Sunday, July 8, 2012

Why I Hate Petting Zoos

I really hate petting zoos.

In fact, I think that the only people who detest them more than I do are the ones who work at them. Usually, you see a petting zoo at a fair or festival of some sort, and invariably, the people tending to the animals are farm kids. While the kids attending the festival/fair/bar mitzvah/whatever are enthralled by the novelty of incessantly jabbing a llama with a stick, the farm kids whose family owns these animals look miserable, as if there is nothing they would enjoy more than seeing the llama drop kick a child in the face.

Obviously, their hatred comes from growing up around these animals, and lacking the joy experienced by the other kids. That's how I know "Charlotte's Web" is bullshit. The little girl who fell in love with Wilbur the pig would have been more likely to lick her lips, eagerly awaiting bacon, or to sit and monitor it while dozens of screaming kids attempt to touch it.

By the way, Wilbur is schizophrenic. Hearing spiders talking is a sign that things are not well in that pig's head. He probably would have been better off as a ham sandwich, and I don't even like ham.

Back on track, I should mention that I have a bad history with petting zoos.

For one, I hate stepping in shit. This should come as a surprise to nobody, as it is unlikely that there is someone who actively seeks out crap to step in. I mean, I'm sure that somewhere out there, there is a person who spends his days walking behind horses, but I'm not that guy, and chances are good that you aren't either. At petting zoos, though, we all become that guy.

The second reason has already been mentioned. The people working at petting zoos always look dead on the inside, and I can't blame them. They have all of the horrible aspects of working with very young children, multiplied by all of the horrible aspects of cleaning up goat shit.

This brings me to the last part of why I dislike petting zoos. Goats.

I really do not like goats.

They have alien eyes, and they want to eat your soul. Have you ever seen "Drag Me To Hell"?

Now you don't need to see it, because I, being a nice fellow with great charm and a winning smile, have provided it for you.

The worst thing about goats is that THEY don't like ME. And they're allergic to me. I have been sneezed on by 3 goats, which is exactly the number of times I've willingly come into contact with them. I'm not talking about a polite, "oh, pardon me, achoo" sneeze. I'm talking about a green, sticky, mucus-paste. If you're reading this line, it means that you didn't close this post because of the mucus paste, so thanks.

Last time I was in a petting zoo with a goat was last fall at Trax farm. My Mom took my sister and I to the pumpkin festival, which is something I always enjoy, specifically because they have deep-fried Oreos.

 Fried Oreos make hot Dog Eagle Boner happy.

Somehow in the course of the day, my sister convinced me to go into the petting zoo, because she "WANTED TO PET THE BABY PEEEEEEEGY (pig)". I ended up paying a dollar for a cup full of corn with which to feed the animals. Bad idea. I was immediately swarmed by several goats and an extremely persistent duck. As soon as the animals had cleaned me out of my corn, they left. As I lamented the fact that I gave them all I had and received nothing in return (forever alone), one goat remained behind. While I was initially happy that I had made a goat friend, I soon realized that it was just stupid, and didn't realize I was out of food.

I attempted to walk away, but it followed me. I turned to look at it, and convince it that I was out of food, when it reared up on its back legs and kicked me square in the chest.


I shoved off the goat and yelled "you motherfucker!" in a petting zoo full of kids (not just baby goats, but human children as well). Not my finest hour. Meanwhile, my sister was happily petting a baby pig and having the time of her life. She pets a baby pig, I get kicked in the chest by a goat. That's my luck, right there.

the other day, I finally got to see a petting zoo from the other side of the fence, without being forced to go inside. I was at the 4th of July fair thing in Mt. Lebanon, and for some reason ended up standing behind the petting zoo fence. This petting zoo contained about 20 small goats, one alpaca, a mini horse, a goose, one turkey, and 2 ducks (one of which looked like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). 

As a storm brewed in the hills behind us, the sky getting increasingly dark, the goats simulated the effects of a storm on the ground. They ran in circles as a large pack, terrifying children. They bit at peoples' shirts, demanding food, and causing little kids to break down in tears. The turkey walked around with a give-no-fucks attitude (by the way, turkeys are violent. Bad idea putting one in a petting zoo). The alpaca attempted to bite at a kid's face. Best of all was the horse, who seemed to take a continuous dump at the feet of one of the miserable workers.

All the while, the duck played selections from Don Giovanni, in order to truly encapsulate the chaos and terror of the scene unfolding before us.

Then it advised me to switch to Aflac, and was eaten by the alpaca, while the little girl working at the petting zoo looked on, unamused but not altogether concerned.

"I'm getting the hell out of this post"