I went down to the coast last week (or 'down the coast' as we say) with my kids and Jessie Mo and her daughter Boops. The four of us, excluding JM, went to Mogo zoo which is not a bad zoo as zoos go though perhaps not worth the $20 entry fee for those of the grown-up persuasion.
For some reason, a day or two earlier, I had hit upon the idea of giving Boychild and Girlchild two dollars pocket money each. I can't remember why. And thereafter, into Kmart, out of Kmart, into Aldi, out of Aldi, etc there were constant queries about what they could buy with their money and what I should buy anyway just because and why did I have to buy that awful thing which I had to buy and claim that it was for them when in fact they hated it?
I managed to get Girlchild to spend her not-so-hard-earned on a small donut from Dunkin' Donuts (I know, I know...) but then Boops and Boychild had to have some donut too which somehow I paid for. Just one donut which I cut up three ways for them. Boychild then bought a sweet for himself and Girlchild. Cost: sixty cents. Leaving one dollar forty. (Helpfully the ancient crone behind the counter of the tobacconist where he bought the sweets gave us the wrong change, charging us for only one sweet, allowing me to supply an instant moral lesson and maths lesson combined into a tasty pedagogic treat).
But then I never heard the end of one dollar forty and when could he go back to that store and buy the bubble gum balls (price = twenty cents each) that he meant to buy the first time round but didn't?
I don't know. Later. Never.
Anyway, [rolls eyes] as I was saying, at the zoo. The kids had money and an ice-cream in mind, as a possible way to soak up any spare cash that might have been lining their pockets. So you go looking at animals, trying to take your time because when you've spent forty dollars to look at animals, each animal should hold your attention for at least ten seconds so that you don't find yourself back in the zoo car park ten minutes later.
I was proposing that we take the path less travelled (by us, the left fork to the gibbons and lions) when Girlchild suddenly shouted: No! No more animals! Which is a little rough I think on any animals that might have been listening and there could have been quite a few because we were just near the African safari exhibit with its mix-and-match collection of savannah trash.
Anyway, the kids got the ice-creams, I got the desired pacing, and the animals, including the lions and gibbons, got a little attention.
One lingering question remains. What the hell is a serval?