You are here. No, I’m not talking about the street view of your house I’m currently looking at, because modern technology is an Orwell novel come to life, with a foreword written by The Brothers Grimm, and an audio book recording performed by Justin Bieber. I’m referring to the mall map with the little fingy indicating your current location. What’s that? You don’t understand why the fingy is pointing to C25: People Zoo? Allow me to explain. The AstroTurf’ed, gated enclosure we are currently standing in is the closest homo sapiens will ever come to constructing an exhibit of parental boredom for entertainment purposes. In the far corner, next to the tire swing, you will see the endangered Noddus Maximus, or, Carl, struggling to stay awake as his son runs in circles while speaking in tongues. Over by the artificial chlorine geyser (please do not throw pennies into it), you will see Cappacinum Unleaded, or, Alice, enjoying her caffeinated bovine milk treat as her daughter plays happily with a dirty sock. And don’t forget to wave at all the People Zoo Visitors walking by. They say they come for the shopping, but we see right through that little charade, don’t we?
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.