Real quick, before we get to today’s content, I wanted to point you in the direction of my ‘Dexter’ recap for the LA Times and this piece I wrote for the AV Club on how much I enjoy the ‘30 Rock’ Christmas episodes. And don’t forget to submit your Cleatus the FOX football robot fan fiction: I will be running all the submissions on Wednesday.
I’m trying out an occasional feature here on on the site wherein I share interesting, or unique stories and theories courtesy of the dads in the world. You know how dads have tales and ideas that can only be described as Dad-like? Well, I figured it’s time to honor the dads and their dad-like minds on a regular, official basis with a feature called Dad Talks. Today I’m kicking things off with a discussion with my own dad. We met up to chat about the merits of his three favorite types of animals: dog, horses and elephants.
First, he sent me an email spelling out what’s so great about each of them. Then we followed up with an informal interview at Wildberry Pancakes.
Dogs are truly man’s best friend. They really do try to please and protect. They are so varied more than any animal. Horses are the epitomy of majesty. Like the statue David and they also serve man but rarely provide affection like a dog. Elephants fascinate me more than any animal. I feel I know more about them than most but still feel I don’t know enough about their intelligence. They are simply too big to manage. However, I have grown to admire them and wish I could get to know just one on a close basis. We can discuss.
CLAIRE ZULKEY: Picking up on our email, of all the animals you talked about, which is the animal you’d most prefer to have?
ED ZULKEY: An elephant.
CZ: Do you have a preference of Asian or African?
EZ: No, I don’t know enough about the types to have a preference.
CZ: What’s your favorite elephant story?
EZ: Dumbo, I suppose.
CZ: Well I remember you telling me some story about an elephant crying when he found out that his owner was dead.
EZ: Yeah, elephants are the only animals aside from humans that shed tears from sadness. You know, I’ve come to know more about and be interested in elephants in the last ten years than before in my entire life.
CZ: Do you think that’s partially due to the elephant sanctuary you donate to?
CZ: Is that the only animal charity you donate to?
CZ: So you prefer elephants to horses, huh?
EZ. Yes. But I like horses too. You know there was a Bill Murray movie where he had to take an elephant across the country or else it would get shipped back to Africa or something. I sort of envy Bill Murray in that movie. Also, is there anything cuter than a baby elephant?
CZ: No, definitely not.
EZ: You know, their trunks have millions of feelings in them. An elephant could pick up a quarter with it. But I wouldn’t want to pick up an elephant’s BM’s. An elephant can wreck a forest in a minute too.
EZ: But an elephant is very dainty, too. They can’t help how big they are. But you know how big people can still be very dainty? That’s how elephants are. Their feet are so soft.
CZ: How do you feel about people who hunt for ivory?
EZ: It’s horrible.
CZ: OK, let’s talk about horses. What do you like about them?
EZ: They’re magnificent to look at.
CZ: What’s been your favorite experience on a horse?
EZ: We have some friends in Wisconsin and we went riding through a farm field and I actually got up to a gallop. I’d never done that before. Once you get up there, it’s easier than a trot.
CZ: What’s your favorite horse movie?
EZ: Well my favorite horse TV show is Mister Ed. We’d watch it every day during junior year of college. Sometimes Mom would come over and watch it with us. One time Ed was playing baseball and he slid into home plate. Another time he was a stowaway on a boat and he had to find a place to sleep on the ship. Also, sometimes he answered the phone. You know, next to Barney Miller, Mister Ed might be the best TV comedy of all time.
EZ: I don’t know if I have a favorite horse movie, but when the Lone Ranger met Silver, it was the most beautiful, touching thing of all time.
CZ: OK, now who’s your favorite dog?
EZ: I couldn’t pick one. I love Looey, Major and Jessie.
CZ: What was so great about Jessie?
EZ: It was nice that she liked to lay in bed with me.
CZ: What’s a dog breed that you’ve never had before that you find interesting?
EZ: Aside from a greyhound?
CZ: Greyhound doesn’t count, since you have partial share of one.
EZ: I guess a golden retriever, or a border collie. You know, at the beach the other day, Looey tried to herd me and these little kids that were there. He likes to go up and say hello to strangers.
CZ: OK, so to wrap up, if you had to pick a dog that’s not yours versus a horse, who do you prefer?
EZ: The horse.
CZ: But you prefer the elephant to the horse. Interesting.
EZ: Yeah. You know one thing about elephants though, an elephant can’t get in your bed.
CZ: That’s true.
EZ: I forgot to mention, I like pigs too. They’re smarter and cleaner than people realize. They just get hot a lot. I love that movie Babe. I love when that guy starts dancing for him. Who is that guy?
CZ: James Cromwell?
EZ: Yeah. What else has he been in?
CZ: Well, L.A. Confidential.
EZ: That’s a good movie. What’s that guy’s name again, Krazer Something?
CZ: Dad, are you confusing L.A. Confidential with The Usual Suspects?
EZ: Oh yeah! I was watching L.A. Confidential the other day and was wondering when that part was going to come, at the end.
CZ: Yeah, those are two different Kevin Spacey movies.
EZ: He’s good. What’s that other movie he’s in? American Dream?
CZ: No, it’s not that. It’s, um… God, why can’t I remember?
EZ: Do you have one of those phones that you can look it up?
CZ: Yes…[looks up movie]: American Beauty.
EZ: Yeah. He’s good in that sci-fi movie.
EZ: Yeah. I like that movie but your brother refuses to watch it when it’s on.
CZ: I never saw it. Hey, did I tell you that [my husband] Steve made fun of Seabiscuit for being stupid but then he cried when he saw the trailer for War Horse?
EZ: That movie looks good. Did you ever see the one where the guy is on the island with the horse?
CZ: Black Stallion? No, but I read the book. Did you ever see The Neverending Story, where the horse dies in the swamp?
EZ: Yeah. You know who reminds me of that dragon-thing in the movie? Looey.
CZ: You’re crazy. If any dog is like Falcor, it’s Briscoe.