Friday, April 28, 2006

What do women want?

Having lived among humans for many years, I can confidently state that I prefer the society of women. Not because I fancy them, of course, although the ones who don’t shave their legs might confuse a randy gorilla on a dark night. What’s interesting about the human female is her susceptibility to language: a well-chosen phrase can have a profound effect on her mood. Female gorillas are splendid creatures in many ways, but they are utterly lacking in this kind of subtlety. To get in their good books, you’ve just got to feed them, groom them and protect them. Telling a female gorilla what beautiful dark eyes she has – or complimenting her on her new hairstyle – won’t inspire anything more than an impatient sucking of the teeth.

This is where the human male often comes unstuck. His natural instinct is to give a woman what a female gorilla wants and leave it at that. The problem is that most women need to be in the right frame of mind before they are ready to play the part of Mrs Gorilla. And getting them into a suitable mental state requires patience, attentiveness and the ability to express an apt sentiment at the correct moment. It follows that men who have these skills are highly prized – and often adored – by the gentler sex. The most famous historical example is probably Casanova, but unfortunately we have no record of what the great Chevalier actually said to his paramours. The man whose technique I admire the most is Butch Cassidy, as played by the smooth-talking Paul Newman.

Back in my circus days, I once saw a slender young woman sobbing alone outside the big tent. She had been watching the show with her boyfriend, but had refused to leave with him after they had quarrelled. Taking pity on the chit, I offered to take her for a ride on the bicycle I had used in my act. This idea made her chuckle, and a few minutes later we were wheeling around the circus tent, she perched on the handlebars like Etta, me peddling away like Butch. She giggled with pleasure as the breeze blew through her tousled hair, and shrieked with excitement as we banked around the tighter bends. No one was singing Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, but the mood of the occasion was very much in keeping with the original soundtrack.

She was flushed with delight when we had finished our little jaunt, all traces of her earlier tears having vanished entirely. I then escorted her to the bus stop. On our way there she asked me an unusual question:

“If I were a gorilla, would you want me to be your mate?”

I could have said that she’d be welcome to join my harem, but I sensed this wouldn’t quite capture the spirit of the moment. A dose of the old Butch Cassidy charm was clearly in order.

“When we were riding together on my bicycle you were my mate,” I replied. “That’s as good as being married in the Congo.”

I am pleased to say that this remark went down well. In fact, she took a leaf out of Etta’s book by giving me a hug. As far as hugs go, I’d have to say it was nowhere near as tight or as warm as the embraces I have since received from female gorillas. Yet I savoured the very softness of it, which made me feel like a giant fur coat wrapping itself around a helpless faun.

Just then, a young man drove up to us on a motorbike. He got off his machine and removed his helmet, to reveal a rather bovine countenance. He was a big, strapping fellow – and he also happened to be the boyfriend of the young woman who had just been cuddling me.

“What d’yer think you’re doing?” he snarled in what I later learned was a “Brummie” accent.

I responded to this remark with the same light-hearted quip that Butch Cassidy had used to defuse a similar situation.

“Stealing your woman,” I said nonchalantly.

Unfortunately, he did not reply “Take her, take her” in the manner of the Sundance Kid. Apparently they don’t watch westerns in Birmingham. Instead he emitted a war cry, which sounded rather like “Gerrafuggoff!”, and charged like a bull. His girlfriend tried to obstruct him, beseeching him to be reasonable, but he shook her off and launched himself straight at my midriff. I got down on all fours before he arrived and lifted him off the ground as he stumbled over my shoulder. I then did my best to subdue him as he struggled in my grasp, while his girlfriend swore lustily at the pair of us.

“For God's sake, man, I was joking!” I bellowed. “You can’t be jealous of a gorilla!”

These remarks seemed to calm him, so I let him down. His girlfriend then rushed into his arms and caressed him passionately, obviously greatly moved by his reckless courage on her behalf. After she had explained that I had only been helping her when she was alone, he offered me a sheepish apology and thanked me for looking after “me wench”. The couple made their goodbyes and screeched off together on the motorbike. I went back to my trailer and pondered over these events while relaxing in my armchair.

“Well, Bananas,” I sighed to myself wistfully, “you do all the hard work in comforting the girl and she still rides off with her biker boyfriend!” I shook my head and clicked my tongue – and then laughed myself silly.

A girl who goes out with a brummie biker probably isn't ideal material for the Casanova treatment, GB. I always kept a safe distance from the cavewomen, even if they were cute.
Ah, what a gentleape you are.
"What do women want?" That's an easy one. In my experience, what women invariably want is someone else...
BCATSK. You can't let it lie. You just can't let it go.
As an observer of talking apes for many months now, I think I'm qualified to ask, (on behalf of us all).
When o when will we learn the significance that this film has for you, especially the two men one woman bit with the bike and so on?
Clever ruse there, GB, to suggest that no man could be jealous of a gorilla. True, perhaps, for your average gorilla dwelling contentedly somewhere in the Ugandan jungle who would ne'er even glance at a 'slender young woman', let alone savour 'the very softness' of a spontaneous hug. But I detect here that you were quite prepared to use your charms to win her affection, you old furry romantic, you.
Oh Nanas! You truly have a way with the naked apes. But what was it about this Brummie biker that took her away from you? He can't have been hairier than you, surely, and most women love a bit of silverback action.

Maybe it was the lure of the open road. Maybe it was his handlebars or the size of his engine. We'll never know but, I tell you Mr. N, she was a fool. While many women might prefer an ape who wouldn't dream of pressing his advantage, maybe she was looking EXACTLY for an advantage of some sort to press.

But the 'nice guys finish last' rule is fallacious. While the creak of a leather jacket, a stubbly face and a devil-may-care attitude are strongly attractive to a human woman ... sorry, got lost in a thought there for a minute, where was I? Oh yeah ... in the long run women will plump for what they hear over what they see. There is the whole complicated pheromones thing too but, as an ape, you probably know more about that than any of us.

I happen to know the human Brummie man, and therefore probably Brummie women too, are a law unto themselves. Perhaps she just needed a lift home.
Dr Maroon has come closer to nub of the matter, Dr Joe. It wasn't so much the girl, but the chance to act out a scene in a classic film. There are so few good parts written for gorillas these days (don't even mention the dreadful 'King Kong').
Sam, you fired off your comment while I was still writing mine. I find many women as cute as kittens, but can the sun mate with the darkness or the night mate with day?
GB - given your prodigious talent with both the written word and the cartoon strip, I'm sure you could write a script and storyboard for a film that gives positive roles to a whole gamut of simian thespians. Why not give it a go? I'll be your scientific advisor for a modest fee.
Ummm, i'm slightly confused. Your a gorilla??...

Either way, you funny. Gorilla or no gorilla.
Keep up the good work.

And check out my blog if you want:

And you do want too....

No, I shan't read any of it! NONE! But I'll comment on the fellow with the hat.
Bowlers just aren't seen enough, these days. A surefire ticket to daily procreation, that.
Dr Joe, I've had bad experiences with movie producers, but I'm working on a script nevertheless.

Kellius, I visited your site yesterday and you are madder than mad General Wolfe, the British commander who defeated the French at Quebec.
If I were approached by a fellow in such a bowler hat I'm afraid I would have to decline on the basis of being seized by helpless laughing.

No, Butch, I would say. You can not "leave your hat on".
aunty: you are, I assure you, in the minority. In fact, an aversion to bowlers qualifies as a negative, or reverse, fetish.
You have a fetish for men WITHOUT bowlers or derby hats.
If it weren't for my well local habadashery, I wouldn't have this many children today.
I don't like to generalise, Bananas mun, but some of them want a good burning. You asked me about druids some time ago, and at last I've penned some thoughts. Here they are:
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