Example: [Collected on the Internet, 1994]
They wanted to give the monorail a jazzy, African sounding name. So they sent out a memo to a bunch of zoo staffers saying, "What shall we call the monorail at the Wild Animal Park?" One of the memos came back with "WGASA" written on the bottom. The planners loved it and the rest is history. What the planners didn't know was that the zoo staffer had not intended to suggest a name. He was using an acronym which was popular at the time. It stood for "Who Gives A Shit Anyhow?"
Origins: This explanation of the origin of the Wgasa Bush Line, a railway that carries visitors around the perimeter of the
The story is funny and a little unbelievable, but it's true. It started out as a joke after another long, tiring meeting at which [San Diego Zoo chief designer] Chuck Faust, [future zoo director] Chuck Bieler, and the usual gang were sitting with their clipboards and pencils, attempting to come up with a name for the monorail. They weren't having much luck. Everyone was tired and punchy.
Finally, as Chuck Faust tells it: "We were trying to decide on the name for the monorail. I scribbled down 'WGASA' on some plans. Everybody laughed because they knew what it stood for, but they loved it because it sounded African. We thought WGASA would blow over, but it actually stuck."
What did it stand for? Faust's scrawled letters were a popular acronym at the time that stood for 'Who Gives a
Dr. Schroeder was in Czechoslovakia attending an international zoo conference. By the time he returned, the name had spread so fast that reporters were actually calling about it. Chuck Bieler answered the calls, and ever resourceful, he told them that it meant the "World's Greatest Animal Show Anywhere." That is still the best official answer.
But when that answer was tried on the director,
Faust was sure he was going to be handed his walking papers if he told the truth, but he did. "I told him exactly what it meant," Faust recalled, "and all he said was, 'I thought it was something like that.'"
Last updated: 31 May 2011
Myers, Douglas G. Mister Zoo: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Charles Schroeder.. San Diego: Zoological Society of San Diego, 1999. ISBN 0-911461-15-9 (pp. 225-226).