Sunday, May 22, 2011

Riding Out the Apocalypse at the Zoo

Yippie - we're all still here!
Or at least I hope we're all still here.

Much to everyone's surprise, the Rapture failed to occur.
In fact, it failed to occur precisely to the moment.  Call me a sage.

In any case, we decided that the zoo was a great place to spend our last hours together.  To make it a proper and fitting goodbye, we invited the parents.  Family time is together time.  Never mind that my siblings had convenient excuses: living across the country and some crap about a wedding.

I am a member of the Philadelphia Zoological Society, through no fault of my own.  It actually started at work one day.  I took off to go to the zoo and it rained.  The next time I took off to go to the zoo, it rained again.  It got so that I tried taking off without saying why I was taking off, but Mother Nature got wind of it and it rained.  One day I even took off, specifically noting that I was not going to the zoo.  It did not rain, so we largely put it down to me going to the zoo.  My old boss noted that I could make a lot of money by visiting drought-ridden areas and going to the zoo.  My wife, although for the idea, was kind of sad, as she really loves the zoo (as do all of the internal folks).  For my birthday, my coworkers got me a membership to the zoo, as well as a pair of raincoats.  The bastards.

There is this show on what's left of broadcast television on Sundays called Animal Exploration.  I get the impression that it's a few years old but the host, Jarod Miller, is a hoot.  He's a small, manic zoologist who visits zoos all over the country and talks about the animals.  It's an amusing show for kids and larger kids (like me).  I prefer mania to poor Steve Irwin (RIP), whose main tactic seemed to be poking at anything in front of him until it tried to attack, in defense.

In any case, Jarod and crew did a few segments at the Norristown Zoo, right outside of Philthydelphia (it's always better to be outside of Philthydelphia).  We had heard that there was a zoo in Norristown but kept driving around it for good reason: you don't want to get out of your car in many parts of Norristown.  It might be the county seat but this particular seat needs a good cleaning in spots.

So naturally it was decided that we'd all visit the Norristown Zoo.  We packed our sunscreen, water, parents, and Kevlar vests, then set out on our journey.

At this point you're probably saying to yourself that you know this is all made up because we packed sunscreen.  After seven straight days of rain, Mother Nature either got tired or had her period, allowing the sun to peek out and providing the area with a rather nice day.

Signage is surprisingly good in Norristown, allowing us to find the zoo without difficulty.  And it's a good thing, too, as the zoo is incredibly well hidden.  It looks like any other nice residential area.  The only delay was caused by taking my father's directions.  Dad used to drive by the place every day on his way to work, or so he said.  I had temporarily forgotten about Dad's sense of direction so we listened to him (at first).  Fortunately no one forgot about Dad's driving, so we took our car.

My parents lived in Arizona for a few years, meaning we used to spend a lot of time visiting.  Within two or three trips, I could navigate the area better than they could.  This would have been funnier if we didn't have to give them directions so frequently.

Meanwhile back at the zoo, the kids wanted to know if Jarod would be there.  I assured them he wouldn't.  There were more cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee there that we didn't bring to make us take notice.

This definitely was not the Philly Zoo, although I suspect they keep the animals there in cages to protect them from some of the Philadelphians.  Right out of the gate we saw a beautiful eagle, just kinda perched there.  And many not-so-beautiful people, pointing at the fish swimming around in the muddy water.  I did have to announce more than once that this was a special No Screaming Baby day at the Norristown Zoo, after which things quieted down a bit.

We immediately came across everyone's favorite lawn ornaments, who get that way from the shrimp they eat.

Walking along, we came across this little fella, who the ladies named Fred.  Fred was a bit camera shy, although we met his cousin later, who walked right out in front of us.  Of course all the good shots are on my wife's camera.  These are from my Droid.

Not being a traditional kind of guy, I don't do traditional types of pictures.  Take this one:

There were some empty stalls and this was taken around the back.  I have no idea why the animals required a bowling ball but why ask why?  Perhaps there was some sort of Norristown law that stated that there must be one bowling ball per twenty seven animals - who am I to question their alleged wisdom?  Maybe the Bowling Lobby got to them before we did...

We saw quite a lot of animals.  This is an especially fortunate thing, this being the zoo and all.  The ones that had the biggest effect were the bison.

Talk about up close and personal.....

These were some majestic beasties, alright.  Also quite personable.  And they'd pretty much have to be, as there wasn't exactly a lot between them and us.  And the neighborhood, for that matter.

I'll post the good pics if my wife ever retrieves them from the camera.

Overall it was a great day.  The Norristown Zoo, while small, is a great place for kids and people who maybe can't stand too much time out.  Or adults who can't walk long distances.  Or people who don't like to wait in an hour of stopped traffic to park at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Last but definitely not least...

This is a purple Swiffer.  My wife loves purple and didn't know they came in that color.

1 comment:

  1. I've always dug going to the zoo since I was a kid. The zoo is also a great place to take a date. I don't know why so few people do so? I make it a point to visit the zoo in any large city I visit. Often it's the high point (sometimes the sole reason) of the trip. A favorite as well is Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla. (it's on Easy Street). I'm a member there. The only thing I don't like about visiting zoos is being compared to a Silverback.
    Thanks for the cool pics! REAL men go to zoos! LMAO.