy’s blood, but that the kid seemed so disinterested in stopping them that they all lost heart and most decided to return to Africa to teach rural village people how to code.

Next, Billy was put on a reality TV show about dog walkers and would be given several wolves to walk across the Canadian Yukon. The minimal food provisions supplied to the team would hardly be enough, and it was only a matter of time until the wolves turned on Billy for breakfast. The team crossed the Bering Strait on a floating iceberg and the Russians welcomed the wolves with professorship positions all across the country. Billy, sullen and stubborn, refused to attend the military-style parade in their honor, electing instead to photograph Muscovite street art for his blog, which paired graffiti with advertisements for anti-anxiety medication.

Down in the Florida Everglades, Billy sat in a swamp while gators, which had been starved, circled him listlessly, while the boy contemplated the metaphor of door handles coming off in your hand when you grab them to desperately escape a room.

They rendered him unconscious with gourmand edibles and slow jazz and left him in the desert near a vulture colony, even splitting open the side of his thigh to expose the inner flesh. Billy was not even pecked at, not even out of curiosity, a characteristic we now know most birds renounced after the last round of bailouts to the industrial poultry farming industry.

Billy did several tours in third-world countries fighting civil wars which were proxy wars for the major American video streaming services, but no soldier or refugee or stray dog would eat the boy.

After several more attempts spanning Billy’s life until he finished his PhD in Meme Studies at the University of Austin, Gerald and Grenadine Iglooberg were becoming desperate. Their social media stats were crashing ferociously and the TV movie rights to Billy’s story were suddenly toxic to any studio. The family was in debt to several banks and one or two informal lending organizations, some of which had ties to various mobs: Jewish, Finnish, Amish, All-Girl Gamer Gangs, and the Maple Syrup Mafia.

Won’t Any Animal Eat Our Son?”—printed all over t-shirts and coffee mugs—failed to become the latest Christmas fad. Someone slid into Grenadine’s DMs and suggested the couple themselves make dinner from their offspring; were they not animals too? A Facebook group started to encourage this idea, followed by a Kickstarter campaign.

Billy Iglooberg never seemed to let the fame and envy faze him. Asked if he’d trade all the attention for a quiet, “normal boy’s life,” he responded that he was indeed a normal boy, and that any parents he might have landed with would be equally justified in trying to feed him to wolves. It was all a matter of context and spin.

He died shortly after, working as an overseer of automated supermarket checkout bots. The machines accidentally scanned his flesh, labeled him as lamb past its expiration date, and had him sent to the incinerators without a trace of pageantry.