1. Do not feed the animals.a
  2. Do not cross barricades and fences.b
  3. Do not tease the animals.c
  4. Do not leave children unattended.d
  5. The zoo closes promptly at 6:00 PM.e
  6. No flash photography in the Nocturnal Creatures Exhibit.f
  7. No outside food or beverages.g
  8. We require an ID for all alcohol purchases.h
  9. Please observe parking regulations.i
  10. Please use family friendly language.j

We’ve already had to amputate an orangutan’s foot after she ate too much cotton candy and got diabetes, and the python has a heart condition thanks to deep-fried foods.
Unless nobody is watching and you hop fences with full knowledge of the risk.=
You will lose body parts if you violate this rule.
This is essentially a repeat of “Do not feed the animals.” Wandering children are easy prey.
Please, no more sneaking into the zoo for bestiality, slaughtering animals for ‘exotic’ meats, or frat initiations that involve angering the big cats.
The animals don’t like it, and you suck at taking photos anyway. Your smartphone isn’t built for low light. Get over it. Enjoy the zoo without a fucking selfie.
Do you know how much it costs to run a goddamn zoo? We need concession money.
Our liquor license has strict guidelines because of the large volume we sell. We must always check an ID. You could be eighty, and we’d still card you. It’s a law. Of course, you won’t understand this, and you rarely carry your ID with you, and you blame the bartender making minimum wage rather than the manager who implemented the policy or the state senate that enacted it. In short, you are a jackass (and jackasses always make for angry drunkards, so shut up and get your kid a souvenir from the gift shop instead of buying booze).
We know that the stadium is just down the street, but you can’t park your trailer here for tailgating. The animals get pissed at the noise level, and the janitorial staff gets pissed at the vomit, and your friends get pissed because tailgating at an adjacent location is bullshit anyway.
Because the zoo is full of kids, and we cultivate the illusion that children are innocent.
James R. Gapinski

James R. Gapinski

James R. Gapinski's flash fiction chapbook, Messiah Tortoise , is forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks. His fiction has previously appeared in The Collapsar, Juked, Literary Orphans, Monkeybicycle, Psychopomp, SmokeLong Quarterly, Word Riot, and other publications. He's managing editor of The Conium Review, and he's associate faculty at Ashford University. James lives with his partner in Portland, Oregon.
James R. Gapinski

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