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    Fowl-Mouthed Accusations

    | Norfolk, VA, USA | Top

    (I’m telling a group of visitors about the peacocks at our zoo. After I’ve finished, one of the visitors stops me.)

    Visitor: “Young man, can I have a word with you?

    Me: “Certainly, ma’am. How can I help you?

    Visitor: “I don’t appreciate you using that kind of language in front of my children.”

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, I wasn’t aware I had.”

    Visitor: “We prefer to call those birds over there pearoosters.”

    Me: “Um, why?”

    Visitor: “Because peacock is a bad word! I really don’t think you should be using that sort of language and those dirty words in front of small children!”

    Extreme Primate Refereeing

    | San Diego, CA, USA | Top

    (I work at a snack cart across from the gorilla enclosure. A woman walks up to me and this conversation ensued.)

    Customer: “Look! Look! The gorillas are fighting!”

    Me: “No, they just rough-house like that about this time every day.”

    Customer: “No, that’s fighting, someone’s going to get hurt.”

    Me: “Ma’am, seriously, that’s how they play.”

    Customer: “That’s a fight! Stop them! Right now! It’s a bad example for the children.”

    Me: “Stop them…how?”

    Customer: “Get in there and make them cut it out right now!”

    Me: *staring at her while other customers in line laugh*

    Customer: *stomping off* “I’m telling your boss you won’t stop that violence!”

    Next customer in line: “So you’re in charge of gorillas AND churros, huh?”

    Endangered With Comb-Overs

    | Washington, DC, USA |

    (A man walks up to me with his son while I’m tending the Bird section.)

    Man: “Excuse me, what are those birds?”

    Me: “They’re bald eagles.”

    Man: “Well, that’s just so g**d**n cheap! Our nation’s capital, and we can’t even afford young eagles!”

    Me: “Sir, that eagle isn’t very old at all. Eagles have a life span of–”

    Man: “Don’t give me any excuses! I know they’re old! They’re bald! You only get bald when you’re old!”

    Man’s son: “Yeah, just like you Dad!”

    Man: “NOT ANOTHER WORD! WE’RE OUT OF HERE!”

    (Apparently, on his way out he had complained about the same thing to three zookeepers, and all three of them just laughed.)

    When Stupid People Attack

    | New York, NY, USA | Pets & Animals, Top

    Customer: “Hey, you!”

    Me: “How can I help you, ma’am?”

    Customer: “These bears are extremely boring. I paid money to see the animals move around.”

    Me: “It’s very hot today, ma’am. Bears don’t like to move around much on hot days, and they sleep at least 16 hours out of the day anyway.”

    Customer: “I don’t care if it’s hot outside. Why won’t they do anything?”

    Me: “Ma’am, the bears are not required to move around for your entertainment.”

    Customer: “Well, they should be!”

    Me: “They’re wild animals, ma’am. If they don’t want to move around, they don’t have to.”

    Customer: “I want to see your superior! Maybe he will understand!”

    Manager: “What seems to be the problem here?”

    Customer: “These bears are boring!”

    Manager: *tells her what I said about hot days*

    Customer: “Go poke them or something. Make them move!”

    Me: “You’re asking me to go into an enclosed area with a group of thousand-pound carnivores, and poke them with a stick so that they can amuse you?

    Customer: “Yes! Just make them do something!”

    When Quacks Attack

    | La Crosse, WI, USA |

    (I worked at a zoo next to a nature trail through some wetlands. It’s not part of the zoo, just a good view.)

    Them: “Hey, we just love that walking trail.”

    Me: “That’s great.”

    Them: “Yeah, but I was wondering. How do you keep the animals in place?”

    Me: “Well, we have cages for that.”

    Them: “No, out there, on the trail.”

    Me: “Those are wild animals, ma’am.”

    Them: “Really? But they were sitting so nicely!”

    Me: “Ducks tend to do that.”

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