Arts + Scene » Arts

A Fine and Fancy Ramble



I forget who it was, but someone told me it's all happening at the zoo. He wasn't too clear on what all "all" was, but it sounded cool. And since my knee-jerk reaction is to accept what I'm told, I do believe it.

Right! Now I remember where I heard it! It was that adorably sensitive Paul Simon fellow. Dude was a regular Doolittle with keen insight into the secret lives of animals. For example, did you know that, according to Simon, giraffes are insincere? That zebras are quite reactionary? Or that elephants are kindly, but dumb?

Hmm. On second thought, I don't know that a lot of the claims made in Simon and Garfunkel's "At the Zoo" have much basis in reality. Odds are, Paul was drunk when he wrote it.

But it is a catchy ditty. And if a little liquid courage combined with some time spent with caged animals is all it takes to write songs that are beloved by millions and last the test of time, then all you aspiring songwriters -- okay, and the rest of you -- might want to perk up your ears. Opportunity knocks.

If you're up for a light and tumble journey, the Sequoia Park Zoo is hosting its fifth annual Zootini this Saturday, Aug. 13, from 5:30-9 p.m. The event is the largest zoo fundraiser of the year and attendees will have the opportunity to imbibe specially-themed cocktails -- Monkey Nuzzler, Pink Flamingo and Black Bear Bliss, to name a few. Also on tap, enjoy jazzy rock by Magnolia, gourmet food by Perfect Palate and a live auction with auctioneer extraordinaire/walking campaign button Rex Bohn.

But the main draw is, of course, the chance to get up close and personal with the zoo residents whilst getting tipsy. Fact: like people, animals think you're much more clever when you're drinking.

The Sequoia Park Zoo recently put the finishing touches on its "Flamingo, Cavy and Screamers! Oh My!" exhibit, complete with flamingo pond footbridge. Plus, we're told that Shifu and Sumo -- the zoo's adorable red panda friends -- are most active during evening hours, another claim we're just gonna accept and move on.

Tickets for Zootini run $60 ($55 for members) at the gate or $50/$45 in advance. But again, you'll make that back in songwriting royalties in -- snap! -- no time. Clearly, Paul Simon was at a much larger zoo when he penned his 1968 classic because, none of the animals chronicled in his song are housed at the Sequoia Park Zoo, or maybe is was difficult to rhyme something with red panda. In short, this is untapped territory, people! Don't blow this.

For more info, check out


Add a comment