McSweeney’s Internet Tendency The Toast The Morning News Shouts & Murmurs
ight, OK, I’m going to ask everyone to be extra mindful of that half-chewed elk carcass there. Give it some room. That’s right. Little more. Watch for that frozen blood puddle next to it. Great.
All right! Where was I? Oh, yes: WELCOME to Jurassic Park North! Western Saskatchewan’s largest and “only” Interactive Dinosaur Reanimation Experience!
I see the adorable little girl has her mitten raised. Probably noticed the air quotes, eh? Like it. Sharp. Our intern, Julie, felt she needed another week to, you know, dig down and double-check that we are indeed Western Saskatchewan’s sole practitioner of Dinosaurian Necro-Science. Don’t want to mislead. Certainly don’t want another lawsuit.
OK, moving on! If you’ll all kindly follow me this way.
Here at Jurassic Park North we spared no expense. How can we afford to do that? Simple. Look around. That never-ending tundra. That featureless white expanse. Extremely cheap. Especially factoring in the Indian curse. Saved a bundle on land, passed it directly to you.
And the dinos love the sub-zero lifestyle. Well, we’re studying if they love it. Can you imagine? Never seen snow before we yanked them from their evolutionary purgatory. Poor critters. But if you put them under an Industrial-Sized Heat Lamp they’ll romp and kick and snarl in it all day.
One more thing. What’s missing in this picture? If you compare us with other Epoch Integration Zones in the media, maybe like one in Costa Rica with whom we are no longer affiliated and against whom a trademark action is pending in federal courts, what don’t you see here?
Anyone? The answer might “shock” you. Yes, young lady, air quotes again. Not as cute the second time, but noted.
Well, for starters, we don’t have any of those wasteful high-voltage electric fences here. We want our dinosaurs to have natural frigid Re-life Experiences. No guard posts either. No arsenals stocked with high-powered rifles. How silly would that be!
Because we don’t have any guards. Not a lot in the way of staff, really. Just me and our science team and old Doc Lightfoot. And Julie every Wednesday. Ha ha, kind of a skeleton crew, isn’t it? But not in the way you’re thinking. Like we all might get eaten by dinosaurs who will then vomit out our bones or something.
OK, moving on!
Hush! Kids, come closer. Because this is a prime example of how we do things differently. See that hungry T-rex lumbering towards us? The one drooling in anticipation of his frozen afternoon mammal-snack? Hard to believe, but the only external obstacle between me and that food-crazed T-rex, besides all of your little bodies, is this souvenir Tiny T-rex Puffer Jacket and matching T-shirt, just C$259.95 at any of our conveniently located Gift Lodges.
Hello Tiny! Who’s-a boy? Who’s-a good boy?
How do we manage it? I’ll tell you how.
As you may know, we discovered pretty early on here that dinosaurs are actually ectotherms. I see some parents nodding over there. Can anybody tell me what that means? No helping from Moms or Dads! Ech-Toe-Thurm. Looking for hands. …Seeing none. Where’s Little Miss Air Quotes now? No?
Gosh, Tiny’s loving that elk, isn’t he kids? That big bloody nostril’s buried deep in the mysteries of mammalia!
Anyway, ectotherm means that dinosaurs need outside sources of warmth to hunt, or to graze, or to frolick in the snowdrifts with their Dino-Friends. Or to conduct any sort of basic, life-sustaining metabolic processes that you and I take for granted.
Hands up if you have a smartphone. There go those hands! It’s sort of like how your smartphone needs a nice battery recharge now and then. Except now imagine that your phone moves super slowly whenever it’s not plugged in. And if you forget to charge it every, oh, twelve hours or so, its insides freeze up and shatter into a million little pieces.
Now you know how the Dino-zens of Jurassic Park North feel! How cool would it be to come back after millions of years of peaceful non-existence and witness first-hand the better, smarter, faster upgrades put out by evolution!
I mean, if I wanted to, I could run circles around Tiny. Look at him. He knows it too.
I’m sure he loves it.
Well, we’re studying that.
But, boy, let me tell you: were we ever tickled at that ectothermy discovery. Some super smart scientists, including our own Director of Reanimation, Dr. Pounce Johnstone, got a big helping of Dino-Egg on their faces from that. There’s Dr. Johnstone now, kids, repurposing those velociraptor eggs from that nest. Give him a wave!
To be serious for a sec, learning from your mistakes is all part of the Scientific Process. You observe. You theorize. You build a state-of-the-art, 167-acre Dinosaur Revivification and Reintegration Preserve in the wilds of Northern Canada. You test your theory. Sometimes you’re right. And sometimes you’re 100% wrong, and the mangled, furious byproducts of your thwarted attempt at playing God can only be kept alive by monstrous space heaters.
But that’s just science.
Isn’t that right, Dr. J.?
Altogether now: right, Dr. J.?
Kids, I think those frantic, wavy hand gestures are Dr. J’s way of telling us to not draw attention to him while he’s offsetting the Park’s raptor-egg deficiencies. They do get a bit bitey if they’ve been sitting under their Heating Tent. Smart things! Luckily they haven’t figured out how to set the thermostat yet. Ha ha. Because that would be bad.
Loads of good news comes from bad science though, children. Every day I count myself lucky that I can see these magnificent, graceful creatures up close. I mean, if Tiny’s every movement at this temperature didn’t cause him such horrible, grinding agony–I like to say he’s down in the “Cold-rums”–we’d never be able to share this touching inter-species moment. He’d probably be playing a game of catch with my severed, dripping torso. Ain’t that right, boy?
Not to worry, kids. Tiny’s frozen is all. He’ll be fine once we airlift him to his heated jacuzzi. I’ll just call a Re-Revivification Team now. Come in–ugh, totally forgot. That freak polar storm downed our communications network. Could be weeks before it’s back up.
Well, he’ll keep.
OK! Before you venture out on your personalized Arctic Tundra Segways–spared no expense–just want to check something incredibly important: is there anyone that didn’t get their limited-edition Broseph Saurus smartphone case? Anyone? Great. You know, guests always say to me, “Pete, we love your mascot Broseph, the Snowboarding Brontosaurus, but could they really snowboard?” And I always answer: why ask could, when you could ask should?
Lucky for us, Dr. J., and a very special brontosaurus that everyone here knew as Buddy, worked tirelessly to answer to those questions. The first answer is yes. Yes, brontosauruses can snowboard, provided you rustle up a big enough supply of chopped Redwood trees and elephant tranquilizer. For the second part, it turns out “shoulds” are harder for science to answer. Initial data strongly points to no, but our team of scientists and willing test-o-sauruses won’t quit until they know for sure.
So, who’s ready, Dino-philes, for your trip around the Park?
I said: WHO’S READY?
That’s more like it!
Feel free to wander aimlessly off the lighted pathways by yourself. For my money, the best route is to cut through the allosaurus dueling pits, hang a right at the Buddy Brontosaurus Memorial Statue, and then head straight to the Stegosaurus Center. Those varmints are doing some “di-no-mite” work making ice sculptures. Fascinating. One theory is that, like us, stegosauruses express themselves through art! Another theory is that howling arctic winds have driven their tiny brains into madness, so they’re trying to bludgeon to death anything that steps foot in the Center.
But we’re studying that.
Remember: if a dinosaur is in your personal space, take a breath. You’re so much faster than they are. Run around, waving your arms wildly and making plenty of noise, until they get tired and/or freeze. If you need help, holler for me or Doc Lightfoot. Great, great guy. Always has these wacky old Inuit stories about how this “Unholy Wasteland” will doom us all. Actually a former big game tracker is the Doc.
Not much use for that here, though. We have him manning the Gift Lodges.
Couple last points. First, yesterday Dr. J. discovered that the Park is riddled with an extensive system of underground hot springs. So, you know, watch your footing out there. Second thing. Midnight tonight marks the exact moment when Doc Lightfoot’s tribe predicted the end of the Age of Man. Let’s be respectful of his culture, shall we? And–oh, last thing–Julie forgot to file some papers with the government, so if anything happens the outside world won’t send help for at least ten business days.
But have fun out there! Because this is Jurassic Park North: Where Everything’s Chill™!