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Zoo Asshats: A Field Guide

Kyle and I got a precious, precious day off today.  We went to the zoo, because inside of my belching, cursing exterior is a 5-year old who enjoys making up songs about penguins and chasing ducks.  So we found our way to the Seneca County Zoo, the only zoo to include corn in their feature plants.  Also on display was a life-sized fiber-glass mauled zebra carcass, which I thought added a certain amount of class to the place.

I think I appreciated the exposed back bone the most.

I think I appreciated the exposed back bone the most.

But my favorite exhibits weren’t the overly-graphic dead animals, or even the gorilla who banged on the glass in front of a small boy and then laughed when the kid screamed.  (I gave him a thumbs up.  The gorilla, not the kid.)

No, my favorite creatures to watch were the zoo asshats; the ones who paid $11 a person with the apparent purpose of annoying the shit out of me.  See, here’s the thing.  I love the zoo.  I love watching the animals and I enjoy spending time in the sunshine with my husband.  But I despise everyone else who goes to the zoo.  To this day, my favorite zoo trip was the one Kyle and I took in March, and were possibly the only people there.

Today there were a wide variety of fascinating creatures out and about, all making me want to give them a shove next to the panther pen.  Here are some of my favorites:

The North American Screaming Mom: The NASM can be most easily be identified by her double-wide SUV stroller that contains only 1 kid and she insists on trying to navigate through the tightest of spaces, usually in the vicinity of my shins.  She often insists on shoving her giant-ass stroller to the front and parking it right against the glass so that her precious little Xavier can see the kitty-cat.  As if her 15-month old really gives a shit about anything but gnawing on its shoes.  (Also, a lion is not a “kitty-cat”.  My 8 pound tortie is a “kitty-cat”.  That animal is a fucking lion.)

The One-Armed iMom:  The OAiM is named so for the appearance of only one arm, since the other is attached to its iPhone-shaped ear.  This creature shares many characteristics with the NASM, including the gigantuin stroller and the inability to steer it without smashing into me, but the main difference lies in attentiveness; while the NASM will watch her offspring without blinking lest someone sneeze on it, the OAiM will often let her children run amok, tearing herself away from her important conversation only once her young try to climb into the meerkat exhibit.

The Large-Mouthed Informer: Usually a mature male with a female and young, this creature can be identified by its inclination to share any and all knowledge pertinate to the exhibit.  Information is usually incorrect, and when asked to cite a reference he will usually say something vague like, “I saw something on Discovery about it.”  My favorite specimen was the man who stood in front of the orangutan exhibit (next to the sign reading “Orangutans”, no less,) and announced “Look kids, gorillas!” before launching into a speech about how these particular “gorillas” were born in Africa.  (Which is also wrong.)

The Shutter Finger: This creature is most easily identified by their camera, which is usually a recent aquisision either bought for the occasion or received as a gift.  Mild mannered varieties of the Shutter Finger will merely stand in front of the exhibit and snap pictures, while the more aggressive creature may shove its way to the front and insist that people get out of the shot.  Other common behaviors include loud discussion of its camera’s features and tapping on the glass in an attempt to coax the subject into a more photogenic position.  The more extreme version of the Shutter Finger may record video, and some have even been seen narrating their own movie.  Whether or not these creatures are aware of the fact that no one will ever give a monkey’s shit about any of these photos or films is still a mystery.

Children:  All of them.  They scream, they shove in front of me, they spill orange soda down the back of my leg, and starting about 2:00, they cry.  Everything that annoys me, they do without even realizing it.  Honestly, they should have their own exhibit, possibly in the ape house.  Seeing as they also eat bugs and are facinated by their own poo, they would fit right in.

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  • doahleigh June 15, 2009, 7:39 am

    I just went to the zoo too! Did you see any of the Animal Provoking Asshats? We had lots of APAs at our zoo. They like to growl at the tigers and roar at the bears, etc. They’re known to follow up this behavior with laughter and high-fives with fellow APAs. Very annoying creatures.

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