Saturday morning Pittsburgh woke up to such promise of a spectacular day that my sisters and I headed to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium with our gaggle of children. We didn’t realize it was Mr. Rogers’ Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day at the zoo, meaning free admission for kids, meaning all of Pittsburgh showed up with all of their children and their grandchildren and their aunts and uncles and third cousins four times removed and maybe some random people they picked up on the way to the zoo.
It was, in a word, a zoo.
Bah-bah-BAH! I’m here all week. Try the veal! [finger guns]
- The penguins sure are an entertaining bunch of animals. Constantly trying to outdo each other. I like penguins. Are they birds? If they’re birds, then they might be the first birds I’ve ever liked. Oh, no wait. I like birds that eat pigeons, so I also like hawks and falcons and pterodactyls. So, to sum up. Birds I like: pigeon-killing birds and penguins, if they are birds.
- We watched a baby sea lion continuously and openly defy its mommy sea lion who wanted the baby sea lion to stay in the water and swim. Instead, the baby sea lion would hop up on deck, much to the barking anger of its mommy, and then the baby would hop up on some rocks, much to the louder barking of its mommy who was probably all, “YOU GET DOWN FROM THERE! YOU’LL PUT YOUR EYE OUT!” Then the baby sea lion would reach from the rocks to the wall and with his snout (nose? noggin? scientific sea lion nose term?) would try to knock one of the trainers tools off of the hook where it hung, and then the mommy would go all out pissed and hop up on the deck barking like a dingo all, “YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE, MISTER! JUST WAIT UNTIL YOUR FATHER SURFACES!” and the baby sea lion would be all, “PSYCH!” and jump in the water before its mommy could catch him. I think the baby sea lion gave my kid some ideas.
- My son, as we neared the elephants, screamed at the top of his lungs, “WHOA! ELEPHANTS SMELL LIKE DIARRHEA!” It was a proud moment. I’m going to give myself a back-pat that he didn’t shout, “WHOA! ELEPHANTS SMELL LIKE ASS!”
- We all paid $10 to get our picture taken with an elephant and said elephant rewarded us by using his trunk to sniff and then smack my nephew in the “tenders” so to speak. We’d have won $10,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos if we’d been rolling film as my nephew crumbled to the ground in slow-motion while we all pointed and laughed. Also, having stood close enough to get molested by one, I can confirm that elephants do indeed smell like diarrhea. And ass.
- The sharks and the gorillas freak me out because they both look at me and they both speak to me menacingly with their eyes, “Silence! I kill you.“
- All in all a great day at one of my most favorite Pittsburgh spots. Of course, once again, the polar bears didn’t swim despite the huge crowd of people just hanging out in the tunnel waiting for something to happen. ANYTHING. A ripple. A pebble drop. A toenail dipped in the clear water. But the polar bears just watched the people from the safety of the rocks where they sat, breathing and blinking, all, “If they only knew we don’t even know HOW to swim. Suckas.”
The next time we go to the zoo, I’m going to take matters into my own hands and bring dead fish in my purse, and hope I reach the polar bears before the gorillas attack me all, “SILENCE! I KILL YOU AND EAT YOUR FISH!”