Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Kid, I'm a zoo clown. Now, buy a giraffe or go to hell." - Clown, Malcolm in the Middle

 

The Astrodome. They keep a secret government program to teach extraterrestrials how to make Japanese consumer products in there. Or the Houston Oilers® used to play there. I forget which. Anyhow, this is how it looks from a high-speed train.

Houston is big. Oh, sure, you might not notice that if you’re cooped up in an office all day filling out TPS reports (me) or stuck in a house (The Mrs.) with a grumpty-grump two-year-old (Pugsley). To really get the scope of the enormity of Houston, you have to go where the people are, even if you really, really, hate people.

On this occasion, The Mrs., Alia, The Boy, Pugsley and I all headed for the Zoo. For some reason, the Zoo in Houston runs a Halloween promotion called, “Boo at the Zoo,” which I find similar to the Department of Motor Vehicles running a special to commemorate hepatitis awareness. I suppose that “Hepatitis C at the DMV” isn’t nearly as catchy as “Boo at the Zoo.” But, I digress.

We decided to go to the Zoo, since seeing fuzzy animals was a better choice than the whole hepatitis thing. Since the parking near the Zoo is rumored to be as extinct as Madonna’s ability to be seen as cool and relevant, we decided to take the train in to the Zoo. The train ride was fun, and if there was a train remotely near the front door of Casa Wilder that went remotely near the front door of the place I work, my hiney would be firmly planted in the train every business day, and I would get there early, just so I could take up two seats – one for me and one for, heck, my coffee cup. Whatever, just so I could take up extra space. The Boy and Pugsley were wide-eyed as the electric train accelerated and decelerated as smoothly as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Cyberdyne Systems™ stainless steel skeletal system until we reached our destination. When the train attempted to grab them with its biomechanical arms, well, let's just say they were a bit more wide-eyed.

The end point of our journey was Memorial Herman Park. I kept wondering who Memorial Herman was, but it turns out this guy with the last name of Herman gave hiney loads (for those of you playing the Wilder Drinking Game, the second use of “hiney” is worth two shots) of money to various things that were more-or-less good for people. A whole crowd of folks was headed to the Zoo, and I veered a bit off the path they were following to see the nice fountain that commemorated Mr. Herman. As we left the fountain, The Mrs. said, “While you were reading that map, you took us through a whole throng of homeless urban outdoorsmen. You might want to pay attention when you’ve got the kids with us."

Apparently The Mrs. doesn’t trust my totally mad ninja skills.

Anyhow, we got to the Zoo. The line was kinda horrific, but we already had tickets, so we just walked on in. It felt like being Mel Gibson before that whole DUI thing, except that I didn’t have leather shoulder pads on.

The Wilder family made it into the zoo. It was, well, crowded, the kind of crowded that led you to need to wait 25 minutes behind the other seventeen families ahead of you to see the pigeon display. The pigeon display. Yeah. That crowded.

Navigating through the mess at the Children’s Zoo was likewise horrific. Finally, there was a slide where younger members of the family (namely, The Boy) could slide to the end of the fairly boring display of animals.

I told The Boy, “Wait for us when you get to the bottom.”

As we waded and navigated around the masses of humanity to finally get to the bottom, I saw The Boy climbing back up the slide back into the (enclosed wood box – think a deck with sides and a top, so not much different than a house if you're from Wyoming) place that we had just been in. I could sense that this stupidity was a stupidity bred by panic – The Boy got to the bottom, waited, no parents.

"They must have finally figured a way to ditch me, FOREVER."

I chased The Boy back through the maze of the “Fairly Familiar Animal” exhibit, and caught him just a bit later, say, 200 yards away. About twenty people saw me sauntering that way and said, “Looking for your boy? That way.”

Even now, adults rat on kids. Gotta love that. The Boy was scared as I’ve ever seen him when I caught him. I went fairly easy on him.

At this point, our Zoo adventure was over, less than thirty minutes into it. The Boy’s panicked flight was a good excuse. The Mrs. and I moved from a place where there were fewer people packed into a radius of 100 miles from town than there were within 100 feet from us. Since we're somewhat phobic about people, anyway, that makes us as oogy as Paris Hilton using our towels.

The train ride back to our car was uneventful. At home, The Boy got the butt chewing and explanation that he deserved. The Mrs. and I skated out to Best Buy® and bought a new wireless USB Internet (Pugsley’s eaten the last three) connection device, and then Alia went to her job slinging java. Back to normal.

It’s nice being in a house where there aren’t fifteen thousand people within ten feet of you. At least it’s easier to get to the bathroom, and there’s no line for beer. Mmmm, beer.
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3 Comments:

Blogger Sweet Yet Sassy said...

“Hepatitis C at the DMV” isn’t nearly as catchy

Was the irony in this on purpose?? HA! I thought it was pretty darn funny.

Man! I must have missed a few posts. I am familiar with all of your family names, including but not limited to your brother with the same name John, but I do not know who this Alia is...... CRAP! I am gonna have to read them all again. LOL.... unless you just want to tell me in a comment back.

6:11 AM  
Blogger "The Rake" said...

I remember the same episode with little one when she thought we lost her and she cried and huddled moms leg for hours.

8:01 AM  
Blogger John said...

sweet yet sassy,
I love irony, and thank you!

Alia S. Wilder is yet another Wilder amongst us who helps us have wacky adventures. And she gets me beer when I ask her.

the rake,
Scary stuff. Alia wandered off when she was little, but she came back.

7:43 PM  

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