This really is a pain in the ass if you drive in Philadelphia. I live about 10 miles away on the other side of town, and the zoo traffic even affects me.
See, normally, I can hop on I-95 South and be downtown in seven or so minutes. Unless it’s a sunny weekend day, and then all bets are off, thanks to the damned zoo traffic, which is backed up from the westbound Schuylkill Expressway, the entire length of the Vine Street Expressway and even onto I-95 South.
Most of the time, I can see it and I know to take a different downtown exit. But occasionally, the 95 exit looks clear and yet I still find myself trapped in the gridlock on Vine Street.
And see, I don’t even like the zoo. I don’t get it. You’re looking at these poor animals, trapped in these areas – which, come to think of it, is a lot like being a parent trapped at the zoo. A place where they hit you up for vast amounts of money from the moment you walk in, all in order to pay for … keeping animals trapped at the zoo. (I once had a friend who worked there who was gored by an elephant and almost killed. I’m not sentimental about animals.)
I took my kids maybe three times, and I hated it. Finally, I asked them: Do you really like the zoo, or do you just like the balloons and treats? They responded with the latter, and I told them I’d buy them balloons and treats if we could stay home. They agreed.
I hated zoos even more after I read an article that said American zoos were started by the upper classes so their servants would have someplace “edifying” to spend their one day off – instead of drinking, carousing, gambling, and getting busy with the servants of the opposite sex. Cast off your shackles, citizens! No more zoos!
And for heaven’s sakes, if it’s a nice day, take your kid to the park and roll down a hill. It’s a lot more fun, and it’s a lot cheaper.