I had never been to the zoo’s invertebrate room before. It is pretty magnificent, I highly recommend. You’ve got your standard Giant Octopus (not that giant), sure, and anemones and starfish and Golden Weaving Spiders or something, which- high comedy – the N thought was a glassed in exhibit. Freaked him out and how, even after some very friendly volunteer insisted the spiders have terrible eyesight, so they won’t, you know, jump on his face and web him up n devour him alive next week when they’re feeling peckish.
The nautilus was my favorite, they were very swimmy and busy eating shrimp kebab takeout.
If you have a few minutes to spare and it is a very terrible cold and rainy and snowy and 20-degrees-maybe-and-shit-is-that-hail? kind of day, the kind of day that no one in their right mind would say “HEY. Let’s go to the zoo!” then that is definitely when you should go to the zoo. You will have the entire Hissing Cockroach display unto yourselves. And at the Hissing Cockroach display (and the Spiny Lobster display, and the Vietnamese Killer Furry Orange Legged Nightmare Mutant Centipede display), the zoo requests your input! Please, write a poem about the Hissing Cockroach!
(Ed. Note: This may be the most satisfying picture ever appear on this website. A handwritten haiku by the G, ragging on K’s old roommate, in front of a giant fish tank filled with wriggling Hissing cockroaches. Especially since my poem turned out so bad - there are not a lot of colorful words that rhyme with "hissy" – The N)
Please draw a picture of the Maryland Blue Crab! Please stay here all day in the warm and fishy smelling room, so you don’t have to walk back to the car in Mt. Pleasant whose battery may or may not be dead!
Also, a giant ant farm! They’re in yr ceiling tubes. Converting yr fungus! Or so sez the zoo keeper who pretty much gave us a personal tour since we were the only suckers there.
The National Geographic “Bizarre Beasts” exhibit was pleasant enough, but kind of a letdown, esp. after spending an hour or so hanging with real life Nightmare Centipedes. It’s basically two rooms. LJG: “I kind of let myself think that they’d all really be real and I’d get to cuddle with the saw mouthed shark. Awww. Man. Sad.”
Two satisfactory things about the NatGeo deal: one, the display entitled “TERROR BIRDS” which has become my new favorite phrase (“Hey, what’s wrong???” “TERROR BIRDS!”) and two: the interactive “build your own animal” touch screen thingy. It was terrible in only the best of terrible ways, and it is a proven scientific fact that hooves = funny. Sea animal? Give it hooves. Climbing monkey? Hooves, always hooves. Burrowing rat-mole thing? Definitely needs hooves.
The cloven hoofed rat-tailed sea leopard.
So, the exhibit didn’t take very long, and was kind of “meh,” but it leads into a beautiful nature photography exhibit that's pretty. It’s well worth a trip as long as you are okay with being a total loser since many of the photographs were taken by 10 year old Swedes who already have gallery representation and who’s parents take them on safaris to perfect their craft (not exaggerating.)
Helen Mirren totally amazing or what?