Friday, 6 June 2008

The Imaginary Reviewer Goes to the Zoo

The Imaginary Reviewer went to the zoo today, and had a jolly old time taunting the geese, poking the giraffes with sticks and ducking to avoid the monkey faeces. What really caught my eye, however, was the talk given by a gentleman called Jerry, who was one of the tiger house employees at the zoo.

I should be clear from the start: Jerry is not a paid entertainer, nor is he employed to speak publicly. His primary area of expertise is in zoology, or - more specifically - the biology of large cats. My critique of his talk should take these factors into account.

That said, I feel that several aspects of Jerry’s talk was unfortunately lacking in taste. I refer predominantly to a number of off-colour jokes he made during his talk. While the parents and other adults in the audience may have appreciated his comments about ‘pussies’ and ‘tail flicking’, the fact that there were children watching made me squirm in my seat. At one point Jerry even spent several minutes talking about ‘mating practices’, an incredibly thinly-veiled reference to sex. This was, in my opinion, in very poor taste.

Jerry’s speech did have its high points. With the talk taking place by the recently-refurbished tiger habitat, there were some wonderful large cats to watch, and from his position close to the exterior wall, Jerry was able to point out some interesting parts of the animals and their habits. His speech was certainly coloured by a genuine love of his job, and for that I commend Jerry. But I still have one major complaint, one which I feel completely undermines Jerry’s speech.

Was it really necessary, I wonder, for Jerry to stand so close to the incorrectly-locked gate on the tiger habitat? Did he really have to have a scent so overpowering that the four inhabitants of the area forced the gate open? And was it that important to our understanding of the feeding habits of tigers that Jerry allowed himself to be mauled, then eaten by the animals? I think not.

Looking around myself as the huge jaws crushed Jerry’s flailing limbs, I could see looks of disappointment and sadness from the other adults in the audience. They were no doubt upset, like me, that Jerry had taken his lesson one step too far. When the zoo employee screamed at the sight of his innards being fought over by four hungry tigers, I sighed at what could have been. At this point, many of the witnesses were weeping, such was their own sadness at being let down by a poorly-planned talk. And when shock and pain gradually took over Jerry’s body and caused him to stop screaming, when other zoo employees were forced to interrupt their lunch breaks to tranquilize the tigers, when the whole sorry spectacle ended, I found myself angry at Jerry for what he put these children through in the name of zoological education.

I must add, however, that before the speech I had no idea that tigers could devour a human in such a short space of time. It was quite impressive on the part of the creatures. But such a graphic display was certainly not required to make me believe it, Jerry.

While Jerry isn’t due to give any speeches in the near future, I wouldn’t recommend going out of one’s way to see any if he does. For Jerry himself, I recommend classes in public speaking and what constitutes good taste. But please don’t let that stop you from going to the zoo, as there are elephants there and they rock.

The Imaginary Reviewer’s thoughts are with Jerry’s family at this difficult time.


Herbal Amanda said...

Wow, Jerry is so inconsiderate!

Falwless said...

Jerry was an asshole. Good riddance, you lousy zoophile.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

You're both completely right. Anod now I've recently discovered shocking information about the zoo itself, forcing me to reconsider my opinions on the institution as a whole.

Apparently the pandas at the zoo were copulating in full view of the men, women and children visiting the zoo, and the authorities were doing nothing to stop this. Apparently, some of them were even encouraging them! Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Nice review ;)


Reviews Fan

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Mr Reviews Fan: Thank you for your kind comments, so much has never been said by so many in so few words. Thank you.