“You don’t understand,” said Masterbaster to the park ranger. “See, I got dragged down a set of stairs by Allahu Aqbark last week. Didn’t even make it to the hospital before they called it.”

 

“I choked on an aardvark,” Mouth Down South added. “Could’ve happened to anyone.”

 

“And I tripped over a pecan,” E=McFucked put in. “98% fatal.”

 

“Obviously, I fell down a cliff while setting trail,” Gobble My Ass added. “And John Handcock…. He didn’t make it either. Too much trouble.”

 

“Death by glitter,” Ska Skank muttered. “Who knew I was allergic?”

 

“Too much dolla dolla bills, yo,” Cockamole waved a bunch of ones in the air while lying on the ground.

 

“And I had an accident with a crochet needle,” moaned Miss Delivery.

 

“Bad lutefisk,” ABBAH clutched his stomach.

 

“Bad sausage,” Dickweed moaned in agreement.

 

“I got stabbed by a girl scout,” Dick Ass Mother Fucker pointed to his gut.

 

“And I had a run in with a shuttle,” Millimeter Peter added.

 

“I tripped while setting up the perfect shot at Sutro Baths,” Dick Simmons grinned. “Eaten by a walrus.”

 

“Too much partying,” Haolewood raised a glass. O H Pipe Ho cheered in agreement.

 

“Too little,” groused Fuck Buddy.

 

“What are you all talking about? I aten’t dead.” Udder Moron protested, before Hand Pump knocked him in the shoulder.

 

“As you can see, officer,” Hand Pump said to the Dolores Park ranger, “2016 was a really, really, really bad year. I myself had a run in with a raccoon on steroids, and I have to say the remnants aren’t pretty. I’m just a ghost of my former self.” He spread his arms wide. “In fact, we all are. I’m sad to say there are no survivors.” The group managed a half-way convincing moan. “So,” Hand Pump crossed his arms. “The living you can ticket, but what of the dead?”

 

The ranger frowned, nodded slightly, and stepped back. “Cheers to you,” he whispered. “And a very creative set of excuses. But lies I know them to be,” he waved a warning hand, which grew transparent in the wind.

 

“You’re dead?” whispered Crabs, voice quaking. 

 

“I am the Ghost of Rangers Past.” The figure faded slightly more. “Cursed to haunt the parks of San Francisco. But my enchantment grows thin, and I must leave you now.”

 

“But why?” asked Ru Ru Rimmin. "Why are you even here, and why are you going?"

 

“The same answer for both..." the ranger moaned. "Budget cuts.” He popped out of existence entirely.

 

The End