Monday, May 16, 2005

animal crackers

entry 7

may 16th

Current level of conviction in own genius: 3
Hours of creative activity acheived in last 24 hours: 0
Hair day: passable

Gagh. This weekend my throat turned into an amusement park for germs and I was left feeling like an amateur sword-swallower and sounding like the mutant love-child of Mariella Frosrup and an adolescent donkey. Decided to mostly ignore extreme pain and phlegmitude by doing nice weekendy activites like going to Brixton's kick-ass cinema The Ritzy (to see Hitchhiker's - verdict: slightly irritating) and, more excitingly, visiting London Zoo. I haven't been to the zoo since I was quite wee and I wasn't sure whether my adult self would be more inclined to feel slightly outraged at the sight of animals cooped up; however, once i was inside, I was as wide-eyed and gaspy as the 5 year-olds, if not more so, frankly. So we saw a few slumbering lions, some chilled kangaroos, a manically-depressed sloth bear in severe need of a manicure, a collection of very disturbing reptiles that wouldn't have looked out of place in a Ridley Scott movie and some bizarrely-put-together insects with sex lives that would have been deemed too obscene for Eurotrash (incestuous crickets, part-asexual upside down jellyfish, that kinda thing). There were creatures with quite maginficently self-explanatory names - see the Flouncy Flower Beetle, the Taiwan Beauty Snake and the Shovel-nosed Sturgeon. Absolute favourites, though, were the residents of the Ape and Monkey houses; where the other areas would leave you 'urgh!'-ing and squealing at their alien nature, here you really felt inclined to mimic, or in my case, actually converse with them because damn! they really didn't seem so far off our own kind (and some a good deal more sophisticated than the specimens in Leicester Square of a steamy Saturday night). Some of the expressions on the spider monkeys, gibbons and chimps really did seem to say: 'no, I will not be your performing monkey, you humanoid imbecile' or 'dave, pass the grapes, will you?' or 'i wish they'd do something with this place. If they knocked a wall through, they'd really open up the space'. Most awe-inspiring was undoubtedly the silverback gorilla. He looked like a grand, avuncular lord, a world-heavy sigh in primate form, with hulking muscles and thighs as wide as barges. I could have watched him (and possibly bowed down and done his every bidding) for hours.

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