Hello Mr Springer.
Thank you for coming to this job interview at our
Zoological Park. What type of animal were you
hoping to be?
Animal? I assumed I
was applying to be a keeper or to work in the zoo
shop or perhaps to help with the childrens
There must have been
a misunderstanding. All our human posts are
currently filled. Were recruiting today for
a lion, four bears, a couple of orangutans and a
kangaroo or rather for people to wear
I thought you got
real animals from the wild or from other zoos?
Not any more. This is
a fourth generation zoo.
First generation zoos were just menageries, and
they became politically incorrect together with
animal acts in circuses. Second generation zoos
ran breeding programmes for endangered species
and so couldnt be accused of just
exhibiting for entertainment. Those zoos fell out
of favour when third generation breeding
programmes were set up in the wild.
Unfortunately, zoos without animals would have
caused a curtailment of public interest, and
hence funding. Thus fourth generation zoos were
Are you saying that
all animals in British zoos are really people in
Yes. Advances in
animatronics and the sophisticated design of the
suits mean that no member of the public has ever
Well, I was certainly
fooled. Though, now you come to mention it, Id
wondered why all zoo animals tended to be person
Yes, that has been a
problem, although the children love the giant
rabbits. Would you still like to apply?
involved in being a zoo animal?
It depends on the
animal. Can you climb trees?
Better give the
orangutan a miss, then. I see on your application
that youve represented England in track and
The triple jump.
Excellent. I see also
that youre a vegetarian and that your last
job was as a bouncer. You know, youre very
well qualified to be a kangaroo.
Does that just
require hopping about?
Well, hopping about
comes into it, obviously, but you would need to
be fully trained in the authentic behaviours of
the Australian Red particularly its mating
The zoo is famed for
its kangaroo mating programme.
Whos the female
A very nice woman
called Susan Hopper.
Isnt she also a
barmaid at the Noahs Arms?
You know her, then?
rather fancied her. And, between you and me, Ive
got a bit of a fur fetish too, so with us both
dressed as kangaroos
Wait a minute, isnt
there a Mr Hopper?
There is, but hes
the alpha male stag in the deer enclosure so cant
really complain. Youd be given a basic
training in other species too so that you could
stand in for sick or absent colleagues.
Thatll add a
bit of extra interest.
Indeed. You could
find yourself hopping round the kangaroo
enclosure in a morning and diving for fish in the
sealion pool in the afternoon.
Id like to take
And Id be
pleased to appoint you, Mr Springer
Frank, by the way. Do you mind if I call you