"Isn't it great to have Sybil as our PR manager?" said Sam.
"Finally!" said Max. "One of her careers is useful!"
Sam glared at him. "That's not nice, Max. Besides, Sybil's careers have frequently been vital to resolving whatever peril the world has found itself in this week."
"I meant to my ego," said Max.
"Okay, guys," said Sybil, who I guess had just been sitting there the whole time without saying anything. "I ran a focus group, and according to your female fans, Sam should wear glasses."
"We have female fans?" said Sam.
At the same time, Max said "You have a focus group?"
Sybil felt a little uncomfortable. "Actually, it was an Internet forum thread." But she was pretty sure they functioned the same as focus groups. "And of course you have female fans, Sam!"
Sam just stared at her. "Why?" he managed.
"Come for the explosions, stay for the utter implausibility," suggested Max.
Sam shook his head. "Naw, that can't be right. We barely ever blow things up these days." He looked back at Sybil. "Hang on a second. Don't our fans have some manner of discriminatory taboo forbidding intimate relations with a person of the talking animal persuasion?"
"Not on the Internet, apparently," said Sybil with a shrug. "And they... said you were more human than Max was."
Sam looked offended. "More human? I've got half a mind to start up an activist blog!"
"Ooh!" said Max. "Call it The Perils of Living in A World of Hairless Apes colon A Journey to the Centre of the Sentient Condition colon The Tail of the Little People. Get it? Tail?"
"Uh..." said Sam. "I'll, uh, think about it, pal." To Sybil, he said "I don't want to sound overly eager, but is there any way I could get glasses right this second?"
"I could shoot you in the eye," suggested Max, drawing his gun.
"Thanks, Max," said Sam, "but I was kind of hoping not to have to run the risk of bleeding to death from my mangled eye sockets."
"You take the fun out of everything, Sam," said Max, but he kept his gun out.
Sybil took off her glasses. "Here," she said to the blurry brown and grey shape in front of her. "Try these on."
After a second, she heard Sam say "Hmmm. Do you have anything more... manly?"
"I dunno, Sam," said Max. "I think the streamlined transvestite look really suits you!"
Sam handed Sybil her glasses back, and Sybil searched through her desk. "Try these."
"Moonlighting as an optometrist, Sybil?" said Sam, frowning at the horn-rimmed glasses she'd given him.
"Of course not!" said Sybil. "I don't know anything about eye doctoring!" What kind of unethical quack did they think she was? She'd never take on a job she wasn't trained for.
"Then are you a vicious serial killer, appropriating the glasses of your victims as a not-so-grisly souvenir?" said Max, hopefully. Sybil didn't bother answering.
Sam put the glasses on, and squinted. "I can practically see the waves and waves of beautiful women breaking down the door already."
"I think that's a cactus, Sam," said Max.
Sam squinted harder. "Oh yeah." He looked at Sybil. "What do you say, Sybil?"
Sybil, who had been staring with her mouth open, composed herself with an effort. She hadn't thought it was possible, but the glasses honestly made Sam look kind of handsome. Sam, the overweight, sociopathic detective wannabe with no sense of personal hygiene. She liked him as a friend and everything, but... "On... second thought, maybe you shouldn't... wear... Well... uh..."
"You actually think I'm attractive, don't you!" accused Sam.
"First time for everything," said Max. Sam glared at him.
"Look guys, let's just forget the glasses," said Sybil, holding out her hand to take them back.
Sam took off the glasses and slipped them into his coat. "Oh no, I'm hanging onto these. I don't suppose you happen to have any more miraculous articles of clothing?"
"Dalmatics!" said Max, bouncing up and down excitedly. "Dalmatics!"
Sybil checked the printout she'd made earlier. "Well... It says something about a kilt..."
Sam shuddered. "No way."
Max looked at him. "Sam, if you wear a kilt in public, I will buy you lunch every day for a month."
"Deal," said Sam, without missing a beat.