Where Are the Demonic Hyenas When You Need Them?

My good­ness, you peo­ple were so talky today! I go away for six hours and I’m five pages behind on read­ing my friends’ entries!

That reminds me, I want some way to just go to the ear­li­est entry since I last read the friends’ page and start read­ing from there. I don’t real­ly want to go back and back and back to find it. Yep, spoiled.

We went to the zoo today with the Girl Scouts. I real­ly was­n’t look­ing for­ward to this, because my left hip, knee, and ankle have been giv­ing me hell for almost a week now—one of those arthri­tis things that set off a fibromyal­gia flare for yet more fun. And to make things even bet­ter, when the left knee buck­led on me last night, I twist­ed my right ankle and man­aged to get a car­pet burn on the top of that foot. Love­ly. But Sam imme­di­ate­ly forced me (real­ly!) to keep an ice pack on the ankle for so long I was in pain from the cold, and that seems to have most­ly tak­en care of the right ankle.

There’s no way I could not go today. You have to have at least two lead­ers for a trip (plus more chap­er­ones as deter­mined by arcane for­mu­las relat­ed to the Scout lev­el of each child), and I’m one of the lead­ers. Last I’d heard, the sec­ond leader was­n’t going to be there. As it turns out, she was, but I’m sor­ta glad I did­n’t know that she would be or I would­n’t have forced myself out the door and our girls would have missed the trip. And all the girls’ per­mis­sion slips showed me as the des­ig­nat­ed first aider for the trip, so me not being there would have required new slips. Which would­n’t have been avail­able, since most of the girls were there with­out par­ents, hav­ing rid­den down in one leader and anoth­er par­en­t’s vans. (We met every­one there, clos­er for us.)

So our girls and I packed our lunch­es and head­ed out the door. I don’t dri­ve down I‑20 into town fre­quent­ly. Today I learned that it’s all under con­struc­tion. The sign that said “Road Work Next 21 Miles” freaked me out a bit, since I did­n’t allow time for the equiv­a­lent of stop-n-go rush hour traf­fic. Despite one wrong turn from bad direc­tions, though, we man­aged to get there maybe ten min­utes late at the most (I want­ed to be early).

So, we get there, and leader #1 is in a foul mood. Okay, well, fine. We’ll deal. Hap­pi­ly, we end­ed up with three lead­ers plus (even­tu­al­ly) three par­ents, and eleven girls (one of those a taga­long in a stroller, not a Scout). Our troop is much big­ger than that, but many of the girls are out of town right now.

One moth­er who was going to meet us there with her two girls has­n’t arrived yet. Just as we got to the tick­et­ing counter, she called. She mis­un­der­stood I‑85 to be I‑285 and she was dri­ving around the perime­ter hope­less­ly seek­ing the zoo, in tears because she was so lost. So we got her over to I‑20 and gave her direc­tions from there (with­out the bad turn I was told to take). Leader #1 went ahead and got our tick­ets and we took the girls in. We’d bare­ly been there any time at all (just past where the bon­go would have been if he, the rhi­nos, or the zebras had been in their areas—they weren’t due to some kind of fork­lift plac­ing downed trees in their fields) and leader #1 declares that it’s time for the girls to sit down and have a snack. Okay, puz­zling to me—it’s just 10:30!—but hey, she’s #1. And she was start­ing to let go of her pissi­ness, so I def­i­nite­ly want­ed to help that along.

While we were there #1’s phone rang. Lost moth­er and kids were await­ing her at the entrance, so she went back to give them their tick­ets. They all arrived and then we wait­ed longer for the new­ly arrived kids to eat their snacks. The hap­py thing was that this delay got us fair­ly well sep­a­rat­ed from a huge, row­dy group of church day­care kids who had been bump­ing into us and gen­er­al­ly mob­bing every­thing and being obnox­ious, scream­ing, out-of-con­trol lit­tle beast­ies. I’d say they had about 80 kids and twelve adults who could­n’t keep the kids in line. Or maybe they thought that was in line—after all, nobody lost a limb (not while we were watch­ing, anyway).

So we con­tin­ued on. We did­n’t see any­thing mat­ing this time (last time the rhi­nos were mat­ing). The girls thought it was very fun­ny to see a tiger cub take a squat, though. They actu­al­ly watched the cubs longer than any­thing else in the whole place, which made sense as there were two of them and they were play­ing just like the enor­mous kit­tens they are (3 1/2 months old). 

We stopped to eat lunch at the tables in front of the McDon­alds, near the pan­das. And we were exposed to yet more kids run­ning wild as their adult com­pan­ions did noth­ing. One fam­i­ly (I assume—three adults, four kids) sat in the shade on the porch of the restau­rant while their chil­dren explod­ed every­where. Their four-year-old’s name was Omar. I know this because we heard his name screamed over and over and over again as he ran by and tor­ment­ed oth­er patrons, the birds, his siblings/cousins/whoever, threw trays that had been neat­ly stacked on trash cans all over the court­yard, etc. But not one of those adults ever actu­al­ly got up and moved their lazy butts over to pick that child up and do anything—no, they just kept mak­ing even more noise than their brats. 

While we were at the pan­da exhib­it, a kid who looked to be about three informed his moth­er that he had to go RIGHT NOW. The moth­er told the teenage boy with them (big broth­er, I guess—looked to be about 17), to take the younger boy to the bath­room. We left the area short­ly after­ward and found the two boys on a side path with the teenag­er try­ing to con­vince the lit­tle boy to whip it out and just piss in the plants because it would be quick­er. The lit­tle boy looked at him in shock and said, “That’s not the bath­room!” I could­n’t help it—I looked at the teenag­er and said, “No, that isn’t the bath­room, is it?” as the herd of Girl Scouts round­ed the cor­ner behind me. He blushed flame red and jerked lit­tle broth­er’s arm so hard the shoul­der might be dis­lo­cat­ed, tow­ing him off to the near­est bathroom.

And then there was the woman who kept com­plain­ing that she does­n’t LIKE what they’ve done to the zoo because every­thing was MUCH clos­er togeth­er when they just had the cages and you could always see the ani­mals and this is STUPID.

Final­ly, the girls all had to go to the bath­room again before we left, so we went back to the bath­rooms near the entrance. (We had to stop at EVERY wom­en’s room in the place that is open to the public—we just saw this one twice. I some­times think kids need a plumb­ing tour of places.) 

After we went into the bath­room with our girls, who were stand­ing in line wait­ing for stalls, the place was invad­ed by a horde. Or it seemed like one, although there were real­ly only about six of them, all in t‑shirts from the Boys & Girls Club of Amer­i­ca. These girls pro­ceed­ed to phys­i­cal­ly push our girls out of the way and try to get into the obvi­ous­ly occu­pied stalls. After try­ing every door, a cou­ple of them start­ed crawl­ing along the floor, look­ing up under the doors at peo­ple. That was enough—I told them to STOP that right now, that it was extreme­ly rude and that peep­ing toms can be arrest­ed. They were 5–7 years old, I’d estimate—certainly old enough to know that’s way out of line. They looked shocked, as if nobody had ever told them to stop any­thing before. Leader #1 start­ed in on telling them that there was a line and they need­ed to get in it. When one of the stall doors opened one just shoved one of our girls out of the way, #1 grabbed the lit­tle brat’s shirt and pulled her right back while our girl (who was doing the pot­ty dance in a BIG way) went in. She told the girl again, “You WILL get in the line.” And stayed there to make sure that all of our girls actu­al­ly got their turns.

I went out­side and spot­ted more kids and adults in match­ing shirts. About 40 kids and a total of two adults. Peri­od. If this is up to par for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Amer­i­ca, they suck and I’d nev­er trust a child of mine to them. I went over and told them that they had a con­duct prob­lem in the ladies’ room. One of the women shoved her bulk off the bench where she was sit­ting and went off, yelling all the way that she was gonna whup some tails and yad­da yad­da yadda.

I’d be much hap­pi­er with some of the ani­mals run­ning about loose than some peo­ple, but I guess the cages exist for the pro­tec­tion of the ani­mals as much as any­thing else.

And sam­bear won­ders why I don’t much like to leave the house if I can avoid it.

Our girls (oth­er than leader #1’s) were real­ly great. Well-behaved, no prob­lems, pret­ty polite the whole time, very lit­tle squab­bling. I was real­ly proud of them. Espe­cial­ly in com­par­i­son to the oth­er peo­ple (kids and adults) we saw there!

Yes, I’m in much more pain tonight. I know it’ll be far worse tomor­row. I have a fever now, but I expect­ed that. Part of the whole car­ni­val ride that is fibromyalgia.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙁exhaust­ed
Cur­rent Music: Hol­ly Cole “Onion Girl”
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4259

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