Remember when I said there’s a lot of competition for the stupidest thing I’ve ever done? Good news: I’ve found the winner–going to the Bronx Zoo on “pay what you wish” day.
I’ve always hated crowds, but living here has obviously forced me to deal with them. I’ve gotten used to people shoving and stepping on me throughout the day. I’ve gotten accustomed to the fact that while everyone else pushes their way into the subway car, no one will ever move when I’m trying to get on. I’ve become immune to the screams from tired children and desensitized to strollers running over my feet.
None of that prepared me for what I would encounter at the zoo. Tides of people rushing toward me, full of children and parents utterly oblivious to the other people approaching them. Armies of strollers, all rolling separate ways and none stopping even a second for patrons who try to get out of the way. Exhausted babies throwing tantrums at every corner. Crushing crowds at every animal station, making it a true accomplishment to even see a glimpse of a tail or a snout.
I did experience a new phenomenon though: I became invisible. At times I’ve felt invisible in the past, when parents would lead their children into my path, or when subway doors would close on my body. But yesterday, I actually was invisible. There’s no other way to explain the repeated instances of people walking right into me. There’s no other possibility for why I would be pushed out of the way at the entrance to an indoor exhibit while 2 separate families of 5 entered first. There’s no other reason I would be trapped behind the slowest moving humans in existence because every time I tried to escape, someone came up from behind and stepped in front of me.
Oh, wait a second, yes there is: “pay what you wish” day at the Bronx Zoo.