Yesterday we went to the zoo. We looked at the meerkats and the giraffes and the lemurs (perched on top of their heat lamps) and the siamang monkeys and the seahorses in the bio-education pavilion. We visited the orangutang – she was sitting on the edge of her moat, watching the visitors and chewing grass. When children stuck their arm out and mimed shaking hands, she would put out her own hand and solemnly mime shaking back. When the idiot British tourist threw peanuts at her (his aim was extremely proficient) she gave him looks of calm disdain and let them bounce off and had absolutely zero interest in chasing them down in the grass. So the twerp threw more – in the feeble hope that she hadn’t gotten the message the first time, or possibly that she had the three second memory of a goldfish (although that’s in dispute now, isn’t it?) and would see every projectile as a brand new exciting opportunity.
We were leaning over the rail, peacefully contemplating a pleasant Sunday afternoon, and a woman arrived with a toddler and a baby in a stroller.
“LOOK at the MONKEY.” She boomed. “LOOK at him sitting on his bottom. LAZY boy!”
“Yah-” attempted the child. Mother cut him off in mid-voice.
“DO you see the LAZY BOY there? WHAT a lazy BOY! He’s not doing anything at ALL! Tell me, do YOU think he’s Lazy?”
“WHAT A LAZY man you ARE! Sitting on your BOTTOM in the sun instead of being a USEFUL person. NAUGHTY Boy!”
The long suffering orangutan grunted and knuckled to her feet and turned her back on her audience. Giving us one hopeless look over her shoulder, she hid behind a stand of grass and say down again.
“LOOK at him! SHOCKING! He’s not going to do ANYTHING today but sit around!? What do you think of THAT, you LAZY Man! I’m WATCHING YOU!”
Not all of the monkeys were on the INSIDE of the cage.