Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

17 Nov 2003, 18:33 p.m.

I Never Thought Lemurs Could Be So Awesome

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2003 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

This weekend, Susan took me to the San Francisco Zoo, and then we watched Elf. Evidently I am ten.

Especially when visiting a zoo with Susan, who writes about animals and has a degree in biology and everything, one begins to grade the exhibits on how happy the animals could possibly be in their provided enclosure. Lemurs, the tapir, the rabbits and guinea pigs, the anaconda: A or A+. The elephants, the bears: not so good. Fortunately, as Susan points out, the lemurs are right next to the zoo entrance, so you can come in, while away some happy time with the lemurs, and leave again if you like. The flamingos are near the Leaping Lemurs! Cafe, and they are also fun to watch.

I thought, "a petting zoo! I would like to pet a sheep or goat!" but, as it turns out, I want to observe without being observed. You can buy kibble from a vending machine and then feed it to the sheep and goats, but the sheep and goats are now wise to this system, and approach you even as you are getting the kibble out of the machine. One goat jumped on me, leaving a hoofprint on my shirt. So maybe I don't like that aspect of petting zoos. I did like touching a snake and a hedgehog.

Elf entertained us. Will Ferrell's character, a human who has been brought up by elves at the North Pole, reminds me of Brutha in Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. Also, a disagreement over the best way to get people to believe in Santa Claus (after all, if people see proof, then it isn't really faith) reminded me of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

A few phone calls, an early bedtime.