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September 4, 2000 Labor Day
I usually equate Labor Day with shopping and ravaging every single sale that is within my driving range.  This past Labor Day carried a slightly different meaning.  Instead of the mall, I went to the Bronx Zoo, and it was quite an experience.

I went up to NYC to visit Humberto (who else would it be?) and we took the subway to the Bronx.  Never had I felt like such a minority.  The car transported 3 white males, several black males, and 1 Asian female.  I felt somewhat uncomfortable, but things became somewhat more interesting when the subway emerged above ground.  I was amazed.  Never had financial segregation been more apparent.  Last year, I would have screamed “INJUSTICE!  RACISM!” but I sat calmly in the car and saw the reality that is socioeconomic.

Hearts should not bleed for those that suffer due to self inflicted racism.  In this capitalistic society, people who are productive for their national economy will live at least a middle class life.  Those who refuse to assimilate by adopting educational values and strong work ethics will suffer financially, which translates into living in an area with a low land value.

Any way, the trip to the zoo was definitely memorable.  Humberto kinda knew where he was going, but we became more confident in our travel because of the two other white men on the train.  Dressed in pink polo shirts, khaki shorts, white tennis shoes, a baseball cap, and a huge backpack with cameras in tow, these two men basically had a sign taped to their heads saying “We are tourists.  The equipment we carry can pay for half a year's worth of rent for local residents, so mugging us will be good for you.”  In the middle of the Bronx, where do you think these guys were gonna go?  So we followed them.

At the zoo, we saw many creatures.

The polar bears were napping when we first saw them, but they were happy and awake the second time we passed by their pen.  They were incredibly cute, I can't get over how adorable big paws are on a goofy, fuzzy, body.

The red bears spent the entire day sitting in their little pool and playing in the water.

We also went on the monorail tour and we saw tigers, elephants, and a little Red Panda.  She was the cutest thing I have ever seen.  
Red Pandas aren't anything like the Giant Panda (the white and black bear like thing), they look more like raccoons than anything else.

We also went into the dark world and basically looked at nocturnal creatures.  This exhibit and the wolf pen proves that people are stupid.  The signs posted at the entrance of the dark world exhibit explicitly stated that flash photography is not permitted and that animals have very sensitive hearing so that volumes must be kept at a low.  So what did people do?  They took pictures without shutting off their flashes, and were angered by the fact that the bats and other animals were not close to the glass window, so they tapped at the window and screamed for the animals to come closer.

At the wolf pen, the signs advised people to remain silent because a wolf will only interact with other wolves if there aren't any disturbances in their environment.  So what do people do?  They said, “AWWW!! They look like doggies!!” and they start barking at the wolves.

There needs to be a stupidity tax at the zoo.

Aside from the people, the zoo was a pleasurable experience.  The highlight for Humberto would be seeing a Tapir taking a dump.  
The highlight for me would be seeing the Red Panda,
after I got rid of the hiccoughs.  My diaphragm was spazzing for about three hours.  It was a great abdominal work out, but it was hell.  Sesame Street rescued me.  According to Big Bird, drinking upside down while holding your breath will stop the hiccoughs, and it does.

Altogether, it was an amazing day after the wretched hiccoughs.  Humberto and I had two ice creams each, and a huge lemonade to go with the yummiest treat - funnel cake.  Walking around eating sweets and looking at animals … it was probably the best Labor Day I've ever had.