The Lion, the Bloodtest, and the Amish

August 16, 2006 at 7:47 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
  On Tuesday, I had arranged with *the* wife to take my daughter to the zoo on her birthday.  My son was going as well; it should be a pretty good day.  First, however, I had an appointment to give some blood for a blood test for my physical later this week.
  I go to the lab to give blood.  I have an early appointment:  8 am.  Yet when I arrive, the place is overflowing with old people like the mall full of zombies when the dead come back to life.  Christ, you know, these people are retired, they have all fucking day (unless they die before the early bird special at Denny’s), why can’t they stay in their hovels until the people who work get out, get their shit done, and get on to their jobs?  Fuck.
  I’m not done yet.  Goddammit, it’s not just today.  It’s every fucking time I need to get out early and get something done, there is a line of goddamn old people who have been camped out since four mother fucking am to get into the place.  Say the place, whatever the hell it may be, opens at nine.  The people who work their may arrive at 8 or 8:30 to set up or whatever it is they do.
  The old people crowd the door and bang on it (again, return to the previously mentioned zombie reference), thinking that just because someone is there, their dire fucking emergency can be taken care of.  Wait until the fucking store opens to buy your goddamn dog food, lysol, floor mats, potted plants, or whatever the hell it was that couldn’t wait until noon for you to buy.  Fuck.
  I worked at Steak n Shake ever so briefly as a manager.  Long considered a friend of the elderly (except for their pricing, which approaches extortion), a corporate mandate trickled down to the store level, and as of October one, there would be no more senior citizen discount.  This arrived to us in April.  For the next many, many months, every goddamn old person would have something to fucking say about it at the fucking register.  Every one of them.  The regulars, the ones who came in every day for an 89 cent cup of coffee and milked it for all it was worth and didn’t tip, had something to say about it every fucking day.
  Well, tell me, Bryan, what did they say?  What?  What?  Like I give a shit.  I started tuning it out halfway through the third person to say it.  I wanted so dearly to respond to their complaints.  "If you’re lucky, you’ll die before October and it won’t be a fucking issue.  Piss off."
  I was never an early riser before, because of my job.  But once I became one, I noticed it more and more, the early stampede of the elderly.  Once we were going to a wedding out of town, and had to leave by 10 am.  I get up early, go to the hair place to get a haircut, thinking, naively, that if I get there early, surely I can get out early.  Think again, dickhead, and don’t call me Shirley.
  I get there at 7:55 for their 8 am opening, and there is a line.  These fucking old people, most of them don’t have hair.  The ones that do, have mere wisps of grey sticking out of their bumpy, wrinkled skulls.
  They need to get their hair cut early, before what?  Before they die later in the afternoon?  The fucking undertaker can cut their fucking hair.  Problem solved.
 
  So after I get my blood drawn, I head off to *the* house (can’t call it mine anymore) to get the kids, and then we head back downtown to the zoo.  The St Louis Zoo is one of the better ones in the country, and the best free zoo, in my opinion.  ‘Course, you have to pay for parking, and the food is at ball park prices, and various attractions within also cost, but you can spend a frugal day at the zoo if you wish. 
  It was a beautiful day, a perfect day.  Cloudless, fifteen degrees cooler than previous days, and no humidity.  The kind of day that lulls visitors to our fair city into a false sense of serenity before beating them senseless with 100+ degree temps and humidity measured in gallon per cubic foot.
  We almost saw lots of animals.  We almost saw lions, almost saw tigers, almost saw apes and chimpanzees.  I am not faulting the zoo; this is the work of conniving animals.  They hide from the humans.  I get that. . . I get really tired of being stared at, even though I know it is my birthright, being the magnificent specimen of manhood that I am.  (Too much?  It sounded like too much as I wrote it.  It’s called sarcasm, people, of the self-deprecating kind.  I don’t really mean it.  If I did mean it, I sure as hell wouldn’t write it.)
  But it made me think:  I could open a zoo.  All I need is several acres of tall weeds, and some fence.  Put up signs that say what kind of animal is in there, and you would never know whether they were really in there or not.  I could claim to have dinosaurs or unicorns or fucking leprachauns, it wouldn’t matter.
  I was at the chimpanzee pen.  Natural-state kind of look:  Trees, vines, stream, milk crates, tire swing–the kind of thing you find in the jungle in Africa.  One chimp, hiding behind some trees.  I wondered aloud, so other visitors to the zoo could partake of my musings:  "  Why don’t they have fifty or sixty chimpanzees in there?  Then we would be guaranteed to see some.  Plus, the social interaction would be a sight to behold."
  Others nodded in agreement.  Sometimes, however, my musings fall onto the ears of the deaf and the lacking-in-humor.  At the prairie dog display, I wondered, "I bet these things taste good."  People quietly walked away.  However, at the gazelle display, I had a couple of rednecks fervent about going back to their truck and retreiving bow and arrow.
  But don’t even joke about that around the bald eagles.  Sheesh!  You’d think they were endangered or something.
  We passed a small pit that some zoo employees were cleaning out, shoveling, hosing, brushing.  As we passed, I said as officially as I could to all who would listen, "And here we have the uniformed zoo underling, preparing their nest. . ."
  We did see some amazing things, though.  The kangaroos have disappointed me once again, but I am onto those bastards.  Someday, the truth will be told about them.  But we passed a display which read:
  "Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, their numbers have dwindled, but efforts are underway to preserve their habitat.  Odd, industrious creatures, they often appear at a loss when in captivity.  They roam in packs from 3 to 70, and remain close knit their entire lives, often inter-breeding."
  Above it, telling what the creatures were:  "The bearded Amish."
 
  If I could be any creature, I would be a penguin.  That is odd, if you knew me, because I am not a strong swimmer.  But I know that if I were a penguin, I could swim, and swim well.  They just seemed so happy, so at peace, so Zen-like in their appreciation for cold seafood.  I love it cold, I really do.  Swimming in the cold water (if I could swim) all day sounds like my idea of heaven.
 
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2 Comments »

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  1. *Still cracking up at your pointed thought of faking your own zoo… now THERE\’s a thought! hehe
     
    Hugs,
    ~S4ssy

  2. you know my dear Bryan, you are heading to that every endangering "OLD" age yourself.. Well at least a lot quicker than I am.  LOL


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