I never had a very long list of things I want to do before I go to, you know, the “great beyond.” Or whatever you want to call it. Pick a term. Anyway, I had a biggie. In my youth (sometime during the Jurassic era) I had a major affinity for Orangutans. Still do. I became an amateur Orang behaviorist. That is, I sat at the zoo and observed for hours on end. Very gratifying, but I wanted to hold one. I knew this was impossible at the zoo. Primary reason, even a very young Orang is immensely strong, and can be dangerous. That was their story, and they were sticking to it! During my research, I found out something I’ve always loved. In Malay, Orang Utan means “Man of the Forest.” Orang Otang means “Man Who Owes Much Money.” Since that’s the way most of us pronounce it, they’re yucking it up in Malaysia!
Anyhow, I set out to achieve my goal, and it eventually sort of fell in my lap. Pun intended. My best friend owns a reptile company. Work with me here. A lot of the young people she’s employed over the years have moved on – one of them to Universal Studios, where he is a keeper and trainer for Animal Actors. So, my friends asked him for the ultimate favor, for my birthday. We waited until after the show was over, were beckoned to the stage, and a very young orangutan was placed in my arms. He had been in the show very briefly, so I got my crying with joy part out of the way before I held him. Good thing. That would have freaked him out!
His name is Archie. He’s a working Orang, in commercials, etc., and a happy little guy. We had an absolute blast playing tickle tummy, kissy, “Whee In the Air” and on and on for about 10 minutes. Then he was whisked off for a diaper change and his nap.
So, that’s my “Bucket List,” all done. No other line items. I am complete. One teeny tiny hitch – I wanna do it again!!!!
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