Monday, April 30, 2012

Monkey magic

A Japanese man who can run on all fours has won recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records. Kenichi Ito started walking on his hands and feet when he got teased at school for looking like a monkey. Being an admirer of monkeys, he took it as a compliment and started imitating their behaviour.

He can now monkey-sprint 100 metres in 18.58 seconds (a world record for humans). Try it yourself before scoffing. He spent years training in rural areas of Japan because the police kept arresting him in the city. Even the countryside wasn’t safe when a hunter took pot shots at him after mistaking him for wild game. It takes a lot of courage to flout the conventions of a conformist society like Japan.

Much as I admire Kenichi’s dedication, I don’t think his monkey impersonation is very realistic. Running in a straight line for no reason is not what monkeys do. They have no interest in exercise for its own sake, and would rather spend their leisure time lying in the sun, scratching their armpits.

If he really wants to test his monkey skills he should do the following: sneak up on a woman eating a snack; pinch her behind; steal the food she drops on the ground; race up the nearest tree. If her boyfriend gives chase and shouts abuse at him from under the tree, he should piss on his head. This type of game captures the true monkey spirit – the daring, the cheek, the greed, the use of the bladder as a weapon.

In actual fact the Japanese are not very monkey-like humans, being refined in their mannerisms and lacking body hair. All their bowing and ritualising would be seen as laughably affected in monkey circles. Admittedly they do make funny faces when they’re angry, but it makes them look like evil goblins rather than monkeys. If they want to win acclaim for their animal impressions, they should advertise their sumo bouts as simulated walrus fights, which is essentially what they are.

Yet whatever the shortcomings of his mimicry, I respect Kenichi for making a genuine attempt to explore the simian condition. The same cannot be said of humans who put on animal costumes to get cheap laughs. I was very pleased when one of these buffoons got arrested in Germany for stalking an elderly couple in an Easter Bunny outfit. Unfortunately, the police released him without charge after laughing the incident off. They should have frisked and cuffed him at the very least.

Gorilla impersonators are the worst, of course. Back in my circus days, I used to sneak up on anyone wearing a gorilla costume and politely ask for a banana. The human inside always interpreted this question as a sexual overture and panicked. Sometimes they ran, sometimes they screamed, sometimes they ran screaming. Their terror was misplaced, for no gorilla would ever lust after a human in a gorilla suit. Personally, I would rather have sex with a banana.

Only the Japanese would even think of doing something so silly.

They use their gameshows to torture each other after all.

Is that why monkeys love bananas so much ?
Just imagining running on all fours hurts my back. Heck, running on two feet hurts my (wonky) back.
(I’m not touching that last line in your post…)
From the moment this story hit the news I couldn't fathom what reason Guinness had for awarding a world record for his speedy times. I will consider it a record when he's competing with someone! :)
I wonder if the dude has wild monkey sex too? I hear that makes you go ape shit.
I'd have sex with a banana only if it called me in the morning.
Pur Mr Japanese monkey man in cage with a group of bonobos and I guarantee he'll break the landspeed record.
Dirty Cowgirl: Monkeys like bananas because they taste good, Ms Cowgirl. Don't you like them too?

Beth: I'm sorry to hear that, Beth. Sounds as if you could do with some lumbar manipulation.

Angie: Good point, Angie. He's probably the first human who's done 100 metres on all fours. Although I heard about a family in Turkey who favour the posture.

Keeping it real: It's not that different from human sex, Ms KIR. The noises they make are more suited to the jungle, though.

Al: The banana would still be with you in the morning unless a baboon visited your bedroom. Or you snored.

Steve: The bonobos would be more scared of him, I reckon. They aren't used to humans getting down to their level and making faces at them.
It's all very well this chap running on all fours but what was the condition of his white gloves after one hundred yards? I doubt that any decent club would allow him to serve drinks.

I remember we used to have a maid once who moved on all fours, but she was carrying coal and such, I don't think the gait was voluntary. After a couple of years we never saw her upright; used to treat her just like one of the labradors.
i'd love to know how his usual gait is like when he's not doing the monkey walk, GB.
How very strange! Under 19 seconds is really quick though for the 100 metres on all fours. Good luck to him (o:
That record makes me go bananas
He must not have a job....Kinda freakish,
Monkeys,....and monkey people sure are strange.
He's as cute as a button. Leave it to the Japanese to have something so cute doing something so dumb.

How does a gorilla in the jungle even know what is going on in Germany? Do you have CNN? Or does one of your gorilla friends from the Berlin Zoo text you with these scoops. Also, this monkey tactic of "using you bladder as a weapon" doesn't sound like a bad idea. I think it might replace my self-defense tactic of kicking people in their family jewels.
The Owl Wood: As a world-champion runner, he'd be ordering the drinks and taking your maid for a spin in his limousine. The reign of the toffs is over - today it's the athletes who live in mansions.

Jaya: I think he must prefer the monkey walk, Jaya. Maybe he straps a board to his back when he wants to walk upright.

AmyS: Perhaps you could use him to sell your products, Amy.

Adam: I think you should start a fan club for him.

Reality Jayne: Have you ever tried making sock monkeys, Jayne? I bet you'd be good at it!

Laura: Maybe you should adopt him, Laura, His looks aren't appreciated in Japan!

Jimmy: The bladder tactic has been used by humans too! I refer you the film Hell in the Pacific, in which Lee Marvin urinates on Toshiro Mifune, who coincidentally happens to be Japanese.
And this is why I love your blog! You discover stuff I never see in the papers! Its been too long since I have read your stuff! Very funny.... and in a related note.... Im off to go practice my three legged running! Apparently nobody has set a world record with that yet!
i'm impressed. maybe i could put a human costume on my dog and let her break his record.
Some people do anything for attention. I do admire him though, and he is kind of cute.

I thought monkey running was some sort of slang for simian smuggling.

On an unrelated note, if you know of anyone who wants a crate of capuchins, give me a shout.

Asking for a friend.
If a gorilla politely asked me for a banana I'd definitely give him one
Madman: I wish you well. Three-legged running is a difficult skill to master, particularly if you don't have a tail. You may need to hire a kangaroo as your trainer.

Billy: Your dog would certainly break the record, but would she forgive you afterwards?

Robyn: You think he's cute too, Robyn? He must be quite a ladies' man, the cheeky-faced rogue!

The Jules: Get in touch with Davy Attenborough, he may have room for them in his attic.

Renka: That's very obliging of you, Renka. Do you carry one in your handbag or would you nip down to the market?
I wonder if his behavoir includes a fear of water and throwing poo?
Tell me GB have you gone to parties wearing a human suit?
I coach a team of kid on track and field, and many of them can't score 18 seconds when they're upright. But while I'm impressed with this guy, once I saw him crossing the street like that, I started to hate him a little. I think I'd fling poo out of my car window in his general direction.
I worked with a girl once who had sex with a banana, for a gentleman who was as hairy as a gorilla and who "aped" their social graces (snort snort). She was well compensated, but the whole ordeal left her scarred for life. Simply cannot look at a banana without shuddering.

No wait, that was me.
Charlie: I've never seen a human suit, but if it's the same as a skin suit, wearing it would be torture for a gorilla. I would rather get inside a pantomime horse.

Dr Ken: Human poo isn't like monkey poo, Dr Ken. It doesn't have the texture for flinging. Wouldn't you rather chase him on roller skates and whip his butt?

Kage: The things girls do for money, Ms Kage. If I were the banana, I'd be offended that she/you didn't have sex with me for my own sake.
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