Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Halloween experience

We don’t do anything special for Halloween at the safari camp – the African night is spooky enough without people impersonating witches and hobgoblins. Not that ladies of the broom-straddling persuasion are necessarily a bad thing in this day and age. When I was in the circus, quite a few women who imagined they were witches sought to involve me in their schemes. Believing that a talking gorilla must be some kind of wizard, they befuddled me with talk of hexes, spells, potions and salubrious tonics. I remember being accosted by a striking young minx who was interested in recipes for male aphrodisiacs in the pre-Viagra era.

“I am surprised your gentlemen friends have need of such stimulants,” I remarked.

“It keeps them going when I’m digging my nails into their back,” she explained helpfully.

I nodded thoughtfully. I should imagine that wildcat sex is something that men fantasize about a great deal without realising what a shock to the system it is to have your flesh clawed. Many a young male lion would doubtless concur. We gorillas have little experience of such matters, of course. Those who require further enlightenment should contact
Ms Belinda Swallows, the latest sex-blogging sensation.

Halloween is an occasion I enjoy when staying at Dr Whipsnade’s London residence. What fun it is to answer the doorbell and yell “treat or treat!” at the costumed kiddies before they can utter a word! Many of them drop their bucket of goodies and run off in terror, but I always chase after them and carry them back home for a dessert of fresh mangoes. They usually stop screaming when I reassure them as follows:

“Calm down, by God, we gorillas are vegetarian! You have far more to fear from your own kind! You will be free to leave once you have collected your booty!”

I can say, in all modesty, that I get along with human infants like a house on fire. Bewildered parents often ask me why I have a much better rapport with their offspring than they do. The answer is quite simple: I speak to them as I would speak to an adult; I confide in them on matters of substance; and I take a genuine interest in their social lives. The last item is a particular fascination. I confess to having a weakness for vulgar rhymes and can never resist asking children about the latest playground ditties. The following verse was once recited for my pleasure by nine-year-old twin sisters:

When Suzie was a teenager, a teenager Suzie was,

And she went: "Ooh, ah, I lost my bra, I left it in my boyfriend's car!

Apparently this is quite well-known, but I had never heard it before and hooted with mirth, much to their delight. Feeling a little abashed, I decided to add a few cautionary words:

“Suzie was indeed a feckless and foolish young woman,” I declared. “When you acquire brassieres of your own, I am sure you that will remove them only in the presence of a doctor, or perhaps a gentleman who has professed his love for you after months of assiduous wooing!”

“Euurrgh!” piped one of the little ladies. “I’m never taking my bra off for a gentleman!”

I rubbed my chin as I reflected on her words. “
Jenny McCarthy does favour that approach,” I conceded, “but I would advise you to postpone fixing your sartorial habits until the moment of reckoning arrives.”

Chatting to human infants of a certain age is a most refreshing experience. They speak their minds frankly and never fail to draw one’s attention to interesting possibilities.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Keeping abreast of developments

A Californian dentist argues that massaging a woman’s breasts can cure her of toothache. I suppose it might take her mind off it, but it didn’t stop the 27 women he artlessly groped from reporting him to the authorities. He hopes that the court will not revoke his licence if he promises to stop feeling up his female patients and examine them only in the presence of two chaperones. I am not one to prejudge these complex legal cases, but I get the feeling that his proposed plea bargain may be too little, too late.

My advice to the fellow would be to quit while he’s ahead. Having fondled 27 bosoms without retribution, it’s time to cash in his pension and move to Florida. His days of bamboozling women about the therapeutic benefits of the boob rub are behind him. After relocating in the Sunshine State, perhaps he could find work milking cows or squeezing oranges. A humble occupation like that is just what he needs to calm his restless spirit and maintain a low profile in the local newspapers. It might also be a good idea to send a $500 cheque to each of the women he groped. Penance is good for the soul, particularly if it encourages your victims to maintain a discreet silence.

There’s really no way back for the distinguished man who’s been exposed as a tit fiend. Have any of you been following Paul McCartney’s divorce? I sensed things would turn nasty when Ms Mills alleged that her husband forbade her from suckling her baby on the grounds that he had exclusive rights to her udders. Of course, one shouldn’t automatically accept the word of a woman willing to air dirty linen in the hope of getting 50 million rather than 30 million. But the image of Sir Paul mooching possessively over Heather’s boobs is difficult to banish from the mind. “What kind of man would refuse to share his wife’s nipples with his baby daughter?” is the question one cannot avoid asking. “One about to have his own assets well and truly milked” would be a possible answer.

Now there are a few professions where it is possible to touch a woman’s breasts in the line of duty. Dr Whipsnade has a friend who is a Harley Street consultant specialising in sexual maladies. A newly-wed woman once came to him complaining that she found sex with her husband to be painful and joyless. After summoning his dildo-equipped nurse, the doctor began caressing the patient’s breasts. The nurse attended to the woman’s lower half and presently slipped in the device without difficulty.

“Does that feel good?” asked the doctor in a matter-of-fact voice.

The blushing bride admitted that it did, whereupon the doctor told her that she was perfectly normal and should ask her husband to do as they had done, rather than ramming her like a frustrated satyr.

I had the same kind of disinterested concern for my female fans back in my circus days. I never knowingly touched their breasts, but I kissed quite a few hands and signed countless autograph books. He who inspires that kind of adulation needs a strong moral fibre to keep things in check. With the festive season approaching, I should imagine that many male bosses are contemplating frisky forays with female staff at the office party. My advice to them would be to think of the embarrassment that one drunken lunge can produce well into the New Year and beyond. In the evergreen words of Sheriff Buford T Justice, “You can think about it, but just don’t do it.”

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A life on the ocean wave

I am forced to adjudicate a dispute at the safari camp. An American evangelist maintains that the Arc de Triomphe was named after Noah’s Ark, while a Frenchman noisily dissents.

“Gentlemen!” I shout, silencing their agitated chatter. “The issue is entirely moot because Noah’s Ark never existed. No gorilla couple would have willingly camped inside that floating menagerie if the alternative had been drowning in baboon piss. The whole story was a fable concocted by God to test the gullibility of Sunday school students!”

“Sir, that’s blasphemy!” declares the American man frowning. The Frenchman splutters words like “Incroyable!” and “Absurde!” while walking in tight circles and slapping his forehead in frustration. I leave them to their deliberations.

We gorillas are very choosy about the vessels we sail in – nothing less than a cruise liner will do for me. I require a cabin with a hammock and ocean balcony, plenty of space to stretch my limbs and a goodly number of fat women to chase around the decks. As for the Captain, only an Englishman will do – Continentals are too sly, Orientals too inscrutable and Americans too politically correct. I look for a skipper in the mould of Leslie Phillips: a good fellow in all respects, but not too bright. Ideally there’d be an on-ship mystery to solve during the voyage. Nothing too sinister though – something along the lines of a phantom bottom-pincher who needed collaring.

There are times, of course, when the call of service matters more than a comfortable trip. Had Lord Nelson wanted gorillas to join him on the Victory, he wouldn’t have needed to give them a lecture about England expecting every ape to do his duty. One little cough in our direction would have produced an avalanche of hairy volunteers to climb his riggings and heave his cannonballs. Although gorillas don’t normally interfere in human warfare, we would have keenly participated in the arse-kicking of Napoleon Bonaparte, an enemy of our nation. During his African campaign, the Corsican upstart had the effrontery to try and conscript apes into his Grande Armée by sending press gangs into the jungle! The local gorillas made short work of them.

The Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise has a low standing in gorilla society because of its disrespect to the Royal Navy. Never forget that the stiff-necked dullards portrayed in those films actually succeeded in ridding the high seas of the likes of Captain Jack Sparrow (or “Subaltern Johnny Parrot” as we call him in the jungle). The plain fact is that the pirates of the time were villainous cutthroats with poor personal hygiene and appalling table manners. Making heroes of them is an insult to the memory of every able seaman who ended up as fish food because of those desperadoes.

Incidentally, poor Keira Knightly is terribly miscast in those films. Any fool knows that the seafarers of that era preferred their women plump. The phrase “buxom wench” was practically invented to describe the kind of strumpet that appealed to their tastes. Had Miss Knightly been captured by a pirate vessel, she would have been sold to the harem of a near-eastern potentate without delay. And I’d wager there wouldn’t have been a single grubby pawprint on her soft white skin.

I should conclude by reminding my dear readers that the 21st of October is the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. We gorillas toast the memory of Lord Nelson with fruit juice, but you may put something a little stronger in your tankards if you prefer.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

The matrimonial market

Is $250,000 per annum a meagre income? I ask because a 25-year-old nymph residing in New York deems it an insufficient salary for the man fit to wed her. This delectable damsel (“spectacularly beautiful” in her own modest words) posed the following query on a popular message board:

I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year… Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who made an average of around 200 - 250K. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock.

On reading this, I felt very relieved not to be acquainted with the young lady. Frankly, I would be ashamed of my inability to give her useful advice. It’s bad enough being asked directions by confused tourists when I’m taking a vacation in London. They have no right to expect a gorilla to know where the Spearmint Rhino club is, but I still feel obliged to say something helpful.

I suppose the first thing to ascertain is whether she is indeed worthy of a husband earning $500,000 per annum. She certainly seems to think so, but her judgement may lack impartiality. To snare a half-million-dollar man, a woman needs more than a pretty face and an attractive figure. She’s got to look good naked as well. Perhaps she ought to have her body examined from head to toe by one of those characters who look for the mark of the Devil on witches. The thing to be especially wary of is an unsightly birthmark on the posterior. It may seem like a trivial point, but a wealthy businessman doesn’t want to see something resembling Papua New Guinea when he’s preparing to mount his wife from behind.

Then there’s the question of how much of the half million she requires for personal expenses. Suppose she negotiates $100,000, which would be generous with free board and lodging. What can her husband expect in return? Sex on demand would be out of the question – a wife is not a whore and deserves the same entitlement to sick leave as other employees. For that amount of money, however, he ought to have the right to see her naked whenever he wants, possibly as an aid to self-stimulation. There must be safeguards, of course. Exhibiting her naked in front of his bodyguards, as the Emperor Caligula did to his own wife, would be unacceptable. He’d have to earn at least a million to do that.

I wish her the best of luck in her quest, but I have to wonder whether she knows what she’s doing. Making deals of this nature requires careful negotiation and a watertight contract. If you want to milk the assets of a prosperous business man, you can’t wait for the divorce to get legal advice. Only by driving a hard bargain from day one will you be adequately compensated for being ogled, pawed and paraded like a trophy. Perhaps she should get an MBA before attempting to pull off such a complex transaction.

Speaking as a gorilla, I have to be honest and say that females who market themselves on the basis of physical beauty do not have a high status in our hairy community. We have a saying:

She who is not fertile learns how to pick coconuts; she who cannot climb trees learns how to forage for berries; and she who is allergic to berries puts on mascara and flutters her eyelids.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

The return of Queen Cate

Wonderful to see Cate Blanchett back in the role of feisty Queen Elizabeth. As well as being a talented actress, she’s a fine example of what is known as an “unconventional” beauty. Essentially, that means you have to stare at her for a while before realising she is ravishing. Such women are invariably more impressive humans than instant lookers of the Catherine Zeta-Douglas variety. I have no doubt that Cate does the most fascinating things in her spare time. She is surely an accomplished tap-dancer and I imagine that she’d give me a decent game of table tennis. I bet she loves poetry too. Can anyone imagine Ms Zeta-Douglas playing ping-pong or reciting poetry? Perhaps one can, but only in an affected, posey sort of way to show off in front of the cameras.

I have always been fascinated by historical movies which show how the humans of a bygone era used to behave. Those Elizabethans certainly enjoyed dressing up! There is much to be said for a society in which men can wear tights in public without being insulted or harassed. The nobility seemed to have a lot more fun in those days: courtiers and ladies-in-waiting playing kiss-chase in the palace gardens; minstrels singing love songs while strumming on their lutes; dandies of all sexual persuasions dancing gaily in their codpieces and ruffs. Wasn’t it inspiring when Good Queen Bess told the Privy Council to stuff their French suitors because she was already wedded to England? Back then, a lady could proudly admit to being a virgin without being mocked behind her back.

Personally, I have nothing against females who play impossible to get. Sexual initiation is not a big rite-of-passage for gorillas, and those who put it off because they’d rather be picking coconuts are not treated with scorn. Dr Whipsnade recently told me about a conversation he had with his friend Lady Chuffington, who has three teenage daughters. Her Ladyship is more or less resigned to the eventuality that her girls will surrender their virtue long before their wedding night. So rather than wasting her breath on extolling the blessings of chastity, she is encouraging them to be selective about the fellow given the honour of deflowering them.

She has advised her daughters that he who is permitted to penetrate their maidenly citadel must first:

(1) regularly kiss them on the hand (a sign of gentlemanly devotion);

(2) allow them to slumber in his arms without trying to cop a feel (asleep or not, a girl always knows when she’s been touched);

(3) join them in watching a movie starring Helena Bonham Carter without attempting to fast-forward to the scene where she exposes her boobies.

It is essential, of course, that the girls do not disclose these hurdles to the first young buck who courts their affection. (I don’t know whether any of you are socially acquainted with the Chuffingtons, but I trust that you will not misuse this information.)

It would be wrong to eulogise females simply because they are virgins though. The Virgin Queen feared that hanging, drawing and quartering the Catholic traitor Babington would be too merciful a punishment. Many innocent children have been painfully cuffed by nuns, who are technically (or sometimes actually) virgins. I myself have had to endure cheeky backchat from any number of virgin gorillas. Heaven knows what their problem is. If you ask me, they need a good seeing to.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bored of the Rings

I’m going to annoy a lot of people by saying this, but I can’t see why Lord of the Rings is held in such high esteem. I bought the book for the rainy season and took comfort from fact that no gorillas had to endure life in Middle Earth. The whole place seemed to be full of intensely solemn characters, living in the shadow of unspecified doom, and speaking in the portentous tones of one of those old biblical films by Cecil B DeMille. I should imagine that Professor Tolkien was fulfilling an ambition to write a tale of mythic grandeur, like the Illiad or the Odyssey. What he forgot is that those fables are so old that no one can be certain they didn’t actually happen. You can’t just pluck a legend out of thin air – it has to do the rounds in countless campfires before someone puts it on the page.

The moment of high farce occurs when the surly dwarf falls in love with the elf queen and starts boasting about her beauty to some other nitwit. Bow-legged ass! If you’re going to compliment a lady, either say it to her face or send her a love note. Praising females is a waste of breath if they never get to hear it. Mind you, it doesn’t always produce results if they are within earshot. If you’re ever in a position to chat up a lady gorilla, telling her what beautiful eyes she has won’t get you to first base. Commenting on the firmness of her rump is the sort of remark that might earn you a nibble on the neck. “You’ve got the kind of butt cheeks I could crack nuts between” is one that normally goes down well.

It is wrong to judge an author by one book, so I had a look at The Hobbit and was far more impressed – an altogether snappier tale, I feel. What holds the narrative together is the ever-present danger of someone getting eaten. Will the trolls eat the dwarves? Will Gollum eat Bilbo? Will Gandalf eat his wand? This is very true to life. As any wild animal knows, there’s nothing like the fear of a ravenous predator to sharpen your wits and perfect your comic timing. You choose your next wisecrack carefully when it might be your last.

Inspired by this work, I moved onto a slender volume called Farmer Giles of Ham – a novella that can be read from start to finish in a single sitting. The secret of this utterly charming story is its fine cast of characters: a shrewd rustic; a stupid giant; a cheeky dog; a dry dragon; a cynical blacksmith; a pompous king. Any Tolkien fan who hasn’t read it is like a wine-buff who’s never tasted champagne.

Why would a writer capable of something as wonderful as Farmer Giles pen a grim and tedious tome like Lord of the Rings? And why do so many people think that yawnsome yarn is one of the greatest stories ever told? It’s all very mysterious to a gorilla. I suspect that humans have some kind of faux nostalgia for a mythical age of chivalry, when valiant warriors defeated the bad guys without fluffing their lines or causing collateral damage. It’s all complete bunk of course. If anything like Middle Earth ever existed, most modern humans would have found the smell of shit unbearable.

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