I went to the zoo with my daughter last week and took notes. Here they are:
8:45am- My baby and I are ready to go to the zoo! Usually I avoid the zoo, since I find it only slightly less depressing than touring a human prison, but my baby hasn’t been power-sanded by the world into a hard, cynical slab, so off we go. I’ve applied sunscreen to my unshaven face and at best I look like a sweaty Joker impersonator, at worst like an erstwhile Juggalo who ran out of face paint halfway through the job.
9:00am- The zoo opens, and I realize what a treat I’m in for. Seeing animals from all over the world is neat, but my favorite animal sighting is the Leather-necked sleeveless caucasoid cunt, and the zoo is one of their natural habitats. Don’t let the scientific name fool you, the leather-necked sleeveless caucasoid cunt describes the male of the species. The females are known as meth harpies.
9:15- I’m feeling positive about the zoo, and maybe it isn’t that depressing after all. Then the first animals we see are the giraffes, and my daughter and I watch in horror as one giraffe lazily slurps from the urine stream of another. It looks our way, piss dribbling from its mouth. Well so much for second chances.
9:22- The big cat enclosures are all empty. The only thing more depressing than watching a majestic 200 pound jungle cat pace its tiny, dingy studio apartment is just seeing the empty studio apartment. Where is the cat, back in an even smaller area, sleeping? Don’t you know you’ve got a tire to chew on out here, panther?
9:26- We finally see some big cats, a heap of tigers, apparently given the wrong dose of Xanax. Maybe they’re just sleeping off a wicked hangover from last night’s killer party! This entry brought to you by the hilarious summer comedy The Zookeeper, starring Kevin James!
9:30- The polar bears are out and active. One is eating from a big pile of ice cubes. Sad. A big one by the glass seems to be chewing on a human hip. I’m only guessing it was human by the titanium socket. You don’t think the zoo and the nursing homes have an unspoken agreement? Well, enjoy your naive little world!
9:36- Pretty much every animal is doing the neurotic repetitive behavior gig, but the sea otters bother me the most. They have an enclosure roughly the size of four bathtubs (instead of, uh, the ocean), so they swim in tight little perfect routines. It’s like if nature was a skipping CD, and it’s pretty unpleasant.
9:43- Overheard by two adult males near the seal exhibit: “Seals can swim?” “I think so.” I wait for some laughter. And wait. And wait. Well, you can’t say the zoo isn’t educational.
9:57- If there’s one animal that seems to have a good gig at the zoo it’s the peacock. Strutting pretty much wherever the fuck it wants, the peacock must drive the other animals insane. “Hey, everybody in animal jail, check me out! I’m up here on top of the snow cone shack just because I can be! Just having fun, jumping around.” Watching a male peacock show off his display, I realize a peacock is pretty much just a bedazzled goose.
10:05- We stop by wolf pack woods, which usually only grants brief glimpses of wolves far back in the foliage, but today the wolves are up close to the fence! A dirty white wolf with a chewed up face and clumps of missing hair trots by. “Just beautiful!” gushes a woman next to me. Really? If I saw this outside the zoo not only would I not recognize it as a wolf, I’d probably call animal services to come put it out of its misery.
10:15- We enter the Tropical Discovery building, and I immediately see a boy torturing some fish in a tank. He’s knocking on the glass, and yelling at the fish to give him some attention. Then I notice he’s wearing a ‘Bad Boy Club’ hat (remember those?) You can’t blame someone who is clearly following his club’s rules to the letter.
10:27- I see an undecorated aquarium with a lone turtle inside. Frankly I’m surprised that they put gravel in here, it’s that sparse. Maybe this turtle’s natural habitat is the most boring place on Earth? I imagine after all the other lush enclosures someone looked at this old, unremarkable turtle and said, “Fuck this thing. Just give it some water.”
10:33- I see an anaconda squeezing what I foolishly mistake to be a plush puppy. Wait, is it a real puppy? No, relax, it’s a real rabbit with a surprisingly long tail. The snake is not eating the rabbit, just giving it a real good crushing. Now here’s a consummate showman! This is what I’m talking about, zoo! Promote this long bastard asap! I want to see elephants throwing rocks at monkeys! I want to see some lions playing tug-of-war with a live water buffalo! Get to it!
10:35- A sign outside the howler monkey enclosure reads ‘Do not approach, touch, or offer anything to the howler monkeys’. The subtext here is that these howler monkeys have been making out like bandits. In addition to being approached, they’re getting petted, and then people are offering everything from Clif bars to job opportunities. And enough is enough. Coincidentally, the monkeys are not in their enclosure, presumably in a meeting with management about inappropriate touching and their raise proposal.
10:40- Pretty sure these Komodo Dragons are animatronic. I’ve been to Chuck E. Cheese, but nice try, zoo. At least change the batteries, look at those sloppy movements!
10:45- We leave Tropical Discovery and I see what I came for- a Meth Harpy! She resembles a real Komodo Dragon more than the ones inside, with leathery, crinkled skin that’s been tattooed in a lot of establishments that don’t normally offer tattoos. She’s badgering (or Komodo Dragoning) the security guard because you aren’t allowed to bring drinks inside (No, not even extra-large plastic soda jugs from Loaf ‘N Jug, ma’am). There is a shelf to leave drinks on. “Do you stand here and watch over the drinks?” She asks angrily. The guard says he does stand there, but he is not responsible for the drinks. Is this lady really worried about someone roofying her drink at the zoo, especially at the Tropical Discovery exhibit? I mean, I can see it happening over at Predator Ridge, but not down here among the budding herpetologists. I try to imagine the man who drugs a leathery purse of a woman at 10:45 in the morning at the zoo and then somehow leaves the zoo with her unconscious body to have sex with it. I don’t think this man exists. Maybe that’s not what she meant. “I just don’t want nobody putting nothing in my drink,” she snaps. That is what she meant.
10:59- We walk back by the tigers and they are up and about! Moving! Walking! The tigers have a pool to play in, and one is standing on a plastic raft, much like they do in the wild. Most recreational pools in India and China do offer tigers at least some water wings.
11:04- I see a weird T-shirt. A woman is walking by ‘her man’ and she’s wearing a T-shirt that sassily reads, “Can’t you see I’m TAKEN?” Is she approached by so many suitors that she needed this shirt to answer their question before they pose it? “I’m sorry, milady, but I was wondering if perchance you might- oh I see the shirt. Thank you.” The only way I would like this shirt would be if she was wearing it after being abducted.
11:10- We see the elephants on their concrete island. A lot of people don’t know this but elephants in the wild prefer small concrete islands as home. The smaller the better. The elephants also have what is essentially a giant tetherball to play with. Again, elephants love tetherball. Almost as much as hopskotch. If there’s any justice in this world one day that elephant will tear down that tetherball and wield it like a mace on a rampage through the zoo. A sign advertises a ‘Large Animal Demonstration’ at 11:30 but I don’t see any fire hoops being lit so we move on.
11:16- We brave the tangible odor of the pachyderm house to see some other giant creatures living in closets. The black rhino is doing the zoo head-dance, sliding his head back and forth against the door, but then I realize he’s probably sharpening his horn into a razor’s edge- the better to slit his zookeeper’s throat. Or perhaps to pick the lock- I mean how’s he going to get into the zookeeper’s bedroom in the first place?
11:22- I see a man with immaculately gelled hair, popped collar, and sparkling jewelry also bedecked with a wife and kids. Even the peacocks are embarrassed for this dip-shit. Cool the display, dude, you already found a mate.
11:30- As we leave the zoo with sore feet and sorer souls, I remember that I was once hired to perform stand-up comedy at this zoo, for a fund-raiser of sorts. It was weird that in a place featuring exotic animals from all over the Earth they would bring in mere people to make whiny observations over cheap beer. I was Comicus Thinkus Witticus on display, and as I neurotically paced the stage, complaining about traffic jams and other hack topics, the animals must have had a good laugh.