At this point, the coronavirus pandemic has been going on for so long that it’s hard to remember what life was like at the beginning of this mess.
But if we think hard enough, we can remember a more innocent time — a time when we all believed the lockdown would only last a few weeks, and a man known as the Tiger King dominated the national consciousness.
These days, the world has moved on to more grievous matters, and the clock has long since run out on Joe Exotic’s 15 minutes of fame have.
Like so many flash-in-the-pan reality stars, Joe is desperate to get back in the spotlight.
But his thirst for relevance has nothing to do with a desire to get rich by selling laxative weight loss teas on Instagram.
Exotic is currently in prison, serving 22 years on animal cruelty and murder for hire charges.
The evidence against him is pretty damning, so it’s unlikely that he’ll get a second trial through the usual appeals process.
Basically, if he wants to see the light of day before a still-quarantined populace rings in 2040, he’ll need some help from a man who probably would’ve ended up a polygamous big cat enthusiast himself, had he been born into a slightly less-rich family.
We’re talking, of course, about Donald John Trump.
Exotic has been seeking a presidential pardon for several months now, and while it seems unlikely, the live Scarface reenactment that is the Republican National Convention reminds us that nothing is impossible with President Numb Gums in office.
For a while, there was a plan for Exotic supporters to storm the White House and demand a pardon.
We assumed those plans fell by the wayside amid the insanity that is 2020, but according to a new interview with Exotic’s husband, plans to have the Orange Man free the Tiger King are still a go.
"So the pardon, Joe’s legal team are sending out the requests for it next week or the week after," Dillon Passage told Good Morning Britain this week.
"They are driving a car all the way to DC to deliver it in person."
Dillon went on to claim that Joe did not try to have Carole Baskin killed, but was framed by rival zookeeper Jeff Lowe.
"We all know the situation, the people who are actually in Joe’s life. We know he was confronted with this plot to take out Carol," Passage said.
"He was put in this position where he was already in a really depressed mental state and that was kind of taken advantage of by someone he thought he could trust," he continued.
"There is loads of evidence that proves it, that was not used in the court case, that was thrown out by the judge."
Passage went on to claim that Exotic was the victim of a vast conspiracy, and if nothing else, he hopes his husband get the chance to show the world what really happened with a second trial.
"There was another agenda by multiple little corporations in the animal world working against Joe… a lot of people were trying to keep him out of the business and a lot of it is going to come to light during this pardon," Dillon said.
"And if not the pardon, if it’s rejected, the appeals process is really going to show the world exactly the situation that has happened."
As for the Oklahoma zoo where the Joe Exotic story began, Passage confirmed that Baskin has taken control, and he says the animals’ whereabouts are a mystery to everyone but her.
"Jeff Lowe … now he’s back in Vegas, in Nevada… The zoo has officially been closed down, Carol Baskin owns the zoo," Passage said.
"Jeff had to find a way to move all the animals and honestly I have no idea where they have gone."
Well, we guess there’s plenty of mystery to fuel the inevitable Tiger Kind spin-off series.
Although honestly, we’ve had enough Joe Exotic for the time being.