Wednesday, 25 August 2010


ZOOTIME is the prog-rock effort of The Mystery Jets on their debut album Making Dens. As well as being a piece of useless mid-noughties indie trivia, ZOOTIME is also what I dubbed today's activities. Namely, going to Whipsnade Zoo with my parents for a full day-off childhood reversion and, as a result, Bowlface's 100th post.

Along with the moral and psychological crises that arise with seeing potentially damaged animals in enclosures that are clearly disproportionate to their native habitats, I underwent the natural glee, severe excitement and obligatory fanciful conversations that animals are clearly incapable of which accompany any good zoo trip. Well, any acceptable zoo trip at least - the previous one, to Belgrade Zoo, just brought mild amusement and increasing misery at witnessing the bizarre co habitations of animals that definitely were not designed to know one another.

First discovery of the day was that of a Mara, whose anonymity in the animal world is so great that when you googleimage it, the ratio of photos of the animal to photos of varying scantily clad women is 2 : 9,630,000. Here it is though:

As you may well observe, this is, as Daddy Bowlface exclaimed, a FREAK DEER. Identified as a wallaby and a muntjac before this clearly correct definition, Maras are dead cute and skipped around all over the place. I took a much better photo than this (especially of its bemusing white behind), so sit tight. After a cementing of childhood reversion by falling over and grazing my knee whilst witnessing a naughty sea lion during a rehearsal (total diva), a few more zoological discoveries were made:
- Rhinos like pedicures and enjoy eating floor-Sudocrem as an after-banana treat.
- Red Pandas are basically the Cheshire Cat.
- Dwarf Crocodiles look cuddly.
- Sloth Bears enjoy cardboard boxes.
- Wolverines are the ultimate ANIMAL FAIL.

This last discovery requires deeper analysis. Yes, Wolverine, the animal immortalised in cartoon and pop culture throughout the centuries for long claws, a ferocious attitude and fearsome teeth is a zoological WolverFAIL. Rather than a hefty king of mutant dogs, the Wolverine is actually the king of the weasels. Arguably, in Wind and The Willows, being King of the Weasels was a pretty big deal - but that's a kid's book, the ferocity levels are set at about 3.2. Instead, Whipsnade's Wolverine was a shy, fluffy little thing that refused to come out from under a tree. It wasn't even cute. In fact, I could have chucked a bit of fur fabric on a bush and more people would be interested. I would suggest that Mr. WolverFAIL changed his name to one of the others he goes by, but even 'glutton' sounds a bit too cool.

Even with the WolverFAIL, Whipsnade rocked. What rocked on an equal value was a sibling inbox treat with the subject heading of: BAKE OFFFFF. Yes, Mary Berry and her Great British Bake Off is spreading faster than a viral youtube vid. So far I'm averaging three baking-method conversations a day and, even more exciting, plans are afoot to get a Bowlface team in the bake off to show them how high a scone really should be...

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