It was a balmy 500,000 degrees outside. At the zoo, it was just us, a few other families and 300 Middle Eastern tourists. Well, I'm sure they were Americans of Middle East descent. I can't see 300 people in Afghanistan or Iran saying, "You know what we should do sometime? Go to the Kansas City Zoo. I hear their elephants paint on the weekends."
The only creature more miserable than us humans was a gorilla lying on his back staring at us as if to say, "Just kill me now, please.The rainforest feels like a movie theater compared to Kansas City."
I know it is hot everywhere. We're in a nationwide heat wave. Here, it is 101 degrees today. The heat index was the temperature of molten lava. I almost jumped in the water with the hippos but I couldn't remember if they ate people or not.
At the monkey cage, Johnny told a little boy we didn't know, "The last time we were at the zoo these monkeys were talking with their bottoms.
The kid replied, "Their butts look like ours."
As the monkey hopped by, the kid said, "Look, there goes his butt right now."
I knew Richie was hot when he didn't engage in this conversation. It's like he was using all his energy being miserable. But I really started getting worried when the kid pointed out the cheetah poop and Richie didn't even look.
But the zoo is always worth suffering through the heat. J.J. came face to face with a giraffe while we ate hotdogs on a high-up deck. All the animals were just sleeping--even the meercats, who usually are busy doing jobs like being the babysitter or sentry.
That's a pretty good policy: "Memo: We're going to shut this kingdom down for the summer because frankly it's too hot to run from the lions and hide from the tigers. We all need some r and r. We'll resume eating each other on September 5. Thanx, Mgmt."
Meanwhile, we have a new addition to the zoo that is our house: Frankly. He's a pacman frog. He eats live crickets, which also need their own food and water--or gel, rather, so they don't dehydrate.
"Can't I just give them water?" I asked the clerk, as he piled supplies into my cart.
"No because they would drown," he said.
I guess in their natural habitat, the rivers are made of gel.
But he is a cute frog and Johnny was very excited. And after this week, Johnny will be hunting for Frankly's food because he also eats earthworms and I don't feel right about buying bugs when they visit our house regularly for free.
So it's another successful trip around the sun for Johnny, future scientist, doctor, astronaut, inventor, lawyer and carpenter, according to his plans. Well, he's already a scientist, as he often reminds me. Happy birthday, son.