Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Devil and his works

Have you noticed how the Satanists have been keeping a low profile lately? A dangerous sign. It means they’re up to something and it can’t be long before headless goats start appearing in the cornfields. Not that any of this worries me. Compared to voodoo witch doctors, the Satanists are about as frightening as Mr Bean. I speak as an ape who has witnessed a witch doctor cut a piece from his ear lobe, feed it to a chicken, bite off the chicken’s head and then eat its body raw.

The big breakthrough for the Satanists came in the film Rosemary’s Baby. Before then, they were widely regarded as cloak-wearing weirdoes who chanted obscure rites and tortured farmyard animals. Roman Polanski’s film portrayed them as regular folk who lived in apartments, watched TV and invited the neighbours for dinner – just a misunderstood minority trying to practice their faith in a hostile society.

The one person who comes off badly in that movie is the main man himself. Hollywood had often depicted the Devil as a suave, dark-haired seducer, capable of reducing a woman to a moaning spasm of multiple delights before turning her into a red-lipped succubus. But in Rosemary’s Baby, the Devil is an appalling werewolf who ravishes poor Mia Farrow with all the finesse of a pneumatic drill.

I’ve only ever had one brush with demonic forces and I’m 99% certain it was a dream. I was staying in Dr Whipsnade’s residence, sleeping in a guest room, when I was roused by the sound of a horrible low chuckle. I looked up to see a woman smiling foxily at me from the door of the en-suite bathroom. She was wearing a scarlet evening dress revealing ample and impressive cleavage, and bore a close resemblance to Fenella Fielding (Valeria Watt in Carry on Screaming). A gorgeous vamp, to be sure, but I could sense all too acutely the ugliness of her soul. There was also a slightly putrid odour beneath her perfume. You can’t fool a gorilla with appearance.

“Can I help you?” I inquired in my deepest Captain Peacock voice.

“I am beyond thy succour, O hairy one!” she replied in a tone of toxic velvet. “Heed my words for I have sour tidings to bring thee. Come hither and learn of thy doleful fate!”

I don’t know why these apostles of Satan always insist on speaking in Ye Olde English. I suspect it’s an attempt to match the language of the Bible – keeping up with the Jehovahs as it were. Nevertheless, I decided to get out of bed and comply with her request. She was pointing inside the bathroom, so I thought I’d better check it for spiders.

When I followed her through the bathroom door I was shocked to find myself walking through the promenade of a gigantic arcade. On both sides of the walkway, which seemed to extend to infinity, were countless adjacent studios, each occupied by humans acting out some kind of drama. Every studio was furnished to appear like part of a domestic home: sometimes a lounge, sometimes a bedroom, sometimes a kitchen and sometimes a garden.

Joan of Dark presently stopped by one of these arenas and bade me watch the humans. I saw three surly cockney women muttering angrily about “poppodoms”, “chapattis” and other Indian delicacies. In the next studio I saw an ugly man in leotards lapping up milk from a saucer held by some kind of dominatrix. Another revealed a weeping transvestite being comforted by a big-bosomed woman. With a shudder, I realised that Hell had been revealed! The she-devil, noticing my horror, turned to look at me with a malevolent smile.

“Observe thy fate, O Japing Ape, whose Earthly life is wasted in tomfoolery! Thy shallow soul will find a berth amid these churls and be vex-ed eternally.”

“Did you say ‘amid these churls’?” I asked in stupefied revulsion. “Surely watching the blighters is bad enough!”

“Nay, thou must join them: play thy part in all! He who loves pleasure, must for pleasure fall.”

Enough was enough. I don’t mind a spirited debate, but when a handmaiden of Hell starts taunting me with rhyming couplets it’s time to call a halt to proceedings.

“I regret, madam, that when my time comes I shall be unable to attend this function. I have a prior engagement with the Hairy Krishnas. I’m with the karma crowd, you see.”

I didn’t regret it a bit, of course, but one has to maintain one’s manners, even with a daughter of Beezelebub. I was pleased to see an expression of confused annoyance appear on her face.”

“Thou liest, Bananas!” she hissed. “Thou art Presbyterian. The computer sayeth thus!”

“Not me, Sister!” I replied airily. “I’m a Church of Congo Ape. You’ve got me confused with Billy Connolly. As for the computer, it’s the old story of ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ That’s a saying we mortals have. Now if you don’t mind I’ll be making tracks back to my bed. A lady of your allure surely understands the importance of beauty sleep.”

I turned my back on the demonic damsel and found myself tucked up cosily in bed almost before I had taken a step.

I don’t know about you, but when I wake up I usually have no recollection of my dreams. On this occasion I remembered every detail, which left me feeling slightly uneasy. I decided to review my life in all its aspects. Was I doing a sufficient number of good deeds? Was I caring for the widow and the orphan of the fallen ape? Was I binding up the wounds of the injured primate? I felt sure that it was only a dream, but perhaps it was some kind of message from on high. At any rate, there was no harm in playing it safe.

After some deliberation, I doubled my monthly contribution to the Society for Retired Geishas with Pet Gorillas.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bust relief

Heart-warming news from Germany: a man was persuaded to end his high-rise protest by a topless photo of his wife. There are so many positive aspects to this story that it’s difficult to know where to begin. First and foremost, it shows the power of the female bosom as a force for good. The woman concerned was a retired exotic dancer and mother of five. The fact that her breasts were still irresistible to her husband after years of continuous suckling sends a message of hope to all prospective mothers. Even after the most rigorous udder service, your sugar dumplings will still be able to lure the man in your life down from the top of a telegraph pole.

The incident also illustrates the innate rationality of the human male. The man was protesting about an impending jail term for what he claimed was a wrongful conviction. The picture of his wife’s hooters jolted him into a clear-headed assessment of the alternatives facing him. He could either spend his remaining days of freedom rubbing his hands together on a makeshift crow’s nest or rubbing his face against the fun cushions of his frisky spouse. Faced with such a choice, commonsense had to prevail.

I fervently hope that Frau Poledancer will remain true to him while he’s serving his 15-month sentence. Wouldn’t it be terrible if such an inspiring tale were to end in bathos and ignominy, with the valiant wife running off with some grubby hack who paid her 5,000 euros for the story? Were I a neighbour, I would offer to reside in the family home as a chaperone. Not many men have the nerve to try and slip one in when a gorilla is watching their every move.

Now quite a few ladies resent the male breast-fixation, arguing that a woman is more than a walking pair of tits. I can see what they’re getting at, but maybe they’re being oversensitive. I can’t think of a single woman who was appreciated only for her boobs. Barbara Windsor, the saucy cockney actress, had a charming giggle and the ability to memorise lines. Dolly Parton, the petite southern belle, was a talented singer and celebrated philosopher. Elizabeth Hurley, the ex-paramour of Huge Grant, has a very attractive face and the kind of plummy accent that makes a certain kind of man go weak at the knees. As a gorilla, I have never once fantasised about a woman in stiletto heels walking over my body. But if it were forced upon me, I would probably ask Liz to do the honours.

Breasts, as such, are neither good nor bad. It all depends on how they are used. Back in my circus days, I remember the knife-thrower’s assistant offering various intimacies to raise cash for a worthy charity. A kiss on the face cost £1, a French kiss cost £100 and a feel of both boobs (from behind) cost £1000. Little did she know that Rick Moranis, the millionaire actor, would be visiting the circus that afternoon. Moranis intended to make a contribution of £1000, yet was too embarrassed to capitalise on his good fortune by copping a feel of the young lady’s melons. He offered to take her on a dinner date instead. She was so charmed by his gentlemanly behaviour that she gave him not only breasts – but wings, drumsticks and parson’s nose – in the bedroom of his hotel suite.

Do men prefer women with large breasts? No, they only think they do. Smacker Ramrod, the circus vet, was always lusting after big-bosomed wenches, yet the woman he married had small ones. He confessed to me that he adored her little cupcakes because they made her look sweet and girly. It seems that breasts of all sizes have their attractions: large ones are maternal and facilitate safe sex (when suitably oiled); medium ones fit nicely into a man’s hands; small ones have a desirable virginal quality. I am personally convinced that most women who undergo cosmetic bust surgery have no need of it. It’s only required in rare cases, like that of Miss Chokesondick.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

India's porn dilemma

What ever is going on in India? Some upstart minister has banned a satellite TV channel for showing a woman licking an ice cream. Has the man had some kind of mental breakdown? Watching women eat desserts is one of the great innocent pleasures of life. I used to do it all the time in the circus and it never failed to perk me up. I even carried packets of freshening wipes to offer to ladies whose indulgence left them with particularly sticky mouths.

The minister’s idiocy seems to be an extreme reaction to the fear of spiritual pollution brought about by India’s economic liberalisation. The older generation, steeped in the morals of the late Empress of India, are terrified that the young may discover the more authentic tradition of the Kama Sutra. What would then stop them from shaming their elders by discussing sexual gymnastics at the dinner table? Hence the desperate measures to keep anything resembling hanky-panky off the TV screen.

As a gorilla, I have mixed feeling about pornography. Animals living in the wild have no need of it because sex is going on all around them. We hairy apes treat live action as something to be enjoyed when you're having a picnic with the kiddies. Mating elephants are a particular favourite: it’s a bit like watching a drunkard outside his front door trying to fit a key into the lock – slapstick comedy at its finest.

As far as humans are concerned, any television producer will tell you that a bit of soft porn is essential to attract a decent audience for quality late-evening drama. In my circus days, I often saw the clowns watching TV plays exploring serious social issues such as poverty, alienation, family breakdown, etc. You can bet your last pair of undies that they wouldn’t have bothered without the prospect of a pliant pair of boobies materialising mid-way through the transmission. Dogmatic opponents of pornography should bear this in mind before condemning it as a corrupting influence.

Hard-core porn is a different matter altogether. Far from encouraging people to have sex, it seems to take the place of it. The man who gets addicted to watching other humans bonking is on a sure path to impotence. I have only heard one good argument for making such films, which was made, unintentionally, by an elderly Irish lady. This woman was a wealthy widow, who being a great fan of circuses had helped us with our pre-event promotions when we visited Dublin. After our opening show, the all-female acrobat team invited her to a trailer for drinks and a chin wag.

“Oi wouldn't tink av comin' widout de marvellous blatherin' gorilla!” said Mrs Sweeney.

I wasn’t the sort of ape to disappoint a lady, particularly if she happened to be a fan, so I went along to the trailer and took an unobtrusive seat by the rear window. For all her talk of marvellous gorillas, the widow Sweeney seemed a lot more interested in chatting to the girls, and after few drinks the ladies seemed to have forgotten I was there. As is customary on such occasions, the conversation drifted into matters of a personal nature.

“You gals are so lucky wid de pill an' de sex-oo-al revolooshun,” declared Mrs Sweeney. “Oi wus a teenager when oi got married an' me an' me 'usban' knew nathin' about sex. Nathin' at all!”

“What did you do on your wedding night?” asked one of the girls.

“We agreed ter show each other what we 'ad,” replied the aged one. “An' when oi saw what yer man 'ad oi burst into tears!”

You would scarcely believe the outpouring of sympathetic cooing this revelation provoked.

“I don’t blame you darling,” said one of the girls. “When I saw my first one I wanted to call the police!”

Her co-performers giggled as if recalling their own sexual initiations, while I remained impassive, staring at my toes with my ears pricked up.

“Wus a week before we wus 'usban' an' wife in de proper sense,” continued Mrs Sweeney, “an' tree years before oi got any pleasure from de act.”

“Well you’re luckier than my sister then,” piped a cheeky female voice. “She didn’t enjoy it until after her divorce.”

“Find a gran’ fella, did she?” inquired the Celtic dowager.

“Found a good sex toy!” retorted the acrobat, prompting the entire female contingent to laugh uproariously, Mrs Sweeney being the heartiest among them.

These reminiscences convinced me of the need for explicit – yet tasteful – sexual films, aimed particularly at the pubescent human maiden. A girl should not have to endure an unpleasant shock before her first experience of love-making, and should also be reassured about the adaptive qualities of the human cha-cha. I should imagine that my friend Dickie Attenborough would be the right man for the director’s chair.

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