Role Models

We got the bun a Fisher-Price zoo* for his birthday, complete with lion, seal, polar bear, elephant, a monkey who jumps up and down and a freakishly large blue bird which whistles "Hail to the Bus Driver" for some perverse reason. I bought a couple of extra animals so that it was more abundantly critter-filled: a zebra, camel and kangaroo now round out the menagerie. Two kindly looking chubby people are the zoo-keepers, presumably with cheerful dispositions who never groan over the mountains of plastic lion and elephant dooky. We were playing with it today. That is, I had brought it out, the bun had chucked a couple of animals across the floor, and then moved on to the next thing.

"Look," I said to my husband as the bun jumped off his chair, ignoring us completely. "The gates to the pens are so easy to get into that the animals can come and go as they please."

"As they should," he said.

"And when they get sick of the food, they can turn on the keepers."

"Rise up!" said my husband. "Fight the power!"

"And then they can organize resistant movements which seek to elevate the quality of living for all plastic animals. Or perhaps it will end badly when the animals imprison the keepers in these zoo enclosures: pogroms for Little People, the animals taking over the whole shebang."

"It could happen."

I paused and watched the drama unfold in my mind. "We might be some complicated role models," I said.

*I love this zoo. I might have bought it for myself rather than the bun. But I have a complaint.

Each of the animal dens has a button you push to make an animal noise. The seal barks, the elephant trumpets, etc. And while the bird who whistles "Hail to the Bus Driver" is pretty strange, I find the lion and bear's respective sounds to be a little pathetic.

Perhaps Fisher-Price in its wisdom decided that a real lion roar would be a little too scary for a toddler. I don't think it would, but what do I know? I've only had the one kid. But you'd think that they could have gone out of their way to make a slightly more convincing sound effect than going down to shipping and receiving and getting the loading bay clerk to mumble into a microphone.

"Roar," says Jerry from shipping in the lion's den.

"Roar," Jerry says again in the bear's cave.

That's it? "Roar?" Not "ROOAAAAARRRR!" or "RA-aaaaaar!" or a good growl?

You think it would have killed them to make a little effort and pillage "The Lion King" for a couple of sound effects?