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It seems this fairly successful businessman in his early 30's was getting lonely for some companionship. He was comfortably well off, lived in a nice apartment, had refined tastes, but somehow or other he could never find the perfect companion. Finally, he had an inspiration.

So our friend strolls into a pet shop and explains his problem to the sympathetic clerk. The clerk thinks for a moment, then says, "I have the perfect pet for you, sir," disappears into the back of the shop, and emerges with a small cardboard box. The gentleman opens the box, but, instead of finding a dog or a cat, discovers a frog.

"A frog?" he asks disbelievingly.

"Ah," says the salesman, "but not just any frog. I really think you'll be surprised with this pet. May I suggest you take it home for a trial. If it does not meet with your satisfaction, feel free to bring it back within a week for a full refund."

Well, what can he lose, right? He pays the clerk, takes the box under his arm, and heads home. When he arrives, he sets the box in a corner, takes the lid off so the frog can breathe, and looks at it for a moment. Nothing special. So he steps to the bar and mixes himself a martini. Just as he brings it to his lips, he is startled to hear a voice say,

"Excuse me."

He looks around. There's no one there. He locked the door. He is five floors up, so there couldn't possibly be anyone outside the windows. He checks anyway, but there is no one there. Confused, he ponders for a moment, then shrugs and lifts the drink again. And again,

"Pardon me."

The man glances at the box. The voice seemed to be coming...from the frog?

"Yes, over here."

Perplexed, he steps to the box. The frog looks up at him.

"I couldn't help noticing that you made yourself an excellent martini, there."

The man is confused. " talk?"

The frog chuckles. "Oh, of course I talk. But that martini...well, I just happen to be a very particular martini drinker, and you mixed that one exactly the way I like mine, not too dry, not too--"

The man recovers his poise. "Would you care for one?"

The frog hops gratefully out of its box. "Why, thank you. Most people are uncomfortable around frogs, I know, but I can see this is going to be different."

Well, the two get to talking, and they hit it off marvelously right away. The frog has the same taste in classical music that the man does, they both appreciate impressionist paintings, and both of them like to watch weekend tennis matches. When it comes time for dinner, the man carries the frog into the kitchen, and it offers suggestions on how to season his game hen, selects the perfect wine to accompany, and keeps up a steady flow of humourous conversation throughout the evening. The young man is delighted. The frog is, indeed, everything the pet store clerk had promised.

Presently the man began to feel tired, so he set the frog gently in its box and brought it into the bedroom. As he prepared to turn the lights out the frog discreetly clears its throat.

"I wonder..." it begins tentatively, "I wonder if you would mind very much..."

"What is it?" the man asks.

"Well," the frog says, "I feel so close to you...I mean, we share so many interests, we've eaten and drunk together...I just somehow wouldn't feel right sleeping in a box. Could you think I might possibly just sleep on the pillow next to you?"

Well, the young man sees nothing wrong with this request, so he lifts the frog out of its box and sets it on the pillow. He bids it good night, turns out the lights, and gets into bed. He is just dozing off when he hears another discreet cough.

"Excuse me," the frog whispers. "I really hate to ask this, and don't think I mean anything by it, but..." It pauses.

The man sighs. "What do you want?"

The frog shifts about uncomfortably. "Well, it's just that I've grown accustomed to...that see, I've always been kissed good night, before."

The man shakes his head. "No. I'm sorry, but no matter how unique you are, you're still a frog."

The frog interrupts. "No, no, nothing like that. Just a quick little peck on the forehead. Really. It would mean so much to me..."

Well, it sounds so plaintive, and the frog really is such a wonderful addition to his life, that he decides that this one thing can't possibly hurt that much. So he screws up his courage (and his eyes), leans over, and kisses the frog...

<<< POOF!! >>

When the smoke clears, the young man is lying in bed beside a stunningly beautiful blonde, no more than sixteen years old, stark naked, smiling blissfully up at him.

"And that, your Honor, is how my client came to be..."