Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Zoology

Regina and Ferguson were twirling in the cooling mister near the Great Ape House while their mother finished her drink on the bench. Clio had suffered a difficult week as White House Butler, and she had made up her mind by Wednesday that they were going to spend as much of this weekend as possible away from the White House. If she never had to hear the name "Scott McClellan" again--. She jumped up and shouted at the twins, "Reggie! Fergie! Get over here!" That was for knocking over the Japanese twins, though somebody who was not familiar with Reggie and Fergie probably would have considered it an innocent accident caused by exuberant water dancing. "Alright! We're looking at the gorillas, and then we're going home!" She tossed her drink and grabbed them both by the hand. As they entered the house, she paused to read the instructions about approaching the apes backwards and not looking at them directly in the eyes because they were shy. I don't remember getting those instructions when I was a girl. She wearily released their tugging hands and sat down on the bench knowing full well that they would push their way through the crowd of children to get to the glass no matter what she told them. Five seconds later, the twins were indeed at the front of the crowd staring through the glass at the gorillas, and one second after that, the gorillas were screeching at the top of their lungs and running through the enclosure into the next room--where they proceeded to run back and forth from wall to wall screaming hysterically. Soon the orangatans at the nearby Think Tank joined in the screaming and running around, followed in quick succession by the howler monkeys in the Small Mammal House and the lemurs on Lemur Island. Then waves of children started screaming and running out of the Great Ape House, followed by their distressed parents, until only Ferguson and Regina were left--still staring at the gorillas--and Clio. Clio shook off her shock and called them to come away from the glass. She took their hands and led them outside, where the primate cacophony followed them until they got to the zebras--which continued grazing without so much as a glance up. Clio looked down at the twins, who were not looking at the zebras but were looking up at her in pain because she was holding their hands so tightly. She let go without a word, let them look at the placid zebras for several minutes, then told them it was time to go.

At the other end of the zoo, the Assistant Deputy Administrator for Anti-Fecklessness was still waffling about where to propose to his girlfriend, Eva Brown. The lion and tiger behavior had not seemed very romantic, the otters were adorable but surrounded by a crowd, the bald eagle was just not majestic enough in its cage, he didn't really think hippos would work, reptiles were certainly out of the question....He was beginning to regret not having proposed near the birds (in spite of Eva's tirade about Hillary Clinton and sexism, which had somehow erupted after viewing the lilac-breasted holler) because now his choices seemed down to wallabies, wolves, or the Amazon. When they approached the Mexican wolves, Eva launched into a lecture about how they would no longer be able to migrate across the Rio Grande, so he deferred until the Amazon. As they penetrated deeper into the artificial jungle, he could feel the reality of the outside world slipping away. The moist heat enveloped him, as did the bird calls, the lush greenery, the butterflies, the fish...."It'll all be gone, you know." Eva's voice brought him back. "My kids will never be able to see the Amazon rainforest." My kids? Why didn't she say "our kids"? This, of course, was the part that bothered him because he was accustomed to tuning out those kinds of statements from Eva--after all, she was still young and naive and in school. But my kids? That was not encouraging. He left the ring in his pocket and started thinking about the Monday morning meeting on China.

Over by the Giant Pandas, from a vantage point with no view of a bear and safely away from the crowd, Charles Wu was softly discussing China with his contact. The cat was already out of the bag on the local government corruption involved in the shoddy schoolhouse construction in the earthquake region, but the awareness or complicity of the national government was still in question. After a little more prodding, Wu finally got enough information to pass something of interest along to the British--whom he had probably been neglecting as of late. Then his contact asked Wu about the impact of the Scott McClellan book, and Wu shrugged. "Too little, too late--I think that's how the Americans would put it." The contact was perplexed, and asked why it wasn't enough to impeach the President. "Because the Democrats decided to go for the low-hanging fruit instead." His contact continued to look puzzled, but Wu just shook his head, amazed himself at the apparent self-destruction of the Democratic Party even as Bush's approval ratings were at an historic low...and wondering if the Democrats would even miss the lowest hanging branches of all. Out of the corner of his eye, Wu saw that a panda had wandered into their line of view, but it quickly sat down and started chewing bamboo again--which brought a crowd of people rushing over to Wu's spot even though the panda was still doing the exact same thing.

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