by Kristen Thomas
I never win anything, at least if winning is random. I’ve played many rounds of bingo and entered countless drawings and raffles. I must have the worst record in history. My record with the GSC ticket drawings was equally dismal. As of May, I was 0 for 6, until the very last event of the year, the most coveted of all events: Brew at the Zoo. Who could turn down an all-you-can-drink night at the zoo, complete with wine, beer, live music, live animals, and men riding pink flamingos? I’ve been reading far too many Buzzfeed articles lately, so here are my top 10 moments of the night.
1) The epically long line
For those of you who have been to Six Flags Over Georgia, the line for Brew at the Zoo rivals the line for the Goliath. When I arrived at the zoo entrance, I couldn’t see the end of the line. After a five minute walk, I couldn’t see the end of the line, and after 15 minutes of waiting, I couldn’t see the gate to enter the zoo. On the plus side, it moved fast, I got to listen to the guy behind me talk about how many bottles (yes, plural) of wine and beer he’d drunk that morning, and I met up with some of my favorite people before entering the gate. Which leads me to…..
After spending every morning your first year of grad school together, you go through classmate withdrawals after everyone joins separate labs.
3) The man on the pink flamingo
I wasn’t kidding. Can someone please make this a Halloween costume this year?
4) The King of the Jungle
The Lion King is one of my favorite movies, and I was lucky enough to see it on stage this April. Hi, Simba! Or maybe he’s more of a Mufasa? He’s way too handsome to be Scar, at least.
5) The Drinks
Everyone at Brew at the Zoo is given a cup that’s the equivalent of an extra large shot glass. About a dozen booths with free wine and beer are scattered around the zoo, each with at least a few varieties to choose from.
6) Using a real camera for the first time in ages
I’d forgotten how much I like my camera. I’ve taken it to New Zealand, Seattle, Nashville, Los Angeles, and on countless day hikes. I don’t have nearly the same attachment to my smartphone. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to find new batteries, so it only lasted half the trip.
7) Nearly getting stranded at the Zoo
In my “slightly” intoxicated state, I decided to start using the phone on my camera, once my other camera died. This probably wasn’t the best idea, since I’d planned to use Uber for the ride home. I had enough battery to summon a car and enough to receive an in-depth notice about Uber’s cancellation policy, when my phone died and I couldn’t find the driver. Luckily, we were able to hale a stray cab to get home.
8) “That’s a REAL animal!”
Let’s not forget the drunken quotes. When your friends seem astounded that the zoo contains real animals (rather than robots?) you know you’re having a good time. I’d also like to apologize to the kangaroos for having to listen to our conversations.
9) Realizing Natty has a mystical bond with animals
Birds of prey and the big cats are my favorable animals at the zoo. Unfortunately, they have a habit of hiding just out of site. Never fear though. Natty can locate any zoo animal. Lion in the bushes? Gazelle behind a tree? Lemur in the corner? Natty can find them all within a few seconds.
Last but not least, the cutest animal at the zoo deserves a shout-out. And my, what an impressive stick…