I have a season pass to the San Diego Zoo. I really enjoy my time there. I ventured to the zoo this morning as I hadn't been in a while. Even beyond the animals, the extensive grounds and steep hills make for a nice walk.
It was so crowded at the zoo that I found it difficult to approach the exhibits, so as I walked around I spent a lot of time in my own head, as I often do. And a particular question popped into my head… let's say that the clock strikes midnight and the zoo is void of all people. All of the cages open and the animals are free to wander and mingle. But they're all cool. No animal tries to eat another. It's a good vibe. Which leads to the question… if you're an animal and you want to have a poker game, which animals do you invite to the table?
People who know me well can predict this guest list exclusion: absolutely no birds are invited. I hate birds. Sorry flamingos.
I'd certainly invite the brown bear because he would have good stories to tell. If you're ever camping and you encounter a brown bear, sit down on a stump and listen to him because you're going to hear some great tales.
Not only that, but during the game you could always have this exchange:
Brown bear: Your turn, Bry. Are you in?
Me: Does a bear shit in the woods?
I'd definitely invite a camel. If for no other reason than he wouldn't drink too much beer. I mean, c'mon, he's a fucking camel. He travels thousands of miles in the desert without tasting a drop of water. He's not going to be doing keg stands in the kitchen.
I like turtles, but since they can reach a hundred years old, you'd have to hear a lot of stories about when gas was a nickel. Sorry, but no turtle.
Now here's the kicker: what animal would you invite to get the party started? Which animal would be the one to make the jokes? The clichéd answer would be the hyena. But this would be a horrible choice. This would be like inviting Robin Williams. It sounds good on paper, but after five minutes of his hyperactive routine, you'd want to shoot him with a tranquilizer dart. A hyena would be obnoxious. If you really want to invite a cool animal, here's where you go… invite an otter. You've never laughed so hard until you've hung out with an otter. They're the life of the party.
Have you ever seen a sad otter?
You most certainly couldn't invite a panda bear. They get all of the attention and special treatment at the zoo. The zoo always advertises the pandas. They get shown panda porn on TVs in their exhibit. Two pandas hump and it makes national news. In order to even see the pandas, you have to get into a special line while people constantly tell you to be quiet. Pandas would be snobby and want you to open a bottle of wine. We don't need that kind of attitude.
I posed my zoo poker question to Amber tonight and she brought up two terrific points. You couldn't invite a giraffe because its long neck would help him catch peeks of other player's cards. In the same vein, you couldn't invite a kangaroo because it could hide cards in its pouch. While I think playing cards with a kangaroo would be a pure delight, the risk of cheating is just too great.
The idea that koalas get stoned off eucalyptus is a myth, but they still don't seem to be too cognizant. It sounds bad, but I think that it would be easy to score some easy chips from a lackadaisical koala. The koala is in.
With all this being said, for a table of six, me included, here are the other five animals I would invite to my poker game:
1.) Brown bear
5.) Zebra (because it's a hip animal)
My HOA rules allow me to have a pet, but it cannot weigh more than twenty five pounds. This is limiting. I loathe tiny dogs and am not a fan of cats. I'm not looking for a pet, but if I were, I'd want a Fennec fox. I saw one at the zoo today and it’s a cool animal. It's too small to fetch a beer but it does eat insects. And while it's not manly to say, it's pretty damn cute.
One of the zoo handlers had the fox outside of its cage and talked about it. Because I'm a nerd, I asked lots of questions. It was an interesting discussion. Animals are fascinating critters.