Heard the one about the Scotsman who wanted to buy his missus a giraffe for Christmas?
You might be forgiven for thinking that’s one tall tale.
I’ve got a decent sized back garden and I’ve got an upstairs/downstairs house so it could be fed from the bedroom window without any hassle
But staff at Blackpool Zoo have been busy online trying to talk a man calling himself Chudders, out of investing in a sky-high new pet this yuletide.
His less than serious jousting with office staff at the zoo has gone viral after being featured on the attraction’s website and has been shared with thousands on social media.
Chudders got straight to the point in his first email: “Is it possible to buy & own a giraffe in Scotland? I’ve been after a giraffe for years and now I want to make it a reality.
“I’ve got a decent sized back garden and I’ve got an upstairs/downstairs house so it could be fed from the bedroom window without any hassle.”
He adds that his children would be happy with a hamster, but he has set his heart on a giraffe which can grow to six metres (18ft) tall.
The zoo was quick to reply, pointing out the drawbacks in owning an African even-toed ungulate mammal in suburban Scotland
“They involve a great deal of feeding, so neighbours tend to become a little irate when their carefully-tended trees begin to disappear from the top downwards,” the zoo warns.
“Giraffes also need licencing for keeping in the UK. This is considerably more expensive than your TV licence and extremely high and robust fencing is required to keep them from straying.
“Another condition of a licence would be that a suitable building is needed.
“All in all, a hamster may well be the better option. You can keep your marriage, pets and neighbours intact without fear of big holes in the lawn, or a huge head blocking the light through your bedroom windows.”
But Chudders was not to be put off in his bid to own the Earth’s tallest creature.
He responded: “Leave the door open one night and I’ll sneak in with my mate’s tipper. I’llonly take one, you have my word on that.”
The zoo replied, suggesting an aardvark might be more up Chudders’ street, adding: “We don’t leave the giraffes’ door open as they tend to upset the neighbours.”
By this point nature-loving Chudders was beginning to get desperate as he could see his ambition of having his very own Giraffa Camelopardalis going up in smoke.
“I’m sure you’ve got one to spare surely?” he pleaded.
“If needs be I’ll take the ugly one out the bunch!”
But his pleas fell on deaf ears
“There’s no such thing as an ugly giraffe, unless, perhaps, you’re another giraffe on the lookout for a mate, but there aren’t that many about, so beggars can’t be choosers,” came the reply.
Once more an aardvark was offered up as a more suitable pet for the Caledonian winter but Chudders was doubtful he would be able to find 50,000 ants each day to feed it.
By now he was ready to step up his bid, offering a Christmas hamper, free hair-do or a half-price deal on a paved driveway as a sweetener.
Unfortunately for him, the zoo had the final say.
“I’m afraid our giraffe keepers just aren’t going to let this happen, but, bearing in mind a giraffe can kill you with one kick, look upon this as me keeping you safe, my friend.
“It’s been nice chatting. If you change your mind about an aardvark,well, you never know! Have a great Christmas – I hear Pets at Home have some very cute hamsters!”