The Thoughts of a Man Visiting Home for the First Time Since He Fell Into a Gorilla Enclosure

  1. Mom repainted the upstairs hallway.
  2. It looks nice.
  3. Woah, my sheets are gone and have been replaced with boring florals.
  4. On the drive in, I saw the Friendly's has been replaced with some taco chain.
  5. I guess you really can't go home again.
  6. Sounds like people are arriving downstairs.
  7. All anyone is going to want to talk about is the gorilla thing.
  8. Just accept that, Tom. It was a national story.
  9. "UNCLE DAN! How are you?"
  10. 5...
  11. "Yeah, New York City is treating me well."
  12. 4....
  13. 3...
  14. "No, not dating anyone in the moment."
  15. 2...
  16. 1...
  17. "Yeah, I did fall into that gorilla enclosure at the zoo."
  18. "Yes, it was very scary."
  19. Don't get frustrated, Tom. Of course this is all anyone is going to want to talk about.
  20. Oh, awesome, cousin Kelly.
  21. "Hey, Kelly, how are-"
  22. "Yeah, I had dropped my phone, and I thought I could grab it. I couldn't, and I tumbled in."
  23. "Yeah, no, I was embarrassed, for sure."
  24. "Actually, no. I wish the Today Show had left it alone."
  25. Turn it back on Kelly. Ask her how her college is.
  26. "How's college?"
  27. "Oh, you discussed me in your media class?"
  28. I need to get out of here.
  29. Oh, no, Aunt Denise.
  30. "Hey, Aunt Denise."
  31. "Yes, the mother gorilla held me in her arms for hours as the zookeepers yelled at me to keep still."
  32. "No, that's not something you get used to."
  33. "Yeah, I enjoy living in New York City, but I understand why you would never want to live there."
  34. Cousin Rick just burst through the doors and is already doing a gorilla impression that I now know all too well is nowhere near as haunting as the real thing.
  35. "Hahaha yep, Rick. I totally fell into the gorilla enclosure."
  36. "Yep, they say the only reason I survived is because the mama gorilla had just lost her baby and was desperate to replace her."
  37. "Yes, they say she still cries for me."
  38. "How's the fiancé, Rick?"
  39. How come Rick can say "I don't want to talk about it" and leave?
  40. I need to get out of here.
  41. I love home, but it's like every time I come home, everyone focuses on the one thing they heard about me while I was away.
  42. I'm more than just one thing.
  43. I'm not just the guy who fell into a gorilla enclosure.
  44. Go to the basement. Hang out with the little kids.
  45. "Hey guys!"
  46. Oh, bad idea. They are asking so many questions.
  47. "No, I wouldn't say I'm famous."
  48. "I'm stupid? Tell your friend's dad that I think he's stupid too."
  49. "Yes, I am banned from zoos now."
  50. Go back upstairs.
  51. Oh no.
  52. "Hey Grandma."
  53. "Yes, Grandma, I'm sorry."
  54. "Well I can't control the things they girls at bridge say."
  55. "It won't happen again."
  56. Just go to the bathroom.
  57. This is too overwhelming.
  58. I just want to be with my family. I don't want to spend the entire time I'm home playing catch up.
  59. Just shrug it off and move on.
  60. Get back out there.
  61. "Uncle Paulie!"
  62. "The escape? You want to hear about the escape?"
  63. Just get this over with.
  64. "HEY EVERYONE LISTEN UP. AS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD, I WAS RECENTLY FEATURED ON SEVERAL NEWS CHANNELS AND ON VIRTUALLY EVERY WEBSITE FOR FALLING INTO A GORILLA ENCLOSURE."
  65. "SOME OF YOU MAY HAVE SEEN THE LIVE FEED."
  66. "KIEKO, THE MOTHER GORILLA, QUICKLY PICKED ME UP AND CRADLED ME FOR HOURS. ONCE SHE FELL ASLEEP, THE GUARDS WHISPERED AT ME TO MAKE MY MOVE TOWARDS THE NOW OPEN GATE. I SLOWLY FREED MYSELF AS TO NOT WAKE KIEKO, BUT UNFORTUNATELY IN THE DARK I TRIPPED OVER THE TIRE SHE LIKES TO PLAY WITH, WAKING KEIKO UP. I MADE A MAD DASH TO THE DOOR..."
  67. Keep going, Tom. You have the room.
  68. "BUT KEIKO LUNGED FOR MY ANKLE. THE ZOOKEEPERS THEN INSTANTLY SHOT SEVERAL HIGH-GRADE TRANQUILIZERS AT KEIKO, KNOCKING HER OUT. UNFORTUNATELY, SEVERAL TRANQS HIT ME AS WELL AND I WOKE UP TWO DAYS LATER AT THE HOSPITAL."
  69. Everyone is staring.
  70. Uncle Paulie just asked if I thought that made me a hot shot and everyone laughed.
  71. Now he's making fun of Rick for calling off his engagement.
  72. Everyone is talking about something else now.
  73. I guess, everyone kind of has to ask you about the big things when you go home. It's an easy way to say "Welcome back. I've been thinking about you."
  74. This is nice to be home.
  75. Oh no, Uncle Greg and Aunt Vivian just arrived.
  76. "Uncle Greg and Aunt Vivian, yes, I did see the Buzzfeed quiz about me. You got the hero zookeeper? I got 'the idiot who fell in the gorilla enclosure,' which I thought was fitting."