Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Henry Cate's Life Humor 1.B

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:

During the summer of 1984, when the troubles at the city owned Atlanta Zoo were coming to a head, volunteers at the Atlanta Zoological Society (a privately sponsored support group, dedicated to improving the Zoo) were deluged by calls from members who had received a copy of the letter that follows and were panicking at  the prospect of what it suggested. The letter was personally addressed to each and typed on NEW but official looking Atlanta Zoo stationary, embossed in sepia tones with the pictures of various animals usually  found in zoos, and hand signed by the supposed sender. It is, of  course a complete hoax, and no-one is really sure who was responsible for this rather elaborate prank:

June 29, 1984

Dear Mr. Brueggemann:

     As you are aware, Atlanta's zoo is going through a very  stressful period.  The Board has considered several alternatives and we feel we have a novel, short-term solution to the zoo's current difficulties.

     Our solution, which involves you, will immediately relieve the zoo staff of the problems of daily caring for the animals and give the staff the opportunity to perform much needed repairs in animal exhibits.

     You have been selected to care for one of the animals for the  rest of the summer.  You were highly recommended to us because of:

(1)  your concern for the reputation of the Atlanta Zoo
(2)  your known love of animals.

     Accordingly, Dixie, a 6,000-lb. hippopotamus from North Africa will soon be delivered to your home.  You are totally responsible  for her care; housing and feeding until September.  Please call Dr. Emmett Asheley, who is on leave but still considered our zoo veterinarian, with your questions regarding Dixie's special diet requirements.

     You'll agree, I'm sure, that by distributing our animals among caring metro-Atlanta citizens we are keeping our problems in "our own back yard," while constructively working toward having one of  the finest zoological facilities in the country.


Rufus Simms
Animal Husbandry

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