5 Huge Downsides To Popular 'Family Friendly' Places
Remember before you went to live in that cavernous space under a fallen tree in the woods, when you had genetically similar beings in the same domicile with you that are sometimes referred to as "family"? That was a swell time. And there were probably times you and the family went out to do fun family activities together, because TV has taught us that's what families do when not staring in silent judgment at one another. However, when you got there, your misery made you realize that the reality of these "fun family" getaways weren't quite what was advertised. For instance ...
Drive-Thru Safaris Are Animal Abuse Speed Rounds
I recently decided to drive two hours from my house to see monkeys, because that's how I roll. I'd never been to a fake safari before, and it seemed like a better idea than actually flying to Africa, where a rich white guy might shoot me by accident when I try to pet a wildebeest or steal all that sweet Wakandan vibranium. The commercials I'd seen on TV were focused on how you can have a monkey on the hood of your car, and it's super awesome because car monkey!
When I got to my faux safari, I saw various sleepy beasts doing what sleepy beasts do (sleeping), and the most common sight was signage. Keep your doors locked, keep your windows rolled up, no teabagging those goats, and do not feed the animals, you thoughtless savage. They even have safari rangers driving against traffic in their cool-dude 4x4s to keep an eye on your nefarious hide, lest you dare even think about feeding one of those goddamn animals. And feed them I did.
The moment I saw monkey nuts resting on my moonroof, I started popping out donut holes like a dealer doling out molly at a simian rave. A solid dozen monkeys were munching away on donuts I had irresponsibly provided for them. And I would have felt bad for this, if not for the fact that I was probably giving the monkeys some of the healthiest food they had at that moment.
Everyone was feeding those goddamn monkeys ... and I mean everyone. "Do you mean a large portion of the people, Ian?" Fuck no, I mean everyone! I saw monkeys running with Oreos, vanilla wafers, half a sandwich, and a small bottle of Mountain Dew. Who the fuck gives Mountain Dew to a monkey? Why didn't I think of that?
No one respects the rules at the safari. I rolled my window down and snapped some photos of a rhino, fully aware that had it wanted to, it could have flipped my ass over while I was still in my car and stomped me into a thin paste, then eaten the paste and shit me over by the giraffes, where I would have fertilized the trees, which the giraffes would then eat before shitting me out again, making me history's first double-shat safari fatality.
A safari ride is a pretense for abusing nature under the guise of doing it a favor. No, you shouldn't give your dog tequila and tiramisu, but maybe you do sometimes, and that's OK. But those monkeys shouldn't be eating donuts and drinking Mountain Dew, even though they really seemed happy doing it, except for the one that pissed right on my window. But I couldn't see his expression, so who knows, maybe he was stoked too.
It took me maybe ten minutes to roll through the monkey part of the safari, but that shit's open for hours a day for the whole of the summer. Those monkeys basically live the life of a modern college student minus the beer, and that's only a guess on my part. If someone's tossing out the Dew, maybe a Bud or two gets put into the mix as well. I paid to not only watch, but also to be a part of the most bizarrely extensive kind of mildly hilarious animal neglect ever. And I got a souvenir cup.
And since we're already on the subject of animals, I might as well point out that ...
The Zoo Is A Wasteland
My interest in the safari stemmed from my interest in zoos. I really enjoy animals because they almost never wear pants. Most recently, I went to the Toronto Zoo -- which, if you haven't been, isn't just Canada's largest zoo. It's basically an epic Mad Maxian wasteland of nature conservation that will kill most of you. Only the strongest ever leave this 710-acre monster that's crisscrossed with pathways which will take the better part of an entire day to fully walk. It's basically a maze peppered with elephant shit and overpriced bottled water.
I can't complain about the exhibits at the zoo. It's a great place to visit. It just makes you wish you were dead and being devoured by some of the exhibits after walking for seven straight hours. Some of you could probably handle that level of physical activity, but remember that I'm an internet goblin. I'm not built for movement in three dimensions. I work best when treated like one of those heads from Easter Island.
Now, those among you who have opted to not just train the cellar rats to perform rudimentary magic tricks, but sometimes also venture to the zoo, may be quick to point out that most zoos have those stupid bus tours that whisk you about, no harmful walking required. And while that's true, have you ever considered shut up? The zoo bus is the worst bus, and I say this as a guy who's been on a Greyhound, a school bus, a city bus, and maaaaybe a bang bus. Why go to the zoo if you're going to ride through it on a bus? Imagine going to see a movie at the drive-in, but not actually stopping when you got there. Oh sure, you'll slow down to look at the screen, but you need to drive by the snack bar at 9:00 and get the hell back to where you started by 9:30.
Fact is, if you're going to go to a zoo, you need to walk through it. And paradoxically, you then need to complain about it. Google "zoo too much walking," and your phone will explode trying to keep up with all the results. It's every zoo, everywhere. In an ideal world, the zoo would put the animals on the bus and drive them past us as we sit in comfy chairs eating peanuts, and maybe that's a million-dollar idea you better not steal.
Fairs Are Extravagant Binge/Purge Machines
I used to love going to the fair as a kid. There were corn dogs and, you know, shit near corn dogs. Over the years, they tried to entice me with lasciviously rigged carny games and rides and corn not-dogs, but I know what's up, and so do you. And when you're a kid, that shit is great for exactly as long as it takes you to eat your 17-inch corn dog that is only justifiable in a carnival setting.
The moment you stop eating the copious amounts of gluttonous, shame-fisting food items that a fair gleefully provides to you, you're stranded in a concrete obstacle course of ennui. This culinary theater of cruelty has played out its twisted amusement in your bowels, and now you're expected to go ride a roller coaster with two pounds of fried gravy pudding in your gut? That's as sane as punching your own face after paying a greasy stranger $10 to watch.
In its purest form, the fair is three things: a food source, a vomitorium, and a flat surface on which to vomit. They dress it up with frills like games in which you lift a bottle with rings to win a stuffed Minion that's bigger than you (which, by the way, you are never winning -- you're never winning the minion). And ten feet away, you'll find slightly different food sources and slightly different vomit-inducers, but that's it. You pay to eat shit that would make you reel back in terror if a normal restaurant sold it, and then pay again to be literally beaten, shaken, flipped, spun, and dropped into a vigorous, all-consuming, full-body nausea.
Water Parks Are Toilets -- And No, Not Just The Pee Kind
Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I devote a serious amount of time to trying to get either Nicki Minaj or my friend (who is real because I can link to her Twitter) Jessica Vaugn to come on water slides with me for strictly platonic fun times. I fuckin' love water slides. If I had to choose between an afternoon without a water slide or going to one with a donkey that's been trained to kick me in the balls, I would spend two glorious fun-filled afternoons on water slides with that donkey, who would also love them. My water slide game is tip fuckin' top, is what I'm saying, hence the cussing.
In bold defiance of my love of water slides, however, is the knowledge that water parks are basically pay-to-play toilets in a super non-metaphorical sense. Without beating around the bush, I'm going to lay some semi-firm and corny numbers on you. I read that in any given pool, the average bather's ass is sloughing loose 0.14 grams of fecal matter per visit. Your turd cutter wasn't primed for the big show, and that g-force-infused pool water on the slide just rockets up your floodgate and loosens the tiniest bit of spackle to join the whole. And it does that for everyone who shows up.
The Chime-Long water park in China had roughly 2.5 million visitors last year. If each visitor is depositing 0.14 grams in ye olde fudge pot, that works out to 771 pounds of shit in the pool. Do you know how fucking big 771 pounds of shit is? According to Healthyceleb.com, it's about 4.5 Benedict Cumberbatches. Imagine four Sherlock Holmeses and a Khan torso made of solid yet inexplicably waterlogged funtime shit charming you with its accent. That's a lot of shit, man.
Maybe you're a fecalphiliac, and that's OK; everyone has their disease-bearing thing. Know then that one in five Americans admit to peeing in the pool too. "That's not so bad," you think. Until you remember that those are just the brazen piss pigs who readily admit to pissing in a thing they're actively playing in, like degenerate babies. I will, without evidence, confidently suggest that triple those numbers is more likely to be true. You're up to your water wings in a stew of sweat, sloughed flesh, errant hair, Cumberblast, and whiz, my friend.
Does this knowledge sink my chances of ever convincing Nicki or Jessica to go to the waterslide with me? Well, obviously.
Of course, there are always other options for water fun ...
Beaches Are Living Weapons Designed To Destroy Us All
If the water park sucks, then surely family fun time can be had at the beach, right? It's like a water park, only with more sharks. Well put on your helmet, because I'm dropping truth coconuts from the tree of enlightenment here. For instance, did you know that a beach is like a water park, only with more sharks? Fuuuuuccckkk!
I'm not going to scaremonger you with shark attack statistics, because you have a better chance of being attacked by me than you do by a shark, and I'll goddamn do it, too. But I and sharks aren't the only things you have to worry about at the beach. How do you like flesh-eating bacteria? Less than you like eating ham, I bet. A lady at Myrtle Beach up and got herself munched by that necrotizing doucheteria this summer, and she blamed the beach water, which must have been some foul shit for that to happen. The beach says no way, man, we don't let our beach eat people anymore. But she did get the bacteria somewhere, so right now, it's a mystery.
Makes you wonder why I'd even include it in this terroromedy article of mine, since it's one unproven case. And that's exactly my point! If you knew, at least you could say, "Well shit, let's not go to the beach today, it ate grandma." But you don't know. No one knows. So maybe the day at the beach is fun and frolic and splashing each other, or maybe it's fun and frolic and you splash each other until your eye comes out of your fucking face in a torrent of blood and you scream, "Oh my god what's happening there's brains in the water how the fuck do we get out of here gaaaaahhh!"
I'm not here to judge your brand of family fun. I'm just here to suggest that Russian Roulette is a shitty way to bond with Mom and Dad. And that's just the tip of the iceberg that's going to sink your boat and leave you adrift in sea full of flesh-eating bacteria and jellyfish. Did you know jellyfish are the dickheads of the sea, and around 150 million people a year are exposed to them? 500,000 people are stung annually in the Chesapeake Bay alone. Another 200,000 per year just in Florida. Because beaches are watery portals to a Lovecraftian dimension of pain and vacationers.
If you're confident that you're beaching yourself away from bacteria and more complex multi-celled organisms, you're forgetting that the water itself also wants you so dead. Last year, U.S. lifeguards performed 88,000 rescues and gave medical aid to 343,300 people. Not all of them drove to the beach with lungs full of water or massive coral wounds in their feet. Basically, what I'm saying is fuck the beach. Before it fucks you!
Instead of contributing to animal abuse, you can get this guy and give him a hug or dance around with him or whatever you do--look, we're not going to judge. You can also donate to your local wildlife preserve. Those generous people and wonderful animals deserve it!
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