Recently, I spent a week in San Diego with my father. The flight to San Diego from New York is preceded by approximately 70,293 miles of barren desert. It’s a lot like the Bronx except with fewer discount pharmacies. But fortunately, at the end, you get San Diego. I’m a big fan of San Diego because it features many things we Easterners find novel and refreshing, such as (a) people who genuinely seem not to hate you, (b) the San Diego Zoo, and (c) an anagram generator.
No, wait. Actually, that last one was just something I happened to be playing around with while I was in San Diego. But it was significant nonetheless, not least because although my own name serves up a fairly dreary set of letters, I learned I can rearrange my father’s name to spell “Eyebrow Condom Elk.” This was an important moment for me.
Now back to the zoo, a wonderful place boasting the following features:
- Giraffes who occasionally drink each other’s bodily fluids as they emerge, water-fountain style, causing large groups of gawkers, mostly men, to go “EWWWWWWWWW!” and “HA HA HA!” but mostly “EWWWWWWWWW!”
One sobering element of the zoo is you see many endangered species, such as those who get hunted for bushmeat. Fortunately, one of the zoo’s goals is to breed and repopulate these species. I hope they succeed, since personally, I feel this world could do with more orangutans and less, say, loud humans who make loud sudden noises around zoo animals on purpose. (I don’t know if the bushmeat industry is listening, but if so, take note.)
While we’re on the subject, here are some other
IDEAS FOR POPULATION CONTROL (OF HUMANS)
1. Get employed at zoo.
2. Establish walk-in cheetah exhibit.
3. When certain patrons prove unfit to be around animals, direct them politely to said exhibit. Sweeten the pot by explaining this is something other people are not getting.
Meanwhile the zoo is celebrating its one-hundredth anniversary, which is very impressive and all, but if they intend to stick it out another hundred years, they’re going to have to “up their game.” That’s why I’ve composed the following helpful
LIST OF CREATURES
THAT SHOULD BE ADDED TO THE ZOO
1. NEW YORK PIGEONS. These pigeons would be considered quite exotic by Californians and other foreigners. Distinguishing traits: Their accents, their complaints about the MTA and their insistence on folding pizza.
2. CHICKEN-FRIED GREATER TOUCAN. This species has perilously low numbers, on account of I just made it up.
3. FRIENDLY PARAMECIA. Just go with me on this one.
4. DALE & EARL, C.P.A’s. Distinguishing traits: Zits.
5. GAY DOGS. I once encountered a pair of these at Riverside Park, which I will not elaborate on except to say they performed acts on each other that I thought were reserved for behind closed doggie doors. Distinguishing traits: The way their lips curl at your new haircut.
By far the most unsettling animals currently in residence are the semi-dead bugs. There is a whole bucket of them, and they live (approximately speaking) in an aviary at the zoo, where they get eaten by rare birds. The bug motto is, “If you’re going to get eaten by a bird, get eaten by a rare one.” Now when I say “semi-dead,” what I mean is that some of the bugs in the bucket are already dead, whereas others can be seen crawling weakly over the corpses of their friends, presumably checking them for signs of life (“Ed? …Ed? ED!!!!”). It’s great entertainment.
Meanwhile a bird, his species being a bunch of lousy bastards who don’t care about bug friendships, swoops down and devour both Ed and his friend in one gulp. “Yes,” thinks the bird, “these are two of the finer mealy worms I have experienced, as mealy worms go.” Birds’ lives are boring. Fortunately, they’re so pathetic that they don’t even know it. They have no expectations in life whatsoever, as evidenced by the following conversation I transcribed from the aviary:
BIRD 1: What are you gonna do today?
BIRD 2: Eh, fly around and molt. How ‘bout you?
BIRD 1: Hey, what a coincidence! I’m gonna fly around and molt too!
BIRD 2: Hey, COOL!
(They high-five. A momentary beat.)
BIRD 1: So what are you gonna do today?
Also one of the rarer birds pooped on my father. He took it rather in stride. “I feel it is a nice thing,” were his exact words, “to be hit with rare bird poop.” This is bird favoritism at its most blatant, but out of daughterly respect I will gloss over this. After all, we should not forget that his name can be rearranged to spell “Eyebrow Condom Elk” – another species that should obviously be added to the zoo.