Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
In June my wife Anne and I took my mom for a walk around the premises of our own Indianapolis Zoo to check out the current residents and the architectural upgrades on a sunny but not-so-sweltering Saturday. In this very special miniseries, we’ll take a look at the beasts and critters who welcomed us and hundreds of other families along the way.
We’ve been to the Indianapolis Zoo several times over the years. A couple of times, we’ve paid visits to check out their holiday programming.
Anne’s birthday happens to be in October. She isn’t a big fan of Halloween, but once upon a time in 2012, we spent a Saturday at a pair of local attractions with connections to the season. The cuter of the two was the annual “ZooBoo” program, in which zoo employees festoon the grounds with themed dioramas as value-added ambiance to attract families at a time of year when zoos tend to be far from everyone’s thoughts. Many animals were still on the clock and in their habitats, withstanding the falling temperatures and paying no mind to the new, bizarre decorations around them.
Several setups stuck to a Wizard of Oz theme for reasons known only to the staff. I’ve never thought of Oz as a Halloween book series or movie, but I suppose some of the scarier aspects lend themselves to the moment, such as the two brutally murdered witches.
Meanwhile outside Oz, other forms of Halloween cheer-‘n’-fear manifest in creative, sometimes disturbing, sometimes confusing ways…