Friday, April 10, 2009

An invitation from Oxford

Dr Whipsnade’s studious nephew has invited me to speak at the Oxford Union. At his suggestion, the committee have agreed to a debate on the following motion:

This house believes that apes have human rights

He wants me to propose the motion and has found a zoologist called Professor Fitzgibbon to second it – I believe he is human in spite of his name. Much as I hate to disappoint the extended family of my benefactor, I will have to decline. For one thing, I’m not actually sure I agree with the proposition. Apes do indeed have rights, but not necessarily human ones. Our value system has a number of important differences with that of our upright cousins. Where in the Rights of Man would you find anything about thrashing cheeky baboons or debagging nosey wildlife photographers? There are many rights in common, of course, but I don’t see why we should have to level down.

The other problem with these contests is that they are rarely decided by force of argument. Back in my circus days, I agreed to participate in a debate weighing the merits of the following highly dubious proposition:

The promiscuous man is a gorilla shaved of hair

Naturally I argued against the motion, which is pretty disparaging to gorillas when you consider it. I don’t know why humans have to bring us into their petty squabbles. If you must insult each other, point out your faults rather than making bogus comparisons with your primate cousins. These gratuitous references are deeply resented in the jungle.

Arguing in favour of the motion was an irritable young lady who obviously wasn’t keen on promiscuous men. She mentioned an occasion when a lecherous co-worker had indecently propositioned her after she had unwisely agreed to share a taxi with him.

“When we stopped outside my flat he put his hand on my knee and asked me how I liked my eggs!” she huffed in righteous indignation.

“You should have said 'unfertilised'!” I declared.

The women in the audience booed and hissed me, thinking that I’d made light of a serious incident. Yet had she uttered that one-word riposte in the voice of a petulant Joan Collins, the frisky fellow bothering her would have surely been thoroughly de-frisked. I should imagine the lead in his pencil would have gone from 4H to 3B in the blink of an eye. Such nuances, however, were lost on these angry females. All my subsequent attempts to mollify them proved futile, even though what happened in the taxi cab bore no resemblance whatever to the conduct of male gorillas. As far as they were concerned, I was a big hairy sexist ape.

It is possible, of course, that the students of Oxford University would give me a fairer hearing. Many of the females in the audience would be recently deflowered virgins, with the dreamy, slightly embarrassed eyes that distinguish such damsels. That ought to make them more receptive to my apish repartee. But any such enticement would be nullified by the inevitable presence of their smug, conceited boyfriends. Gorilla Bananas will not take his case to that overrated arena.

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Speaking from experience, I don't think there's anything as smug and conceited as an oxbridge student - good decision to stay away, old chap!
Man may not have the right to thrash cheeky baboons, Mr Gorilla -but I'm my house monkeys have always been spanked.
Many of the females in the audience would be recently deflowered virgins, with the dreamy, slightly embarrassed eyes that distinguish such damsels.

I don't remember ever wearing this expression. I think mine was more polite amusement.
i wasn't slightly embarrassed when i was recently deflowered, i was disappointed. sex, like many things gets better with practice.

as far as the frisky lecherous co-worker is concerned, a well placed slap to the face or, if position allows, knee to the groin, prove very effective. given said frisky lecherous co-worker isn't "in" to such things. if so.. that just opens a whole new can of worms.
Every time I ever received a sexual proposition from someone who should have known better than to offer it (notoriously faculty members at my college, for whatever reason), my spontaneous reaction was to laugh uproariously because it really was so unexpected and hilarious. (Oh yes, I, all of seventeen, would jump in the sack with your bald head, grizzled beard and supercilious attitude in a New York minute!) This seemed to work perfectly, though it really was not by design.
And man is not allowed to kill other mens children. Yes, you hold onto your rights or next they'll be storing your mails and all kinds of human rights abuses.
So you're "a big hairy sexy ape." What's bad? It's been a long time since I was a "recently deflowered virgin," and I am very "receptive to (your)apish repartee."
University is a great place for discussing the merits of various types of beers, but not for arguing anything of serious social impact.

Now, if they were trying to get you to come down so they could shave you and have you talking about breasts for an hour, that would be a suitable college presentation.
Indeed. You should instead make a tour of Schools of Hairdressing, where your hirsuit appearance would be given the respect that it merits.

"I don't think there's anything as smug and conceited as an oxbridge student"? And (in my experience, and I take full responsibility for this opinion) Cambridge Maths Students are surely the pinancle of this tower of conceit.
Red Squirrel: What is it about those people, Mr Squirrel? They seems to think world is illuminated by the sunlight shining from their bottoms.

Emerson: That's one of the many rights we have in common, my upright cousin.

Scarlet: Only the naughtiest girls find a man todger's amusing, Miss Scarlet. It won't perform if you laugh at it.

Sarah: I'm sorry to hear that, Sarah. Perhaps the fellow who deflowered you was in too much of a hurry?

Ms Sledpress: What arrogance to think you'd just give it away! They should have offered you higher grades at the very least.

Ms Ubermouth: Hello, Ms Ubermouth, I didn't realise that you have returned to the cyberword.

Madam Z: Thank you so much, Madam Z. You're the one ex-virgin I can always count on for appreciation.

Chris V: I sense you went to a college full of frat clubs with weird initiation rites. Did any require you to shave off your pubes?

Gadjo: I might debate the hairdressers if they kept their scissors to themselves. They won't have my respect until they can make it grow as well as cutting it.
i might have mentioned it was a mutual "deflowering". i suppose he couldn't contain his excitement.

it was still like getting all dressed up with the anticipation of going to a great party, only to find out you weren't really invited..
I could say something about never taking part in mass debates, but that would be tasteless.

Suffice it to say that you made the right choice, the OU is hardly the place for someone of your intellectual superiority. The subtle nuances of fined honed argument would be lost upon their beer soaked ears.
When the subject of your lecture came up presumably you called them a bunch of oxymorons.

Yep that look's not embarrassment definitely amusement, surprise and disappointment
“'You should have said 'unfertilised'!' I declared."

I will have to remember that reply!
“You should have said 'unfertilised'!” I declared."

You're right as usual. Throws them off completely. We owe Joan Collins a lot. If you'll excuse the anecdote, I remember fondly a time when I probably had PMT, and a man came up to me in a bar and put his hand up my skirt and pinched my bottom, then stood there with a dumb grin when I turned around. I said something along the lines of, 'Sorry, what was that you said? I didn't quite catch that. Do you want to try introducing yourself again in English rather than molestation?'

I think his lead went from 4H to a felt tip when his mates started laughing. Look of pure horror and silence that lasted for an incredibly awkward time, then he fled to the toilets.

To compare that type of promiscuous man to a gorilla is an insult to gorillas, I expect they at least would have had a witty reply in store.
I'd say article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights covers the right to trash cheeky baboons.
("Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.")

As for debagging nosey wildlife photographers, I'd go for article 12:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
Sarah: Ah, what a pity! He should have kept his pants on until you were ready. Someone should publish a virgin's handbook.

Madame Defarge: Thank you so much, Madame Defarge. Now I am certain that I made the right decision.

Lulu: I must say you are quite accomplished in the art of reading faces, Lulu. It pains me to think that so many maidens have been disappointed.

Delia Black: I'm glad that someone hasn't heard it before!

Rachel: You handled the situation like a true lady, Rach. He must have realised that you were way out of his league.

Deborah: Har, har, Deb, I knew your ex-boyfriends were wrong! Can you envisage any circumstances in which you would allow me to tickle you?
Gosh - I was referring to the ladies who've been under the Oxford types.

I bet there's a whole other range of expression to read after an encounter with you GB - send me photos and I'll interpret, I'm sure I'll see Shock and Awe writ large.
"“When we stopped outside my flat he put his hand on my knee and asked me how I liked my eggs!” she huffed in righteous indignation."

Was Gordon Ramsay local to the area, Mr Bananas? That young woman might have missed out on the chance to dip soldiers with a Master Chef.

I'll spare you all the hair raising details. But my sister who is a famous hair stylist (also a witch) advises you to be cautious with any treacherous Delilahs. Like Samson, Mr. Bananas that's where your vigor is.
Winnie the witch (of course)
GB: virgins should never "do it" together.
If there's going to be a virgin's handbook, do you think I could have a copy on the off-chance? Be prepared and all that.
Another excellent post Gorilla Bananas! Apish repartee indeed.

Well done and thanks. It's always a treat to stop in.
Lulu: The females I service are always poker-faced, Lulu. They're too sly to let me know what they're thinking.

Kitty: It might well have been him. Perhaps he felt her knee to test it as a surface to break the eggs on.

Winnie the Witch: Unlike Sampson, madam, it grows all over my body. I suggest that you use the Name/URL option when you comment.

Sarah: That would be a pity, Sarah, the idea of two virgins discovering each other is nice. I think the problem is that they don't rehearse enough before the performance. Young people need to be taught how to rehearse sex.

Kevin: You must be one of those men who has re-acquired his virginity through prolonged sexual abstinence. There's a woman called Tania Derveaux who might help you.

Ram: Thank you, Sir, you are always most welcome here.
I think "Unfertilized" is a brilliant answer and for the life of me I can't see why the women objected. Are you sure you didn't say it with an obvious twinkle in your eye? If so, dead pan would have worked better.
Many irritable young ladies only pretend to not to be keen on promiscuous men. It's possible the co-worker wasn't as lecherous as the young lady wished him to be, perhaps he was genuinely curious about her egg preferences. I think she owes him an apology. She better stops daydreaming and instead finds a promiscuous man of her own!
If it wasn't for promiscuous men, I'd never have got laid in the first place. God bless 'em, I say.
The very fact that Oxbridge students have time to attend lectures when there are more important things to do (sleep, watch This Morning, complain about being skint etc) says everything there is to say about them. In other words, they are far too clever for their own good.
You should put aside your misgivings and accept the invitation. It'll probably be the first (and sadly, last) time any of the students are exposed to coherent thought at their hallowed institution.
We had some fine old debates at the University of Redbrick. Tariq Ali once gave a keynote address - I think the title of the debate was "This house believes that the bar should serve Tetley's on tap at 3p a pint cheaper than the Crown & Sceptre up the road". Tariq's dialectic was unambiguous, as usual.
Daphne - was it you in the Vatican Rag T-shirt with the bloke with the Hirondelle stains?
You know what I've decided?

You're a most Cheeky ape...I like that!

GB: eagerness prevents such rehearsals, but the idea is good on paper. :o)
Mary: I have a permanent twinkle in my eye, Mary! Even my serious suggestions are treated as a joke!

Polly: I can see you're a man's woman, Polly! I am now quite interested in how you like your eggs. Would scrambled be OK?

Woman in Black: Well, perhaps you wouldn't have got expertly laid. I assume they knew what they were doing in your case.

Kyknoord: Thank you for that vote of confidence. Perhaps I should offer them a distance learning option.

Lady Daphne: Tariq Ali! That Trotskyite poseur! He is as much a man of leisure as his land-owning ancestors!

Sweet Cheeks: I aim to please, Mrs Cheeks!

Sarah: Perhaps it would work if the girls took control and set the rules.
You know....I really dunno what to make of you...
Absolutely love some of the responses to this post! I think "over-rated arena" is a very fair description. I find the Oxford Union pretty pretentious and only go if I think I can con free stuff/cheap booze out of them (I'm not a member).

Cool you got invited though! Even cooler that you're turning it down!
There's quite a few Gorilla Rights I would love to have.

S'not fair.
Please can we see the Bill of Gorilla Rights some time so that us hairless ones can see what we're missing out on?
Having deflowered many a virgin myself, I should like to say that the look I saw in their eyes was one of awe and immense gratitude.
In your dreams, Lord Likely...!
Ms Dramatic: Make of me what you will!

Emma: You are a credit to your generation, Emma.

The Jules: It seems that wildlife photographers have even more to fear than I thought.

Kevin: I'll try to keep you updated. New rights are added all the time!

Lord Likely: I don't doubt it m'lud, but are you quite sure they were virgins?

Scarlet: I'm sure you will be in his dreams, Miss Scarlet. He likes a cheeky little madam!
When I lived in Oxford some colleges bore the graffito "I am the Baboon Lord!" in the most unexpected places. Anyone you know?
I've only been propositioned four times by lecherous co-workers, three I accepted, though one was a borderline decision, and one I politely refused.
I often proposition people by asking what they would like for breakfast! It goes down oddly at lunchtime and no one seems to get what I am talking about... today I am mostly eating tinned fish!
Cow thinking Gorilla's apish repartee should not be wasted on such pasty-faced, hard-drinking wussies.

Who have no appreciation for the hairy ape.

No need for tickling, Mr. Bananas, you make me laugh without it!

(and I'm afraid you'd bruise my ribs!)
Mr Boyo: No baboon could be a lord, so I assume it must have been a Tarzan wannabe who knew that apes were out of his league.

Joliet Jake: That's a good batting average for the lecherous co-workers. You must have been a slut.

Mutley: John West, I presume. You seem to prefer the popular brands.

Topiary Cow: Thank you, Ms Cow, I shall save the best of it for you.

Deborah: I'm glad to hear it, Deb! We gorillas have a gentler touch than you might imagine.
GB- great discourse and a wise decision. Cambridge would have more respect for your Jungle lore.
Mr Bananas, I know you don't do awards but I'm giving you one anyway!
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