What with all the travelling I’ve been doing, it’s been a while since I managed to put together a ThThTh list. But this week, inspired by our recent visit to the zoo, I’ve managed to round up some zoo-themed items. You are welcome to feed the list, but please keep your fingers outside the cages.
A Zoo List
- the zoo in metaphors: The term zoo is used idiomatically to evoke chaos, wildness and other general craziness in places or situations. Cf: “This place looks like a zoo!” or “It was like feeding time at the zoo.” (Of course, I have to say that the zoos I’ve been to are not so much like the crazy situations that are likened to them: they tend to be well-organized and orderly. At least the animals. The people buying snacks and such can get out of hand.)
- animal crackers: Cookies shaped like animals. Though often packaged/marketed in ways evocative of circuses, the animals featured are much more zoo-like than circus-like overall. (See, for example, a picture of animal cookies from the Barnum’s Animal Crackers. Have you seen a giraffe or a rhinoceros at the circus? I rest my case.)
- zoo keeper: a computer/arcade game where you need to line up animals in rows. You can play a flash version online.
- A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) A movie directed by Peter Greenaway. I’m not quite sure what to say about it. A zoo (or the animals from the zoo)(or some rotting carcasses of animals from the zoo) is involved. And also referenced in the title.
- 12 Monkeys (1995) One of my favorite movies, directed by Terry Gilliam. Zoo animals appear at various times during the film, and a zoo is featured in a significant scene at the end.
- Madagascar (2005) A Dreamworks animated feature about animals escaping from a zoo.
- Creature Comforts (1989) Nick Park’s brilliant claymation short with interviews of zoo animals. The soundtrack was taken from interviews with real people, describing their own living situations, and attributed to animated zoo animals. (I also discovered that there was later a related TV series that was supposed to be pretty good.
- Zoos are a pretty popular setting for children’s stories, such as If I Ran the Zoo, Dr. Seuss, Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathman and Animal Strike at the Zoo. It’s True!, by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Margaret Spengler, and a gazillion others.
- “At the Zoo” poem by A. A. Milne. Here’s a bit:
There are lions and roaring tigers,
and enormous camels and things,
There are biffalo-buffalo-bisons,
and a great big bear with wings.
There’s a sort of a tiny potamus,
and a tiny nosserus too -
But I gave buns to the elephant
when I went down to the Zoo!
- “At the Zoo,” a song by Simon and Garfunkel
Zebras are reactionaries,
Antelopes are missionaries,
Pigeons plot in secrecy,
And hamsters turn on frequently.
What a gas! you gotta come and see
At the zoo.
- “Christmas at the Zoo,” by the Flaming Lips. A song about letting animals out at the zoo on Christmas Eve. The animals show no interest in escaping.¹
¹I was rather disturbingly reminded of this song this past Christmas when hearing the news of a tiger escaped from a San Francisco zoo on Christmas day, killing one zoo visitor and injuring 2 others.
Images from wpclipart.