Monday, September 24, 2007

Dolly and Benny

It always worries me when eminent humans vanish from public life. Two that currently seem to be dodging the media spotlight are Dolly Parton and the Pope. Gone are the days when they dominated the airwaves, scattering seeds of enlightenment to the voracious peckers of intemperance and folly. Their respective fan clubs assure me that they are alive, healthy and eating plenty of fruit, but that doesn’t begin to ease my disquiet. Even the great and good have inner demons that must be wrestled to the floor or subjected to the full nelson. They might also be suffering from corns, which can distract and bewilder the finest of minds.

Miss Parton has long been an idol to gorillas. We hail her as the Queen of country music and the Fairy Godmother of faithful wives. Unlike Tammy Wynette, she really did stand by her man, even when she couldn’t stand him. And through it all, she scaled the lofty peak of excellence as composer, philosopher and mistress of the bon mot.

“If I have one more facelift I’ll have a beard!” she quipped to Oprah Winfrey, the heavyweight hostess, herself immune to all levitation, facial or otherwise.

Of course, Miss Parton has had her fair share of mockers, particularly in respect of her knockers. I was chairing a seminar about her at the annual simian convention when a smirking baboon declared that she possessed “the vastest tits in the West”. It was obviously a line he’d heard in a movie – baboons are incapable of spontaneous wit and Miss Parton is from the South, not the West.

“You insolent monkey!” I cried. “It is not the vast tits that matter but the woman attached to them! You may discuss Miss Parton’s stupendous melons when you have won seven Grammy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! In the meantime shut your termite-hole!”

My rebuke was greeted with thunderous applause from the assembled delegates.

As for the Pope, do you remember how popular he was when he was crowned High Pontiff? It was all “Pope Benny this and Pope Benny that and what will the new Pope’s policy be on the colour of nuns’ knickers in Santo Domingo.” Yet now he seems quite isolated, mumbling away in Latin while the world looks the other way. If you ask me, he needs a woman in his life – preferably a lady who likes to wear the trousers, given his own penchant for frocks. I said as much to an Irishman at the safari camp, suggesting that K D Lang, the Canadian chanteuse, would make an excellent papal bride.

“Der Holy Farder can’t be marryin’ Miss Lang!” he exclaimed. “She’d be a Protestant, she would!”

“There’s nothing wrong with mixed marriages in this day-and-age,” I retorted. “Have you not heard of the Sudanese man who married a goat?”

The Irishman said that he hadn’t and bit his lip. The goat has now sadly passed away, her obituary published by the BBC. Yet she and her husband surely found contentment in their fleeting union, sharing intimacies while tickling each other’s beards. Their example will doubtless inspire other couples contemplating wedlock across an abyss of mismatched race or creed. If a man can marry a goat, he can certainly marry a Protestant.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Friends in the jungle

I have no objection whatever to show business folk coming to Africa to get their picture taken with wild gorillas. Davy Attenborough did so when he was still cutting his teeth as an animal groupie and his career took off as a result. We’re pretty relaxed about humans cosying up to us in the hope that some of our jungle cred will rub off on them.

The latest celebrity to play peek-a-boo with my hairy band was Lisa Kudrow, best known as Phoebe in the comedy series Friends. Things got off to an inauspicious start at the safari camp. I was serving Lisa a drink at the bar when a brash-looking chap invaded her body space and asked a lot of impertinent questions about her financial situation. I later discovered that he was an investment banker. To change the subject, I put my hand on his shoulder until he turned his head in my direction.

“Lisa was the prettiest girl on Friends, wouldn’t you say?” I ventured.

Lisa swished her hand at me in mild reproof, her smile indicating that she was far from displeased with my conjecture. The investment banker glanced at her slyly before answering my question.

“Definitely in the top three!” he said with an unpleasant smirk.

Lisa’s face froze as she emitted a mirthless chuckle, clearly upset by the man’s boorish attempt at wit. She quickly made her excuses and left. My remark was obviously a mistake, in retrospect, but how was I to know the fellow would be such a graceless twit?

Lisa was still sulking when I escorted her to the jungle next day. “Top three! huh!” she muttered angrily, twisting her lips into a snarl. I explained that the man was an investment banker, a breed incapable of moral or aesthetic judgements and intoxicated with the smell of their own farts. I added that anyone could see that she was carrying the show in its last three series – Courtney Cox had lost her looks by then and Jennifer Aniston was as funny as a wet dishcloth. She said nothing, but gave me an appreciative wink.

After taking a few snaps of Lisa cavorting with the youngsters, I suggested that she take part in our weekly tree-dance. This is a great jungle spectacle, comparable to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. What happens is that the females grab a tree trunk and writhe feverishly as if giving birth in an upright position. Lisa was a little self-conscious to begin with, but once she got into the rhythm her butt-cheeks moved like a pair of maracas. When it was over, the females gathered around her and rubbed her buttocks in solemn approval. I assured Lisa that this was a friendly gesture between girls and nothing to be embarrassed about. We gorillas always grope with respect for the gropee.

On our return to the safari camp, Lisa told me that she’d been offered the lead part in an adult comedy which required her to appear nude. It sounded like a bad idea to me. There are very few non-grotesque women who can be funny and naked at the same time. (My friend Jungle Jane, who has exceptionally supple limbs, is the exception that proves the rule.) I wondered how to advise Lisa to turn the part down without appearing to belittle the box office appeal of her naked body.

“I doubt the comedy will work after you’ve taken your clothes off,” I said at length. “Men with erections never laugh.”

“They don’t?” chortled Lisa. “Now that you mention it, I’ve never seen a guy with a boner busting his gut!”

My argument must have convinced her because she did indeed refuse the part. It later occurred to me, however, that men with erections do sometimes laugh. I heard them in my circus days, after bringing tipsy girls into their trailers. But the noises they made resembled the gloating sniggers of the Mexican bandit rather than the hearty guffaws of the reveller. That is certainly not the kind of laughter that Lisa Kudrow – or any other droll lady – would wish to inspire.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

A visit to the other side

A man at the safari camp recounts his near-death experience. As doctors work frantically to resuscitate him, he floats out of his body, hovering like a butterfly, watching them pound his chest. He re-enters through his navel and travels down a dark tunnel towards a bright light. It feels good, like the release of tension from a bowel movement. On arriving at his destination, he is welcomed by George Burns in a tuxedo, who introduces him to his deceased relatives and the Marx Brothers. They all sit down to a tea party in the balmy sunshine of a summer afternoon. The conversation sparkles and no one argues or is boring. Groucho is warm and sincere; Zeppo is funny; Harpo is not annoying.

A page boy then rushes to the table with a message for Mr Burns, who reads the note while puffing on his cigar.

“There’s been a mistake in the diary, kiddo.” says George. “You’re not due yet, so you’ll have to go back.”

Mr Burns blows a smoke ring and the man finds himself hurtling back down the tunnel. It feels bad, like the build up of tension from a suppository. He is re-united with his body at the very moment the doctors restore his pulse. He emerges from his coma a day later, with the memory of his experience intact.

The other guests are enthralled by his account.

“I wish I could have a near-death experience!” sighs a dewy-eyed woman.

The man smiles at her benignly. “After my trip to the other side I lost all fear of death,” he says. “It totally changed my life and made me a better person.”

I purse my lips and frown. There’s no harm in enjoying these mystical events, but I draw the line at encouraging others to flirt with the Grim Reaper. That often leads to an actual death experience, from which the possibilities of leading a better life on Earth are remote. I judge that a dose of scepticism would be in order.

“I’m sure it’s almost worth dying to experience such a thing,” I remark. “Many have done so, of course. Scientists say that the last flickerings of an expiring brain produce these effects. If so, it sounds like a most pleasant finale to one’s mortal existence.”

“Are you saying it was all a hallucination, Mr Bananas?” asks the man.

“Indeed not!” I reply. “We gorillas avoid metaphysical speculation. I’m just telling you what fellows like Dicky Dawkins think.”

“I wonder what Mr Dawkins would do if he were having a near-death experience,” muses the man with a chuckle.

“Knowing Dicky as I do, I expect he would stubbornly refuse to play along,” I answer. “They’d have to drag him along the tunnel and when he got to the tea party he’d make his excuses and leave before the whole thing vanished into oblivion.”

“It sounds as if I escaped from that heavenly place in the nick of time,” quips the man. “How long do you suppose one has before the afterlife is revealed as a hoax and the sky falls in?”

“That’s a very good question,” I remark, stroking my neck in reflection. “I’ll put it to Dicky the next time I see him.”

I return to the jungle next day, musing on the tea-party question. It does seem a bit odd that one minute you’d be happily chatting to the Marx brothers and the next minute everything disappears into nothingness. And how do we know that tea-party time moves at the same rate as Earth time? What if the final moment of Earthly life is experienced as an infinitely long tea party of bliss, if such a thing were possible? Dicky Dawkins must deal with these legitimate questions before fobbing people off with his half-baked theories.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

The spanking question

A hush descends on the jungle after the film Secretary is shown at the safari camp. Listless monkeys loiter in the trees, chewing their toenails in confusion. Chimpanzees groom each other in solemn silence, pondering the foibles of their human cousins. Puzzled gorillas scratch their heads pensively and exchange furtive whispers.

For those who haven’t seen the movie, the plot is very simple. A secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is repeatedly spanked by her boss (James Spader) for relatively minor offences. Sore buttocks notwithstanding, she falls in love with him and provokes further punishment to get his attention. After being goaded into giving her a particularly kinky whipping, her remorseful boss dismisses her. They are later reconciled in bizarre circumstances and marry.

I reassure my simian friends that human females are not as weird as the film suggests. They do not generally enjoy having their bottoms whacked and would snap like a vixen if a stranger were to do so. The vital ingredient in the movie was not the spanking, as such, but Mr Spader’s demeanour while dishing it out. He was masterful, unyielding, imbued with quiet gravitas and utterly convinced of the justness of his actions. Being spanked by a grinning pervert would have been a foul experience for Miss Gyllenhaal, leaving her feeling soiled and humiliated. But being spanked by a steely-eyed disciplinarian was a huge erotic thrill – for what female does not fantasize about throwing herself on the mercy of a dominant male?

Let me state for the record that Gorilla Bananas is no spanker. I have never once had occasion to raise my powerful hand to any female in my harem. There’s simply no need for it in the wild because there are so many other diversions and excitements. My females are used to seeing me dominate my sphere, milking my assets and trampling my foes underfoot, so I don’t have to reinforce the point by slapping their hairy backsides.

I freely admit that they do swing their fists at me, now and again. Female gorillas are moody creatures and will lash out if their frustrations overwhelm them. But rather than retaliate, I try to intercept their blows with my rock-hard skull so they’ll sulk off wringing their hands. Occasionally they do succeed in landing a haymaker in my kidneys, whereupon the best strategy is to pretend it didn’t hurt and laugh it off.

There are lessons for the modern woman here. If she wants to be dominated in bed, all well and good, any red-blooded man should be willing to oblige. But a true alpha male has no wish to boss her around in his scarce leisure time. After cracking the whip on matters of real importance, the last thing he needs is some sissy female pining for a firm hand when he wants to relax. So rather than playing the shrinking violet, the temptress should don her lace petticoat and accost the man of her desires with naughty verses and haughty curses. If she postures facetiously, he is far more likely to chase her into the bedroom and ravish her inside the wardrobe. A male primate likes to feel he’s made a conquest even if the female wants it as badly as he does.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Burnt sausage

No words of condemnation are strong enough for the Russian woman who set fire to her ex-husband’s penis. The couple had been forced to share an apartment, in spite of their divorce, because of the housing shortage in Moscow. When people are packed liked sardines into too few dwellings, it’s inevitable that penises will burn. Tragedies like this will go on occurring until the reactionary forces impeding the construction industry are crushed like satsumas. As an investor in the sector, I have offered my services to any house-building consortium facing obstruction from pointy-headed bureaucrats or selfish residents. They don’t call me Bulldozer Bananas for nothing.

This certainly does not excuse the woman’s stunt in any way. Cock-arson is a serious crime no matter how cramped the living conditions. She claims that her ex-husband was a philanderer and patron of pornography. Maybe he was, but isn’t that why she divorced him? Once a marriage has been dissolved, the wife has sold her stock in Johnson Enterprises and has no say in the use of its drilling equipment. You cannot torch a penis like a medieval heretic simply because it’s having too much fun – that sort of discredited argument was used to convict women on trumped-up charges of witchcraft. I hope the Russian judges will ignore her lame excuses and throw her in the slammer. Let her confront her inner demons by frying hot-dogs in the prison kitchen.

I’m sure the feminist movement won’t make a cause célèbre of this hot-fingered harridan. They’d be better advised to refute impertinent suggestions that her behaviour was inspired by “penis envy”. I remember Smacker Ramrod, the circus vet, getting told off by a well-spoken lady for suggesting that lesbians might be jealous of a man’s manhood.

“Penis envy is a Freudian myth, Mr Ramrod!” she declared. “If anything, it is you men who envy our wombs and our ability to bear children. It wouldn’t surprise me if you also envied the clitoris and our capacity for multiple orgasms.”

“Clitoris envy!” exclaimed Smacker. “It’s hard enough to find the ruddy thing let alone be envious of it!”

I should add that this conversation took place in the 1980s, before most men knew where a lady’s love button was located. The woman offered to send him a manual with diagrams. I believe that modern girls pierce it with a ring to make it easier to find.

Yet in the final analysis these anatomical questions matter little. Even if a woman’s clitoris were the same size as a penis (as is the case for female hyenas), this would not bring about harmony between the sexes. Any gorilla can see that the root cause of the marital malaise is disappointed expectations. A wife wants her husband to be her knight in shining armour, utterly devoted to her happiness, utterly immune to temptation. The problem is not that no men are capable of this. Quite a few are, as a matter of fact, which leaves women stuck with a typical Joe Jockstrap (or worse) feeling terribly let down.

It would surely be much easier for women if all men truly were selfish pigs who neglected their spouses and exploited every opportunity to chase available skirt. At least they’d know what to expect and could evaluate their suitors purely as breeding stock. The worst feeling for a housewife is knowing that she‘s lumbered with a lemon which she can’t return to the store.

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