A BETROTHAL excerpt on Zoos, yes, Zoos:
There are three different types of zoo entrance: the Wilderness Type, the Prison Type, and the Kong type.
The Wilderness Type is employed by a committee of public trust shareholders that have never actually been camping much less in the Outback/Anaconda River/African Savannah, yet they know what the wild is supposed to look like, so all is well. This is why the Wilderness Type of zoo ends up with heaps of big fake logs, plastic looking rocks, and a roof that mimics a hut with lots of dead straw and twigs. It looks good at the opening of the zoo but after a few years gets really messy: the logs need to be chopped down, the vines die, the rocks rust, the straw blows all over the place, and the janitors are always being called out to clean it up. The Wilderness Type says, “We’re wild and crazy and you can be wild and crazy too! Growl!”
The Prison Type is contrasting with the Wilderness Type. Its modern, it gets the job done, and it doesn’t take hostages. Walking to a Prison Type of entrance you are greeted with queues—metal railings bracketing you in on each side, forcing you to transverse the twisting line of steel and boredom—while bland elevator music is pumped into overhead speakers, quelling your rising frustrations. Once you escape from the queue you are led to a factory-like line of ticket booths, the workers encased in steel and glass with that small hole to trade money for tickets and the even smaller hole for you to talk to the cashier. When you finally have the ticket you are buzzed through an electronically locked door and on the other side your safety is in your own hands. The Prison Type says, “We have tried our best to keep you from getting killed, we don’t want to have to clean up your remains.”
The Kong Type is created for the sole purpose of creating a sense of awe, both in the attendee and in the designers who think quite a lot of themselves. The Kong Type has a giant front door opened wide; the space between hinting at what awaits you inside. Maybe there is a colossal arch towering over your head, and statues, lots of statues: brass, bronze, stone, all kinds of statues of elephants, tigers, and other dangerous predators. And animal shaped bushes, can’t forget that. Maybe someone even gets the bright idea to have the animals dragged outside and walk through the concrete when it is settling so there are giant paw and hoof marks under your feet. The Kong Type says, “You are not prepared for my wonder!”
I am sorry to disappoint after all that, but the zoo we went to wasn’t a Kong Type. A Kong Type in Utah? Come on people. Set up your expectations about things. Has anything really been Kong Type in this entire novel? Except for Tad…