FAMILY ZOO TRIP
Well that was a quick fifty! I’m not tight, yet I found my fist so firmly clenched around the fifty pound note that I had to prise it open with my other hand. The money was snatched by the stone faced entry-troll and quickly exchanged for tickets. Five little cardboard squares each with a different animal face upon it. I flicked through them quickly and the animals smirked back - Who the hell trains animals to smirk and then photographs them? I looked up, catching a quick glimpse of the troll feigning a cough, placing one distracting hand to her mouth whilst stuffing my banknote down her cleavage with the other. She smirked, it was a ticket-worthy expression. I felt remorse for the fifty alright, but armed with the knowledge of its current whereabouts – I realised that I no longer wanted it back. And so, with only a slight chance that something ferocious might eat my wife to compensate, I entered the Zoo with a heavy heart and a light wallet.
Well at least it stinks like a Zoo; my nose attempts to curl back towards the car park as I follow the kids to ‘Africa’ - or at least the North-Essex interpretation of ‘Africa’. Ten painted boulders and a sad old Lion basking upon a fake rock. He tosses his greasy mane and begins to lazily lick his chops, playing to the awestruck and impressionable; looking for the entire world like he’d just nonchalantly scoffed an entire Gazelle. I didn’t buy it - he, me and the keeper all knew that his last meal had been more take-away than prey. He heard my thoughts and we made eye-contact – we both narrowed and locked our gaze, sizing each-other up in the old-fashioned way, looking for the soul - primeval versus Evel Kenevel. He knew that I’d like to stick a cattle-prod up his arse, make him dance, cavort and roar for my fifty – and I knew that he’d love to leap on my back, rip out my spine for fun and then trot jauntily around his enclosure dragging my butchered carcass along for the benefit of the camcorder army.
I try to hypnotise him – ‘Take my Wife not me – Take my Wife not me – go on… I’ll throw in a kid!’ Without succumbing to my powers, he upped the ante of the challenge by lifting his back leg and beginning to lick his bollocks. Okay you win! The superior creature gives me a lucid reminder of one of my own species shortcomings and leaves me no option but to retire from the contest, defeated.
The Lion breaks from his spectacular ablutions to throw me an indifferent victory yawn before tucking back in.
‘Penguins Dad - lets go see the Penguins!’
The kids are eager to make me visit to the Penguins because they know only too well that I loath that species above all creatures, they make my flesh crawl.
A flightless bird! That’s called a paradox, not a bloody Penguin. Exactly what is the point of flightless bird? Like there’s a fish that can’t swim or an Antelope that cannot walk. I didn’t pay fifty quid to see a bird not flying… it’s not fair! I want a refund, a discount at least – surely my statutory rights apply. Penguins… they cannot fly and they are nasty.
‘Why can’t they fly Dad?’
‘Well Son, they cannot fly because there is an evil little jockey inside each Penguin suit.’
Not strictly true, but to a wide-eyed four year-old it was gospel. It was also lesson that he’d need in order to prepare for later in life.
Ask anyone who is over six foot – little people hate us. I don’t know why?
It is widely accepted that all short people are born with a detestable character and wicked nature. But quite why they devote their lives to the persecution of tall folk is beyond me. It’s almost as if they somehow hold us ‘normal people’ responsible for their own unfortunate freaky circumstance.
Like Penguins, little people always bunch and shuffle, they gain employment as traffic wardens, school teachers, bungling assistants to sinister clowns and airport check-in staff – once in position, they spend their entire existence just being nasty to anyone over five foot eleven inches tall. Penguins are in on this – they are ‘height haters’ on the same mission, it is nested deep within the midget gene pool.
‘Why can’t they fly Dad?’ The older ones no longer buy the theory that each bird has been rendered flightless by the jockey inside. I ponder the question, the answer lies splattered around the floor or their enclosure.
‘Penguins cannot fly because the Health and Safety Inspectors stopped them.’
They may be quite small by human standards but, the Penguin a very large bird indeed – and they may be flightless, but they are defiantly not shite-less.
I point out the Penguin excrement.
‘Now you wouldn’t want that that little lot raining down upon you from 500 feet… would you?’
‘What about the Elephants Dad… can we go see the Elephants?’ chirps the oldest.
The only Elephant that the little one knows is Dumbo. Pensively he glances skyward; I can see the fear in his eyes.
Published on writebuzz®:
> A day in my life