At some point during our lives we, parents, have to take our kids and sometimes the neighbor’s kids, to the zoo. Yep, that place in every city where children can actually see a gorilla, a lion, or an elephant, up close. We herd these future adults into the zoo like the animals they have come to see.
“I want to see the giraffe!” yells Timmy, hauling on his father’s arm.
Dad allows his son to drag him from enclosure to enclosure. After visiting the gorillas, the lions, the tigers and pretty much every other animal on the planet, Dad has had enough. He’s ready to head home. Why? Simply because there wasn’t any excitement. Staring at animals and smelling their shit, isn’t fun for Dad.
“OK, guys we’re out of here!” Dad says shoving his hand in his pocket and fondling his car keys.
The kids start to whine and plead for more ice cream. They want to look at the animals again.
“No! We’re going home!” Dad is adamant.
So what does this tell you? Why is Dad in so much of a hurry to go home? Aside from the football game that is due to start, the cool beers he’s thinking about in the fridge and the fact he’s just plain not interested, it tells you that the zoo is boring. Zoo’s could increase the number visitors if zoo staff and animals, provided a little entertainment.
The average zoo visitor pays the entrance money, wanders from enclosure to enclosure only to find that most of the animals are sleeping or motionless staring back at the people. We walk to the lion’s cage and find old Leo snoring under a tree.
“What the fuck is this? Yo! Leo, get off your ass and do something!” someone yells.
Frustrated, we walk to the tiger’s enclosure, only to find the same shit. By now, the kids are asking “Dad why is the tiger sleeping?”
Dad resists the urge to say, “Because he’s a lazy fucker who doesn’t realize he’s suppose to be entertaining us.” Instead, he says, “The tiger is tired, Timmy, he’s been roaring all day and needs a break.”
Us fathers find ourselves making excuses for these sleeping animals. The children believe us. Timmy tells his friend Johnny and Johnny believes him. Now most father’s think the tiger, lion, bear, and every other sleeping animal, owes him at least a little show. But alas, nothing the animals continue to sleep. Even the lion still lies under the tree and we are reminded that the lion really does “Sleep tonight”
So, last year when the German woman jumped into the polar bear’s enclosure and was mauled by one of those white furred beasts, we the viewing public, actually got something for our money. Digital cameras were probably clicking like crickets in a hay field. For some weird reason this woman climbed over the barrier and dived into the moat that surrounded the bears. Did this woman forget that polar bears can swim? Obviously she did, cause the next thing a bear was swimming up to her licking its lips. The woman panics. Zoo staff run to help her and throw a rope down to her, at the same time, other staff are trying to distract other bears from joining in on the feast. What made matters worse was that it was feeding time – Yogi and his pals were hungry. Was this woman functioning as a normal human being or was she high on some sort of dope? Dad and kids, however, were entertained and enjoyed watching the action unfold. The kids have something to talk about in school and Dad has a “zoo” story for the local bar he patronizes. Entertaining the visitors seems to be the way to go. Perhaps the German woman felt the same way and decided to make a trip to the zoo worthwhile for a change.