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November 03, 2011

My tale of bringing my twin nephews to the zoo

It should have been a simple trip to the zoo. Go in, see the animals, don't get eaten, come home. But with twin brats as nephews it was never going to be as simple as it should have been. I don't know why I was bringing them to the zoo, they're not mine, and I certainly don't owe my brother anything. I simply heard a strange noise this morning, went outside to investigate and standing there on my doorstep, alone, were my two ten year old nephews. 

One of them had a note in his hand that he silently handed to me. I quickly scanned it, and knew it was my brother. "Ekat meht ot THE ZOO!" he had scrawled. He always wrote the first three words of a sentence backwards and more often than not he capitalised the last two. It was a system which had seen him fail third grade four times, until my mother and father eventually home-schooled him, but with little effect.

I didn't even bat an eyelid at the note, he'd once stamped and posted a letter addressed to me demanding "ekam flesruoy a milkshake and give half of it to THE DOG" despite the fact we shared a house and didn't have any pets. The fact that he'd managed to get his children to my house and was demanding that I take them to the zoo wasn't unusual, but it would take up a lot of the time I had allotted to stalking my ex-girlfriends on facebook and tearful ejaculation. 

Banishing thoughts of my joyless masturbations from my head, I decided I'd better do something about the kids on my front porch and invited them in. No sooner had they stepped in to my one-bedroom mansion and they were complaining. "Why is that woman in the picture naked?" they asked "What's that smell? Is that blood I see on the carpet? That milk carton expired two weeks ago, why is it still here?" I couldn't answer all their complaints at once so opened the fridge and screamed as loudly as I could into it, drowning them out until they were shocked into silence. 

Finally there was quiet. "Uncle James?" one of them asked. "Are we going to the zoo?" I decided that an afternoon staring at caged animals with two annoying identical kids was better than the day of resentment, jealousy and sexual frustration that I'd planned so I nodded. "I suppose we are, half-sperm." 

To get to the zoo, we would have to take a bus, seeing as how I don't own a car, it was too far to walk and my 3-man tandem had a flat tyre. Whoever said twins could communicate telepathically has obviously never been on a bus with my nephews. 

All I, and everyone on the bus heard all journey was "Look at how fat that woman is! That man's hair is falling out! How did that man get such a big scar? Uncle James, is that the ugliest baby you've ever seen?" It was as if they weren't even trying to keep their voices down. Thankfully, our stop came just as they began to imitate the Chinese couple arguing behind us. 

Once we were in the zoo, things should have went to plan. But rather than do what most people do, and look at the animals from behind the cage, one of the identicals had other ideas. Now this isn't some story about him jumping into the lion enclosure or getting attacked by an emu, he didn't want to get in the cages, he wanted the animals to come out. 

First he started banging on the glass that the lizards were in. "If a lizard licks you, you get magnetic skin," he told me excitedly. He couldn't have possibly been right, and I told him so, but he managed to break the glass and actually try and entice the lizard to lick his arm. Thankfully, a security guard who didn't seem to mind the risk of getting a magnetic arm was on hand to capture the lizard, and we made a quick exit. 

"It was a pity security came along when they did," said the Lizard Boy, "I would have loved to have a magnet arm." Rather than draw him up on the numerous flaws in his "lizard saliva = magnetic arm" theory I decided to talk to the kid. "What about knives?" I asked him. He shook his head at me; "I was born on a full moon," he told me matter-of-factly. "I'm immune to knives". 

Only one animal in and already I was scared for everyone's safety - these kids were fucking lunatics! Against my better judgement, I brought the twins to see the polar bear in his air conditioned grotto. The huge beast groaned by way of greeting, and looked at us with the kind of dead eyes I saw every night in the stripper's eyes. 

"This might be a depressing visit"  I thought as my nephews walked slowly over to the edge of the path. One of them began humming in a low tone. Even before his brother began shouting nonsense at the animal I knew this was going to get embarrassing. "Lovely furniture but no European parrot flies this high!" One of the twins screamed. "Jupiter falls on Tuesday tonight so flock to your imagination baskets now!" 

The animal was staring at him, as his twin continued humming ominously. As soon as he started whistling and his duplicate started shouting in a language that wasn't English, I scooped them under my arms and hurried out of the grotto, and the judgemental eyes of the crowd. 

I didn't even ask them what they'd thought they were doing. I knew it would be some kind of magic snow-summoning spell or a secret code used by Arctic animals. We returned to our bench and I wondered how I'd get out of the zoo with both of them still alive.His brother piped up; 

"Can we see the zebra's next?" he asked. "Only if you both promise that you won't interfere with it." I said. They looked at each other and laughed; "We're not going to do anything to the zebra, we're both wearing blue!" 

As they laughed at me I wondered if my brother would mind if I had them committed to an institution. They seemed content just to look at the zebras, and the rhinos, and even the giraffes. When I suggested the monkeys however, there was trouble. "Don't tell us you believe in monkeys!" they exclaimed in eerie unision. 

I'd had enough of this bullshit altogether so I didn't even ask them to elaborate, just said weakly, "of course not, I thought you might have," and walked on. I was desperate to leave the zoo, and I hadn't even been to the Model Farm yet, which is my favourite section. 

The twins seemed unhappy to be going, but I got the impression that they were often brought out of public places quite quickly, before someone got seriously worried about them. The day which had seemed so promising when I woke up had turned sour, and there was nothing to do now but go home, and wait a few days or weeks until my brother picked up his kids. 

Before we left however, there was one more suprise. The guard who'd picked up the lizard walked past with a crazed look in his eyes, and I could have sworn I felt my coins and keys rising up out of my pocket towards him.