Tuesday, 17 April 2012

In which mama turns art critic and keeps hold of her bits

I've been meaning to sit down and get this post finished for well over a week now, but unfortunately embuggerances like an exploding oven and a cantankerous boiler have succeeded in keeping my ass from the computer chair. Apologies, folks! I will neglect you no longer.

Your bits: keep hold of them.

For The Monk's birthday, we took him to Bristol Zoo, a place that seems to be under a perpetual raincloud. Monkles has never really come face to face with any animals before, apart from my mother's miniature Dachshund (and the jury's still out regarding Wilf's actual species, he could be anything), so we thought being confronted with lions and howler monkeys would be a wonderful and not at all frightening way to celebrate our darling son's first year.

It was also our first time travelling by train with the boy and his tank of a pushchair. This in itself was an adventure, albeit one I could live without for the rest of my life. The man-whore Monk flirted cheerfully with every female that crossed his path (if wrinkling his nose and murmuring a coy "Deng!" through a mouthful of dry Cheerios constitutes flirting), while mama and daddy prepared for the imminent train-boarding battle. As is always the way, people lurked around like vultures on the platform, desperate to be FIRST!!!! ZOMGWTFBBQLOL!11!1!!!! to board the stupid bloody train, like it's some sort of Olympic event. Maybe it is. Olympic Train Barging and Advanced Carry-On Luggage Hammer-Throwing. Anyway.

Mercifully, The Monk doesn't appear to suffer from the motion sickness that has plagued his mama for most of her life, so he quite cheerily spent the 45-minute journey to Bristol invading peoples' privacy. Pointing, clapping, eyeballing, yelling, denging, and wedging his chubby little face between the seats, thus providing the poor bastards behind us with a glorious view of his grinning mug (something many seem to find strangely perturbing at that hour of the morning). I won't bore you with the details of the rest of the journey: I'm sure you've all seen trains, buses and small people with overworked larynxes before. Move along, people! Nothing to see here!

As soon as we got to the gates of Bristol Zoological Gardens (yes!), we felt the first raindrops, and mama let out an ungodly howl, for mama does not like the rain and - more importantly - mama's hair definitely does not like the rain. I got a fringe cut in on impulse a few weeks ago, which was a bad idea on two counts: first, that I'm the laziest sod on Earth when it comes to my hair, and second, any fringe made out of my dumbass half-curly half-straight 'fro needs attention. All the time. I'd post pics of the outcome of Hair Vs. Rain, but looking at them still makes my heart and ego hurt a little.

The zoo was heaving with families, thanks to the school holidays. Not being the biggest fan of slow-moving crowds, I brandished the pushchair like a battering ram, ready to set any ditherers foolish enough to block my path flying into the monkey house. With my hellish fringe and my badass poncho, I felt like a fucking warrior, seriously. The temptation to daub intimidating stripes of greasepaint all over my face was overwhelming.

Lemur porn.
Despite the crowds and the grizzly weather, seeing the animals was wonderful. Bristol Zoo has come a long way since the sad days of the desolate polar bear enclosure. There are cheeky, curious otters; adorably tiny marmosets; enormous gorillas and all manner of nocturnal beasties, most of which were dicks and just hid in the dark the whole time. Amongst these were Dickhead Loris, Idiot Rat-Like Creature, Twat Possum, Knob-Jockey Aye-Aye and some Cocksucking Insects. Maybe I sound bitter, I dunno. Fortunately for The Monk, who was rather baffled as to why his idiot parents were hauling him around a darkened room in order to hold him up against some glass over and over again, he was able to witness a rather cavalier lemur fellating himself, as demonstrated opposite.

Incognito furry dicks aside, we soon came across my very, very favourite part of the zoo, the thing that keeps me going back time and time again... the schoolchildrens' artwork of the animals, placed at random points throughout the place. It's hilarious. It should be noted here that I'm very much a judgemental asshole, who gets a great deal of pleasure out of critiquing the drawings of others, a la this guy. This includes things drawn by other peoples' little darlings. I have no doubt that my own son's artwork will be similarly judged. I'm a bastard like that, but at least nobody can say I'm precious about it.

This post has gone on for way too long now, so I'll finish up the whole zoo business next time around. It will contain the King Of Meerkats, overpriced beer, strange men with teddy bears, and lion balls. For now, I'll leave you with some shit drawings done by kids who really should have been old enough to know better. Yes, I am a bad, bad person and I'm most likely going to Hell.

Until next time...

What would happen if lemurs were mated with cows. Awful.

My personal favourite, the streak-of-shit otter.

At least you can tell what it is. Proportions need more work.

And finally, a hippo. I know this because it says "Hippo". The "Children Only" notice indicates that we are now at The Gary Glitter Enclosure.


  1. The train with a stroller (that's a pushcart, right?) is a fucking NIGHTMARE. The only part of our emigration that I remember (thank you, Xanax) is when the TGV arrived at Charles deGaulle, my FIL started literally THROWING strollers and luggage in during the approximately 30 seconds we had to get our party of 8 onto the train. Fortunately we had 3 hours on the platform to get ready.

    I love the picture of his big grin! That looks like the kind of grin you see on a kid's face when NONE of the adults in the vicinity are smiling. I, uh, see it a lot.

    1. Yup, it's a stroller. Ours started off as a travel system with a car seat attached, and is an absolute bastard to fold down when you're juggling a wriggling small person and what feels like 40 tons of crap in bags! And then you always get some asshole on the train who refuses to budge when you're trying to manoeuvre all your shit into place... deeeeep breaths now!

      Hahahahahahahahahahaaaa, I absolutely get what you mean about the grin - I was already wondering when it was time for a beer when I took that pic!