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The Time My School Was Banned From the Zoo


My sister and I went through the same public school system, though she is almost five years older than me. Occasionally, her reputation would precede my entry into the classroom. Mrs. Honesty, the teacher who took a hairball from me, disliked me from the moment we met because she didn’t like my sister. My English teacher freshman year of high school had the same preconceptions about me. I had to wonder WHY these teachers had a bad impression of my sister, though. She was a good student, and not in any way a troublemaker. At least her reputation benefited me in art class, where all my teachers presumed I’d be a drawing prodigy like my sister. Sadly, I was not, but I’d rather a teacher like me for no reason than hate me for no reason.

Anyway, our class took several field trips to different museums and farms in Southern Ohio. Yes, farms. In the Midwest, I guess there’s not much to show kids, so I would be shipped off regularly to a working farm and made to milk cows and collect eggs. I can still remember the uncomfortable squishy warmth of a cow’s udder, and the piss, piss sounds of the milk shooting into a metal pail.

We also visited the Cincinnati Zoo, which is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 zoos in the nation. But there were whispers of an “earlier unfortunate incident” that had gotten our school banned for a time, which was a tantalizingly vague explanation. As I soon found out, my sister’s class four years earlier had been the culprit.

Apparently, there was a group of hormone-fueled problem children in her grade. This group of rambunctious boys frequently caused trouble at school, and a field trip to the zoo was no exception. Several of them actually jumped into the ostrich pit at the Cincinnati Zoo, and chased the massive birds around while trying to ride them. Now, an ostrich can weigh well over 200 pounds, run up to 42 mph, is 6-9 feet tall, and males have penises eight inches in length. Ostriches also have powerful legs which can gore and kill a predator, such as an idiotic 16-year-old human male.

Luckily (or perhaps not), nobody was hurt during this display, but our school was asked to leave. At least future classes were allowed back, but given that ostriches can live 40-45 years, I’m betting they remember us. They remember, and they are plotting.


I thought that our school had been banned permanently from the zoo since I couldn’t remember taking any field trips there, but a friend corrected me. Apparently I have a shitty memory. What else is new?

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