Back in March, when we all naively thought the pandemic lockdown would last 2-3 weeks, a quaint little documentary came out on Netflix.
It was a time-honored tale of animal abuse and murder for hire plots, and it captured the hearts and minds of a newly-quarantined nation.
We're talking, of course, about Tiger King, the surprise Netflix hit that made overnight stars of Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic.
At the time, it was widely assumed that Baskin and Exotic would inspire the year's top Halloween costumes.
But then people kept dying, so we had to cancel Halloween. Whoopsie.
While the two big cat-loving oddballs both inspired more memes than the fly on Mike Pence's head, life has been very different for Exotic and Baskin in the months since Tiger King debuted.
Carole lost on Dancing With the Stars, which somehow allowed her to appear among this season's "celebrity" cast members despite the non-zero chance that she once murdered someone.
But that's neither here nor there. And still a much better 2020 than Joe is having as an inmate in a federal correctional facility.
Locked up for allegedly trying to have Baskin killed, Exotic has appealed to Donald Trump for a presidential pardon.
Which is not as crazy as it sounds, especially this year.
For one thing, Trump has sprung a surprising number of non-violent offenders (which Joe claims to be), and has entered the YOLO phase of his chaotic, mercifully soon-to-be expiring presidency.
On top of that, the president and the gun-toting Tiger King of Oklahoma share a good deal in common:
Egos the size of Jupiter, a constant need for attention, a belief that as colors go, orange simply can't be beat ... there are probably others.
In any event, Trump has even discussed pardoning Exotic during press conferences in the past, although time is obviously running out if he wants to actually pull the trigger on that deal.
Yes, like the Mexican border wall, Trump's talk of liberating the Tiger King proved to be more baseless, blowhard nonsense.
Watching this opportunity slip away, Mr. Exotic has gone over the president's head and appealed to the person who really runs this country.
We're talking, of course, about Kimberly Kardashian.
As you may recall, Kim worked with Trump to secure presidential pardons for several non-violent drug offenders during his term.
Even though Joe was locked up for animal abuse and a murder for hire plot, he's still hoping Mrs. Kardashian-West will help.
Joe wrote in a letter to Kim dated November 4 and published this week by Entertainment Tonight:
"I know you have never met me and may never want to however I do believe that you hold the values of our justice system dear to your heart."
"I am writing you this letter not as Joe Exotic but as the person Joseph Maldonado-Passage, asking you to please help me by just taking 10 minutes out of your life and placing a call to President Trump."
Joe asks Kim to tell Donnie "to look at my 257 page pardon it's all the evidence I'm innocent and ask him to sign my pardon so I can return home to [my husband] Dillon [Passage] and my father."
"I have lost 57 years of work, my zoo, my animals, my mother has died, my dad is dying and I've been taken away from my husband who I love dearly," Exotic went on.
"Everyone is so busy making movies, getting interviews, selling stuff and dressing up like me that everyone forgot I'm a real live person in prison and kept from even telling my own story for something I didn't do."
He concluded by pleading with Kim to call him in prison, noting:
"No one even has to know you did it."
Of course, that also sounds like the sort of thing Joe would say to a contract killer whom he hired to off Carole Baskin. Just sayin'.
It's interesting that Exotic mailed the letter off the day after the November elections.
It seems even he realizes that Trump lost, and Biden is unlikely to risk his reputation by springing Exotic as a gesture of Joe-lidarity.
Exotic is probably aware that Kim is a huge Tiger King fan, and willing to overlook the fact that she dressed as Joe's rival for Halloween (below).
But it's worth repeating that Kim's work with Trump has been legitimately important in securing pardons for non-violent drug offenders.
She would have to put all that at stake in order to fight for Exotic's freedom.
Meanwhile, the list of people that Trump wants to pardon is already longer than one of his crotch-dangling red neckties.
Everyone's trying to get one. Including vampire Rudy.
So alas, Mr. Exotic might have to cool his heels a while and wait until Trump runs again in 2024, but if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that you just never know about anything anymore.