Saturday, April 10, 2010

Polar Opposites

People and polar bears at the Detroit Zoo - and only a sheet of glass between them! (photo by Lon Horwedel)

It’s a thousand degrees in this tube. How can something under a polar bear’s tank be so warm? I guess it doesn’t matter anyway, there’s nothing to see here but a bunch of dead fish parts at the bottom of the water.

And where did all these people come from? There must be half a million folks here today – on a Monday! Doesn’t anybody work anymore? My poor shins are turning purple from all the wayward strollers crashing into me all day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many little kids in one place my whole life. This place really is a zoo!

I wonder if the animals look at us the way we look at them? I remember when I was a kid a monkey flung his crap at some couple at the Toledo Zoo. That was weird ... but pretty funny.

Then there was that time last spring at the Indianapolis Zoo when one of the male lions roared at a group of women and then sprayed them with his urine. What was that all about?

I suppose they have to entertain themselves somehow, and who could blame them? I mean, not having to work for food would be alright, but if I had to stay in the same space the rest of my life, I’d probably be flinging crap or peeing on people too.

Oh well, it doesn’t look like much is going to happen here anyhow, and it’s not getting any less crowded or cooler in this tube, so I guess we should just … WHOA!!! What the … where did he come from?

Man, look at that thing. He must weigh a thousand pounds or more. And look at those paws; they're as big as basketballs! He sure looks friendly enough though – kind of dopey and cute. I guess I can see why people sometimes feel the need to jump the fence and wander into their cages. Boy, that never turns out well.

Being in here reminds me of my favorite Far Side cartoon – the one where a couple of polar bears are standing outside a half-eaten igloo and one bear says to the other “I just love these things – crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.”

I bet that old bear would gladly trade those nasty looking fish for one of our heads – you know, crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle. Poor bastard looks kind of frustrated too. It must suck chomping down all those mackerel while staring at a human hand pressed against the glass. And what’s keeping this tube from imploding anyhow? I mean he’s walking right on top of us and these seams in the glass don’t look all that strong to me.  What if this whole thing just blew apart from the pressure one day? I wonder if anyone could get out before they drowned or became part of a polar bear buffet? 

I bet someone would survive. They always do. Man, wouldn’t that be a cool story to tell your grandkids – the day I out swam a hungry polar bear at the Detroit Zoo after his exhibit imploded on hundreds of unsuspecting patrons…


... look at all those people down there behind this stupid glass while I’m stuck here eating this lousy mackerel, for like, the nine billionth day in a row! Man, what I’d give to trade this stinkin’ fish for one of those humans. I’m not picky – short, tall, skinny, fat – it doesn’t matter to me, just give me anything besides these damn fish.

I hate fish! Why don’t they at least let me eat that harp seal behind the glass on the other side of my tank? This is torture! It’s bad enough I have to look at five thousand potential meals pass underneath me every day, why do they have to rub it in my face by putting that stupid seal over there?

Lousy water isn’t even cold either. Who ever heard of polar bears swimming around in 50-degree water? I might as well be taking a bath. 

Oh well, maybe one day one of these lousy seams in this tank will burst open and I can show these people just how cute and cuddly I really am. Now that would be something, I can picture it in my head - a real buffet, just the way I like it - polar bear style! 

You know, crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle!

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