The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

Ever since I wrote the blog entry about writing a bucket list, I’ve been kind of overwhelmed by the number of things I’ve longed to do but may never achieve. Last night it occurred to me that in some cases I might achieve my goals by simply asking. So occasionally on this blog, you’ll find entries called “It’s Worth a Shot”, in which I’ll write completely insane letters to people who will have absolutely no reason to comply with my requests, but, hey, the worst they can say is no, right? And there’s also the remote possibility, what with six degrees of separation, that one of you may read this and be able to help me out. You never know. If I get any responses to these letters, or I get to achieve one of my dreams, I’ll definitely let you know in my blog! Here’s the first letter. (Some identifying information will be blocked out, because you could be a stalker. You have that look about you. )

To: xxxxxxxx, Senior Veterinarian,Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Dear Dr. xxxxxxx:

I have been a bridge tender here in Jacksonville since 2001. I currently open the xxxxxx and the xxxxxxxx Drawbridges. Sitting in one place 8 hours a day and looking out the window at the same view gives you a great appreciation for the natural world. I watch the migration of birds, and the passing of the dolphins, the gators and the manatee. The opportunity to be able to observe this makes me feel like one of the luckiest people on earth.

Having said that, and as I’m sure you can imagine, my income is a great deal more modest than I would like it to be, so I don’t get to visit the zoo very often. I also have a great many dreams and aspirations that I’m beginning to realize I’ll probably never get to achieve in my lifetime.

One of the things I’ve done while sitting up here on the bridge is create a “bucket list”—things I’d like to do before I die. Most of these things are way beyond my reach, but it occurred to me the other night that I have absolutely nothing to lose by asking for assistance in achieving some of my goals.

That brings me to the point of my letter. One of the things on my bucket list is to touch a tiger. Now, I know that the Jacksonville Zoo does not have tigers, but you do have other big cats, so I’m writing to ask you if by any chance I could be present the next time you have to sedate one of them for a medical procedure, even if only for a moment or two, to touch it’s fur and maybe take a picture. I long to see for myself if the fur of a big cat is soft or coarse. This type of generosity on your part would mean the world to me, so I’d appreciate it if you’d take in into consideration.



Cross your fingers, everybody!

11 thoughts on “It’s Worth a Shot #1:Touching a Tiger

  1. Ha! I peted a baby tiger once. I have also traveled the world, eaten rattlesnake and scorpion, went to school with the guys in Mettalica, talked to Eddie Izzard and recently tweeted with Eric Idle. I met Whoopie Goldberg and spoke to her for a while. I listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival practice in their garage, and I know Les Claypool, the lead guy in Primus, the band that did the theme song for Southpark. I have been to most of the 50 States. I have been loved by many women and all babies and dogs love me too. I have had crazy adventures, and did I mention I got to pet a baby tiger? Bucket lists put me on their bucket list.

    1. Bet you’ve never opened a drawbridge or swam with a manatee.

      1. I have swum(?) inside a school of hammerhead sharks, and with dolphins… wild ones… and in Greece I snorkled down to a world war 2 Sherman tank in a sunken landing craft while surrounded by little silver dollar fish who all turned at the same time. But, yeah, you got me on those two, I must admit.

      2. I’ve been swimming with dolphins, too, and sting rays. I’ve also ridden an elephant and milked a cow, and spooned with a donkey (don’t ask.)

      3. I have a feeling we could keep going with this.

      4. I suspect you’re right. How lucky are we? 🙂

  2. Liz says:

    Don’t forget “Asking for Assistance to Achieve Your Big Outlandish Goal” – That’s an important item that people often forget to put on their list. Kudos to you for writing the letter and making the ask.

    (I’m dying to find out what response you got. I hope it’s in a future post – but I’m refusing to allow myself to search and find out.)

    “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.”

    1. lol. No response at all. They probably thought I was a crackpot. Maybe I should try again with the zoo here in Seattle…

      1. Liz says:

        Oh darn. In the movie version of your life things turned out so differently….

      2. Isn’t that always the case? 🙂

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