Because Sascha said, When Izzy said: "What this music video really needs is zebras," the rest of the band just nodded vaguely. They should probably have been paying more attention.
"Izzy," Alex says, three months later, "There are two zebras on the bus."
"Three," Izzy says, absently. He's rummaging around in his bag. "There's another one up on the roof."
"The ROOF? Isn't that a little --"
Izzy waves dismissively. "We made her a little fence, it's cool."
"Why," Alex risks asking, "are the zebras on the bus." He can just see the answer, sort of hovering in the air around Izzy. It involves something about how they couldn't get pumas, or how they could, but they're not as easy to dye green.
"It's for the video!" Izzy says, surprisingly. "You remember, for I Went on Tour With Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Nasty STD."
Alex sighs. "Izzy, for the seventh time, we're not going to call it that."
"I don't see why not," Izzy says, haughtily. "It'd be a huge hit. And besides, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what all that business with the rain clowns and the squeaky stairs was all about."
"Cassie said it was about growing as an artist and the way the world looks from a plane above Cuba," Alex says. He's very decisively not going to consider any alternatives.
"Pshh," Izzy says, and makes to walk off.
Alex grabs his hand. "Izzy."
Izzy blinks innocently.
For a second Alex thinks he's detecting a look of Vulnerable Sadness, but then he realizes it's just a more-drawn-out-than-usual indignation. "For the video, I already told you."
Alex looks around. There's nobody in the parking lot but them on one side, the bus on the other, and the zebra that, now that he's looking, is very clearly standing on its roof, peacefully chewing what might be a few leaves Izzy has thoughtfully provided for her or, more likely, Cassie's satellite antenna.
He spreads his hands wide, because the other alternative is resting them on Izzy's throat, and Moric always looks very alarmed when that happens. Even when there aren't pictures. "Where's the film crew, Iz?"
"They'll be a little late," Izzy says. "They should be here in three hours or so."
Alex stares. "Then why's the zebra on the bus now?"
"The guys helped me get her up there," Izzy explains. "It'll be fine, she has water and everything."
Alex takes a deep breath. "Izzy, is there any reason why we all thought we were coming here at five to do a little preliminary shooting, and you apparently thought you needed to be here at four with three zebras? And who's 'the guys', anyway?"
"Frank and Bob," Izzy says. "They thought it was a great idea." He frowns. "Well, Bob was muttering something about maybe keeping them off the bus at first, but we explained this is a parking lot."
Alex looks around. "And Frank and Bob are where now?"
"Funny story," Izzy says, "They were going to stay and say hello, but Iero remembered he left the oven on just when we saw your car."
Alex gives him a hard look. WAP! Has a long and proud history of the game fondly known as I'm Not Possibly This Stupid, Or Wait, Am I? But sometimes he thinks Izzy is just a little too good.
"So what, exactly," he says, because he's afraid to ask anything else, "was your concept for this thing? The concept none of us heard about including Moric, I mean. Or the director. That one."
Izzy actually becomes so enthusiastic at this question that he has to take his sun glasses off.
"It's about these two zebras!" He says. "They escape from the zoo! On a tour bus! But they don't know that another zebra snuck on as a stow away, and it's planning to turn them in to the police! But then there's a touching love story." He frowns. "I still haven't worked out how it happens. I'm thinking maybe Morse Code. Anyway! It came to me in a dream last night."
Alex decides not to ask whether Frank Iero was in the room at the time. It's not actually as if Izzy needs any help. Except, apparently, when it comes to putting equines on tour buses.
"Izzy," he says, helplessly, "you know Moric already quit three times this month."
Izzy looks scornful. "Moric loves me. It's all that shit Cassie and Rick get up to that gets to him. I mean, storming a Starbucks? Seriously."
In full truth, at least one of those times (possibly two) had a lot to do with Alex's determined insistence that two minutes on one of the songs for the new album had to be replaced with nothing but the sound of marching feet and a lonely French horn. It's hard to hold himself at fault, though, given the competition.
Besides. That was art.
It's probably fortunate that, at this point, the zebra on the roof knocks one side of the fence down. The forty minutes until Trevor gets there are mostly spent on Alex forbidding Izzy to get off the roof, where he's acting as a human barrier, and Izzy going from bitching, to making friends, to deciding that the zebra is his familiar and will never leave his side.
"Trevor," Izzy says, when Trevor finally shows up, "Do you think we can get Lily to travel around with us?"
"Maybe if you nail her to the roof," Trevor says. Izzy doesn't speak to him for a whole three hours.