October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

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.”


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!”

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…”

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!

Bad Parents Bug Us

| Southern California, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Top, Wild & Unruly

(I am an intern giving a tour at my local zoo. The first stop is the butterfly & moth exhibit, where guests can go inside with animals. I give them the rules and instructions which include staying on the path/off the plants, no grabbing the animals, etc. Once we are inside, I see two children, approximately 6 and 8 years old, climbing all over the plants, trying to grab butterflies in their fists and bothering other guests. I do not see their mother, so I speak up.)

Me: “Excuse me, boys. You need to stay on the path. You aren’t allowed to climb on the plants, and you definitely aren’t allowed to grab the animals like that.”

(At that moment, their mom comes running out from behind a tree, clearly on her cell phone.)

Mother: “Hey, you can’t tell my kids what to do! If there’s a problem you come talk to me!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I didn’t see you, and your children were damaging the exhibit.”

Mother: “What?! No, they weren’t! They are angels!”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but they were climbing all over the plants and crushing them. There were also trying to grab the butterflies, which we do not allow.”

Mother: “So? My boys are having fun. They can do whatever they want!”

Me: “No, they are not. We have rules, and if you cannot follow them, you will be asked to leave the butterfly house and you will not allowed to remain a part of this tour.”

Mother: “Your rules don’t make any sense. You just want to stop everyone from having fun!”

Me: “No, ma’am, but it is my job to ensure that guests do not damage the exhibit.”

Mother: “But you can just plant more plants, and the butterflies will be fine!”

Me: “The butterflies will most certainly not be fine! Grabbing them like that will kill them!”

Mother: “KILL?! How dare you say that in front of my children?! You are damaging them for life!” *turns to her boys* “Don’t worry, she’s lying! The buggies will be fine. You just keep playing!”

(Despite my warnings, the mother refuses to intervene, so I have her and her children removed from the park. As she is being escorted out by security, she turns to me.)

Mother: “You’re nuts! They’re just stupid bugs!”

(Not a smart thing to say to an entomology student.)

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