Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Beers...at the zoo

A couple years ago, my girlfriend and I were looking for something to do in Columbus, Ohio. It was Saturday. It was a nice day. The weather was warm and we wanted to do something different. After ruling out a gay bar - we decided to go to the Columbus Zoo.

Before we hit the road, we decided to get a six-pack for our trip. I popped open a couple 'road pops' and guzzled them down. Say what you will about 'road pops', but - in my opinion - they are as Americana as baseball, apple pie and cocaine.

We arrived at the zoo and exited the car. Like a college dude on Spring Break, I shot-gunned two more Milwaukee Best Light’s before we got to the ticket booth. Suffice to say, I was a little buzzed.

The zoo was fun. It was a bright, sunny day with puffy, white clouds dancing in the sky. We saw the monkeys. We saw the reptiles. We even checked out the big-ass manatees. Then the doldrums set in and I started to get sleepy. I suddenly realized that, slowly but surely, I was losing my buzz.

That sucked because, quite frankly, I didn't want to lose my buzz. In fact, I wanted to add to my buzz. More importantly, maybe - just maybe - I wanted to get DRUNK AT THE ZOO!

Now I can understand why the Columbus Zoo doesn’t really announce to the world that they’re selling beer at the zoo.

In all honesty, I did see a number of white-trash couples and their kids (complete with the brown dirt-rings around their face) mixed in with the majority of Dublin-centric crackers. My theory is the zoo doesn’t really want either demographic getting drunk.

Some will think they're at the Memorial Tournament, take off their shirts and hoot and holler for Tiger Woods while others might think it's the state fair, take off their shirts and hoot and holler for Conway Twitty. Undeniably, they'll both make complete asses out of themselves.

I mean, just imagine a bunch of free-loving moms and dads hanging around the zoo, with their Dr. Suess hats on, smelling of beer breath? How dare the adults have a good time while staring at monkey’s mating or flamingo’s farting. How dare we have fun, I say! HOW DARE WE!

Enough was enough. I couldn't take it anymore. I needed a beer and I needed one now.

Out of pure curiosity, I approached this pimply-faced zoo worker who was sweeping up cigarette butts with a broom and a dust pan. He sort of looked like that pimply faced guy you see on The Simpsons:

“Hey man,” I asked looking back-and-forth like I was involved in some sort of drug deal. “You know where can we get some beer around here?”

The guy's face lit up, he smiled a mouth full of silver and pointed toward a small, snack shop next to the big lake in the center of the Zoo.

“It’s over there," he said slyly. "While you're at it, have one for me. Snk. Snk.”

We dashed over to this run-of-mill snack shop. Don't quote me on this, but I think it was the Prairie Outpost.

“Hey there," I asked inconspicuously. "Do you have beer?”

The teenage girl looked around (once again like it was a drug deal), smiled and nodded.

I slammed down a $20 bill and bellowed to the world with glee “Madam, I'll take four of your finest beers. Chop. Chop.”

So when you’re at any zoo, either solo or with the kids, why not make the event a little more bear-able (heh, heh)? Go up to the first pimply-faced kid worker you see and ask...

“Soooo, where’s the beer?”

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