Curt, The Zookeeper
Setting: A zoo, which could be represented by, ummm, a blank stage, for instance. Everythng is merely indicated, but, of course, if you've got the budget to stage a zoo, don't let my lack of visual cues hold you down.
Curt, The Zookeeper: (He is giving a tour of his zoo, he's very proud, walking on with Reena and Geoff behind) And, of course, as our summer interns, you will have access to all areas of the zoo. Let's begin our tour here, and, please, do ask questions as soon as they pop into your head. (indicating the cage) Here are our Indian elephants, Zita and Gee, they have been at the zoo for almost five years. As you can see their facilities are a little cramped, but they also have a small den through that opening there, where they can watch a 62-inch wide screen T.V. with full cable and 7.1 surround sound... and, of course, they have access to two top-of-the-line laptop computers.
Reena: Did you just say "laptop computers"?
C: Yes, I sure did... top-of-the-line. We spared no expense!
Geoff: Uhhh, what do the elephants do with these computers, Curt?
C: Well, they have 24-hour dedicated broadband access to the internet!
R: Nice... but what do they do... with them?
C: Whatever they want, we don't belive in keeping a watch over our elephants' online behavior.
G: Do you mean Zita and Gee browse the internet?
C: We prefer "forage"; they forage the internet.
G: They do?
C: We assume so. We don't like to spy, but wouldn't you if you had that much bandwidth?
R: What do they brow... forage for?
C: I would guess elephant-related sites, elephant merchandise, and Gee, well, he's a a bit randy... so probably a little elephant porn...
R: Elephant porn?
C: No filters on their computers. No way! We believe in total online animal liberation!
G: But, why?
C: As we like to say, if an animal can't be free, we can help it be virtually free!
R: But, you're not sure if they are foraging the internet?
G: Yeah, you said you don't monitor their online activity.
C: No need to. We trust them.
G: I think maybe, the question is more like, "Do they need them"?
C: (getting a little offended) Young man, I have been in the zoo business for over twenty years. You have a lot to learn about animals if you think it's beneficial to limit their access to the outside world simply because they are being held in a zoo!
G: I... no... that's not...
C: We must use all available technology to broaden the experience of these beautiful creatures beyond their dingy cells.
R: Sure, I can understand that, like when you let them outside, you probably have self-cooling water stations and...
R: Yeah, when you let them out to play or rest in the sun?
C: And let them run away? Probably only to be struck by a car? Or captured and arrested as suspected terrorists, simply because they look a little different than you or me?
R: Are you saying that you don't let them out?
C: Noooo. Too risky.
R: But... elephants need to be outside, a lot.
C: Well, in your ideal, flower-child world, maybe we could do that, but that would require a costly landscaping and fencing and security renovation. Very expensive!
G: But, you said you would spare no expense.
C: To assist the animals with full access to the world of information available to them on cable and the internet.
G: Don't elephants need time to relate to their natural surroundings?
C: The cable package includes the Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery and HBO channels.
C: It's a movie channel.
R: Yes, I know...
C: We get HBO - Family and HBO - Animal.
G: Couldn't they have time outside being watched by zoo workers?
C: No. Very dangerous. We never get too close to the elephants.
C: Because they're huge! Duh! C'mon, think about it... don't you realize those things could kill a person real easily.
G: But they need interaction, don't they?
C: Yes, and we do let zoo workers entertain them by talking with them in various internet chatrooms.
C: Yep! The elephants seem to like it too. Yesterday, Zita brushed against her keyboard. As if to say "LOL" or perhaps even "ROTFLMTO" or some other cute elephant chatroom shorthand.
G: So, you don't interact with them, don't let them outside...
C: Not physically, but that's what's great about running a zoo these days. You don't need to do all that messy stuff. You can let cable and the web take care of all that for you! Enough about the elephants, let's head to the zebra stable, which, it goes without saying, is a wireless hotspot!
(he starts walking off, Reena and Geoff look at each other with great apprehension about the summer to be, lights going down, Reena and Geoff slowly start to follow)
C: ... of course, we may not even see any of the zebras, since many of them will undoubtedly be blogging in the computer lab....
Are there video game-playing pigs at this zoo?
No, but the hippos can play Dance, Dance Revolution!
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