The Funky Monkey

Vacation 1998, Day Two

Day two! Still in San Diego, spent the night at the Hanalei Hotel, a halfway swanky place with a perfect halfway location between Sea World and Day Two destination: the San Diego Zoo. It was another scorcher of a day (100+ degrees with 40-50 percent humidity), but did that stop me? Hell no! We were once again blessed with a small crowd at the park.

panda.jpgI love L.A., but the San Diego Zoo is puts the L.A. Zoo to shame. If nothing else, they have two Giant Pandas, which are on loan from China for 10 years. Talk about pampered! The pandas had fresh veggies, luxurious habitats, water vapor misters to keep them cool, and everyone was instructed to be extremely quiet so as not to disturb them.

Contrast that with the monkeys. They didn’t seem to like people, but Iwalked up to the railing to get a better look. All of a sudden one of the primates leaped out, bouncing off the fence and back onto his perch while baring his teeth at her. It should have been scary, but it was really sort of funny. Any movement we made was interpreted as a threat by this guy. Any time I’d approach the railing he’d go nuts. Did I smell bad or something?

I waved at him, and in return he started to hit himself on the head over and over again; then, his leg spontaneously came up and attacked him. He grappled with his leg like it was some sort of voodoo doll… all I could do was stand there, laughing at it all. Of course, this only upset him more, and he started making the teeth-baring faces again. I admit, I should have just left, but it was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. So much as a raised eyebrow on my part resulted in a manly show of force from the monkey. And Lord help you if you decided to actually talk to him! Then he really went nuts. I decided it would be best to get out of there before a Zoo employee saw me I got tossed out of the park.

koala.jpgThe next sign I saw after leaving the Upset Monkey said something like: “Please do not tease, torture, torment, upset, bother, molest, touch, irritate, or entice the animals.”

The San Diego Zoo always makes for a long day, because it’s located in a warm area of the county, and it’s very hilly. Many of the paths are too steep for wheelchairs or anyone not in half-way decent condition. After two long days in the sun (two of the hottest, most humid days of an El Nino summer, I might add), I was ready for some indoor time to relax and regroup. So back to Orange County we go…

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