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    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!”

    Taming The Feral Customers

    | Bristol, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I work in the Petting Corner are of the zoo, where twice a week we show the new arrivals and the young animals. Today, we have a young tiger cub who has not once attacked as he is quite tame. We have an experienced tiger handler, who is from another branch of our zoo. It’s mostly kids that come to pet the tiger, but some adults seem to love him too.)

    Me: “…and here we have the young tiger cub, Jumanji, who comes here twice a week! Now, don’t be shy, he’s tame, and we have our experienced tiger handler Tom on hand! All of you who would like to pet him, please make a queue.”

    (I turn to Tom, the tiger handler.)

    Me: “Tom, can you hold him in your lap?”

    (I move away to make preparations for the next part of Petting Corner. As I do this, a young man with his son pushes ahead, knocking over several young kids. A concerned mother speaks up.)

    Mother: “Hey! How dare you! My son has been waiting in line and you barged in?!”

    Man: “Shut the f*** up, you b****! Go on, son. Pet the tiger!”

    Son: “Yay!” *starts jabbing the tiger in the ribs* “This tiger isn’t doing anything!”

    Me: “Stop that! The tiger is getting angry! Don’t jab him!”

    (At this point, I’m running to him to stop him, and Tom is trying to shield the tiger’s ribs from him. The tiger tries to scratch the brat, but nicks Tom slightly instead.)

    Man: “This tiger isn’t tame at all! My son could have been scratched! I want compensation!”

    Me: *angry* “You won’t get any! I demand you get out of this zoo, now!”

    (I turn to the kids, trying to be calm as possible.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the tiger will be back next week.”

    Man: *screaming* “DON’T LISTEN! THE TIGER IS DANGEROUS!”

    Mother: “Almost as dangerous as you!”

    (Suddenly, the mother puts the man in a choke hold—yes, a choke hold—and pins him with the help of the other parents.)

    Mother: “Call security!”

    (Afterwards, the man was arrested and they were both banned for life. The people who helped got 12-month passes for their assistance!)

    
Kids Say The Truthiest Things, Part 2

    | UK | Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

    (The zoo allows children aged 3 and under in free; however, this is frequently misread by visitors as ‘under three’. A couple comes in with a boy aged around 5, and a little girl. My dad’s on the entrance till, while I’m waiting to take over for lunch break.)

    Customer: “Two adults and one child, please. She’s two.” *points at their little girl*

    Customer’s Little Boy: “Mummy, she’s three! She’s not two, mummy. Don’t you remember? She had a birthday and a cake and she’s three now. She’s not two any more! I got her a present and her friends came over and…”

    Customer: *puts on a ghastly fake smile and drags both children away*

    Customer’s Little Boy: *while being dragged away* “But she’s THREE!”

    Related:
    Kids Say The Truthiest Things

    Unbearably Bad Ideas, Part 2

    | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK | Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

    (I am at the zoo with my little cousin to see the pandas that have recently arrived.)

    Visitor: “Aw, look at it! It’s just so cute! They’re not dangerous, are they?”

    Worker: “Um, well, they’re bears…they’re just as dangerous as other bears.

    Visitor: “But if I were to walk in to the enclosure, it wouldn’t hurt me. I could touch it, couldn’t I?”

    Worker: “Well, no. It’s a bear.”

    Visitor: “Oh, but the female! She must be very gentle. I could touch the female panda.”

    Worker: “Actually, she’s pretty feisty. I wouldn’t go near her, either!”

    Visitor: “Aw, I really thought they were cute and lovely, like big teddy bears! I’m so disillusioned now…”

    Related:
    Unbearably Bad Ideas

    Weekly Roundup: The Parent Is Not Always Right

    , , , , | Not Always Right | Family & Kids, Roundups

    The Parent Is Not Always Right: This week, we feature five stories of people who aren’t just bad customers, but bad parents too!

    1. Bad Parents Bug Us:
      A mother and her two “angels” go on an insect-killing spree at a zoo.
    2. Fruit Is But One Food Group:
      There’s nothing sweet about this parent’s approach to nutrition!
    3. Talking S*** Behind Someone’s Back 101:
      A mother teaches her daughter the joys of smack-talk.
    4. Rounding Down To The Nearest Child:
      Signs you have too many kids: you don’t know how many you have!
    5. Oh Where, Oh Where Have My Role Models Gone:
      Nanny nanny boo-boo, mommy acts like a doo-doo!

    PS #1: check out our new Extras section, with pictures, videos, and news galore!

    PS #2: Read more roundups here!

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