Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages, and the zookeeper is very fond of rum.

Good morning, internetty people! Our Florida vacation is winding to a close. That is very, very sad. I don’t especially want to go back to work next week. But I suppose if I stayed on vacation forever, I’d be homeless and living under a bridge, and then how would I blog? And where would Dumbcat live?

Today was ZOO DAY. Remember months and months ago I blogged about how I’d found a nearby zoo and was very excited about visiting it? TODAY WAS THE DAY TA DAHHH!

The zoo is called the Central Florida Zoo. At first, Dad was worried it was some zoo in someone’s backyard run by killers, but research told him it was a real place so he was less freaked out. He wasn’t overly JAZZED about going to a zoo, but he still went. Because he knows I love animals more than people.

Now, I’m not going to say we got LOST on the way to the zoo and got in a fight and one of us was in tears by the time we got there…but I’m also not going to DENY those allegations, either. Keep this in mind, as sometimes it’s really hard to bounce back from that when you’re visiting the zoo. The story involves a GPS that was being a total asshole and trying to get us killed, a stubborn driver, and a passenger who uses a GPS because she doesn’t 100% know how to read a map correctly. You can kind of fill in the rest yourself. Oh, also, I haven’ t really been sleeping. Which is IRONIC, because I am on VACATION. But, no, I’m still not sleeping. Yes, yes, I know. I need to see my doctor when I go home about getting a better sleeping medication. On it. Thanks for your concern.

So we FINALLY got to the zoo and it was 900 degrees outside. What? What’s that? Surely I must be exaggerating? Oh, FINE, it was NINETY. At 10:45am. That’s hot, you guys. Not even kidding. Totally hot. Also, I was covered in sunscreen, because yesterday I forgot to put any on for a short drive and got a one-arm sunburn that stops where my shirtsleeve is on my right arm. PRETTY!

In the parking lot of the zoo, there was a HUGE sign that said “OTTERS!!!” with adorable photos of otters. Well, I love otters. And the website didn’t mention otters. So I was very excited about this otter development.

Until we got to the entrance of the zoo and saw this:

Can you see what that says? “Coming soon.” BAIT AND SWITCH! BAIT AND SWITCH!

Don’t put up signs in the parking lot advertising your otters and then not have otters, ZOO. I’m not even the least bit into that at all.

We paid our fee and got another stamp on our arms (I think that’s the new thing, so if you wash your hands, the stamp doesn’t wash off? Smart, I guess, except this stamp looks like a jailhouse tattoo, especially since I sweated all over it) and got a map and went into the zoo.

The zoo was FILLED with screaming children.

I’m not saying, like, a handful here or there. I’m saying, probably there were hundreds, if not more. I’m thinking it was “schools visit free day” or something? And those kids were SCREAMING. I’ve never heard noises of such a cringe-inducing pitch coming out of any child’s mouth in my LIFE. And I taught summer camp for years, I’m not a child newbie, here. Also, they were SHOVEY. Like, they’d move in like locusts and just shove you right out of the way right in front of exhibits. I just started avoiding wherever I saw them congregated. Like dirty hippies. Or politicians.

Now, it only took Dad and me about ten minutes to realize that the map was wrong. We’d go one way, and the things there were not…well, there. Or other things were there. Or animals not on the map were there. It was perplexing. I think maybe it was a map designed to get you lost, so that you could be fed to the large cats.

I took a billion and a half photos. I won’t subject you to them all. Just most. Who doesn’t want to see zoo animals?

First: BIRDS!

A toucan! I told Dad he wanted Froot Loops. Dad said, “I don’t think that’s what these birds eat. That’s not what the sign in front of their cage said.”

Macaws! I love how pretty these are. Once when I worked for the Humane Society, I got to babysit these for a circus worker. This is a true story, even though it sounds false.

Pretty blue and green macaw! He was shy.

Bald eagles! They were just as patriotic as the eagles yesterday. GO MERKA GO.

There was ONE MORE BIRD that we’ll talk about later, because it’s worth waiting for. It’s just that exciting.

Next…CATS! Listen, I was very excited about the cats. However?


Dad thought “drugged” because he thinks everything’s a conspiracy theory. I think “sleeping” because it was ninety degrees today and those poor hot cats.

No, wait, well, a couple were awake. But most were asleep.

A beautiful cougar! He was asleep until I made cat noises at him. Then he woke up briefly to give me a tired look of disdain. Look at the pretty huge paaawwwssss!

An amur leopard! He was right next to the children’s play area. That’s just mean and taunty. He was pacing and watching those kids SO AVIDLY.

A clouded leopard! He was EXHAUSTED. Look how he’s all hanging over his branch. “He’s dead, I think,” Dad said. Look at his huge paws! And he looks so soft!

I would show you a photo of the caracal, which I was SO EXCITED TO SEE ZOMG, but it was not only sound asleep, it was hiding in a little ball in the back of its cage. And my photo was blurry. So, no caracal. I know. It’s a total disappointment. Also there were supposed to be black-footed cats, but they were “in a separate area for breeding.” I guess you can’t watch animal sex, dammit. If I was that guy from the Marine Center yesterday, I’d totally make a stink about that and say “YOU HAVE TO LET ME SEE IT’S THE RULE.”

Let’s see, what’s next. How about…AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES!!!

An Aldabra Tortoise! There were two of these, and they were huge and stately. They also loved photo ops and followed me around the enclosure, most likely because they were aware I love turtles and tortoises the most.

A tree frog! I didn’t take good notes. I think this one was a Grey Tree Frog. It looks like the Grey Tree Frogs we used to sell when I worked at the exotic pet store. I LOVE THESE and I want to own some someday.

An alligator! He was in stealth mode.

A snake! I didn’t write down the names of all the snakes. I should have. Sorry. Isn’t it purty?

Another snake! I think this might have been a long-nose viper. I like that he has a corporate sponsor. This snake uses VERIZON, dammit.

A cobra! How often do you see a cobra? Not that often, I’m thinking. Or maybe right before you die, if you’re someone who’s about to be killed by a cobra.

A poison dart frog! I love these. This one was cheery and very yellow.

Another snake! I don’t know how the snake photos turned out better than anything else. Probably because I am a parseltongue.

Yes, it’s ANOTHER SNAKE! Shut up, I like snakes. These photos turned out well.

A blue poison dart frog! There was no way to steal these to poison mine enemies. I looked. No way at all.

Then, this happened, and I laughed and laughed. The other people in the herpetarium (yep, that’s a thing, no joke) looked at me like I was crazy. Didn’t care. SO AWESOME.

This is a gila monster. This gila monster apparently has a drinking problem. Why else would there be an empty tequila bottle in his cage?

Someone thought this was a good idea for the gila monster display. No, seriously. Someone thought about it, and was all, “Yep, the best way I can portray a gila monster is to put an empty bottle of liquor in with it!” SO FUNNY.

Speaking of funny, these signs were outside the camel enclosure. I didn’t take a photo of the camel. He was hiding in the shade. When it’s too hot for a camel, it is TOO DAMN HOT.

You can totally rent this camel. Here’s the number for the camel-pimp and everything. A shrine? What’s up with that? You should rent him as a joke for a friend’s party but not tell anyone. How funny would that be? Also, “Sir Gus?” Did the Queen knight him?

All the mentions of humps made me laugh and laugh because I have the sense of humor of a teenage boy. HUMP HUMP HUMP. My lovely lady lumps.

Let’s see, what else. RANDOM THINGS!

A kangaroo eating peanut butter from a leaf! Dad looked at this kangaroo and said, “Hey, Amy, that kangaroo has those Truck Nutz you like so much.”

A coati! That’s like a long-nosed raccoon thingy. As were many of the animals, he was sleeping. Damn sleepy and/or drugged animals. Dad says to tell you all they were DEFINITELY drugged.

Now, let’s talk about the worst part of the zoo. THE MONKEYS. Listen, I didn’t take a lot of photos of the monkeys. Because I hate monkeys. They creep me out. They have little cunning HANDS and they fling POOP and I think I told you, but once, I went to Parc Safari in Canada and monkeys tore apart the car of the person in front of us, in like a HUGE CROWD OF EVIL, while the people inside just sat there in abject horror. I think monkeys are plotting to take over the world, honestly.

So there were these EVIL EVIL MONKEYS that looked like creepy little old men. I stood in front of their cage and I told them I KNEW what they were up to.

This is the Cotton-top Tamarin. He is PURELY EVIL. Remember the moray eel yesterday? AMATEUR.

So I stood in front of the tamarin cage and I told him, “Listen, monkey that looks like a creepy little old man. I am ON to you. I know you’re planning on taking over the world with your mean face and your cunning quick hands. I WILL NOT ALLOW IT. Do you hear me? You think you’re so wise. YOU AREN’T ALL THAT, TAMARIN.”

Dad said, “Amy, don’t tell the tamarin you’re on to him. He’ll make you a priority and exterminate you.”

Then we read that on the tamarin’s sign, it said he was from Colombia, so we were sure he was a Colombian druglord. This is getting worse all the time. This tamarin is BAD BAD NEWS. No kidding.

To clear my palate, I saw a fun photo op. Dad was not amused.

Me: Dad, take my picture in this thing.
Dad: What? NO. That is for BABIES.
Me: It doesn’t SAY it’s for babies.
Dad: The steps are TINY. This is for kids. People will LOOK at you.
Me: I don’t care. What, I live at the zoo? I’m never going to see these people again.
Dad: You’re going to put this on your blog, aren’t you?
Me: Why else would I do it?

Finally, he grumblingly did it.

Look! I’m a creepy monkey!

Then he was all, “ENOUGH” and I said “NOPE MORE” so then made some fun faces.

This is the creepy monkey sticking out its creepy tongue, I guess. Maybe this is the KISS monkey.

This one is my favorite. I think this one is druggie monkey.

OK, so then, THEN, it was time to see THE MOST EXCITING ANIMAL YET. Are you ready?


I have been obsessed with kookaburras since I was in third grade and we learned the “kookaburra lives in the old gum tree, merry merry king of the woods is he” song. I used to sing it to Dad and it made me SO HAPPY. I never thought I would get to see a REAL kookaburra. This zoo had TWO kookaburras!

First, the kookaburras were far away like this:

And that was sad. Even when I zoomed in:

But THEN, the kookaburra FLEW RIGHT TO WHERE WE WERE. So I sang him his song. Then he went into the pool of kookaburra-water, came out, fluffed up all big, shook all the water off of him, and LAUGHED. He totally laughed! He LOVED that I sang his namesake song to him!

Here’s the kookaburra all close-up:

I cracked up this kookaburra. My work is done here.

Finally, after Dad could pry me away from the kookaburras, we were SO SO LOST but we made our way to the gift shop through a lot of trial and error. And we were SO SWEATY AND HOT. But – guess what’s outside the gift shop?


Listen, Ken told you all once, you can’t always expect goats? I did NOT expect these goats, you guys. It was a nice surprise.

This is me petting the goat. Dad said, “I don’t think you’re supposed to pet those goats.” I said, “Just take a picture of me doing it already. IT’S FOR THE BLOG.”

This is a photo of me BEING a goat. Listen, you can’t go to the zoo without pretending to be at least one of the animals. It’s like Rule One of zoos.

The goat on the rock then got very depressed. I think because he realized I was SO GOOD at being a goat he could never measure up.

Finally, we went to the gift shop. It was a little bit of the suck. BUT, outside, there was this machine? THAT MADE WAX ANIMALS. This made me happy because it reminded me of the show Wonderfalls and the wax lion that would talk to the lead actress. I WANTED A WAX ANIMAL.

Wax lion from “Wonderfalls.” Man did I want a deformed wax animal.

Dad: That’s dumb. No one wants a wax animal.
Me: I DO. On a show I watched, a wax lion from a machine like this talked to someone.
Dad: Do you think this animal will talk to you? I think that’s highly unlikely.
Me: I don’t know. It might. I WANT THIS.
Dad: UGH, FINE. I’ll wait over by this weird rooster that won’t shut up. (SIDE NOTE: I didn’t take a photo of that rooster. You all know what a rooster looks like, sheesh.)


DAMN DIRTY APES!!!!!!!!!!!

My wax animal was MONKEYS. It says “Central Florida Zoo” at the bottom but you can’t see that. I do NOT want this to start talking to me. Who knows what it will start saying? Something evil, no doubt. However, don’t tell anyone? I kind of love this for how heinous it is. It’s like the grossest souvenir ever. I ADORE IT.

So overall? I think it was just too hot to go to the zoo today. Also, don’t mislead me about otters. And don’t yell at me in the car about getting lost, I get lost finding my own HOME and I’ve lived there for almost three YEARS. I have NO SENSE OF DIRECTION.

Tomorrow? We are doing NOTHING. I plan on going to the beach and looking for more shells and relaxing. Also we’re going to get more margaritas. Then, Friday? BIG EXCITING FLEA MARKET. Then the weekend. Which means going-home-time. Sigh. SIGH.

Happy Thursday, all!

(Title from Simon and Garfunkel’s “At the Zoo,” which makes me laugh. Here’s a YouTube thingy. It’s not a video. There’s no such thing. It’s old, give me a break.)

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

30 responses to “Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages, and the zookeeper is very fond of rum.

  • Kristen Armstrong (@krispix24)

    The last time I went to the zoo it was children are free day and ALL the schools were there! So painful. But still fun, as zoos are.

    I want to cuddle that clouded leopard. Except he would eat my face off. Or just push me away, cause he looks so so hot.


    • lucysfootball

      Isn’t the clouded leopard beautiful? I wanted to see his face. I bet it was gorgeous. There was a sign that said they were new and getting acclimated and that’s why they weren’t reacting much, but since the other cats were sleeping, too, I think they were just asleep and not experiencing kitty jetlag or whatever.


  • sj

    So. Many. Lulz.

    I’m so glad you’re totally onto the evil monkeys of the world. I am too, I don’t understand the people who think they’re cute. Those people are clearly delusional. Clearly.

    You know, the camel rental sign kind of freaks me out. Am I the only one that thinks Dromedaries are kind of cool, but that the Bactrians are scary? I don’t know why, they just are.

    Also, I totally clicked on the pictures so that I could see them all zoomed in. They are fantastic.

    Some day I will show you the video of our speedy turtle. She races everywhere, quite un-turtle-like, really.


    • lucysfootball

      Monkeys are the worst, worst, worst. So evil. Dad totally kept saying, “Look, Amy! There are more monkeys over here!” all gleefully and evilly because he KNEW how freaked out they made me.

      I know, why are they renting out that camel? I don’t think that camel likes that. He’s like a camel-whore. (I honestly am a little freaked out by all camels. I saw one once that was very very drooly and the drool was so yellow and phlegmy and now I always think of that when I see camels. Ew.)

      I know, I wish I could have made the photos bigger, but the next size up was OBNOXIOUS big. SCARY big. I was worried for everyone’s sanity. (They turned out pretty well! I bought a fancy camera a few years ago and I just love it. It makes almost anything pretty.)

      Aw, speedy turtle! I can’t wait!


  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    Aw, you gave away the source of the title! I was all “OOH! OOH! I know! I know!!” like Horshack from ‘Welcome Back, Kotter”. I mean, I bought that album (yes, LP) when it came out (yes I am that old) and played it over and over and over. So I KNEW!! And then, you GAVE IT AWAY. I am a sad panda. Or a sad owl. Or sad something.

    But, so glad you got to see the kookaburras and that one laughed for you! ZOMGAWESOME!


  • becomingcliche

    YAY for Aldabra tortoises! Double yay! And the big cats sleep most of the time, even if the weather is cooler. Like, 20 hours a day. Even on our night tours, we don’t always see them awake.

    Little known fact – in the intro to Raiders of the Lost Ark, the “monkey” call we hear in the jungle is actually a kookaburra. Because Hollywood thought that monkeys didn’t sound enough like monkeys.


    • lucysfootball

      I didn’t know cats slept that much! I don’t feel so bad that everyone was sleeping, then. I do wish the caracal had been awake. I really wanted to see his tufty ears!

      The tortoises were so great! They were really lively and happy! And so big!

      Hee, yay for the kookaburra! I was so excited it laughed for me. I didn’t think I’d get to hear that!


  • Heather

    THE KANGAROO HAS TRUCK NUTZ! *snort* I love your dad.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Locust children are the worst.


    • lucysfootball

      These were unnaturally ill-behaved brat children, for sure. And I was even predisposed to forgive them, because I think it’s great that kids get to experience the zoo. But they were so shrill! And so pushy! And the teachers just didn’t care! Blergh.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I think it might be a reticulated python, but I’m not sure. Also, I saw a king cobra in the jungle in Borneo and I didn’t die. So it’s not always the last thing you see.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Ooh Wonderfalls! I had a bit of a crush on Caroline Dhavernas in that series. Why, oh why did they have to cancel it? Damnation!


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    (I wanted to comment on the Amur leopard, but got too sad. They’ll soon be gone for good.)


  • 35jupiterdrive

    Go to Monterey, CA and you can see tons of otters. They’re all over the place. Also, you would enjoy the aquarium there. It is world-class. There’s a whole building just of jellies! I love jellies! Watching them lowers your blood-pressure by at least 20 points, I’m convinced.

    Gila monsters are protected in Arizona, where I used to live, and for some reason that made every moron want to go and find one. But they’re venomous so that’s probably a self-correcting problem. (for some reason I find it funny that it likes Patron.)

    When I was very little, I thought there were places where people put poison dart frogs into dart blowguns (or just really fat hollowed out reeds) and used them as weapons. I was very, very concerned about the frogs and the aim of these imaginary people in far away lands. I had many conversations about these frogs. They kept me awake with worry at night, trying to figure out a way to protect them.

    I was a very earnest and very weird little kid.


    • lucysfootball

      I would love to see otters someday again. I saw them a couple of summers ago at a wildlife place near my parents’ house and they were so entertaining!

      I know, what was going on with the Patron bottle in the gila monster tank? So strange!

      Aw, poor frogs! If I thought that, it would freak me out, too. They are one of my favorite creatures. So pretty and cheerful! We sold them when I worked at the exotic pet store. I loved those frogs.


  • lahikmajoe

    Back when I was in Berlin, you promised this exact zoo post. And now it’s finally here.

    What excitement. Complete with you pretending you are one of the animals.

    This post really made me smile. Good stuff.


  • blogginglily

    Did you watch 28 days? Evil monkeys.

    Also if your wax monkey ever does talk to you it will not say evil things. The speak no evil monkey has wax fingers over his mouth.

    Also everyone loves all the otters.

    Also kookaburras!!


  • doesmybumlookbiginthis

    Ok you pretending to be a goat? Made my day. I want to visit that zoo, next time you go with your Dad can i come too? Thanks :) xx


    • lucysfootball

      You can DEFINITELY come! We might not go to that zoo, though. It wasn’t the best zoo. Let’s find a better zoo and go to that one. :)

      If you come to the zoo with us, I’ll act out all the animals for you. Promise!


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