How I Imagine The First Scene Of “We Bought A Zoo”


Excuse me, honey. Come here for a second, if you have a spare moment. I know you’ve got a headache. I’m sorry I startled you. I’ll get you some Advil. You need to see this. You should probably be sitting down.

Certainly, I can read it to you. Sorry. I won’t talk so loud. I know it was a long night. It was a long night for both of us. I haven’t had so much champagne since our honeymoon. I’m just a little anxious about this news.

Remember last night? How the hospital threw us that banquet because we donated the money for the new particle beam therapy wing? That little boy with leukemia made the most touching speech I’ve ever heard. Brought tears to my eyes. You began sobbing, darling. I gave you my handkerchief.

Then there were toasts. The trustees gave speeches effusively praising our generosity. We drank glass after glass of champagne. Our helicopter pilot said he’d never seen either of us in such a state. We stumbled to the elevator from the helipad and paged our chef, demanding he make us omelets, posthaste. I really should send him a letter of apology and a new automobile for our rudeness.

What is the last thing that you remember about last night, my love? Yes, we ate our eggs with imported truffle oil and fresh mozzarella with stunning alacrity. Then, yes, we did stumble up the stairs, leaving our formal garments in a series of silken heaps, your dress and gloves turning our stairway into something of a lavender dreamscape. It is true we also lay in a warm bubble bath, drawn as usual by our housekeeper, for several minutes. But there is one minor detail that you are failing to recall.

My darling, last evening…we bought a zoo.

No, my dear. This I am not attempting to be humorous. If I were endeavoring toward laughter, I would have pointed you in the direction of the latest New Yorker cartoon or Garrison Keillor radio program. I am as serious as NPR. Last night while intoxicated, we browsed electronic-bay dot com and eventually decided to purchase the Branson, MO county zoo.

How much did we pay for it? That is the natural follow-up question. Thirty million dollars. No, it is not refundable. The fee has been transferred over PayPal. We shall never see that currency again. Yes, I am also distressed by the unfolding of these events. No, I do not purport to know the first thing about zoology. I am, as you know, a neurosurgeon, specializing in dopamine therapy for depressed movie stars. I do not begin to presume that my professional skill set will translate into zookeeping or animal husbandry.

Now, honey. I do not think that it is fair to say that I alone bear the responsibility for the purchase. It is true, yes, that the credit card listed on the receipt is in my name. Is it not also true that in your haste to dine on eggs and make way to our bath, you left your own pocketbook on the back seat of the helicopter? Perhaps, and I do not mean to say this as a statement of fact, I made the purchase at your behest. It is a possibility, no?

It seems that we are, at present, hopelessly embroiled in the vocation of menagerie ownership. Yes, I agree that we should indeed attempt to resell this zoo as soon as we can. I do believe, however, that it would be an atrocious breach of ethics to simply allow the animals to govern themselves in the interim. It would be carnage. As a medical professional, I could not bear the blood of innocent creatures on my conscience, nor, I imagine, could you as a medically-minded philanthropist.

Would you care to examine the electronically-delivered receipt? Oh, yes, I’m sorry. Your head. Excuse me. I’ll fetch you the ibuprofen. Then we shall commence plans for our temporary relocation to Branson.

Yes darling. I know. I want to vomit as well. I’ll ring the maid to bring clean sheets.

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image – Indie Wire