Monday, April 2, 2012

Dear ZooBooks

Imagine, if you will, an eight year old version of me, enjoying some Nickelodeon before baseball practice in the summertime.  During the commercial breaks, I was regaled with toys and games, and commercials with those blue order screens, telling me to send away to Walla Walla, Washington for some special shrinky dinks that look like Alf eating the Aristocats.  There was one commercial, though, that everyone remembers, and it all started with a giraffe running in that giraffey way that makes you wonder why more people don't hunt them out of pure spite.

You, filtered through the guise of a seemingly over medicated mother, promised us children the wonders of nature.  You told us that we would learn magical things, like why a tiger would starve if it didn't have stripes.  All I had to do was pester my mother until she ordered me some ZooBooks.  You showed us amazing pictures, meant to shake us into a froth of buying frenzy.  What young boy wouldn't want a ZooBook when you show us pictures of lions in mortal combat, a zebra kicking a cheetah square in its smarmy face, and delicious looking parrots.  If that weren't enough, for a limited time offer, you were throwing in a sticker set, a free tiger poster, and an honest by-god-special edition dinosaur issue.

After I had stopped convulsing from pure ecstasy and was able to unswallow my tongue, I ran to find my mother, screaming "IneedboozookszoobooksGetthemIneedthemIwantthemIsweartoeverygodevermadethatIwouldkilleveryoneifitmeansIgetatigerposterTherewasaparrotanditlookedatmeandIcriedbutthenDINOSAURSandthestickerswouldlookawesomeonmywallandIneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeediiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttttt."  Clearly, my mother did not stand a chance.

By later that afternoon, I had forgotten about your product.  Which is a shame, because you also forgot about me.  Somehow, twenty years later, you are still showing the same commercial, promising the same limited edition tiger poster that looks like it could have been on Scarface's wall.  And that's when, twenty years later, I realized I have never received my ZooBooks.

I can only imagine how different my life would be now had I gotten those books in the mail.  I never would have gotten that C in fourth grade for my apparently "sub par" and "surprisingly and confusingly racist against Laplanders" report on mountain lions.  My sense of self esteem would have reached the immense peak at which it currently resides years earlier.  With that in place, the world would have been mine.  Today, I could be sitting on a glorious throne, brushing the silken locks atop my head while my solid gold Catherine Dhavernas wife stroked my rippling muscles as we stared at my amazing tiger poster surrounded by animal stickers.

Instead, I've been slowly driven mad wondering just how a tiger would starve if it didn't have stripes.  Some days I stare at the tigers at the zoo and just scream "WHY?" until I crumble into a sobbing mess.  You could have prevented this.  You are the one with the answers.

Also, I blame you for the whole Furries thing, so you should know you have a special place in hell carved out for you.

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