Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goody Two Zoos

My family and I went to the zoo yesterday. Is it just me, or is the zoo getting awfully preachy? I mean, really; we went to an animal show, the advertisement of which professed that we would be shown animals, learn about them, and then get to see them up close and pet them afterwards. Awesome, right? You must know that when I say "my family," that includes at least six children under the age of five, so we were happy to have a break where somebody else could entertain the spawn for a while. Unfortunately, the entire show consisted of four animals -- A hedgehog, a python, an armadillo, and a tarantula (so technically I suppose it consisted of three animals and a soul-devouring nightmare beast a tarantula) -- but then the keepers spent almost the entire time running their gums about the environment and habitats instead of the actual animals.

I get it. The environment is awesome. The environment is where we live. The environment cured your hernia. Heck, the environment even bought you a flatscreen tv and it wasn't even your birthday. Can you please just show us the animals now? I can't tell you how little I care about deforestation when the bored three year old on my lap is making a desperate effort to escape.

The thing is, the zoo is where we go to see and learn about the animals. Sometimes we're even interested in their natural habitats, but it is not the time to get uppity about saving the environment on us, because we paid to be entertained. I love the Earth and I'm doing what I can to save it by reusing plastic bottles and walking the five miles to the grocery store, and I really don't want a plug on how I'm destroying the ecosystem when I just want to see the blasted howler monkeys. I will donate to your zoo, and you can use it to save whatever rainforest you want, but tell me about the hawk, not about the pollution that's killing it. Heck, you can even tell me how many owls die every year from poaching, but talk about the animal, not the environment, and then maybe you'll have time to show us more things we're actually interested in during your half hour of allotted time.

There is a place and time to preach to us about the environment, and it's not when we're dragging six or seven young children around who desperately want to see the birds, and won't sit still for a sermon about going green. It's frustrating; please just do your job. When we get home, we will see the pictures on the internet of pelicans drowning in oil and have our hearts wrenched from our chests and be inspired to be more environmentally conscious, but when we're at the zoo and we're holding restless children by the ankles as they flap through the air above our heads, we'd greatly prefer if you gave us what we paid for, cause your preaching is annoying even when we're not trying to keep six toddlers quiet.

Of course, while I just want to see the animals and not hear about how to save them, please don't misunderstand: I want the animals that are in your zoo to be treated with love and respect. They don't belong there. They're far away from home in a strange place where people stare at them all day, and they can't understand why; it sucks. Be nice to them.
And please, zoo patrons, for the love of all that is good, DON'T TAP ON THE GLASS. I'm going to have to start following some zoo patrons home and tapping on their windows when THEY'RE trying to sleep.

Also, for those who run the animal shows and ask for volunteers, be sure to scan the audience and sort out the kids who are calm and smiling from the kids who look as though they are going to explode if they don't get chosen. I don't think you quite understand the fiery hell you're unleashing on the families of the latter by calling on the former.

Finally, "orangutan" does not have a 'g' at the end. Stop pronouncing it like it does. It sounds silly.


Jessica Grosland said...

Sheesh! I feel scalded. Is there any of my face left?


Oh, and guess what? I'm going to the zoo with my family tomorrow! I'll look out for fun-sucking attendants. Also, I'm bringing the video camera! (*dances*)

The Erin said...

Do me a favor and shoot rubber bands at them for me, kay?

Devin said...

Uh oh, Erin. I think all of us pedantic language types are in trouble on the orangutan thing. From the New Oxford American Dictionary:
orangutan |əˈra ng (g)əˌtan| (also orangutang, orang-outang |ōˈra ng (g)əˌta ng |, orang-utan)