You wouldn’t happen to have an extra pair of pants, would you? Mine are currently…inadequate. See, Wife and I just visited the gorilla exhibit at the zoo, and, well – how do I put this? – I soiled myself. Allow me to explain. In anticipation of having our weekends booked until the end of time, Wife and I decided to treat ourselves to a two-day vacation that included a jaunt to the Franklin Park Zoo. While not quite the crown jewel of Boston, FPZ is easily the crown polyester liner: it’s cheap, crumbling, and smells like a sweaty, overweight king who sleeps on a straw mattress and likes to roll around in the mud. To be fair, FPZ is family friendly and a pleasant place to walk around, so for expecting parents like us, it was perfect. My only beef with FPZ is that its layout is designed in such a way that you are lulled into a false sense of security by the time you get to the final exhibit: the gorilla dome. Normally, I wouldn’t admit to being scared by gorillas, especially in the context of a bullet-proof glass enclosure, but when you have just spent the last two hours lazily strolling past one solitary, obese camel, a lion that looked like he only does the Nautilus machines, and a giraffe-less giraffe field, you get a little complacent. “None of Our Animals Could Possibly Kill You!” should be FPZ’s motto. That is, until you get to the gorilla dome. There I was, directing my extremely pregnant Wife to smile so I could snap a photo of her standing mere feet from a large silverback gorilla when…THWACK! The gorilla slammed his fifty-pound fist into the reinforced partition, prompting Wife, myself, and the rest of the onlookers to scream. I’m serious – we all screamed. Afterwards, I could have sworn I saw the gorilla laughing. Now, about those pants.
Here’s a riddle for you. I want to feel like a sultan, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money. I’m thinking, like, zero to one dollars. Impossible, right? WRONG. Nothing is impossible. We put a robot on Mars, for crying out loud. Granted, it’s really just a glorified vacuum cleaner that sucks up rock samples, but it does have its own Twitter account, so, you know…that’s pretty amazing. Back to discount sultan role play. One of the best things about the city of Boston, besides the inexplicably large inventory of water fowl themed boats, is the fleet of pedicabs that roams the streets. For the uninitiated, a pedicab is a human powered conveyance that looks like a bicycle on steroids. Ironically, you have to be on steroids to drive one, because passenger loads can total upwards of 500 pounds. That translates to about three people, if you are in the theater district, or one person, if you are in the North End (it’s not their fault – you gain ten pounds just by walking on Hanover Street). And the craziest part about hiring a fellow human to haul your lazy butt to the ice cream parlor? You pay what you want. That’s right: pedicab operators may only suggest a fare. It’s up to you whether or not you want to honor it. This means that, theoretically, you could get a ride to Logan Airport for one dollar. And you get free entertainment: watching somebody struggle to pedal 500 pounds up a hill. But that’s only if you’re a jerk. Or [cough] a sultan. Taxi!