Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wild Kingdom

Remember that kid all through grade school that refused to take anything seriously, made fun of the teachers, and was a general nuisance but sometimes funny? Today I realized that I'm TOTALLY that kid. So far in my very serious art history classes I've managed to bring up mullets, Paris Hilton, art historian celebrity death match, and make fun of prominent art historians. Today, a very well-respected art historian gave a lecture, and my professor said, "You all should really go, I hear he's giving public talks less and less." To which I responded, "Well I heard that's because he's really old and he's going to die at any moment." Everyone gave a forced chuckle, slightly embarrassed that I dared to state the obvious. (It was true, by the way, he could have died right there giving the lecture. Which would have made my joke slightly less funny.)

Last weekend I visited the Philadelphia Zoo, which could have been titled "Stroller Fest 2006." Seriously, they should rent massive strollers to non-parents just for self-defensive purposes. One lady had TRIPLETS in a stroller. How was I supposed to see the elephants with that kind of competition? On a "ranger sarah" note, the conditions for these animals was really horrible. I'm perfectly happy living in a glass enclosure with a feces-and-lettuce covered tile floor, but that type of living condition shouldn't be imposed on monkeys. And bats in a cage??? While I did like seeing some giant bats, something with a 3-foot wingspan should not be IN A CAGE. And then there's the fact that the zoo's food service is sponsored by Nathan's Famous hot dogs, meaning that a person with vegetarian tendencies gets to choose between french fries or a soft pretzel. I was halfway tempted to jump the fence and retrieve a piece of crunchy lettuce from the gorilla enclosure. As my brother said, "This zoo not only likes to show animals, it likes to eat them too!" Here's some highlights:

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