Taking retards to the zoo* ASK NATALIE10/04/06

I just went to the zoo. It was like two days ago or something. I planned the trip cause it was the old man's birthday, and it is always nice to do somehting different on your birthday. That way, you can remember what happened, instead of being like "Oh, my 27th birthday? I just sat on the internet and answered surly e-mails from 13 year olds..."

We went to the Columbus Zoo. The Columbus Zoo is a pretty nice zoo. The animals all seem to be in good health, and they seem to be comfortable being looked at by people, which makes me think that the zookeepers treat them pretty well. Otherwise, I don't think that the would be too cool with some lady up in their faces, snapping pictures. I did not use my flash, I am pretty sure a monkey would be able to rip my entire face off if I got him mad, flashing away up in his business.

The Columbus Zoo is the same zoo that is run by Jack Hannah. Even if you do not live in Ohio, you may have seen Jack Hannah on a wide array of TV programs. He gets paid to bring animals to television studios and have them maul the television host.

Anyway, I had a hotdog and some Diet Cokes while I was there. I took a little boat ride that meandered around the monkey houses. The boat ride only lasted for about 3 minutes or something, but it only cost a dollar...er....a token that cost a dollar. Shit, I would pay a dollar to ride just about any boat.

Here are some pictures of the zoo trip:

Now, I am self-employed at this point, and I work a lot. A whole lot more than you might think I do. However, I can take days off when I see fit, so I get to do things like go to the zoo on a Tuesday in October, which pretty mugh rules ass. NO KIDS. NO LINES TO LOOK AT ELEPHANTS. NO SOUVENIR STANDS EVERY 12 FEET. It is pretty much ideal. I would recommend it to anyone. Most people think that summertime is the time for the zoo, but motherfuckers, the zoo is open all year long. You gotta catch that zoo action in the off season, and you will have a much better time. A lot more animals hang around outside in the cooler months, too, since they usually don't venture out of the shade much in the middle of July, so you get to see them all running around in the dirt instead of panting under some outcrop of fake rocks.

*Don't write to me because I said "retards" in the title of this blog post. It is not my problem if you cannot pick up pop-cultural references.


Q: I was walking across the street today when I was flagged down by two Mormon missionaries. In the interest of politeness, I talked to them for a few short moments. I found myself lying through my teeth and even agreed to let them visit with me later this week. The thing is, I have no desire to talk to them.

How do I get out of this? I don't want to be blatantly rude, but I really don't want to waste my time talking with them. I'm a Buddhist and my wife is Jewish. We're not exactly looking for something different. Please help.

A: You don't need to be rude to make them leave you alone. I mean, you told me that you are Buddist and your wife is Jewish, and you aren't really shopping around for a new religion. It would have been pretty easy to tell the Mormon dudes the same thing. Instead, you just gave them an invitation to come over and waste more of your time, and waste more of their time, also. A simple, "My wife and I are already actively practicing our own religions, thank you for your offer, though," is plenty polite, and I don't think they would press the issue further after that.

If they gave you their contact information, I would give them a call and let them know that you won't be available to meet again after all. At least that way they can spend their time trying to talk to other people who might be more interested in becoming a Mormon.

Q: Those who blog may have encountered the problem of assholes with opinions hiding behind the guise of anonymity. I find that they will take something I've said and twist it around so they can throw it in my face and make me feel shitty for seemingly no reason. I have considered making my journal readable only to those who a) have permission, and 2) subscribe to the site where I'm blogging. The problem with this is that there are people who don't have accounts that I want to be able to read it, like my dad and my out-of-state mother. It seems like a lot to ask them to sign up for accounts they'll never use, only so I can avoid being spit at by people who know me well enough to know that their nastiness will hurt my feelings.

It's easy to say "don't let it bother you," but I'm not one of those sort of people. I take shit personally, and I hate not being able to confront my villains as they've chosen to remain anonymous. The best thing I've been able to do is respond in a way that doesn't validate their cruelty, making it look like whatever they say doesn't affect me. But it does. What should I do?

A: If you are not the type of person who would not be bothered by people saying shitty things to you on the internet, you shouldn't have a blog. I think that making an online journal and only leaving it open to people you approve of reading it completely defeats the purpose of having an online journal. If you only want your thoughts read by family and friends and people who will love everything you have to say, then keep a diary, and talk to your family and friends more. You can't publish your thoughts in a public forum if you don't want the public commenting on what you have to say.

Q: I was in traffic the other day and wondered if you had a pet name for fans of your site. I thought of two off the top of my head. You could call them the Nat. Pack, you know 'cause it sounds like the Rat Pack and their fans of yours, or you could call them Dee'sNuts, as in they're nuts about your site. Yup. Well it passed the time in traffic.

A: I refer to them as the Cult of Personatalie. It seems to work out pretty well.
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