Johnny America


At the Zoo


Illustration of two zebus, with nachos.

At the zoo you can wit­ness the finest of cre­ations: gi­ant anteaters, minia­ture ze­bus, well-stocked snack bars. “Des­ti­na­tion Zoos” like the one in Om­a­ha or the Berlin are grand, but my fa­vorite are the scrap­py ones that you might dis­cov­er ad­ver­tised on a bill­board as you dri­ve in a rental car from a re­gion­al air­port to a Hamp­ton Inn or Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press or wher­ev­er the cor­po­rate trav­el plan­ner booked you. The ad­mis­sions fee will be rough­ly the same cost as the fan­cy cof­fee drink you pur­chased on your way out of the air­port, and a few bucks less than the cost of the na­chos and slushie you can pur­chase in­side the chain link bor­der of the park.

Your phone’s voice as­sis­tant might tell you you’re mak­ing a wrong turn when you pull off the In­ter­state, but you’re not: life’s bet­ter at the zoo and your sales calls or cor­po­rate post-pan­dem­ic-lock­down butt-sniff­ing and self-con­grat­u­la­to­ry in­clu­siv­i­ty re­treat — or what­ev­er— doesn’t start un­til to­mor­row, any­ways. Or even if that’s a lie, they can wait an hour as you daw­dle at the zoo.

Filed under Commentary on June 11th, 2021

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