Friday, February 27, 2009

Hard Times

Times are getting tough in the world of homo sapiens. A Chinese businessman, no longer able to afford his five mistresses, forced them to compete in a talent show for the position of undisputed concubine. The winning contestant, literally drunk with success, killed herself in a reckless joyride. Her grieving family then sued the businessman for hefty damages, and his wife divorced him after finding out about his affairs. When it rains, it pours, as we say in the Congo. Not that the man deserves much sympathy, of course. The ape who steals ostrich eggs should expect to have his arse pecked, as we also say in the Congo.

Some of you must be wondering why the mistresses agreed to participate in such a humiliating charade. Couldn’t they have found another Sugar Daddy? Well, although China now has many rich men, they are spread very thinly over a population of 1.5 billion. For every genuine plutocrat, there are twenty or more fakers who would jump at the chance of tricking a woman into bed. I don’t blame the mistresses for sticking with the devil they knew.

I also have a feeling that the women were actually quite fond of the fellow. Any man who can make his girlfriends compete in a game show must have a fairly persuasive manner, to say nothing of a flair for the theatrical. I suspect he may be a Chinese version of Bruce Forsyth, capable of buttering up a woman by calling her “my love” and making silly faces. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the panel of judges at a beauty pageant, shacking up with Miss Shanghai after the show. These smooth operators always land on their feet.

In times of economic hardship, humans are all the more eager for frivolous diversions to forget their troubles. The Great Depression was a golden age for comedians, contortionists and dwarves. No surprise, therefore, that the celebrated
toothpick-in-beard competition has made a comeback during the current financial crisis. This amusing pastime was invented by Angus “Beardy” McBeard during the Great Haggis Famine of 1889. It involves embedding toothpicks in one’s facial hair until one’s chin appears to be sprouting a hedgehog.

It is a sad sign of the times that these tournaments are now decided purely on the number of toothpicks implanted. Artistic impression and utility count for nothing. I would like to see the contestants model their creations on the great beards of history: Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Bill Oddie, etc. The wooden whiskers might also be judged by their ability to relieve itches. People with skin conditions could rub their affected regions against them and measure the satisfaction gained until full depilation.

An economic slump is a heaven-sent opportunity for such recreations, but one person who isn’t feeling playful is President Obama. The man has spent his first month in office projecting glum faces and dire warnings to lower people’s already rock-bottom expectations. Small wonder that Bill Clinton, who knew how to party when he was in office, has been telling Barry to lighten up. What the president really needs is an upbeat song like Happy Days Are Here Again!
to bounce people out of their torpor. I would assign a bald dwarf to his bodyguard detail, whom Barry would slap on the head in Benny Hill style when the tune was playing. As John Maynard Keynes said, a recession is 80% psychology and 20% phrenology.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

The Pink Chaddi Campaign

I don’t normally speak out in support of worthy causes, but I’m going to make an exception for the brave young ladies of the Pink Chaddi Campaign. India’s finest floozies have joined hands to form a “Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”, in defence of their right to enter bars unaccompanied and chat up the men they fancy. The main target of their ire is Pramod Muthalik, the leader of a fundamentalist cult that believes a woman’s lot in life is to make chapatis and aloo gobi for her fat-bellied male relatives.

The sisterhood is encouraging its members to send a pair of pink knickers to the execrable Mr Muthalik, in the hope that the aura of these heavenly garments will shame the neo-Thuggee demagogue into silence. I hope it works, but I fear that the bounder is beyond shame and will simply sell them on the black market (after trying them on himself). If the chaddies prove ineffective, I suggest they send him pink tampons instead. Deep down these reactionary types are colossal perverts, and I bet Mr Muthalik would insert a few into his rectum just to find out what it felt like. One hopes the experience would relax his inner tension and open him up to other viewpoints.

Indian women, of course, are famed throughout the world for their beguiling good looks and general voluptuousness. Many of them now prefer modern dress to the sari, which tends to fall off during funky disco dancing. I do hope the bigger-bottomed beauties think twice before wearing jeans – a baggy split skirt would surely look better than trying to squeeze mangoes into an egg carton. It’s also worth mentioning that many western men find the exposed tummy of sari-wearing Indian women very sexy. Back in my circus days I remember Ranjit Ram, the Indian knife-thrower, being questioned on this very subject:

“Is kissing a woman's belly-button allowed in India?” asked one of the clowns.

“It is allowed only if you blow rather than suck,” replied Ranjit grinning.

There’s no substitute for local expertise when learning the finer points of etiquette in a foreign land.

My final piece of advice for these gallant ladies is to open up their consortium to all well-wishers, not just forward women with loose underwear. The great moral campaigns of human history have always been inclusive in spirit. I myself would volunteer for a stint of chaperone duty to dissuade men of low character from thinking they have carte blanche to molest members of the sisterhood in pubs. (This shouldn’t involve any violence. I once did similar work for a pub in a downmarket area of London and everyone was as good as gold. All I had to do was sit in a corner reading an issue of the British Medical Journal. Ms Nelly Norkins, proprietor of the ‘Gag and Cosh’, was well pleased with my service.)

In due course, the leading lights of the movement might care to visit the Congo to compare notes with my females and organise symposia on matters of mutual interest. They don’t come any looser and more forward than female gorillas, and the ones in my band could certainly teach women a thing or two about the use of teeth in close encounters of the promiscuous kind. In the meantime, I sincerely hope that the pink-panty tactic wins the sisterhood much succour and acclaim. I wish them well from the bottom of my heart and the top of my bottom.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ancient memories

A tourist tells me about his past life as a medieval knight called Sir Roger de Pomfrey. He claims he fought both Moors and Turks before returning to England to have a passionate affair with the future queen. I smile indulgently at the fellow’s prattle. Humouring people with crackpot delusions is a pastime I have always enjoyed.

“Your lady’s heart must have been torn in two when the king proposed to her,” I suggest.

“Too right!” he affirms. “She came to me with tears in her eyes and said: ‘Oh Roger, I shall imagine thy burning eyes and feel thy bulging flesh, even as the king doth porketh me senseless on the royal four poster!’”

“Well that’s political marriages for you,” I remark. “I bet Hillary was thinking of Walter Mondale when Bill swept her off her feet. May I ask how you had the good fortune to recover these golden memories?”

“It all came out under hypnosis,” he explains. “I met a chap who does past life regression for a very reasonable fee.”

“Ah, but of course!” I say. “How else would one dig up the mind’s buried treasure?”

Apparently quite a few humans can remember a past life. Why is it, I wonder, that those who lived in medieval England were always members of the nobility rather than Eric the Serf or Fanny the Fishwife? As 90% of the population of that era were peasants, one assumes the lower orders were doomed to be reborn as hedgehogs or snails. I myself have no recollection of my past lives, perhaps because no one has succeeded in hypnotising me. We gorillas are not susceptible to mental jiggery pokery – our jungle instincts make us too sceptical of the spoken word.

I witnessed the peculiar power of hypnotic suggestion in the circus. It all began when one of our female acrobats approached the cage of a rather magnificent snake, which was asleep at the time. Much to my surprise, I saw her write a little message and slip it beside the slumbering serpent.

I decided to retrieve the note to find out what the dickens she had written. Technically a violation of her privacy, I know, but justifiable in this unusual situation. I mean it wasn’t as if the snake was going to read it himself. So I gently fished it out of the cage with a long stick and was shocked to discover it was a love note. I don’t want to go into details, but the entreaty “O squeeze me in your coils, you enormous python!” gives you a flavour of the contents.

I happened to know that this woman was receiving hypnotherapy from my friend Smacker Ramrod, the circus vet, so I immediately went to see him to find out what he was up to.

“It’s nothing much really,” he said. “I just tell her good things about snakes when she’s under – that they’re beautiful, intelligent, sensitive and so forth. She wants me to cure her phobia.”

“Smacker, you bumbling quackhead!” I exclaimed. “You’ve made her fall in love with the giant python! She’ll jump down the ruddy thing’s throat if you don’t deprogram her!”

So he contacted the woman to arrange a quick remedial session, and reduced her serpentine appreciation to a platonic level by saying things like “Snakes make terrible boyfriends and are very selfish in bed” (which may be true for all I know). It seemed to have the desired effect anyway.

This anecdote illustrates the nonsense that hypnosis can plant in the human brain. In spite of being a firm believer in reincarnation (like most gorillas), I don’t for one minute believe that anyone can remember a past life. The beauty of being reborn is that the slate is wiped clean, so you don’t have to reflect on all the embarrassing things that happened to you last time. That would distract you from all the sordid events in your current life, which will once again be forgotten when you die. It’s part of the cycle of existence.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Hamburger girl

A young woman from Texas has made a hamburger-shaped bed in honour of her favourite food.

“Not only does it make me smile, it is insanely comfy,” says Miss Kayla Kromer.

The word “insanely” seems peculiarly apt in the circumstances. When I showed her photo to the manager of the safari camp, he couldn’t believe that this slender female was a fan of fast food. I assured him it was possible.

“She must have a high metabolism,” I said. “I bet she spends the whole day fidgeting like a ring-tailed lemur. Probably loves domestic chores as well. She’d make some lucky man the perfect wife if she weren’t off her rocker.”

On further reflection, I’d say she has the look of a bullfighter’s lady about her –
dark hair, smouldering eyes and grasping hands. It would be fitting, in a purely poetic sense, for her husband to kill the animal that she enjoys to eat. Picture the scene after a bullfight. Toreador Big Macarlos accepts the plaudits of the crowd before strutting off with a bovine ear stuffed in his pocket. Kayla, his dutiful burger-munching wife, follows him into the changing room to help remove his excessively tight trousers. Hot with desire, he pushes her up against a wall.

“You want your meat rare or well done?” he growls breathlessly.

She stares back at him defiantly before replying with haughty audacity:

“I want it in a sesame-seed bun with onions and relish!”

Inflamed by this sensual banter, they consummate their mutual hunger with fries and a milkshake.

Of course, there’s a lot more to being a woman of the world than getting into bed with a hunky piece of meat. In my circus days I was privileged to attend a lecture from Miss Nancy Nantucket, the burlesque queen, who would have swirled her tassels scornfully at the burger bed. As well as sleeping au naturale, Nancy dispensed with the encumbrance of blanket or sheet. This, she explained, allowed her pores to breathe as she slumbered.

“Don’t you get cold?” asked one of the clowns.

“I keep an electric fan heater on,” she explained. “My sleeping arrangements are similar to Queen Nefertiti, whose slaves wafted warm air from a fire over her nude body.”

“She slept naked in front of her slaves!” exclaimed the clown. “I bet some of them copped a feel of her nefertitties when they had the chance!”

“You silly man!” rebuked Nancy. “Her male slaves were eunuchs and her female slaves were not that way inclined. Lesbianism wasn’t invented until 600 BC.”

The cheeky clown was silenced by the stripper’s superior grasp of history, demonstrating the value of a liberal education in all walks of life.

Miss Kromer’s eccentric behaviour is quite charming in its way, but I hope she is similarly able to fend off the mockers and sneerers who will bedevil her path to fame. If she lacks the erudition of Miss Nantucket, she should acquire a repertoire of stock phrases to admonish those who would attempt to ridicule her. “Supersize me!” would be a good one. It’s not the most obvious insult, I admit, but it would sound pretty hostile in the right tone of voice. She could also use it to talk dirty to her husband if he needed encouragement after a hard day at the bullring. The versatility of language is a divine blessing for those of a limited vocabulary.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Cupid's aerosol

I hear that scientists are developing a nose-spray for human couples who’ve fallen out of love. The idea is to trick the brain into feeling gooey emotions, so that passions will be re-ignited and marital bed-springs will be tested to breaking point. It sounds like the greatest thing since penicillin, but I wonder if they’ve thought through all the consequences. How do they know that the couple will feel attraction for each other rather than the next-door-neighbour or the family pet? Do they have to make eye-contact while snorting the love mist?

Another worry is that the treatment might cause them to sneeze, which can have strange effects on the human brain. Back in my circus days, a young lady who worked with the big cats frankly admitted that she found sneezing more enjoyable than sex.

“It’s all so quick and easy,” she explained. “You get the build-up, the climax and the release… and it’s all done in a few seconds. Much better than lying on your back and hoping that the bloke who’s drilling you will eventually strike oil.”

I nodded sympathetically.

“Sexual gratification is surely a hit-and-miss affair for women,” I said. “However sneezes sometimes fail to discharge when you feel them coming. I have a terrible sense of anticlimax when that happens to me.”

“So you do know how a woman feels when a man can’t satisfy her!” she quipped. “You can always make sure of your sneezes with a bit of powder up the nose.”

“True enough,” I conceded. “But before settling down with a pepper pot, perhaps you should consider whether you’re meeting the right sort of man.”

“I generally assume the ones who paw me will be tigers in the sack,” she mused. “Are there differences between men and big cats then?”

“Their fingernails for a start,” I said. “You have made the mistake of applying ideas from the workplace to your private life. I suggest you judge future suitors by their virile qualities rather than their feline ones. Looking for the inner tiger in a man sounds like a futile quest.”

“What about the inner gorilla?” she said smirking.

“That is somewhat less futile,” I replied, “but beware of chest-thumping impostors.”

I am pleased to say that the woman did find a man who was able to satisfy her carnal needs, and he was nothing like a big cat. More of a sly dog with a slobbering tongue, in fact. Be that as it may, they lived happily ever after without the need for nose sprays, pepper pots or other olfactory stimulants.

The moral of the story is that scientific advances should be viewed with a healthy dose of scepticism. The boffins may claim that squirting stuff up your nose is a miracle cure for this or that, but the practice may open up a Pandora’s box of unforeseen side-effects. This caveat notwithstanding, human parents who worry about their teenage daughter being impregnated by Jimmy the Bozo might consider giving her a box of snuff for her birthday. Those sexually repressed Victorians knew how to savour their sneezes.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sex, drugs and suicide

Three long-haired men once came to see me after watching my circus act.

“We want you to join our band,” they said.

“What sort of band is it?” I asked.

“Metal,” they said. “We’re called The Electric Chairmen. We let our fans decide whether we’re judges or executioners.”

“Or condemned men indeed,” I remarked. “What role do you envisage for me?”

“Drummer,” they answered. “We need a drummer who can hit extra hard.”

I sighed and shook my head. I am sorry to say that this silly, one-dimensional idea about the musical ability of gorillas was common long before Cadbury-Schweppes plc jumped on the bandwagon.

“I regret that I cannot play the drums,” I said. “I am proficient only in the recorder and the Congolese nose flute.”

“Don’t worry about that, man, we can teach you!”

“No, gentlemen, you will have to ask someone else. I believe Ringo Starr has been looking for a position since The Beatles dissolved their partnership.”

They left disappointedly and I pondered the attractions of being in a pop group.
If it’s so good, why do so many of the most successful performers die young? Jim Morrissey, Curt Cockbain and Michael Hutchend all perished miserably from self-inflicted injuries. I suspect that a man who receives too much fellatio loses his grip on reality. He begins to think of his penis as a lollypop and suffers agonies of regret that he will never be able to taste its fruity flavours. The spine of an upright primate is simply not flexible enough. (We gorillas can do it but rarely bother – it’s not worth the back strain it causes). Perhaps I should write a paper on this for the Journal of Psychology. Even if my theory is false, men who aren’t getting any will feel better for hearing it.

Some pop stars, of course, manage to cope with the fame and the groupies without committing suicide. David Cassidy is one who lived long enough to write a memoir from the perspective of middle-age. It may have been helpful that his associates in The Partridge Family included the maternal Shirley Jones and the nymph-like Susan Dey. These two ladies were indeed a foster family for young David, Miss Jones being his actual step-mother and Miss Dey being a surrogate sister (albeit with one much regretted act of incest). Their presence surely helped to keep his self-destructive demon at bay.

A more functional explanation of Mr Cassidy’s survival is found in the reason for his nickname
“Donk”. If half of what he says about his blessed physique is true, a woman would have needed the throat of a python to relieve him orally. It seems he was quite happy to use his prodigious organ in the orthodox fashion in any case. According to David, the Italian movie star Gina Lollobrigida was well-briefed about his dimensions:

The first time I met Gina she looked me up and down and said: “I hear you’re a monster. I want to meet the monster.” Well, I decided that if I had it, there wasn’t any point in just keeping it in the holster all the time.

Very obliging of him. My old circus chum Mario claims that it was this encounter that inoculated Mr Cassidy against the woeful fate of others in his profession. Apparently no man who has slept with an Italian actress has ever taken his own life. Mario was a notorious bum-pincher in his day, but I have no reason to question his knowledge of Italian show-business folklore.

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