My friend Trevor points at a couple of monkeys. "Are they, uh, you know?"
I peer at them. I can't really tell. He might be right. Monkeys always look like they're doing something dirty no matter what they're doing. Many people don't realize this, but monkeys aren't cute. They're nasty and creepy.
"Probably, but you don't have to point it out."
We're at the zoo, which means I'm sorry to tell you this isn't going to have much to do with gaming. After nearly ten hours of Halo 3 on Legendary, we decided we had to get out and do something non-game related. It's been a very busy holiday season for us. We needed to take a breather. We wondered what we could do that was new and different and had nothing to do with games. So now we're watching monkeys doing undignified things.
"Is Zoo Tycoon any good?" Trevor asks.
"Not since it went 3D. But I seem to recall the original 2D one was pretty cool. There's a new expansion pack out."
"Yeah, the dinosaur one, right?"
One of the monkeys shrieks and waves its hairless ass at us. Several nearby kids giggle. Trevor giggles with them. He takes a sip of Pepsi from a big pink plastic cup shaped like a panda. It has a twisty straw rammed into its skull.
"Monkey butt," Trevor says. "Hey, is it true there's a game called Plant Tycoon?"
"You grow plants?"
"And sell them."
"Is it any good?"
"You think I have time to play Plant Tycoon?"
"We should try it," he considers.
We've joined everyone clustered around the tiger pen. The tiger couldn't care less. He's sprawled behind some grass, which makes him hard to see. People are craning their necks and angling at the corners of the viewing area for a clear look. The best you can hope for is a line of sight to his tail when it flicks.
"I can has shade," Trevor says.
"I can has shade. I was trying to think of a caption for him. That's all I could come up with."
"I forget, did you take the tiger in Black & White?"
"The cow. Why? You didn't take the cow?"
"I thought everyone took the monkey."
"Monkeys are nasty and creepy."
"There are monkeys in No One Lives Forever."
"And System Shock 2."
"God, for fuck's sake, is everything BioShock with you these days?"
Now we're at the food court eating some gross chili cheeseburgers.
"Did you bring your DS?" Trevor asks, reaching for his.
"No, I didn't."
"What, is it not charged up?"
"No, I just didn't bring it."
"Well how are we going to play Phantom Hourglass battles?"
"I guess we're not."
We eat our chili cheeseburgers. The fries are soggy. But we eat them anyway. We're captives, with no alternative but to eat expensive zoo food or go hungry. It could be worse. We could be in Sudan.