Joan Wickersham

If I Ran the Zoo

Mike Lynch for The Boston Globe

In all the whole town,

As I go through my day

I see things I would change


If I had my own way.

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If I had my own way,

There are things I would do.

Certain things would be different,

If I ran the zoo.


I’d start with the guy who,

When e-mails arrive,

And the number of “cc”s

Is seventy-five,

Types a vacuous answer


And hits “reply all.”

I would seize his computer

And aim at the wall.

I’d move on to the talker,

That insolent gnome,

Who makes noise at the theater

As if he were home.

In my zoo he’ll be sent home

To feel like a jerk:

For the next year the sound
on his TV

Won’t work.

In mid conversation

This lady is prone

To check and send messages

On her iPhone.

I’ll pull out my own phone

And text: “FYI:

Your behavior is rude

And I’m leaving. Goodbye.”

And then there’s the driver

Who seems awfully dim.

It’s nighttime. It’s dark.

But it’s not dark to him.

He drives without headlights.

If I ran the zoo,

I would ticket and fine him

A thousand or two.

And what’s with the women

(Men too?) who don’t flush?

Are they spacey? Or sloppy?

Or just in a rush?

In my zoo you can bet

They’ll be mopping the floors

As unpaid and permanent


Oh, if I ran the zoo

There can be no denying

The justice I’d mete

Would be quite satisfying.

I’d be happy to settle

An old score or two —

So it’s probably best

That I don’t run the zoo.

Joan Wickersham’s column appears regularly in the Globe. Her latest book is “The News From Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story.’’