30 December, 2006

another reason to stop smoking, or Our Day At the Zoo














What, you might ask, do these concepts have in common? I too was ignorant until this afternoon.

There we were, in the monkey section of the London Zoo in Regent's Park (although with Annabelle, Avery and Elliot around, pretty much any section qualifies as the monkey section). One of our fellow tourists was just about to light up a cigarette when the little zoo guide elf person stepped quickly and efficiently forward. "Sorry, madam, we do ask that you refrain from smoking. The monkeys will think you're putting food in your mouth and they will just go for your face."

That was worth, as they say, the whole price of admission.

Truth be told, zoos alternately drive me crazy and bore me to tears. I simply do not care how many varieties of an awful lot of creatures there are. Creatures in the category of how many there are I don't care about include all insects, most birds and nearly all fish. Now, big cats, there I'm interested. Even meerkats. But reptiles? Butterflies? Don't care.

Glad to get that out of my system. We sent John home to take a nice nap and then proceeded to martyr ourselves to all this fauna, plus an unbelievably unappealing hot dog in a baguette (we're not in Paris anymore!). Then, somewhere between the chain-smoking primates and the penguin pool, it started to rain. Which necessitated visiting the parts of the zoo that are even less pleasurable than primates and penguins: things indoors, behind glass, under water. Grrr.

Finally home to popcorn, a nap for Elliot, a good gossip session with Alyssa who sat on the floor of my study while I looked up restaurants for tonight. Oh, Happy Anniversary to us! Seventeen years ago tonight, we got married at the Junior League House of Indianapolis, Indiana. Why? I don't remember. Wait, John wants me to point out that I remember WHY I got married, I just don't remember why at the Junior League House! So noted.

Avery is going with everyone else to see "Dick Whittington and His Cat", a classic "panto" which Alyssa was determined to put everyone through before they left. Meanwhile, John and I will revisit, if not our misspent youth, then at least one of the restaurants where we spent a lot of it: Wodka. Lovely Polish food and lovely Polish vodka. Can't wait. And... put out that cigarette.

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