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Hail, Mary, full of grace. Is the Lord with thee?

June 5, 2016

Admittedly, my opinion of whether or not that poor gorilla should have been shot depends on who was in harm’s way. A child? Shoot. No hesitation. I couldn’t love animals more, but it was a choice between that child’s life and the gorilla’s life. They made the right choice.

Certain orange ape-like political candidate wanders into the cage, I may have a completely different answer.

I’m sharing this story (with Dave’s permission) to illustrate a point.

It can happen to any parent!

My son’s 3-year-old preschool group went to the NY Aquarium a few years ago. Dave and I both agreed that we didn’t like the idea of this field trip because it’s a long-ass way from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Brooklyn, where the aquarium is located. They were planning to take the subway there and back. Even during non-rush hour travel, the NYC subway can be crowded and chaotic. I actually wanted to opt our kid out of the field trip and have him stay at the school with the 2-year-old class, but Dave thought he’d be stigmatized and upset watching his pals leave while he stayed with the other kids. Dave volunteered to be a class chaperone, so I agreed.

As soon as I got home that night, I knew something had gone wrong. F was fine, but I could tell Dave was upset about something. Turns out, there had been an “incident” during the trip. F had been “lost” for about 5 minutes at the aquarium. He wasn’t really lost–he had spotted another group of friends from his school with another chaperone heading in the opposite direction in the crowd, and while Dave had his back turned for a second, he walked over and joined the other group. Dave kept moving forward with the other child he was chaperoning not realizing F was walking away. F was never out of the supervision of a friendly adult, but Dave had to alert the security officers, who began a search of the aquarium. Teachers from the school and other chaperones were all alerted until finally, the parent who now had F in her group brought them all back to the main group and all was well. Except for Dave, who was about ready to have a stroke, I’m sure.

If you are one of the Sancti-Mommies or Sancti-Daddies or even WORSE, one of the Sancti-Neverhadanykids judging the parents (and let’s fucking face it: you’re not judging the parents, you’re judging the mom), get off your soap box now. If it’s never happened to you, because of your superior parenting skills or just your all-around superiority at life in all its splendor, good for you. But let me be the first to tell you—it will happen to you, eventually. You’ll turn your back for a split second, and your kid will be gone (hopefully also for a split second). Or you’ll pull some other stupid move that puts your kid in harm’s way. Anyone want to talk about idiot driving moves or morons with unsecured guns in the house?

Whether you believe that zoos are good or evil is beside the point. I happen to believe that primates and most other animals don’t belong in zoos, but that has absolutely no bearing on this situation. Zoos exist. Gorillas are in zoos. If you believe this is wrong, do something about it. Boycott zoos. Protest zoos. Do whatever else you can to stop zoos from caging animals. I applaud your efforts.

But while zoos exist, let’s put the blame where it belongs! If a 3-year-old child can outwit the security in place around an animal, it’s the ZOO that’s negligent! Yes, parents should watch their children, but they should be able to reasonably expect that the animals are properly and safely housed in a manner that the average 3-year-old can’t breach.

And finally, if you’d like to get biblical about, and if you know me at all, you know the last thing I ever want to do is get bibilical about anything, but somewhere in my 11 years of Catholic school and 15 years of Sunday mass, I think I remember hearing something about Mary and Joseph misplacing the son of god on the way home from his bar mitzvah, if I’m not mistaken. OK, OK, I already know I’m going to hell. (See “11 years of Catholic school and 15 years of Sunday Mass” if you don’t believe that I know that.) I’m being facetious to make a point. IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE! Please stop blaming this particular family and be thankful that it hasn’t happened to you (yet) in such a public way.

© Copyright 2016









  1. Mary Moore permalink

    Absolutely, we’ve lost each child at least once. Dally. Friend me on fb!!

    Sent from my iPhone



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