Monday, April 5, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - The Primate Exhibit

The other day at the pit I was trying to push my vintage Cadillac just a little further on the ¾ rack, rocking out to Steppenwolf’s Born to Be Wild, and trying to ignore the family across the street in the minivan stuffing their faces with greasy burgers and fries. The street between the pit and the fast food place isn’t all that busy usually, but on occasion traffic will backup from the traffic signal as far as the pit. This was one of those times.

I was seriously thinking of chucking the whole workout in favor of a jog ( a big move for me because as noted previously – I don’t run, that includes jogging) across the street to pick up another spare tire and some junk for my trunk when I noticed the couple in the Bubba truck stopped between me and the object of my obsession. Movement in the cab drew my attention away from the promise of marginally cooked mystery meat to the occupants of said Bubba truck.

RayBob pointed a gnarled finger in my general direction. His mouth moved. “Lookie thar BobbieRae. That’s one of them orange e tangs.”

BobbieRae leaned forward and craned her steel wool topped head to see what RayBob was talking about. “Well I’ll be. I didn’t know we had a zoo.”

At that point I had no doubt I resembled an orangutan at the San Diego Zoo. The dew was falling pretty good and heaven only knew what my hair was doing. I looked around for something to throw at the glass like any self respecting primate. The only thing handy was my water bottle and I needed that, so I considered a few bird like hand gestures instead. I quickly dismissed that option as conduct unbefitting a southern bred woman and instead wiggled my fingers in a friendly manner.

“Well don’t that beat all BobbieRae; they done went and trained that one.”

“How did they learn that poor dumb animal to do that?”

“I seen it on the tell-e-vision. They give ‘em a treat ever time they do something right.”

Pavlov had nothing on me. Dangle a doughnut in front of me and I’d do just about anything. In fact, after failing to locate the secret donut stash at a former pit I didn’t want to make the same mistake at this one, so when I signed up I asked the kid at the front desk where they hid the doughnuts. He looked me over and said, “We don’t have a secret doughnut stash, Ma’am.” His vocabulary choices told me I was old, his perusal told me I didn’t have any business eating more doughnuts. Certain there weren’t any pastries to be had I’d turned my attentions and conditioned responses to the burger joint across the street. I wiped a spot of drool off my chin as the woman in the minivan took another giant bite of greasy burger and popped a starch stick in her mouth.

“We should bring the chillum back. They’d like the zoo.”

“Maybe next week BobbieRae. We got to get over to the dump before all the good stuff is gone.”

I waved goodbye and good riddance to my new friends when the light changed. Maybe they’ll bring the chillum back next week. I’ll have to learn some new tricks before they do.

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