Posts Tagged ‘teenagers’

The Zoo Story

February 7, 2014
Giraffes are cool.

Giraffes are cool.

Long-range relationships are difficult. As many of you may know, I’m working in San Francisco, while my wife is on our farmette in rural Pennsylvania. The other day we had one of those conversations.

Me: Hi, Honey! I just went to the San Francisco zoo! I saw some penguins there – they are sooooo frickin’ cute! OMGeezers! I just want to pick them up and squeeze the li’l fellers! So how are things on the farm?

Her: It’s 20 degrees out and freezing rain.


Her: We have no power.

Me: Oh.

Her: Fritz* pooped in his water bucket. Again. It’s frozen.


Me: That’s too bad, Honey.  Did I mention that I hugged a giant hairy anteater?

Her: You’re dead to me.

At times like these I find it’s best to not gloat too much about how cool it is here in San Francisco because I have to sleep sometime and she knows where I live. But I will state for the record that the SF Zoo is a fun place and I enjoyed my visit. (Perhaps not as much as I’d enjoy chipping our car out of the ice in PA, but it was a good time.) You should check it out.

Some birds. Presumably fighting over manflesh.

Some birds. Presumably fighting over manflesh.

So with love and sympathy to my poor wife who is suffering through a terrible ice storm back in Pennsylvania, here are some pictures from my trip to the SF Zoo. I’m flying in tomorrow, Honey! Save some ice for me!

I did not like the way these birds were looking at me.

I did not like the way these ostriches were looking at me.

Generally, you only see two types of folks at the zoo: parents with young children, and teenagers**. The kids are either trying to throw themselves into the alligator pit or are rightly terrified of these creatures. Here’s an actual conversation I overheard between a dad and his young son.

Dad: Timmy, do you see the Mccaw? It’s sleeping!

Kid: Yeah, can we please go before it wakes up?

The lad clearly understands the perils of hurled poo.

Gorillas. Doing gorilla stuff.

Gorillas. Doing gorilla stuff.

Rhinos are cool.

Rhinos are cool.

The teenagers are almost universally jerkfaces. The boys have clearly determined that the best way to impress their girlfriends is to act like huge assholes, and the girls are too busy texting to give a shit.

Teenage Boy: (Pointing at a giant anteater, shouts) It’s a dick! A huge, hair dick! Hey Michelle! Look at the huge hairy dick!”

Michelle: God, Brad, shut up! I’m texting that bitch Rachel.

Teenage Boy: Seriously! Check it out! It’s a huge hair dick! A huge, hairy, anteating dick! Don’t you see it? Hey Michelle…!

As a rule, all teenagers should be eaten by tigers.

This tiger's waiting for the teenagers to be hurled in.

This tiger’s waiting for the teenagers to be hurled in.

Penguins. Cute - and delicious!

Penguins. Cute – and delicious!

Penguins are adorable and ridiculous. Presumably they survive because anything that tries to eat them is likely to bust out laughing when they get close.

Aww! Want!

Aww! Want!

A mama grizzly. Probably Palin.

A mama grizzly. Probably Palin.

The Zoo was a blast, and I recommend that everybody go visit. Rent a small child to take with you if you don’t have one of your own: they really appreciate this stuff and through their eyes you will too.

I also got to see the Pacific Ocean, which looked chilly and very wet. There were crazy dudes with surfboards out there waiting for the big one. I watched to see if they caught a wave or got eaten by a giant squid, but nothing happened.  so after about 30 minutes I left. The whole thing was sandy and anticlimactic. But all in all it was a great day and I wish my wife had been here to share it.

Tomorrow I’m off to Pennsylvania to help chip ice and yell at the power company. That should be fun too!

“Hey, Honey! That icicle looks like a  huge dick, doesn’t it? Hey!”


*Fritz the horse. Who did you think it was?

**And rarely, creepy old dudes with cameras.


Teach Your Children Well

November 24, 2009

Tell me: when does it become okay to yell at kids for doing the same things you did when you were their age (and would probably still be doing if your back was up to it)? I ask because I’ve reached the point in my life where many of my friends have teenage children and I find it difficult not to giggle when I hear them tell their kids how they should conduct their lives.

These are people I’ve grown up with – folks with whom I’ve personally done things so monumentally and dangerously stupid that I’m amazed we’re still alive and out of prison. How can they with a straight face chide their daughter for speaking on a cell phone while driving? I mean, did you forget about the time in college when we got really drunk and drove into New York City to play chess, smoke cigars and see dirty movies? Remember how we got pulled over by that cop and we thought we were going to spend the night in jail and how funny it was at the time? How exactly does a thing like that just fade out of your consciousness?

It’s not so much that I condone such behavior – in fact it retroactively terrifies the bajeezus out of me – I just realize the pointlessness of trying to stop it in others. Kids are by nature idiots. They do idiotic things. That’s what kids do.

James Dean

Harry Potter can suck it.

I often wonder if rather than trying to talk (or shout) them out of their behavior, it wouldn’t make more sense to give them tips on how to survive it. “Don’t mix liquors,” I should tell them. “That just leads to projectile vomiting and really bad hangovers. And when drinking to excess don’t chug your booze: down it at a moderate pace. That way you’ll probably pass out before you can die from alcohol poisoning.”

But since their parents would certainly shoot me in the face if I told them that stuff, I don’t. Instead I limit myself to sartorial advice. “Dude,” I say to my friends’ teenage sons and daughters. “For God’s sake, stop dressing like the ’70s. Those clothes looked horrible thirty years ago and they don’t look any better now. Trust me.” 

But of course they don’t listen − because they’re idiots. And so inevitably they’ll face the terrible consequences of their actions: ten years from now their parents will be showing pictures of them dressed in those outfits to their fiancés.

But we survived it, so maybe they will too. God bless all the kids and keep them safe from themselves. And happy Thanksgiving to everybody.