Photosplatter: The Dublin Zoo Excursion
We drove down to Dublin for our third wedding anniversary, which included a trip to Dublin Zoo with the increasingly loud heir. There were animals and stuff. It was pretty killer.
Behold the photos downloaded from my Dropbox, and the rich, compelling narrative that they tell.
This is Nathan, my brother-in-law. Here we are enjoying some court-sanctioned family time. He likes me more than his expression in this photo will lead you to believe.
Jesus, look at this weird little fucker. He’s eating his own hand. That’s hardcore.
Here’s a type of cat that was probably invented to leech off the popularity of the 80s cartoon ‘ThunderCats’.
The ThunderCats were aliens from the planet Thundera, and they fought lizards and shit like that. Their friends were a tribe of small robot bears, and a ghost.
This picture is super-deep on a lot of levels (fatherhood, evolution, the relative combat potential of fistfighting monkeys) and I probably deserve an award for taking it.
Actually, I think Katie took it, but motherhood isn’t as deep as fatherhood. The song ‘Cats in the Cradle’ makes that abundantly clear.
This is a picture of Rihanna. I don’t know why this is here.
I spent most of the day in my Battle Form, where a small, ginger version of me attaches itself to my back for nine hours and points at things it wants.
Here are some Pink Landbirds, which are very boring. None of them can talk, like people, parrots, or that monkey who was friends with James Franco.
The pathetic abomination that arises from a badger and a squirrel being very much in love. Just one of Dublin Zoo’s attempts to play God, and we should probably do a Kickstarter to stop them.
Here’s Jon, who plays the Imperial Fist Tactical Marine in my Deathwatch group. Also pictured are one of his nieces, my son and heir, and a fake zebra. Dublin Zoo is some cheap-ass shit, let me tell you. Maybe real zebras cost too much? I don’t know. The international shipping costs of African animals isn’t my area of expertise, to be honest. I’m sorry if I’ve led you to believe otherwise.
Startled by the presence of the camera, Shakes and I roared at the handheld machine as it sought to steal parts of our souls. He’d lost his sunglasses by this point, and was going slowly blind in the acidic light of the rare Irish sun. I still had mine, though. I was fine. Thanks for asking.
Rihanna again. She seems to be at the Grammys.
“IT’S A TIGER,” Shakes informed Jon’s nieces. One of them tried to correct him, pointing out that it was in fact a snow leopard. “NO,” he informed her. “IT’S A TIGER.”
We have about 800 photos of the kids posing on/crawling over/trying to steal this Wishing Chair, but I have two favourites. The first is this one, where Shakes had gotten bored by this point, and was standing to the side, doing the Camera Roar again. His substitute for smiling.
…and the second is this one, where my diminutive heir sits astride the rainbow-burnished, animal-commanding Irish version of the Iron Throne. I wanted to make a reference to the rainbow looking like the Gay Pride flag, but I’m not 13.
I killed this wolf with the power of my brain.
To apologise for how shitty their fake zebra had been, the Zoomasters wheeled out a real one for us. But it was too late. “Fuck you,” I told it, and walked on.
“Shakes, everything the light touches… used to be our kingdom. But then the Irish rose up and overthrew benevolent English rule, all in order to have the metric system on their road signs. You are a child of two worlds, destined to be torn between North and South. Here are some giraffes, by the way. And some antelope or whatever.”
“A Daddy Giraffe and a Baby Giraffe.” — Alexander Dembski-Bowden, July 2014.
“I want juice, Daddy. I want up. Peeease.” — Alexander Dembski-Bowden, July 2014.
Jon and the lovely Treasa, which I had to check Facebook to spell properly. She was (and I can only assume, still is) lovely.
A succession of us played mule to Shakes’s demands.
At first I thought this was a photo of the swans at the zoo, but with a second glance, it’s really Rihanna.
As you’re about to see…
…by far the most captivating aspect of the zoo for Shakes was…
…Jon’s oldest niece.
And he insisted on holding her hand practically all day.
Then we saw some monkeys. I won’t lie, they didn’t seem to give a shit about us. I felt very needy, standing there, wanting to see them and knowing they didn’t want to see me.
And then some of us went to bed sideways, for some reason. At one point, Shakes slipped out of the hotel bed, and promptly stayed asleep on the floor. It was almost haunting in its mastery of the slumbering art.
He’s a picture of New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony staring creepily at Rihanna.
The next day, I found this book. It made some outlandish claims.
We went to the beach, and at a nearby cafe I had the best sandwich of my life.
Shakes gathered “Treasures!” with Mummy for his sandpit in our back garden.
Pictured: Rihanna. (Sadly Not Pictured: The sandwich I was just telling you guys about.)