In this week’s edition of Aw NHL Naw, there’s some hockey talk followed by some zoo talk. (Plus all your favourite swear words because this column is super lowbrow!)

Congrats! You survived triple overtime! What are you going to do to mark the occasion? If you’re a Bruins fan that’s upset with giving up a 3-1 lead, might I suggest buying an angry coffee mug? Y’know, maybe something with an illustration of Funky Winkerbean muttering “don’t even ask” while looking into a graveyard.

Game 1 was pretty swell. There was hot comeback action, good (but not too good) goaltending on display, Andrew Shaw casually said “fuckin'” in the post game interview, really it was tremendous stuff all around. The game also had the highest ratings in the United States of America for a game one since 1997. (Ah 1997, back when Shjon Podein and Halle-Bopp related cults were all the rage!)

Things are going well ice hockey wise, is what I’m getting at. Time to go for a lengthy ramble about the zoo. ZOO TALK!

(Note: The upcoming zoo talk is not to be confused with my monthly column on Babylon Zoo.)

5 Good Things About Visting The Zoo & 5 Bad Things About Visiting The Zoo

I went to the Toronto Zoo this week. Zoos aren’t exactly my scene. Mainly because I’m not a particularly big animal guy. Heck, I even have a history of eating assorted animals. It’s something I feel moderately guilty about, but not enough to change. (My urine currently smells a bit briskety at the moment. That’s where my life is at.)

Zoos are filled with things that are great and things that make you fantasize about having a peacock peck you into the warm embrace of death. As a public service, I’ve put together a handy guide that details what’s good and what’s bad when it comes to the world of zoo powerhangs.

Good Thing #1 – The Animals: Have you heard about these things called animals? They’re pretty neato! (And not just the ones from Portugal that wear hats and tell off-colour limericks either!) I saw a panda just chewing on bamboo and was dazzled. WHOA! LOOK AT ER SHUN GO! MOVE OVER, COMPETITIVE EATING CHAMPION XITONG! IT IS ER SHUN’S TIME TO SHINE! Granted, it gets a bit boring after like two minutes, but there’s a some quality zazz when an animal is doing their thing. My fiancé spent twenty minutes watching a hippo poo into a pond, so levels of interest may vary depending on who you are.

Bad Thing #1 – Kids! Kids! Kids!: Not all kids are horrible. (Like Quvenzhané Wallis seems pretty cool.) But packs of children? Gaaaaaaaah! AND THEY JUST RUN LOOSE IN A COMPOUND OF BEASTS! Zoos are filled with kids being dicks and smearing ice cream uuuuuurrrrrrrvreywhere. They tap on the glass (DO THE RULES MEAN NOTHING TO YOU?), stomp over your feet with their filthy light up shoes, communicate everything in assorted shrieks and bamboozle parents into thinking being an asshole is some sort of act of whimsy. I’M TRYING TO WATCH A SABLE ANTELOPE DO WHATEVER IT DOES AND YOU’RE LETTING SKYLYNN THROW A $4 ICE CREAM CONE AT MY $14 JEANS? FUCK YOU, ALL CHAPERONES! Occasionally you’ll come across a nice kid that asks you “whoa, what’s that?” at a display and you get to feel like Professor Geniuswich by going “oh, that’s an otter”, but those moments are few and far between. Really, 90% of children at zoos are just busted fire alarms with the capacity to smack you in the face with a stick covered in goose shit.

Good Thing #2 – Animals Fucking: You know that bit at the beginning where I said this column is lowbrow? This is where shit gets dumbed down an extra notch.

I thought seeing animals doing it (“doing it” is a zoological term) at the zoo was just a hacky sitcom trope. NOPE! Animals are getting it on left and right. Or more accurately, trying to get it on. When you’re at the zoo, you’ll see an impala try to mate and fail miserably for about half an hour. It’s like watching a friend play a video game and need to jump on a special ledge to make it to the end AND NEVER HIT THE LEDGE. It’s a hoot for you, but your pal is becoming an angry puddle of frustration.

At the baboon exhibit, them baboons wuz fucking. This led to all sorts of weird shouting from the collection of folks checking it out. A mom yelled “C’mere! They’re HUMPING!” at her kids.” One kid ran up to his mom and shouted “Mom! You missed it! The one baboon was trying to ride the other like a horsey!” Anyone that wasn’t shouting just broke out into slackjawed yokel guffawing. It was a weird shared moment built around animal-on-animal action.

Bad Thing #2 – Parents! Parents! Parents!: Not all parents are horrible. (Like Amy Poehler seems pretty cool.) But parents in charge of kids at the zoo? Gaaaaaah! For every exhausted mom, dad or guardian squeezing out every ounce of strength they have just to keep things under control at the zoo (they’re doing the work of supersaints) there are six dozen parent/guardian types that let things turn into  The Fucking Purge once they step into the park. ISN’T IT ADORABLE HOW LINCOLN THROWS FIRECRACKERS AT THE CORAL FISH? If you’ve never wanted to see a family of dicks be mauled by a pack of hyenas, you’ve clearly never been to the zoo.

Good Thing #3 – Free Reign To Say Dumb Shit: It seems like the amount of dumb guy shouting at the zoo should be a negative (and sometimes it is), but occasionally you get weird gems of insight. Do you want to hear how teen boys plan to win in a fight against (whatever animal they’re looking at)? They’re gonna let you know! The answer normally involves putting the animal in a rear naked choke. So be on the lookout for that, sharks scheduled to fight a 16 year old kid in Ed Hardy gear.

I’ll throw in all sorts of dumb guy comments when I’m at every exhibit. There’s a lot of “that’s a big feller!” and “wouldjalookatthat!” nonsense that falls out of my stupid face when I’m at the zoo. I’m borderline non-verbal by the time I’m wrapping up the day. It’s a nice bit of freedom.

Bad Thing #3 – Zoo Food: All food at the zoo is sad and made out of broken dreams. Just bring granola bars instead. Zoos are the ideal setting for granola bar eating.

Good Thing #4 – Possible Escape!: When I was at the zoo, I fantasized about all the animals breaking free and going on a rampage. (I even quietly hummed a version of “Jailbreak” and thought of alternate lyrics while looking at a rhino.) Sure, the animals would probably murder the shit out of me (who could blame them) but it’d still be cool to see. Even better would be an elaborate Oceans Eleven style escape using con artistry and a sloth dressed as a croupier.

Bad Thing #4 – The Smell: Zoos have exotic animals from all around the world and part of the deal is that you have to smell all their exotic shit. Animals poo non-stop at the zoo. It’s rare to not see some sort of fudgey (sometimes vanilla fudgey) waste pouring out every cute lil’ creature that’s warming your heart with their adorable antics. The upside of all the poo is that you can fart on a child and no one’s going to call you on it.

Good Thing #5 – I Saw A Peacock Angrily Display Its Feathers At A Colourful Handbag: I guffawed like a moron when that happened.

Bad Thing #5 – Animals Are Arrogant: None of the animals I visited would agree to sign my autograph book. :(


Hang out with Dan on Twitter or in the comments. His fans are crying sellout. They say he’s lost his touch.