Monday, October 26, 2009

Spying on the Monkeys

Today I became a member of the Philadelphia Zoo. As zoos go, I guess it's alright. I hadn't anticipated how packed it would be, and how many small children would be in costume. So, it was a little crowded. Also, I went to the zoo today in order to observe the golden lion tamarins. After having a conversation with a zoo employee dressed as Super Mario, I learned that, the golden lion tamarins weren't available to hang with the guests. Instead I got stuck looking at the pied tamarins. The pied tamarin is a hideous beast, with a glare that is disturbing. A big momma walking near the pied tamarin cage at first told her daughter to look at the monkey, but after giving it a good look, changed her mind and said, "Yo, that monkey's crazy." A good friend of mine has suggested that, even though he's a member of the gorilla society, the only way to deal with the pied tamarin is with fire. And lots of it. In fact, the native population of humans made their best attempt to exterminate this freakish species. But the Philadelphia Zoo is taking the lead in helping this hideous creature survive.

The most confounding thing is that I couldn't find my camera today. I figured it was with my hoodie, since I couldn't find that either. So as I rode my bike to the zoo, I stopped at a drugstore and picked up smallest cheapest digital camera I could find. I doesn't really have a viewfinder or screen or anything, so there was a lot of guesswork. I didn't take many pictures in the zoo, because I felt creepy, being an adult male, alone, and surrounded by families and small children in halloween costumes. I did manage to get one picture of the Bolivian titi monkeys. It's not that great a pic, but if you know titi monkeys, you will have no problem identifying them in the photo.

On the way home, I decided to walk my bicycle along the banks of the Schuylkill while listening to Gil Scott-Heron's Pieces of a Man. Every once and I while I would attempt to take pictures of things. As I was finishing one of these picture taking attempts, a man noticed my tiny camera and asked if I was a spy. I assured him that I was not, and that he wouldn't be able to prove it anyways.