I was at the Naples Zoo last week with my kids, and much to our surprise they had added the attraction, “FEED THE GIRAFFES.” Of course from the second we entered the zoo on that balmy 89 degree day, all my boys wanted to do was FEED THE GIRAFFES. “When can we feed the giraffes? How much farther to the giraffes? Are we almost at the giraffes? I want an ice cream. My feet hurt. When can we feed the giraffes?” Did I mention that it was the Saturday before Easter, or that it was free for county residents? It was surprising, because it looked like Take Your 8 Month Pregnant Teenage Girlfriend In Club Attire To The Zoo Day. After we corralled our way through the entire Zoo, we arrive at the line to FEED THE GIRAFFES. I knew this was going to end badly.
First, you could stand in the blindingly hot 15 minute line. Then for 5 dollars you were presented with a wilted romaine leaf. Then you were granted entry through the turnstile to approach the wall. Then you could wave your pathetic wilted lettuce leaf at the Giraffes in a vain attempt to entice them over to a hoard of overheated toddlers whose parents were feigning frustration through the lenses of their cameras. The Giraffes, however, had other plans that day. They chose to stand in the shade, as far away from all humans as possible, looking mildly annoyed, as only a giraffe can.
I made a mental note to bring heads of romaine in my backpack next time, and to pluck off leaves and sell them for 4 dollars a piece about 50 yards ahead of the FEED THE GIRAFFE line. This would be a good way to recoup some of my losses on admission fees and ice creams, while providing me with a good chuckle, not to mention a valuable learning experience for my kids.
Anyway, as you can imagine, my offspring were none to happy about the decision the Giraffes had made. I had to come up with something quick, something to divert their little minds from the endless obsession with FEEDING THE GIRAFFES. And then it hit me…
What happens when the Giraffes die? I mean, I know they lay down or fall over and die or whatever, but what does the zookeeper DO with them? Are they carted off whole in a tractor-trailer to a landfill? Are they cut up into smaller pieces perhaps to reduce the cost of transport? Are they “recycled” to the alligators? Are they given a proper burial and the respect they deserve for living in a confined space eating wilted lettuce for our amusement? Me thinks not.
Then came The Million Dollar Idea. You are lucky I am not making you sign a non-disclosure before reading this.
Picture a big Melissa & Doug looking pine box casket in the shape of a Giraffe. It would be huge, and educational for the kids. They could have a new attraction BURY THE GIRAFFES, and for 5 dollars you get a scoop of dirt, you walk through a turnstile, and throw it onto the casket.
Unless you buy your dirt from me, 50 yards ahead, for 4 dollars a scoop.