Monday, November 8, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

     I actually only saw the lions.  The tigers were sleeping inside, and the bears were in the back area or something.  I'm not usually a proponent of the zoo.  It involves a lot of things I don't like or care about.  But I received a call in the morning from a friend who had been out of town for a few weeks asking me to join her for a morning walk to the zoo.  I was confused and intrigued, so I slunk out of bed, pigtailed up, and went to the zoo on a crisp Saturday morning.
     We were there early enough to avoid the stroller patrol and screaming kids, which was part of the plan.  There were a few there of course, but it wasn't overrun.  We made a quick stroll past some gorillas and the lions, looked for an elephant, and had a quick snack and the "Lion's Den" or some punny cafeteria name.  The zoo cafeteria was appalling.   I understand concessions and the like are a primary way for zoos to make money, and the outlandish cost of some these food-like items is not my primary gripe.  More over I'm concerned with the selection.  It was still morning when we went in there.  I get that most people don't visit in the morning, but it's open so it would be nice if some sort of breakfast food were available.
     Fruit juice was on the menu.
     -Hm.  Fruit juice.  What do you suppose that is?
     -I think it means orange soda.
     The rest of the menu was cheeseburgers, hot dogs, typical stadium fare, and then two fruits and a vegetable.  There was something called a "three cheese sandwich."  Catering to children as the cafeteria is wont to do, I thought this would be a grilled cheese sandwich and would be perfect for satisfying my post- breakfast pre-lunch craving.
     -The three cheese sandwich, is that a grilled cheese sandwich?
     The cashier just shook her head at me, since it was the dumbest question she had heard all day.
     -So it's just three pieces of cheese on bread.
     She nodded with a slight eyebrow raise, as though to tell me this was obvious to everyone else. 
     -A banana, apple slices, carrot dunkers, and and bottle of water.  Thanks.
     It came to just under $10.  I have no idea of that's reasonable or not. 

     I still don't love zoos.  It's an odd thing with me.  There are a decent number of things most people love that I do not.  Zoos and parades top the list.  A parade through a zoo?  Shut up.  But the National Zoo is free, so there was little wasted.  I felt a little sorry for the animals, whom I sure are well taken care of, but who also look a little sad, sitting on top of their fake mountains, king of the immediate 75-yard grass knoll they reside on.  But they didn't seem to know any better, and had pretty much given in to their lazy Saturday morning.  It was a nice walk though, and it wasn't spoiled with something silly like golf. 

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