You Know You're a Zookeeper If...

Rose Kerr, an amazing friend and mentor I met while volunteering for the Marine Mammal Center of Monterey Bay in 2005, just forwarded me this hilarious "You Know You're a Zookeeper If" list. Credit apparently goes to Ashley Gordon, a zookeeper at the San Diego Zoo, and the list is fantastic. (Although I haven't experienced EVERYTHING here, I have to admit--for better or worse--that many of these points hit home. Kinda disgusting, I know... ;))

Knobby the Bactrian Camel and Me (October 2010)
  1. Your pets greet your shoes and not you. 
  2. After work, all you attract are flies. 
  3. Your tan lines wash off. 
  4. You never shake hands without brushing your hands on your pants. 
  5. All your pants have stains where you wipe your hands. 
  6. You walk with a limp because of all the tools on your belt. 
  7. Your snot is black and not clear. 
  8. You get really excited about a good solid poop. 
  9. You spend all your vacations visiting other zoos. 
  10. Half your kitchen equipment and a good portion of your kids' toys end up at the zoo. 
  11. You will eat most anything from the animal cooler as a snack. 
  12. You don't even notice that you smell until you get into the car with the windows rolled up to go home. 
  13. You think nothing of pulling off ticks while in line at the local fast-food place. 
  14. You have two closets...one for work and one for the real world. 
  15. You have more photos of your animal kids than of your friends. 
  16. You wash your hands thoroughly BEFORE using the toilet. 
  17. You politely decline to shake hands because you know WHERE your hands have been. 
  18. The word "shit" is not a bad word. 
  19. New rakes and shovels are more exciting than diamonds. 
  20. You can be bribed to do anything for chocolate cake. 
  21. You sit on a clothes dryer for warmth. 
  22. You lock any and every door behind you. 
  23. Your most cherished gift is a Leatherman Super Tool. 
  24. You shop the toy section in Wal-Mart. You don't have kids; you have monkeys. 
  25. A three day weekend means the ground-in dirt on your hands is gone. 
  26. You leave a trail of hay everywhere you go. 
  27. You check to see which way the wind is blowing before dumping anything. 
  28. You can make water run uphill, because architects believe all drains should be in the highest corner. 
  29. Taking off your boots at night is better than...well, just about anything. 
  30. Your pants and shoes are tan instead of white. 
  31. Perfume is offensive, while bodily smells are not. 
  32. You are not phased by a fecal sample in the fridge next to your lunch. 
  33. You have no pictures of you without animals in them. 
  34. You can identify which species a fecal originated from by smell. 
  35. You are routinely tested for internal parasites. 
  36. Your favorite smells are bleach and disinfectant. 
  37. Your pets aren't the only ones who receive a rabies shot. 
  38. You look better when you wake up than when you get off of work. 
  39. You have scars to prove it. 
  40. You use an ice chipper as a prying tool and a lock as a hammer. 
  41. Your radio doubles as a handy hose-rest. 
  42. Hair-ties are also good temporary rubber washers. 
  43. Friends and family get concerned you are in an abusive relationship because of the number of bruises you have all over your body and the fact that it takes so long to try and remember how you got them. 
  44. If your hose stays kinked for more than two seconds, you go postal! 
  45. It's normal for you to have to wash your clothes at least twice to get them clean. 
  46. You look forward to rain and snow days, but you dread the day the sky clears. 
  47. You can name more animals than friends. 
  48. You aren't intentionally showing your underwear; your radio and tools on your belt just happen to pull your pants down. 
  49. You have eaten things off the floor in your area, after you have logically thought about it and used the 10-second rule. 
  50. You have tasted the food your animals eat. 
  51. You sometimes wear a face mask but you aren't in the medical field. 
  52. You use duct tape for EVERYTHING! 
  53. You have more uses for hay string than duct tape. 
  54. You have extra socks at work for when the hose springs yet another leak. 
  55. You don't need to work out because your job is hard enough. 
  56. You can carry a full five-gallon bucket of water without spilling a drop. 
  57. You have sledded on the shovels at work. 
  58. You have been electrocuted by at least one hot wire. 
  59. It is normal to get bitten or chased by an animal...sometimes daily. 
  60. You ask people if they want to see a picture of your baby, and they look at you funny when it is something furry, feathered or scaly. 
  61. You can hold your tongue (and laughter) when visitors ask some of their questions. (i.e., “When are those mice going to lay their eggs?”) 
  62. You find yourself saying “10-4” instead of "thank you", "yes", or "okay" in your everyday conversations. 
  63. You sometimes feel like MacGyver because of all the stuff you have built from odds and ends. 
  64. While you wait in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, a nurse you have never met asks what animal tried to eat you this time.