Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lollapalooza of Lions

“Gosh. The Minnesota Zoo sucks!” I said in one of my dreams.  A few friends of mine were joining me on a trip to the good ol’ Zoo to see what was new.  It was clear that the Zoo had lost its funding and was going down the tubes fast.
This was the Minnesota Zoo…in the future.
Okay, I won’t send that message again, like I did in Just a Flying Frog in Paris. In this particular dream, the Zoo just sucked. That’s it.
(Let me say right here that I love the Minnesota Zoo and it’s awesome and clean and awesome.)
My friends laughed as I overplayed the Zoo’s inadequacies, which is so me. I had a moment of Okay, Brian…You’re not fourteen anymore. Stop yelling. So I calmed it down and just tried to enjoy the Zoo.
Nothing was really blowing my mind until we turned a corner to check out the lion’s cage.
Ooh, lions.
But this experience with lions was different than the usual, “Look-at-that-lion-sleep-at-the-back-of-the-cage,” or the, “Whoa!-I-think-I-just-saw-it-move” experience. There, in a concrete enclosure with straw on the ground, bordered by two layers of nine-foot-high chain-link fence, was a family of about eight lions.
When the eight of them saw me and my friends, they licked their lips and, one by one, jumped the two layers of fence.

(I should probably mention at this point that when I was in fifth grade I won the “Young Authors” award for a book I created called The Fraidy-Cat Lion, a story—which has sadly vanished from my house—about a lion who had a crippling fear of just about anything. The story ended with the lion realizing that if he just wore a helmet everywhere he went, he could face his fears more easily. It would have won more awards if I had a better publicist as a ten-year-old. Anyway, the lion that I drew in that book remains the best lion I can draw, so you’re going to be seeing a lot of it in this post.)

[That's me in Fifth Grade with my book. If anyone sees a book that looks just like that, give me a call.]
Holy shlaMOLY, I’m pretty sure I thought as the giant felines sauntered over to us.  The trainers also sauntered over—they didn’t run, mind you, just merely moseyed with a look of Oh crap, we’re going to have to do something about this, aren’t we? Hopefully this zoo didn’t have a “Leave Your Comments” box, because let me tell you, they would be getting a nice big one from me for this kind of service.
This is when I decided it would be best for my friends and I to leave.  Getting eaten by a bunch of lions was not on today’s itinerary. We retreated to a dreamfriend’s house (I say “dreamfriend” because this person seems to have been created just for the sake of this dream) and sure enough, his house was full of lions!
Are you serious?
I had had enough of the freaking lions. They were big and dangerous and getting in my way and I was not in the mood for them anymore.  I stormed back to the Zoo to make my complaint.
As I slalomed my way through the hundreds of lions at the Zoo, one of my friends came up to me and said, “Oh, Brian. I was just told by the trainers that all of these lions know a phrase that sends them back to their cage.”
“Oh really?” I said, “How about you tell me that so we can get these damn lions away from us.” My friend laughed as if I was being sarcastic, but I was completely serious.
“The phrase is, ‘Go home, lions,’” she said.
You’ve got to be kidding me. 
Don’t you think, at some point in my frustration, I would have said, “Go home lions”? 
So I said it, and sure enough, the thousands of lions turned away from me and strolled back to their cage.
For crying out loud.

And then I woke up. I’m sure some of these dreams mean something, but I have yet to figure out what. 


  1. HAHAHAHAHHAHA! I love it.
    The angry lions in the first picture are probably better lions than I can doodle now, so don't feel so bad, you just had highly-developed lion drawing skills at a young age and are still banking on that talent.

    I like the twist at the end. The suspense. Left. Me. Hanging. At. The. EDGE. Of my seat.

  2. FIRST OF ALL....your award-winning "Fraidy Cat Lion" didn't 'sadsly''s here SOMEWHERE! We wouldn't just throw that prized possession out! I put it in a very special place...I just have to remember WHICH very special place! I'm sure it's right next to the rest of Lindsay's graduation pictures from 6 years ago.

    SECOND OF ALL... okay, there is no second-of-all, I'm done yelling...

    My favorite illustration is the lions going home and climbing back over the fence. Nice action shot!

    Okay, lets focus on the moral of the story of the Fraidy Cat Lion, shall we? Apparently in 5th grade you were still listening to YOUR MOTHER! You understood back then that if you protected yourself with a helmet (and other life-perserving things) everything would be okay! You would be safe! But nooooooooooo....NOW you bike without a helmet, rollerblade without wrist guards, fly your kite on the edge of 100-story castles!

    I really need to find "Fraidy Cat Lion" and then you can re-visit the time when Mom really DID know best!

    Have a WONDERFUL junior year at college, honey...AND WEAR YOUR HELMET!

    Hugs and kisses...

  3. I like the phrase 'dreamfriend'. Somehow I knew exactly what you meant by that!

  4. hahaha mom, at the end of this post you sound so motherly. :) ya still got it.

    and if that book turns up somehow (even though my gut tells me it has disintegrated into a million pieces) let me know and i'll post the whole thing on the blog. :)

    i'm glad you understand 'dreamfriend'. isn't that weird how dreams just create people to be extras in the movie of your mind? so strange.