If you have never been to a drive through zoo, ignore what your hippie friends say about it being unnatural and cruel to the animals. These buggers have room to run my friend, and they love it. For the big deuce deuce my mother of all people, decided to take myself as well as my best friend from middle school, my sister and her close friend slash the equivalent to my long time bf-fer to this little fairy tale out in Sequim. Ok, the drive sucked and when we got there it looked like the great-lost planes. We all had to pee and the stalls were sized for midgets, and when we went to pay for our tickets they gave us loaves of bread to feed the animals.
We entered and drove along, my mother acting like her father: tense, uncomfortable, and awkward comments inserted constantly. Up the hill we went, click click, click, our own desert splash mountain.
We drove down to enter into steer land. These fellas came up to our car door windows, sniffing and eye balling all of us 20 some year olds in awe. And of course, we squealed and cooed at the furry, incredibly up close creatures. As my sister shrunk in her seat, and my mother forgot she was driving- hence the neutral shift to the right, off the beaten trail, I stuffed my face as close as I could manage to the steer, grabbing their horns and patting their long noses.
You know who weren’t friendly? The fucking zebras, they bucked our rear view mirror and shivered their black and white stripes- I quickly began to dislike them as much as refs (stop zebra fans, they are cute from afar). So the trek continued, to the bears who waved at us for slices of whole-wheat bread- no really, they would wave at us, it was the kind of cute that makes you vomit. We saw the rhino…sleeping, lame. We then entered the “dangerous” territory of elk and bison. The only dangerous thing about bison, minus their obtuse dingle-berries is their breath. One whiff of that and you’ll be nauseous for hours. I was desperate for more wildlife animal interaction, so in my attempt, I licked slices of bread and slapped them on to the windshield. My mother (insert my grandfather’s personality, think edgy, in an off-putting way) “What, what, Jane, what the fuck are you doing?” Without glancing over to her ticking neck, I finished my bread Picasso. “You’re going to bring all the damn seagulls to shit on my car Jane!” She clearly couldn’t see the mastermind at work, creating a trap for animals to enter only to fall for me to grab them gently and embrace them with my, ahem, love. We drove through the open terrain, about to finish off the tour, when the last pack of bison and elk emerged. I stuck my hands out, in a gun like fashion and jabbed persistently at my bread windshield. For those who don’t know me, when I get excited, an odd masculine voice takes over.
I yelled, “THIS IS MY MOMENT!”
Uh, False, watching a damn deer lick off residue from a windshield is not “My MOMENT” but merely another excuse to go to the car wash.
So after a solid two hours of being harassed by animals, and vice versa, more versa, less vice. We explored the world of Sequim, where they have signs next to life vests saying “KIDS DON’T FLOAT”, and a John Wayne memorial (one of my all time favorite actors).
We decided to make a quick late lunch stop, at some marina grill where 70-year-old women drink electric blue cocktails while adorned in bright pink lipstick.
Laughing that hard while animals tried to suck bread from our hands had taken the better of us, we stared at our clam chowder and salads in exhaustion- knowing that we had the birthday event to attend to that night.
For all my fellow bloggers out there, who can relate to the struggle of finding inspiration… I’m sitting on the Washington State Ferry, a love/hate commute for Bainbridge Island locals and I think of all those “funny” things I forgot to write down. So now, shifting on the hideous red vinyl seats while the night crew vacuums and closes off sections for cleaning, the only word than runs through my head is “Blog, blog blog, blog, blog blog blog”. And I am hoping and praying that the juices start flowing. All writing becomes a daily routine, like working out; we gotta continue the pattern, even if it’s moot just to keep our fingers clicking along.
I guess a story worth telling that I honestly was too little to remember accurately but have seen on home videos repeatedly is the relationship I had with my dad. My god, I worshiped the man, I guess I still do but I no longer smell his feet when he asks, just to see his response of laughing so hard he cries while I poke my nose near his big toe and crinkle my face in disgust.
We were living in Australia, and I was enjoying my 6th birthday. We had cake, balloons, obnoxious cone hats – it was glorious. My parents had built me my very own playhouse outside, with a sand floor and a play kitchen. Little did my parents know that building a tin shed playhouse during the beginning of Australia’s summer would result in the ultimate hot lava game of “don’t fucking touch the sides kids”. So it became a communal kitty litter box.
We got by, we had what we needed, and what we didn’t have we would either figure out how to get it at a cheaper cost or say screw it. My dad was suffering from some severe chapped lips, and with Carmex being 5 bucks a stick, he opted for the cheaper version. The result? My dad staring at the camera, flaunting fluorescent pink lips, and begging his parents to send some manly Chapstick. I sat next to my dad and hand him a book my grandparents had given me as a gift, “Good Families Don’t Fart”. I urged him to read it aloud while I tapped off another large piece of cake. My mother, who was the filming guru tried to discretely ask questions about my birthday while capturing my father reading to me about a Canadian family who gets eaten by a fart monster.
“Jane, what are you reading?” I looked up from my cake and fart jokes and stare at my mother with the ultimate double stink eye and ignore her. My dad continues to read about the fart monster eating all the cans of beans in the house. My mother attempts again, “Jane, are you having a good birthday?” I look up at her again, crinkle my nose and make a face only imaginable as an ugly dog’s. Five times I did this to the camera and my mom, and the clincher was right when I finished my six-year-old “fuck off” face, I would look back at my dad and laugh about farts and keep eating cake. What can I say? Don’t come between a daughter and her father while sharing a good laugh about Canadian families being devoured by a fart.