I’ve been really stressed out lately so my Aunt Charmaine sent me some free zoo passes, assuming that taking my wild child out to a public place would solve all my problems. I never would have taken him by myself, because I’m not too proud to admit that I know how much I can handle, and that is not one of those things. Luckily, there were four passes and Alisha had off work on Friday. Blake expressed interest so by Friday morning, we had put together a quaint little zoo expedition.
The only thing missing was Henry the Chooch-Wrangler, but I figured with three sets of capable hands, we’d be fine.
It was a rainy day. I hoped deep down that would deter most people from coming out.
Yeah, right x2.
It was more crowded than I have ever seen the zoo. So crowded, in fact, that we were banished to some gravel lot riddled with tall weeds, empty Newport boxes, and probably if we looked hard enough, a syringe or two. I hoped Blake and Alisha would be all, “Fuck it, let’s go to a strip club instead” but no, they were under the impression that braving solid human walls was worth it since our passes were free.
Chooch refused to pose for this picture because we wouldn’t let him scramble to the top like he wanted. So he posed for this pouting shot instead.
0.5 seconds after this photo was taken, he kicked mud all over my shoes and ankles, which was very refreshing. My pink Converse looked so plain without wet sod splatters all over them, anyway.
Blake was super worried about his hair getting wet and washing away scene points, so he hid under Alisha’s umbrella the whole time. Alisha hid under her hood, while I braved the rain, allowing it to jeri curl my bangs. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because rain or not I’d have still been drenched with sweat from chasing Chooch around. Jesus Christ, that kid does.not.stop EVER. He’d approach an exhibit, glance at whatever was behind the fence, and say, “Aw how cute, OK let’s go” and then all we’d see was a flash of his shirt as he jettisoned deeper into the crowd.
And speaking of the crowd — sure, there were small pockets of people huddled together at each animal exhibit we came upon, but nothing as bad as I was anticipating, which made me wonder where the fuck everyone was because judging by the parking lot, half the city was out ogling wildlife. Of course, there were the obligatory fanny-packed wide asses that shove their way past and stand in just the right position to block your view with their frizzy heads.
Aside from all the people-ogling, I’d have liked to have stopped to gawk at the elephants a little but that wasn’t on Chooch’s agenda.
Running through the monkey house was, though.
That’s what Chooch looked like the whole time: a blur. Even with three of us, it seemed like all we did was bolt after him. It’s time to invest in a leash, a taser, and a straight jacket.
Blake spent $2 on a zoo key so he could jam it in the box, make some annoying animal song play in the key of 80s power ballad, and then walk away after twenty seconds of it. In this particular photo, he was lamenting that no matter what side of the key he plunged in, the box would only spurt out animal facts AND NO SONG. I bet if he was on Twitter, his followers would have felt tremors.
Later, when we arrived at the aquarium, it was clear that THAT’S where the contents of every parked car was. It took all the braun and crowded room-germ alert endurance I had within in me just to snap a quick photo of the penguins, and it was only dire to me because of the Penguins banner.
Chooch would have nothing to do with anything in the aquarium, yet later on when we asked, “Hey Chooch, what did you see at the zoo?” he’d spit out, “Nuffin’! FISH.” And then roll his eyes in disgust that we had the audacity to bother him with such asinine questions.
On the way out, Chooch walked ahead of us and I hoped that maybe that could be his new family. Like if I could just sneak him inside that woman’s bag.
As we were leaving down the steepest escalator in the world, Blake wistfully said, “I wish there was a CD with all those awesome zoo key songs on it” and no more then fifteen seconds later, a recording came on through the speakers in the escalator, informing us that a CD of the zoo key songs could be purchased in the gift shop. At that moment, I was so relieved that I wasn’t Blake’s parent and therefore under no obligation to take him back to the gift shop and fork over some exorbitant sum for a CD with songs about what zebras eat for dinner.
Why I continue to go to the zoo is beyond me. I mean, you think I would learn my lesson by now. [Ex.1. Ex.2. Ex.3.] I love animals, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t like people, and I don’t like humidity, and I especially don’t like these things while I’m chasing after my child, making sure he doesn’t become a snack for the lions or the Silverback’s new bouncy ball.
So at the end of the day, was I any less stressed out? No. But I guess it was still kind of fun. A little bit. Hey, at least I saw a Penguins banner?