Sunday, July 20, 2008


I spent an afternoon with my family at the zoo while on vacation. It was so hot we felt “microwaved” by the elephant-footprinted pavement. Looking around as we walked, it would seem--the animals were also feeling the heat. Their way of coping was to …lie down and do absolutely nothing.

I can totally relate to these animals.

When I’m hot, I’m not interested in parading around for neighbors or spectators—even if I am being coaxed with meat. A “Heidi Exhibit” on the day like our visit, would be entitled:

“Overheated Mid-Western House Bitch.

I completely understand their need to remain motionless. BUT... I paid to see them and I want to see some animals looking alive!

In addition to the comatose animals that are visible, there are many more animals you simply can’t see due to the arrangement of their habitat. I long for the zoo animals of my childhood that were in your face and doing stuff… year round. Is it SO wrong for me to miss those days? I remember Bongo the mountain gorilla, swinging on tires and throwing things in the air, indoor elephants and polar bears diving and retrieving things for fish. I’m not at all advocating animal cruelty or abuse---I’m just saying…. I miss seeing zoo animals actually moving. The Zoo we visited has multi-million dollar “natural” exhibits. I have visited many, many times and have never, ever seen a chimp, for instance. Instead of poo-flinging primates 4-feet away from my face in the 1970s “Ape House,” vacant, chimp-less acreage exists with implied sign-age:

“Sorry, Kiddies, the chimps must be hiding.”

My daughter, Krista, on the flip side, is very excited to see even part of an animal. We took several photographs of wart-hog hooves, tips of rhino’s heads, and tail of red panda. In order to please everyone (even cynical adults like me)—wouldn’t it be great to have Anima-tronic Zoo Animals be an option?

When the “live” animals are tired, grouchy, bored or...completely invisible to the naked eye, they can “punch-out” and go indoors. Then their REPLACEMENT Anima-tronic ROBOT substitutes can swing around in a duplicate exhibit, pivoting to the right like new “Match Game” contestants.

This would absolutely fool young children. Imagine their glee if a sleeping Anima-tronic Animal suddenly whipped its tail, or raised its head a bit. The robot animals could be fashioned to make very small movements that replicate their models. I’d rather see a robot animal than watch “piles” of real animals—or animal-less exhibits!

…But that’s just me.

Maybe they have Anima-tronic housewives too? My husband would love that.


Jenie Altruda said...

So funny. We were both overheated house bitch exhibits at the Art Fair. I notice that you haven't posted THOSE photos! :)

Bev Spicknall said...

You always have the best ideas! I'm telling you, you need to sell this because it's a money-maker for sure. What a hoot!

By the way, has anybody EVER seen the red panda? Certainly not me.

On a serious note, we visit the National Zoo webcams - way more fun.