To mark this important date on my calendar I’d like to share an entry from my travel blog which always cheers me up.
“My Small Victory”
Chugging through North Wales in my campervan, I see a sign saying there is a mountain zoo near Colwyn Bay. Needing a bit of cheering up, and a lover of animals, I hang a left and crunch the gears to climb the mountain. Among the many attractions in the zoo there are chimpanzees, a particular favourite of mine. There are steps leading up to a vantage point on the enclosure, where I am able to see through a screen some ten or so simian characters. I smile to myself as they sit lugubriously on the wooden frames provided, and chuckle as one or two swing down to munch bananas from the ground below, where my eyes rest on a couple I haven’t noticed before, cuddling each other as lovingly as homo sapiens in love do.
As I prepare to take a photograph I’m distracted by a schoolteacher’s voice as she guides some forty chattering children up the steps. At the top of the climb the kids run excitedly to the viewing screen and park right in front of my shot.
“Excuse me,” I say, “would you mind standing back while I take this picture?”
“Fuck off,” says a rather ugly little boy.
Shocked, I look to the teacher for support, explaining it’s important I get this comical and amorous shot for my portfolio, and adding that I was in fact here first. To my chagrin the teacher is far from obliging.
“We all have a right to see the animals,” she archly says, “and it matters not who was here first.”
“But I do need this shot,” I protest.
“Well I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait,” she insists.
Giving up the ghost, I shift to one side, my annoyance exacerbated as the ugly little boy flashes a victoriously toothless smirk my way.
But then, annoyance turns to amusement as the female chimp begins to go down on her mate, nibbling his belly then licking his testicles as he lies back with arms behind his head in grinning expectation.
“What’s it doing?” a little girl asks the teacher, who for once is stumped.
“Giving him oral,” explains the ugly boy, looking for all the world like the missing link.
“Owen!” the teacher chides, “that’s enough!”
“It’s what my stepdad says,” insists the missing link.
“Well we don’t want to hear,” the teacher stammers, “Come along, we have to see the lions.”
“But I want to see what happens when it’s finished licking his balls!” protests the missing link, amid agreeable murmurs from his friends.
“No! It’s time to see the lions!” she roars.
And with that she ushers the children away, insisting they hold hands and follow close behind – the sulking missing link ofcourse refusing to join the chain.
I am not at all a vindictive man, but hearing the descending protestations of forty kids and embarrassed teacher, I can’t suppress my satisfaction at winning my battle with the ugly little boy. Because like the chimp inside the enclosure, I get the shot I came for.