Monday, February 26, 2007

Things I Would Have Photographed If Only I Had A Camera

EXT. LONDON ZOO - DAY

A yummy mummy and her toddler are standing in front of a large plate glass window, facing away from it.

YM: Do you want to go for a wee?

Toddler: No.

YM: You'll tell me when you do?

Just centimetres behind them, an enormous, angry Sumatran tiger bares its teeth at their turned backs. Oblivious, yummy mummy and toddler move off towards the fish and chip stall.

17 comments:

Sylvia said...

At least it was baring its teeth - mostly those poor creatures are just pacing up and down with a glazed look on their faces......

I'll bet the toddler wet itself a minute or two later. They usually do.......

100 Words said...

Zoos were better when they had bars, I reckon. Glass is all well and good from a health and safety point of view, but it dramatically reduces the chances of a small chold losing one of his limbs.

patroclus said...

Quite right, 100 Words. Why, when I went to see lions in Zimbabwe, we were only separated from them by a rickety chicken-wire fence, at which they insisted on hurling themselves, snarling and roaring. A child could easily have been gobbled up, like Jim, who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion.

Nothing like that actually happened, though, I should point out.

realdoc said...

Oh rminded me of Ogden Nash as well. I was him wasn't it?

patroclus said...

It was him or Hilaire Belloc. Unless they were the same person, in which case, yes.

Arabella said...

This post makes a very good line drawing. Yes, Ogden Nash.
I missed the chance to comment on your last post; just want to wish you well with the changes ahead and for your mom - peace and comfort.
On a practical note: 'Real Fast Food' by Nigel Slater.

Billy said...

I've never been to London Zoo, can you believe. If things like that happen, I may have to rectify this

Spinsterella said...

Ooh, that reminds me - 'Killing Child At Zoo' - best chapter title of a book - ever.

About living in deepest, darkest France (i just typed Peru there, not sure why), I was thinking last night that I keep in contact with 90% of my friends via email.

Even the ones that live just an hour away. It's the modern way. So despite the distance you're not really that far away thanks to the Miracle of the Internets.

patroclus said...

Thank you Arabella, and I do have that Nigel Slater book, and from it I have already learned to poach an egg. Go me!

Jim, who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion, is from Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales.

Billy: London Zoo has plummeted in my estimation, as they appear to have replaced my favourite exhibit, the slow-worm, with some tropical lizard or other. I mean, I'm all for tropical lizards, especially the Sungazer Lizard that I saw in Helsinki Zoo, but I liked the way you could go all around the Reptile House and see all these enormous tropical snakes, and then at the very end you would come to a tiny British adder and a tiny slow-worm. No more, sadly.

I tried to protest to a woman holding a clipboard at the end, but I think she had become mesmerised by James's hair, and thus failed to record my complaint. Never mind - perhaps someone from London Zoo will read this and reinstate the tiny slow-worm.

Reinstate the tiny slow-worm!

Arabella said...

You're right; it is Belloc. Was I thinking of the lion "that ate Mr Bryan"? Have I too much time on my hands? :)

james henry said...

PP can confirm that only a couple of weeks ago, a lady in popular falmouth pub '5 degrees West' became mesmerised by my hair and fell down some steps.

Clipboard Woman stood no chance.

Smat said...

Last time we went to the zoo, the lions were shagging. Cue the Yummy Mummys hustling their prescious offspring away in case they might have to "explain".
The Babay Smats were fascinated.

Smat said...

precious even. And Baby. I can spell. Sometimes.

patroclus said...

Arabella: I'm ashamed to say I don't know anything about Ogden Nash at all, I'm afraid.

James: That'll be the most likely explanation, certainly.

Smat: Did you tell the Baby Smats that mummy lion and daddy lion loved each other very much, or did you just stick to joyless biological fact?

I can't make up my mind about zoos. Maybe they should only have critically endangered animals in them, and therefore it is A Good Thing that the slow-worm has apparently been set free to terrorise the residents of Primrose Hill (which at one time appeared to consist only of Jude Law). The slow-worm should probably not be exploited as a spectacle for overprivileged middle-class tossers like me. But if people don't have the opportunity to see giraffes etc. in the wild, is it right to bring giraffes to them? I just don't know.

I expect there's a bit more to the debate than that, actually. Humankind vs. the rest of nature - quite a lot of controversy there, I understand. Best if I stay out of it.

LC said...

Best thing I overheard in a zoo:

Parent: "Look! Look at the big scary lion! Isn't it amazing!"

Sulky child: "I wanna see a SHEEP!"

Rach said...

I overheard this yesterday, by sheer coincidence (mind, as I usually frequent toddler groups on a Tuesday morning, it's not surprising the topic came up, as about every five minutes some mother seems to ask the same damn question)

YM: Do you want a wee?
Toddler: (bored, looks at piece of fruit cake)
YM: Are you listening to your body?
Toddler: (eats fruit cake)
YM: What's your body telling you to do?
Toddler: I like fruit cake.
YM: Are you sure your body's telling you that you don't need a wee?
Toddler: (in desperation at full volume) My body likes fruit cake!

patroclus said...

LC: Rightly so. The sheep is perhaps the finest of all God's beautiful creatures. Apart from the slow-worm. The slow-worm rocks. It's not a real snake at all, you know. It's a lizard with no legs.

Rach: I'm not an expert on parental matters, but it seems that there are a lot of small children who are much more sensible than their parents,and this makes me happy.