The Dumbest Of The Animals

| UK | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals

(I work in a gift shop in a zoo. We have a drive-around area, and all guests are given a map on the way in.)

Guest: “Hi, I was wondering if you could help.”

Me: “Sure, what’s up?”

Guest: *pointing to the map* “Is this bit all in your car?”

Me: “Yup, you have to drive round that bit and stay in your vehicle.”

Guest: “So this bit is on foot?”

Me: “Yes.”

Guest: “Do you have to stick to the path or can you walk anywhere in this bit?”

Me: “I wouldn’t advise it, as the polar bears have access to all this area, and the tigers have access to all that area.”

Guest: “Oh… that was a really stupid question wasn’t it?”

Dying For Some Pie

| PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(It’s the annual Halloween event. I am dressed as Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd, but since the younger kids I watch haven’t seen the movie, I try to explain my costume in a way they can understand.)

Little Boy: “Why do you have a fake knife? What are you?”

Me: “I’m dressed as a lady who makes people into pies.”

Little Boy: “That’s awesome! I wanna make people into pies! Can you make me into a pie? I wanna eat myself!”

Me: *laughing* “Go down the slide first, then we’ll talk.”

Acting Like A Total Wallaby

| Belgium | Pets & Animals

(My husband and I are visiting an amazing zoo in Belgium that was built on the site of an old estate. In addition to being beautiful, the zoo is relatively open and interactive: you can get up close and personal with many of the animals where safety allows. My husband and I, from the States, are marvelling at the small ditches or rows of bushes where fences and walls would normally be.)

Me: “This is incredible! They don’t have anything like this back home!”

My Husband: “Yeah, but you know why, right? Some idiot would see one of the exhibits and immediately think, ‘Dude, I can totally jump that ditch and play with the animals’. Maybe they just have more sense than that here.”

(Later, I am asking an employee about feeding times and mention what my husband had said.)

Employee: “Oh, no. We have people like that here, too. Mostly children, but they don’t do much harm. The worst is when it’s an adult. We had a fellow who got drunk and jumped into the kangaroo exhibit and began harassing the animals.”

Me: “Jeez, what happened?”

Employee: “Well, our dominant male took offense to him bothering his consort, so he pinned him down and kicked him.”

Me: “Holy cow! What did you do?”

Employee: “We let him.”

Stale Popcorn, Fresh Mind

| Panama City Beach, FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Food & Drink, Pets & Animals

(I’m working at my zoo’s snack shack. I have to clean the popcorn machine a bit before closing, or else I won’t be done by quitting time. This is approved by my supervisor.)

Woman: “Miss, I need some—oh, did you not make popcorn today?”

Me: “Well, I cleaned out the machine, but it’s bagged so they can use it for the animals tomorrow.”

Woman: “Can I still buy it?” *glances at her two very young children* “I’d have come earlier but they weren’t hungry yet. However, they are dead-set on popcorn.”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s probably cold. Really cold.”

Woman: “I don’t care dear. How much? How’s five dollars?”

Me: “I really think there’s only two dollars with in the bag.”

Woman: “You get five for being so sweet!”

(I ring it up as two anyway, and let her put the change in the donation jar since we don’t take tips. The kids happily take the cold popcorn and start chowing down.)

Woman: “You’re a lifesaver, sweetie! And such good service!”

(When I take the ‘take-up’ to the gift shop, I see the woman with her kids, still eating the popcorn.)

Manager: “Good job. She’s really happy. Bought a mess of merchandise to thank us for hiring ‘such a nice girl!'”

(Both the kids hugged me on my way back out, too!)

Related:
Fresh Popcorn, Stale Mind

Not All Visitors Stink

| Panama City Beach, FL, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I work at the snack shack at my local zoo one summer. We have a huge group of middle-school aged kids in the park, and their supervisor has all 75+ of them come to the shack at once for lunch. I have been serving for about forty-five minutes when this happens.)

Kid #1: “Can I get a water and a hot dog for five dollars?”

Me: “Yes.”

(I ring him up, take his money, and give him the water. I’ve turned around to get the hotdog and am just coming back when I hear a shriek.)

Me: “What happened?”

Kid #1: “I don’t know.” *grabs hot dog and walks off*

(I try to calm the kids down, and just when they’re in a line again, I smell an powerful odor; it’s obviously what caused the shriek.)

Me: “Someone set off a stink bomb. One second…”

(I radio the front so they know, but there are other groups in the park and it’s not an immediate danger, so it’s still just me.)

Kid #2: “Yeah. I want to know who it is so we can get them later.”

Me: “Here’s your order. So, someone decided to set off a stink bomb right where you all are getting and eating food?”

Kid #3: “Pretty much. I want a cheeseburger and a soda.”

Me: *still serving* “…In a place full of animals with a great sense of smell, like the bears and mandrills behind me?”

Kid #4: “Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out and beat them up for you!”

Me: “Oh, that’s sweet.”

(I keep serving for about another ten minutes when I again hear a shriek; this time, it turns into hysterical screaming. I look and see that one of the parrots has been spooked off his perch, and, for some reason, several kids are screaming since he’s on the ground near them. I grab the radio and tell the keepers, but put up my “Back in Five Minutes” to calm the screaming kids down..)

Me: *to the screaming kids* “It’s okay. Just back away from the macaw, kids. He’ll be fine; you’ll be fine. Just back up.”

(The kids do so, and a keeper prepping for the wolf show runs over to put the bird back.)

Me: “Thanks.”

Keeper: “No problem. Hang in there…”

(The keeper has just left when I hear yet another kid yell.)

Another Kid: “Leave him alone!”

(I turn to see some kids spooking our white peacock; this other kid, a girl, is trying to protect it.)

Me: “Oh for the love of… that is the head keeper’s personal favorite animal! Desist!”

(The kids break up, apparently snickering at my use of the word ‘desist’. I get back into the shack.)

Kid #6: “Yay, you’re back. Um, a hot pretzel and soda.”

(After I serve him, I see Kids #2 and #3; they’ve come back with a large group. To my surprise, the kids proceed to empty all the change I’ve given them into the donation jar.)

Kid #2: “Sorry it’s been so crazy. I swear we’re not all that bad!”

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