Wednesday, June 16, 2004

ZOOBILATION:(n.) the act of zoobilating; to zoobilate

There is nothing like seeing nearly 4000 people in formalwear drinking heavily at your place of employment. I know, coz I've seen it. This year I volunteered to be on the cleanup crew for the zoo's big fundraising event. The deal was, I got to empty trash for 6 hours, and in exchange I got a T-shirt, twice my usual wage per hour, and free food. Big deal, you say, free food--but Zoobiliation isn't the premiere black-tie event in this city for nothin'! Every high-end restaurant in Indy has a booth there serving Taste-of-Chicago style portions of classy food, included in the ticket price along with all the alcohol you can consume. Naturally, on the clock as I was, the latter was not an option; but the former nearly killed me. Filet mignon, shrimp, oysters, beef tenderloin, fried chicken, key lime pie, strawberries dipped in a fountain of chocolate.... All admittedly consumed on the run while emptying trash, but still! The Hungry Tiger would have been proud of me. I'd been warned that the job would be horrible, smelly, dirty, and with the chance of unpleasant surprises (like the crew last year who stumbled upon a couple engaged in, shall we say, consentual activities near the goat petting yard. Appropriately, this area of our zoo is called "Encounters.") Instead, it was the best food I've had in ages; I got to scope out the rich and famous of our fair city, saw some lovely (and not so lovely) formal dresses and tuxedoes crowding the pathways of the zoo, and got to see what a real fundraising event is like. Lord knows I'll never be able to afford a ticket to something like this! But man.... what a party.