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Keep zebra as pet? Not the best bet

Before I address the topic of why people should NOT keep zebras as pets, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify something.

I've been told that some people were offended by my column on local weddings because they thought I was saying it is necessary to spend a lot of money in order to have a nice reception.I really HOPE this is not what I said, and if I did, I deserve to be smacked around. I apologize. I didn't mean it that way. Honest. I've truly enjoyed each and every wedding and reception to which I've had the honor of being invited.

Except my own, of course. Especially when I realized the florist had sent me a wreath made out of the shrubs in front of the Wilkinson Center at BYU instead of a dainty garland of daisies to wear on my head as I stood in line receiving our guests.

After 22 years and a ton of therapy, however, I'm over it.

I also believe that spending a lot of money on your wedding and reception does NOT ensure marital bliss down the road. Take a look at what happened to my close personal friend, Sarah (Duchess of York), with whom I attend Weight Watchers meetings on a regular basis.

Fergie (that's what we affectionately call her at Weight Watchers), if you'll recall, pulled out "all the stops" when it came to her marriage to Prince Andrew. She spent about a million dollars on stupid hats alone for all her wedding guests just so that the queen, her future mother-in-law, wouldn't be the only one in Westminster Abbey wearing one.

(Actually, this reminds me of that time I was in kindergarten when one of the little girls had to wear a bandage over her right eye. The mother was so worried her daughter would feel self-conscious about wearing a bandage that she asked the teacher if everybody else in the class could please wear bandages over their right eyes, too.)

Anyway, back to Fergie and Prince Andrew. They hadn't been married long before the two of them started going their separate ways. Fergie began cavorting topless with Texas oilmen around Europe's better beaches, while Prince Andrew stayed behind in England and took up golf.

So much for expensive weddings.

OK. Now we can proceed to a topic I have given a lot of thought to over the years: WHY PEOPLE SHOULD NOT KEEP ZEBRAS AS PETS. If you had asked me in the past what I thought about people keeping zebras as pets in their back yards, I would have said it wasn't a good idea, but I would not have been able to give you specific, convincing reasons why until now -- thanks to my neighbor, Kathy, who shared the following recent AP news item with me.


GETTYSBURG, PA. (AP) -- A zebra, apparently agitated by the noise of a lawn mower, broke through a fence and attacked a teenager and her father, biting and kicking the pair until they could get away.

Mandy Riley, 17, was mowing grass with a riding mower Sunday when the zebra in a neighboring yard attacked.

She was treated at Gettysburg Hospital and released.

Her father, Francis Riley, 47, who rushed to her assistance, was in serious condition Monday at York Hospital.

The 8-year-old zebra, owned by rodeo promoter Dave Martin, calmed down when it was returned to its paddock.

Martin said the animal showed no indications of being rabid and said he is unsure what will be done with it.

So there it is. Zebras obviously attack people with lawn mowers, and since many of us own lawn mowers, we are in imminent danger of being kicked and also bitten by non-rabid zebras while cutting our grass this summer. This is why pet zebras should be outlawed in Utah (unless of course you have one, in which case I apologize for this column).

AUTHOR'S NOTE TO SMELLY AT WASATCH: And while I'm apologizing, I'm truly sorry I said that cows are stupid.

Even though they are.