Phil’s Wild And Exotic Animal Park Is Now Hiring

By: Andy Millman

Have you ever considered working with animals? Maybe you liked playing with puppies or cuddling kitties as a child. Perhaps you’ve let a squirrel race up your pant leg or fed a gopher a marshmallow you held between your teeth. If so, this could be the job for you.

We’re looking for a real animal lover to work hand-in-hand with one of Phil’s most popular attractions, Ollie the gorilla. Maybe you’ve heard some scuttlebutt regarding Ollie’s last companion, Jacques Cameroon, and the way his career ended at Phil’s (he died). Don’t let that deter you from pursuing your dream. Monsieur Cameroon knew (or should have known) that Ollie doesn’t appreciate being disturbed between four and five in the afternoon, when he watches Family Feud. On September 8, 2014 (the day of “the incident”) Ollie was enjoying the show and his afternoon cigar when the families were asked the following question: “Name a food you might find in the jungle.”

When Larry Barnes, eldest brother of the Barnes family, pounded the buzzer and yelled, “Apples,” Ollie became understandably irate. Even most idiots know that apples do not grow in a jungle. Why Mr. Barnes did not respond with “bananas” or “coconuts,” or even “small snakes,” is anyone’s guess. If he had, however, Ollie likely would not have become agitated and put out a perfectly good cigar on Monsieur Cameroon’s forehead.

You might suggest (perhaps you went to law school) that Mr. Barnes bears some responsibility for these events. We are impressed with your thinking. We are considering filing some sort of papers against Mr. Barnes (maybe you can help us), but first we need to tend to suits from Monsieur Cameroon’s family, as well as from several patrons claiming they were “traumatized” by their afternoon at Phil’s. Ollie is hoping that Judge Judy will be assigned the case. Our lawyers (once we find some) will prove that: (A) Monsieur Cameroon should not have been in the cage during Family Feud hour, and (B) Nobody was making those “eyewitnesses” watch Ollie rip Monsieur Cameroon’s arm off his body and beat him over the head with it.

Now then, back to our current opening. The preferred candidate should be female, with hairy arms and back, and be of childbearing age. A passing resemblance to Dr. Phil is an added plus. The woman should be a pleasant conversationalist with excellent hooting skills and a large to extra-large birth canal. Ollie desires a nest-builder, especially since his last one was destroyed by the fire hose used to stop him from jumping up and down on Monsieur Cameroon. The cooking is basic, though you should be able to heat up a pizza and smash palm nuts with rocks. The other required housekeeping skills are minimal. Ollie is fairly neat and normally flings most of his feces out of the cage.

As you know, gorillas are social animals — often considered “the life of the party” — so you should be friendly and get on well with large primates. Let’s face it: even the humans didn’t care much for Monsieur Cameroon. He was probably not a “good hire.” That doesn’t mean we condoned Ollie beating his head against the bars to the rhythm of The Brady Bunch theme, but to say that we can understand it. And don’t get us started on what the other animals thought of him. If you’re really interested, stop by for a chat with Gretta the Zebra about the time Monsieur Cameroon took her to the movies. It is a most unpleasant story.

On second thought, it’s probably best for you to put Monsieur Cameroon out of your mind. Rest assured, with the right companion (a hairy hooter who looks like Dr. Phil), Ollie will be as gentle as a baby beaver. He is just a little lonely (especially now that Monsieur Cameroon is gone). Ollie wants what you and I do — someone to share our life with, someone to curl up with and watch Murder She Wrote, someone to push our tire swing and pick bugs off our back.

Could you be Ollie’s special someone? Find out by sending a letter of application directly to him. Use large print and simple one or two-syllable words. Draw some pictures. Tell him if you also enjoy Family Feud and other daytime television shows — except for Wheel of Fortune. Do not even mention Wheel of Fortune. As a matter of fact, it would be best not to apply if your name happens to be Pat or Vanna. You should enclose a picture, but nothing too provocative because Ollie gets “worked up” easily (you’ll have no worries in that department!). A simple photo of your everyday life, such as hanging off a tree limb or fishing ants out of a nest with a stick, should suffice. You may also smear some of your musk on the application packet.

All applications that Ollie doesn’t tear apart, eat or set on fire will be kept on file for six months. Don’t despair if you are not called right away. Ollie’s fingers are a little big for the buttons and he often dials incorrectly. If you are not selected for this position, you may still qualify to work with Alex the Angry Alligator. You must have quick reflexes and not smell like chicken. You can pick up an application for that position at Alex’s cage at any time, except on Wednesday nights, when he watches Top Chef.


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