Sunday at the Zoo

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on August 18, 2008

PG was busy in the studio when the phone rang. His friend Uzi usually called on Sunday, sometimes before noon. Lately the calls had been coming earlier and earlier. The absence of slack is disturbing.
“I got an idea for something we can do this afternoon. The zoo is letting county employees in free today. I will call between one and two”
PG had not been to the zoo since he was a kid. On one of those visits, he had gone with some neighbors. On the way back, they rolled up the windows, locked the doors, and drove through Underground Atlanta. This was before it was developed
the first time.
At two, PG and Uzi met at behind the Waffle House on Piedmont, and took PG’s honda to the zoo. They went through the tunnel on Boulevard, and on down to Grant Park. Turning off Boulevard, they saw a line of cars pulling out of the lot. There were no empty spaces in the first section of the lot, and the two decided to look for parking on a side street. Then, as if by magic, there was an empty parking spot.
The first non human animals that PG saw were flamingos. He thought they were made of pink plastic, but saw that they were more white than fuchsia. There were lots and lots of two legged animals, which was to be expected with county employees admitted free. Elephants were next, and then it was on to the pandas.
The pandas were in a chinese looking house. There was a fifteen minute wait to get in, and then you were encouraged to keep moving so others could get in for a look. The big panda was asleep, and looked like he was sleeping off a rough night. The baby panda was 110 pounds, and nibbled on bamboo leaves.
The orangutans were a bit more showmanlike, mugging for the multitudes. Then it was onto the reptile house. At the reptile house, PG saw a ten foot snake in a four foot box, and realized that this was an animal prison. The rest of the reptiles only served to make PG appreciate what freedom he had.
The rest of the outdoor animals had it a bit better. The faux wilderness on Cherokee Avenue was not the same as home. The fact that much of Africa is developed, civilized and torn by civil wars does not make it right.
The Lions were tending to some cubs, while the short noisy people crowded against the fence. Later, PG and Uzi had a discussion about this.
“Did you think about throwing one of those kids over the fence and feeding the lion? “ “Do you ever NOT think that?”
Before long, PG and Uzi had seen enough animals. The trip to the zoo was worth what they paid.

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