Monday, February 10, 2014

Your Best Guesses About a Haunted Giraffe

When I posted my survey a few days ago, I didn’t imagine anyone would care. However, nearly two hundred of you have taken it so far. (Thanks, BTW.) And if people were to take the survey at all, I imagined they would have skipped the essay question — the one that asked you to tell me why this giraffe seemed haunted.

But a lot of you did, and it’s been fascinating to read what you wrote and get little glimpses into the weirder regions of your imaginations.

Here are all the results so far.

In chronological order:
“Murdered family”

“It doesn’t.”


“The camera angle the photographer chose; also, the color tone.”

“the mysterious death of his brother Jorge”

“Didn’t drink enough water growing up, leading to premature skin wrinkling.”

“He can never find scarves that fit”

“killed and ate its twin in the womb”

“He watches the helicopters. He thinks about his friends. He watches the helicopters again.”

“It read about those Scottish deer that eat Manx shearwater chicks and got really curious and straight-up just cephalophaged a baby oxpecker once and now it feels really, really guilty about it. Partly because it was DELICIOUS.”
(Note from me: This is actually a thing, it turns out. Red deer eat baby shearwaters when they need extra calcium.)
“Aside from the general state of malaise that belongs to all giraffe-kind, this particular giraffe, while on a journey quite far from her ancestral homeland, has had the stunning realization, four days in, that she quite possibly left the fridge door open and there was some REALLY clutch yogurt in there, some kind of gourmet artisanal shit like you wouldn’t even believe that had, like, goji and/or acai -berries (some kind of healthy tiny wizened fruit, anyway) and promised to replenish gut flora and goddamnit, that shit is expensive.”

“It knows its soul is being stolen by the camera.”

“He’s reliving a fond memory, but it hurts him. Maybe the giraffe in the memory moved away or is dead now because of poachers.”

“just shot a man in cold blood and knows that life as he or she knows it is now over”

“Someone just told the giraffe he saw her last night while she was trying on wigs in her office and now she feels embarrassed and paranoid.”

“It’s clearly been hit on the head several times with a baseball bat, hence the bumps.”

“Oh, i thought it looked sassy, like, ‘Bitch, please.’”

“It’s thinking about how weird its species looks. Like come on it has to realize how different it is from normal animals with its weird neck.”

“wrinkly neck”


“Haunted? Bored, more like.”

“Do you ever get tired of being so negative? (not directed at the giraffe)”


“Giraffes have it harder than we think”

“he was left alone while his other giraffe friends were taken to that hotel that keeps popping up on buzz feed lists.”

“It’s not sutter brown”

“Life is meaningless.”

“Because, to the untrained eye he appears oblivious. Truthfully he knows too much and can’t communicate this any other way.”

“Is it wrong that the first thing I thought of was ‘fisting’? Now I can’t think of any words that aren’t the word ‘fisting.’ This is going to be a problem for me as well as the giraffe.”

“dark eyes, neck wrinkles, general malaise”

“The trees have no more leafs”

“He’s haunted because he’s hunted.”

“It’s realized that a mating ritual involving urine isn’t the best thing out there. There are better ways to determine ovulation than your tongue, dude!”

“He’s got a splinter in his giant ass tongue.”

“It doesn’t.”
(Note from me: What are you contrarians trying to prove here?)
“He’s old (wrinkly)”

“Enjoying safari people screams while they die in a car accident. It’s a fact giraffes are evil by nature.”

“It doesn’t. It looks exasperated.”

“neck wrinkles”

“It is overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of being a giraffe.”

“She just realized her spots are of uneven sizes, and different shapes.”


“Bill feels funny because that funny tasting tree was in fact pot. (you know, a colorado giraffe)”

“Climate change & poachers”

“Realization that humans are self-centered, hypocritical, and everything isn’t quite as nice as it used to seem.”

“It doesn’t have a schtick like Gemina from SB zoo”

“Looking back on things he regrets.”

“Years of giraffe ancestor worship.”

“He is faced with contemplating the hopelessness of it all. One day he will die, and likely from a lion, since when he bends down to drink life-giving water, his awkward body makes him an awkward and easy target for lions.”


“Doesn’t she look like Angelina Jolie?”

“It can see too far. Just… too damn far. The long neck, which is considered its hallmark and saving grace in a savannah of tall bushes, is also its curse.”

“He thought he heard his brother that he lost to poachers, but... no... It was just a photographer.”



“all giraffes do.”

“His pal mittens was just eaten by a lion.”

“Two and a half weeks ago he watched a lion eat his little brother from afar while standing in that very spot... and was powerless to stop him.”

“From its higher vantage point it can see the past and the future, simultaneously, and is struggling with an inability to be present as a result. It’s caught in a cycle.”

“People just don’t appreciate how hard she (the giraffe, of course) works to keep this office afloat and build platforms to advance semantic content with a social impact to create much ViewChange in this world”

“She just realized she could’ve had a V8.”

“didn’t listen when it was younger and people told it about what would happen to your body as you aged. Now it’s stuck in a damaged, useless sack of floppy skin and it’s hair is thinning and you just can’t undo that shit, and it drank too much and took too many drugs so it’s brain isn’t sharp enough to make it acceptable to be a 4, so this giraffe will die alone because nobody can stand to listen to it fucking whining.”

“He got dumped. Isn’t that embarrassing for him?”

“Her habitat is being destroyed and her family members were slaughtered for bush-meat. Plus, it’s rough being a pleistocene animal in a holocene world.”

“I don’t think it ever really stopped to consider how it was living its life until this moment. The photographer came up to him, you know, and say "Hey can I get a shot of you and the birthday girl" and he realized that the girl isn’t his and he honestly has a good idea who the real father might be. But the giraffe has a long neck so you don’t see the girl, or the rest of the birthday party, or that cheating whore he married thirteen years ago.”

“He has to poop”

“He is suffering from an identity crisis after being called a camel-leopard for so long”

“It’s seen things, things you wouldn’t believe.”

“It realized the futility of trying to stop global warming”

“Nothing he didn’t deserve. Bastard.”

“He’s bout that action boss”

“Thinking about a lost love”


“He found out Bunheads was cancelled.”

“it’s more a look of resignation really”

“Lack of sleep”

“Giraffe doesn’t know if she locked the door before leaving home earlier.”


“neck pain”

“Guy trouble”

“Seen some things”

“He’s worried he didn’t turn the oven off.”

“I don’t think she looks haunted at all.”

“He doesn’t like the phony nature preserve he’s locked it. Yearns for the native land.”

“It has looked in a mirror for the first time and realized it is not human and has been living a lie its whole life.”

“Because he’s permanently polka dotted.”

“It misses its mother who died in the zoo.”

“the sudden worry about a lifetime of solitude”

“because war”

“the horizon is too far away”
I also find it interesting who chose to gender the giraffe and what gender they chose. Some of the responses got to me a bit, honestly. I think you know who you are.

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