Today, finding ourselves on a bit of a roll with all this ‘doing-stuff-together-as-a-family’ business, we planned to have a Day Out Together. After some (heated) discussion it was decided that the thing to do was to go and point at animals. So off to Bristol Zoo we went, myself, Stig, Stig’s mate, TMBK and his girlfriend. All the usual suspects.
Jenga’d them all into the car, inserted Anti-Bickering Device into car stereo (otherwise known as CD played loud enough to drown them out) and off we went.
Well obviously the first hurdle one has to leap is the Official Zoo Carpark. Bristol Zoo is slap bang in the middle of Clifton, the most exclusive area of the city, bordering the Downs. What this means is no parking anywhere else, unless you have that elusive document known as a Residents Permit. Heck, I know people who live in the house in which they were born, in which their parents were born, in which their grandparents were born – who are still on the waiting list for their bloody Permit. So we admit defeat and drive into the Zoo carpark – where there is of course a man in a fluorescent vest, holding up a meaty hand and shaking his head. One may not choose one’s own parking space. One must wait to be allocated a space.
Vernon (he just looked like a Vernon, ok?) spoke into his walkie-talkie. A crackle came back at him. He spoke some more. Another crackle, and possibly a slight buzz. He nodded, and approached the car. I zipped down the window. ‘Three quid, luv, look for the chap in a yellow vest, he’ll sort you out’. I controlled my immediate and not unnatural urge to say something facetious, and looked for the fella in yella. I kid you not, he was less than three feet away. They just like using the walkie-talkies.
We parked, we walked the half a mile from carpark to actual Zoo, and we paid the nice lady twenty thousand pounds to let us in. And that was after we’d used the two free kids vouchers. And then, there we were – surrounded by animals that in theory were less advanced than us.
You get the lions first at Bristol Zoo. We have a girl lion and a boy lion. The lioness lay on her back in the sun, working on her tan, whilst the King of the Jungle sat at the front of the enclosure, so everyone could get a really good look – at his arse. He wasn’t turning around for anyone, no sir, not him. We looked at his arse for a few minutes, then moved on.
I have to say, my favourites are the monkeys. That’s so predictable, I know – but they perform so well for an audience! As usual, within thirty seconds of our party arriving at their enclosure, two of them were shagging. Another was sitting on a branch with his back to the wall, legs akimbo. TMBK’s girlfriend pointed and said to TMBK ‘Look, he’s just like you, sitting on the sofa’. At this point Monkey Boy reached down, took a firm hold on… himself… and – well, you know. Cue much hilarity and cries of ‘Even more like you now!!’
I sneezed on ’em all, you know. I sneezed on the giant tortoise, on the meerkats, I sneezed on the seals and the penguins and on the prairie dogs. I even sneezed on the snack bar assistant. Sorry about that, Zoo Lady.
Still got woman-flu. Still carrying on regardless. Gimme a medal!