So, having a daughter I realize that sooner or later I may have to go to the zoo. Unlike Disneyland, I’m not particularly stoked to take the Little Baby Cupcake to the Zoo. But, since I was in the area today after lunch with a friend who lives on that side of town, I decided I should do a “dry run” of the Zoo, since I haven’t been there in 20+ years, and certainly the rest of Los Angeles has changed a lot in the intervening years. I would hate to take Emerson there and find out that it’s a gang-banger hang out like Magic Mountain or that the Zoo randomly lets baby-eating animals out of their cages once a day or something equally crazy.
Like many of the non-zoo portions of Los Angeles, my gringo status relegated me to a very slim minority segment of the zoo populace (seriously, I believe flamingos outnumbered whitey at the Zoo, which also says a lot about how many fucking flamingos the L.A. Zoo has). Undoubtedly I was the only solo white male in his thirties, which is an awesome way to be mistaken for a pedophile. The racial mix wasn’t really an issue so much as the huge number of teenagers pushing their one & two year olds around in baby carriages. That alone may be a good reason not to take Emerson here – I don’t want her thinking getting knocked up at fifteen is an acceptable norm. But the best reason not to go was that the L.A. zoo is a festering pit of inadequate animal care. The habitats are depressing, the animals look questionably cared for, and overall the place was just shabby seeming. I think it’s Aquariums & wild animal parks for the LBC from now on.
The biggest plus of the Zoo was that the Mold-A-Rama machines are still in operation. The one I really wanted was a statue of three chimpanzees doing the “hear no evil” bit, but unfortunately it had broken earlier in the day when the statue refused to leave the mold, so I settled for a Lion statue instead. I gave it to Emma when I got home, but I realized that at 19 months old, she doesn’t really get the idea of “gifts,” yet. Everything she sees in the world belongs to her. I’m going to have to start randomly withholding stuff from her so that she appreciates the plastic Lion statue more.