Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Man, that is one tall animal!

No, it is not a cliché - The Johnson's Zoo really does go to the zoo. Quite often, actually. You might ask why, but I think by now you know how I feel about you snoopy types. I'll tell you anyway because I like to write as much as you like to pry.

Papa's reason: it's simple, actually. I was forced to buy a yearly pass and I am a financial tight-ass. If we can manage to make 300+ visits a year, the average price per visit falls into what we could feed to the elephants.

Mama's reason: like Angie herself, it's complicated. I am not sure of the exact reasons, so I will simply write what feels to be true. Angie hates animals. She has for many years. As a teenager, the cops were called to her house one day when the neighbors thought an assassin was trying to kill them. It turns out, Angie did not mean to break the neighbor's window with her BB gun and force the poor elderly couple to low-crawl to the telephone; she was actually just trying to whack a poor innocent bird perched on the branch just outside of the neighbor's window. Because of this long-building hatred of non-humans, Angie secretly likes to visit the animals and taunt them by eating bananas in front of the monkeys and donuts in front of the hippos. As I said, it's complicated.

Peter's reason: Who freakin' cares? He's quiet for two hours.

David's reason: You don't get it by now? It's peacefully silent for TWO whole hours!

Tom's reason: aarghbabab-flu

Outside of the Gorilla house, Angie wanted to get a picture of this majestic waterfall that had partially frozen:

Unfortunately, some really hot dude carrying two baby gorillas got in the way of what would have certainly been an awesome shot of water.

After primates on ice, I tried to teach the boys how to break thin ice with big rocks at the pond by the very cold flamingos. Peter got it right away and nailed a winner. David got it right away, but decided that Tom would make a bigger splash than some tiny pebble. He even asked me to help toss him over the railing. I looked first to see where Mama was. Uh, no.

After the Zoo crew had cruised the zoo, Mama rallied the animals for some milkshakes at our local diner: Mama had one as well, but being the OLD and wise mother she is, she waited until the kids were halfway through their brain freeze before ordering her's. In case my intentional punctuation in the previous sentence went unnoticed, please note the clever use of capital letters to subtly highlight the fact that my wife is older than I am. The best part of this FACT is that it will never change, no matter how gray the stubbly hairs on my unshaven youngER face get, but thanks for pointing that out, sugar-plum.

After a long day of hanging out with animals, our animals smelled like, well...animals. I decided to hose them down. Before jumping in the bath, we footprinted Tom.

This is a tradition that started with Peter and David and has always ended up as a trophy on the living room wall at Grams & Opa's house. With Peter and David, though, this was done in their first few weeks of existence, so Tom may earn the nickname 'Sasquatch' with his three-month humongoid toe-stamp.

After Tom's blackfoot exercise, I took his feet to be dunked in a bubble-bath. Peter came in to check on things and wound up checking on Tom.

'His is smaller than mine.'

It took me a second to realize that he was not talking about footprint pictures, which is good because Peter would certainly lose. It took me another second to realize that Peter was grinning. I grew up with two sisters, so the whole 'size matters' argument did not really start for me until way after puberty. With three boys, I guess I need to start preparing myself for such discussions. And yes, I will try to continue to feed you gossip junkies with plenty of grapes for the vine.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I saw today that a Spiderman radio is now in my room.
David: When we go in the zoo and we see the lion and the tiger.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I cried 'cause David kicked me in the stomach.
David: When I kicked Peter on the floor and the whoa-boof and then Peter cry.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play by Lucy's.
David: When we see the hippopatamus.

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