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No. 148: The plural of "mongoose" is trouble.

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The plural of

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Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/pomh/?comic=148

Strip by: Ian Boreham

{A taxidermied mongoose wearing pince-nez glasses and a bow tie stands, holding a walking stick.}
caption: British nature documentary writer Simon Meek came back from an African trip with a humorously taxidermied mongoose, and brought it to a brainstorming session.

{A group of writers are discussing ideas around a table. On a whiteboard is a sketch of a standing mongoose.}
caption: It was so popular that, as an April Fool's joke, the writing team proposed to make a mockumentary about fictional “standing mongooses”.

{A green tick (check) in a box.}
caption: To their surprise, it was greenlit.

{Thee mongooses standing in a row.}
Initial attempts using trained mongooses were not particularly successful, and the production replaced many scenes with puppets and animatronics.
{An animatronic mongoose torso missing its outer covering, and two mongoose paws on sticks.}

{A guenon monkey.}
caption: The crew nicknamed the creatures “Meek rats” after their creator, but due to the use of spelling checkers, this gradually and unintentionally evolved into “meerkat”, originally a Dutch word for a type of monkey.

caption: The Meerkumentary was was released in 1996, but due to a marketing error, was presented as an actual nature documentary. It was a hit, and the public wanted more of these cute critters.
{A group of meerkats standing in a row.}
caption: When Meerkat Manor (2005) was filmed, the now-CGI meerkat was redesigned to be thinner and cuter, partly based on the appearance of Timon the underfed ferret from Disney’s 1994 animation The Lion King, who had been reinterpreted as a meerkat in later releases.

{A meerkat in a zoo enclosure.}
caption: Public demand for meerkats in zoos spurred a program of selective breeding and genetic modification of mongooses, and in 2009 the first living meerkats became available for everyone to enjoy.

{A moonlit scene with a bloodied arm.}
caption: Sadly, Meek himself was unable to witness the success of his creation. He died in 2007 in mysterious and gory circumstances in the woods near the meerkat breeding facility.

{An insane-looking, grinning meerkat with blood on its face.}
But his meerkats live on...

The author writes:

Another rumour that went around at the time of Meek's death was that he had died falling down a flight of steps after tripping over his favourite taxidermy one evening. Claims that Meek's last words were "I hate these mongeeses to peeces" are completely unfounded.

If you're wondering which person in the brainstorming session is Meek, it's the guy with the beard. It's well known that meerkats hate beards. You should never lean over the wall of the meerkat enclosure at the zoo if you have a beard. You'll only have yourself to blame for what happens, and you won't have long to do the blaming.

If you want to see how the character design changed over the years, you'll have to "compare the meerkats".

Drawn in Krita and Inkscape.