Sunday, March 26, 2017

April the Giraffe

So the world waits with bated breath. Well, the world is tired of her teasing and started breathing again a while ago. Wake us when she starts pushing, OK?

Who, really, can empathize with poor April the Giraffe? Well, she probably doesn't realize that millions of people keep sneaking peeks at her webcam, she just knows that she's been confined to her (relatively) tiny indoor pen. Partly because it's been cold in New York, partly because that baby's coming annnnyyyyy time now.

There are fake websites and fake YouTube channels (at least two today in top results that claim she was giving birth) trying to pull in the viewers and get ad revenue by copying footage, so I accept only the best: From there, click on the button to the Giraffe Cam.

But it's not just a moment for pregnant women who've reached the last couple months of pregnancy or gone past their due dates, it's really about Hurry Up and Wait.

Who else has been given a strict deadline, a time to get somewhere, a precise moment when you have to do something....and then you get there, flustered, and there are 100 flustered people in line ahead of you. Or you turn in your whatever-it-is in to your boss, editor, teacher, potential boss, whoever and then sit for an age, eagerly awaiting a reply.

And awaiting.

And awaiting.


Of course, when it comes time for me to have to turn something in, I have reasons why I have to keep someone else waiting. It's all in the perspective.

So why are we fascinated by April? Some other giraffe had a baby and that was more "related news" than news in itself. We can find other YouTube videos of giraffes giving birth.

Maybe we're fascinated precisely because we're waiting and checking in on her.We've invested in her. It's become a joke, a meme, and a collective interest. There are copycats and parodies (Did you see the very pregnant woman pacing around her house wearing a giraffe mask?)

98,425 people are watching with me right now as she is doing...something with her head just out of the shot below the camera. Fasssssssscinating.

So just remember.


Don't forget to breathe.

Once it's out of your control, you have to remain calm. Observe it instead of letting it tie you in knots. The vet and the zookeepers are checking on April. Check on your family and friends. Let them check on you.

And hey, look! The giraffe in the next pen is lying down! And she just walked across her pen and seems to be looking out a window!

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