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There is much to admire about dashingly mustachioed sea lions. If they elude hunters’ clubs, they can survive in Antarctica—totally hardcore. Unlike mere seals, they have ear flaps instead of ear holes. They look more than a little bit like 21st United States President Chester A. Arthur. A sea lion also maybe saved a man that jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in 2000. That’s why I’m taking my kid to see the sea lions at the National Zoo, where a new seal and California sea lion exhibit opened Saturday. I’m going to march my daughter right up to the pool and give it to her straight: “See that sea lion? That’s a fucking hardcore beast. That’s one of God’s most beautiful creations. As you grow up, try to be a little more like a sea lion and a little less like an otter. Oh, you wanna see the otters over there? Sorry—we’re not seeing the otters today, because they’re like the Stone Temple Pilots of marine mammals. And no one wants to listen to STP. They wanna listen to Pearl Jam! And, in this analogy, sea lions are fucking Pearl Jam.”
“American Trail” is on view 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. nationalzoo.si.edu. (202) 633-4888.