We’re all going to die! But hopefully not at the zoo.

The other day, there was a study that reported that watching over two hours of television per day increased one’s risk of death.  I hate to get all caught up in the details, but the risk of death is 100%.  I’m going to just go ahead and assume that the study meant premature death.

Speaking of the risk of death, injury, and dismemberment, Jake is going on a field trip to the zoo!  There is so much paperwork to be filled out these days, and of course a field trip in which kindergarteners are going to be riding the bus is full of potential hazards which need to be addressed.  Not that I have a problem with signing these papers; on the contrary I fully understand the need to release the school board of liability even if I think that “death” is not an acceptable outcome from a field trip. 

I scanned the list of potential hazards.  There were the usual ones: possible bus-related accidents, possible tripping and falling while walking, possible rain, possible reactions to environmentally-related allergens.  Then something caught my eye: under the list of possible hazards the box labeled “Wild Animals” was checked, with the note that “All wild animals should be contained in their enclosures.”  I should hope so.  When I considered the field trip, the possibility of the animals escaping from their cages and trampling/mauling/eating alive the children was not actually on my radar screen.

Remember that guy who got drunk and snuck into the Siberian tiger enclosure at the Calgary Zoo after hours and, strangely enough, got mauled?  There are now signs all over the zoo warning people against attempting to climb into the enclosures.  This has to be spelled out now, I guess, in case someone else has a hankering to get up close and personal with a vicious carnivore.  Whenever I’m at the zoo with the boys, I always point out those signs: “Remember guys, DON’T climb into the tiger’s cage!  Don’t forget!” 

In any case, Jake is looking forward to his field trip.  There are only nine school days left, not including today, and I think that all academic work has gone out the window.  For example, Mark is spending the afternoon watching James and the Giant Peach.  The class just finished reading the book – one I remember fondly from my own childhood – and so they are celebrating by watching a movie and bringing in snacks.  I actually purchased a large bag of potato chips for Mark’s contribution and I did not eat it myself!  The bag stayed unopened on my counter for almost twenty four hours!  I consider that to be a huge victory in what a good friend is calling “Operation Muffin Top”. 

I never, ever buy things like potato chips because my self-control is so low when it comes to salty snack foods.  I am liable to eat a jumbo family-size bag of chips within a five minute window if the opportunity arises, then I am a bloated, headachy mess.  My method dealing with this lack of control is to never walk down the chip aisle.  It’s for the best anyway, because I’m pretty sure that kind of consumption would increase my risk of death. 


  1. Aren’t you afraid your child will be stampeded by the peacocks that wander freely around the Calgary Zoo?

    The first year we homeschooled I planned to teach til the end of June just like in a real school. Then a teacher friend told me that at the elementary level, report cards are usually done the first week of June. The whole month is pretty much a write off — academically anyway. And now we end school in May. Just because.

  2. It so reminds me of the time when I was a kid and my little cousin reached through an enclosure to pet a porcupine. It was a total old school little zoo. Lucky no one got eaten and my cousin didn’t get a quill in her finger. Good times…

  3. Oh, it’s so cute when skinny women pretend like they have a muffin top issue, or a hope in hell of achieving a muffin top issue. I only WISH our school would dispense with the pretend academic work. I spent this afternoon finishing Eve’s giraffe project because she had baseball Monday and tuesday night and tonight I’m going out, the boys have baseball and she’s at my Mom’s. And my Mom can’t do a giraffe project in French. Also, thanks Nan, now I want to homeschool even MORE. (Did you know giraffes don’t lay their heads down when they sleep?)

  4. I hope the kids manage to remember to stay out of the tiger enclosure. I know I was tempted to scale the wall the last time I was there. It was only the cries of my children that stopped me from jumping in.

  5. I would hope that all the animals at the zoo would be contained.

    Good for you for avoiding that bag of chips. That would have been difficult for me.

  6. The week before my brother went on an African safari, a group of Japanese tourists got eaten by the lions because they decided to get out of their vehicle and have their pictures taken. We never said humans were smart.

    I hope the zoo trip is fun.


  7. K’s field trip was to the zoo, also. And yes, the last three weeks or so of school were worthless.

  8. Well I hope that the kids wouldn’t be drinking enough to get caught in a pit with a lion.
    Death, so forever and final.

  9. Right now, all I’m thinking is that there are chips in the pantry and I really want to go eat them…

Leave a Reply