Friday, October 29, 2010

Religious tolerance

I’m not the sort of ape who takes sides in human squabbles, but it warms my hairy cockles when an oppressed religious minority wins its legitimate rights. I’m talking about the druids, who have finally been recognised by the British state as followers of an authentic faith, rather than a bunch of herb-sniffing weirdos who have read too many Asterix comics. 

To achieve this auspicious end, the druids have had to compromise on some of their traditional practices. Human sacrifice will now be restricted to the Festival of the Giant Hooting Barn Owl, which occurs every 721 years. And caterwauling in the small hours to ward off the Demon Duckface will only be allowed in underground caves or nuclear bunkers. In exchange for these pragmatic concessions, druidic trust funds have been given tax-exempt status, which means there’ll plenty of savoury fish-balls and dandelion wine to go round at this year’s winter solstice celebrations. 

The lesson we can draw from their successful campaign is that good things come to those who wait. The druids were wizards-most-exalted of the British Isles before the Roman invasion of 43 AD, which they resisted fanatically by wailing and letting off stick bombs. According to the historian Tacitus, their frightful antics… 

…struck the Romans with awe and terror. They stood in stupid amazement, as if their limbs were benumbed… 

But the men of the Roman army soon pulled out their weapons and got stuck in, burning down the sacred druidic groves and forcing the survivors to hide amongst the Welsh. It was a bitter pill to swallow for a proud indigenous priesthood. 

Pope Benny must be looking with envy at these neo-pagan cults, gaining influence and winning converts while his own church is mired in scandal. He has only himself to blame. When he visited Africa last year, he foolishly condemned our native tribal religions, denouncing the witch-doctor as a devil in ostrich feathers. This inevitably brought a thousand voodoo curses down upon his holy head, causing skeletons to emerge from cupboards and poke him in the vitals. 

Instead of bad-mouthing other faiths, a wise high pontiff would raid them for good ideas. If you ask rank-and-file Catholics what they most admire about paganism, they’ll inevitably mention female deities. The Virgin Mary isn’t quite up to the job, as she’s revered for being someone’s mother rather than a goddess in her own right. There is also the problem of her virginity, which prevents her from answering the prayers of the sexually frustrated. 

If I were the Pope, I would make Lucy Lawless the goddess of Christianity.  Xena the Warrior Princess was a class act - proud of bosom and earnest of thigh, she rode into battle like a true Christian knight. Yet she was also a coquette, who let beefcake suitors woo her like a wood nymph. If she became the Queen of Heaven, the Catholic Church would once more be a fitting home for fearless swordsmen and swooning damsels, whose sins in the heat of passion would be forgiven. This might not be to everyone’s taste, but it beats getting buggered by men in frocks.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

The Facebook fixation

A tourist recently advised me to set up a Facebook account. 

“You don’t exist if you’re not on Facebook,” she opined. “I added another 20 friends last month, which took me over 1000.” 

“We gorillas are not so promiscuous in the making of friends,” I replied. “If you pat too many dogs on the head, you’re liable to catch fleas.” 

I didn’t tell her that I do, in fact, have a Facebook account, which I never update and discourage people from visiting. I use it purely to engage in psychological warfare against those who lampoon the great apes. The lampooners adopt cunning disguises to avoid exposure, but that doesn’t stop me from responding to their cowardly barbs with chest-thumping vigour. They need to know that the eyes of the Hairy One are upon them. 

Some notable humans have spoken out against Facebook. One of them is Miss Drew Barrymore, the chubby-cheeked child star who blossomed into a chubby-cheeked adult one. She complained that Facebook was spoiling her love life by giving her too much information about her suitors before meeting them on first dates. 

“If a guy plays the ukulele or has an extra penis, I want to find out about it in the normal way instead of reading it on his Facebook profile,” she declared. 

She makes a good point. There are far too many posturing dandies who advertise their assets on Facebook, enticing desperate females to stalk them obsessively. When will women realise that men who disclose their personal affairs in such a forum will never offer reliable service? Far better that they should take their chances with the honest fellow who repairs their TV set and allows them to play with his tool box. 

Facebook did not exist when I was in the circus, so my fans had to write me letters in the old-fashioned way. One such missive was from a young lady called Sophie Dahl, who said she was an aspiring model and invited me to lunch. This put me in an awkward position. I didn’t want to disappoint a female admirer, but was reluctant to dine with a human stick-insect who would peck at her food and put me off my own victuals. I decided to accept her invitation, reasoning that I could always fill my belly afterwards at Luigi and Dino’s Pasta House. 

When I arrived at her residence, the door was opened by a buxom blonde of generous proportions who greeted me like a long lost friend. I felt like a farmer who enters a hen house to find a goose honking at him affectionately. Sophie had prepared a fine meal, and when we sat down to eat she put it away like a hungry mare. I naturally ate a little more than her to show proper appreciation of her cooking. After lunch, we lay down together on her mohair rug, digesting our food and discussing the future of the Congo Basin ecosystem 

Would such an afternoon of pleasant surprises be possible in today’s Facebook bazaar? I think not.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A strange affair

A 31-year-old woman in Ohio has pleaded guilty to “sexual imposition” after disguising herself as a man and seducing a 16-year-old girl. I am puzzled by several aspects of this case, and not necessarily because I’m a gorilla. I should imagine that Lieutenant Columbo himself would be scratching his head and asking searching questions if he were trying to get to the bottom of it. 

The first thing to wonder about is the charge. Not abduction or rape, but “sexual imposition”. What exactly does that mean? The manager of the safari camp thought it meant having sex with someone in an unusual position, but his intuitions in such matters are not to be trusted. If it refers to the cajoling and posturing that occurs prior to sexual activity, I don’t see why it’s a crime at all. Such behaviour is surely an integral part of courtship for humans, as it is for gorillas. My females and I are constantly at it – I impose myself on them, they impose themselves on me, and whoever seizes the high ground dictates the terms of surrender. Without this preliminary sparring, mating would be a namby-pamby affair lacking vigour or excitement. 

The facts of the case are even more perplexing. It seems that the teenage girl ran away from home to live with her “boyfriend” for an unspecified period of time. One has to wonder how the older woman managed to pull off the hoax. To sustain such a deception while the two were cohabiting as lovers would have required a disguise worthy of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Unable to make head or tail of it, I gave my friend Lady Chuffington a call: 

“It’s all quite plausible,” she said. “The torso of a flat-chested woman is not that different in appearance from a male one, and the girl was obviously brought up to believe that nice girls don’t look at men’s groins. She must come from a traditional American family of pilgrim stock. It’s quite sweet really.” 

“Indeed?” I replied. “And what about the consummation of their intimacy? Pilgrim stock or not, she must have noticed that something was missing from the experience.” 

“Really, Bananas!” exclaimed Her Ladyship. “She was a 16-year-old girl and a virgin I should hope. At that age, I wouldn’t have known the difference between a man’s appendage and a stick of celery! Not with the lights out, at any rate. I refuse to elaborate further – please use your imagination!” 

I paid my respects and terminated the call. 

Whatever happened with the lights out, the girl is now saying that she is afraid to walk her dog. I feel sorry for the dog, who must be wondering why its mistress is so horribly traumatised. If I were the girl’s counsellor, I would attempt to reassure her with the following words. 

“Falling in love with a woman who looks like a man is nothing to be ashamed of. Many notable people have done it, including Ann Heche, Virginia Woolf and King Edward VIII. Although hard to bear, such misfortunes can teach us valuable lessons. In time, you will put this troubling incident behind you.” 

If that doesn’t get her to walk the dog, I don’t know what will.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Lunar weight loss

The moon is shrinking. That’s what the eggheads at NASA are saying, and who are we to doubt them? So if you’re planning to build a holiday home there, you’d better buy a plot of land before prices go through the roof. 

When important news like this breaks, one should pass it on. 

“The moon is getting smaller,” I said to the manager of the safari camp. 

“Yeah, but Uranus is getting bigger!” he retorted. 

I patted him on the head as he sniggered delightedly at his own wit. 

“Your mastery of scatological puns makes my sphincter dilate in awe,” I said. “But have you no interest in the fate of our heavenly neighbour, whose ethereal light bathes the African night in silvery splendour?” 

“No!” he replied stubbornly. “The lanterns in the garden give us all the light we need and they don’t churn up the sea with stupid fucking tides. The moon can kiss my behind!” 

I saw no point in pressing the matter with a man whose soul was so utterly devoid of poetry. I suspect he secretly fears the moon as the malevolent force behind werewolves and other apocryphal demons. Humans can be very superstitious. 

The next person I passed the news to was a middle-aged American woman of impressive girth, who had just arrived at the safari guesthouse. 

“No kidding?” she said. “I wish I could make my butt shrink as well.” 

I could not let this unworthy sentiment pass without comment. 

“Unlike a lump of rock, Madam, your posterior has important biological functions, such as bearing the not inconsiderable weight it is attached to. It has every right to expand to whatever size is required to perform the task.” 

“You don’t say?” she remarked. “That’s the first time I heard anyone speak in defence of my tush. What are you, the UN protector of asses’ rights?” 

“No, but I’d accept the job if they offered it to me,” I said. “I like to stick up for the unappreciated organ.” 

“Oh I appreciate it just fine, I just wish it wasn’t so big. Diets don’t seem to work so I’m thinking of getting it surgically reduced.” 

To say I was flabbergasted by this statement would belittle the extent of my consternation. 

“You cannot be serious, Madam!” I exclaimed with far more gravitas than John McEnroe. “Are you aware that deflating a beach ball merely produces a flabbier version of the same thing? Women who have undergone this perverse procedure must bitterly regret the shrivelled old pumpkin they got lumbered with. A fat, juicy peach is better than a prune.” 

“Hmm,” she mused. “I’m not convinced but thanks for your input. I’ll mention your concerns to my doctor.” 

I hope my cautionary words will be enough to dissuade her. Let me add that I make no judgments about women who undergo cosmetic surgery on their faces, boobs, or even their cha-chas. Sometimes a woman has to do what a woman has to do. But the rump should never be messed with. Some things are sacred to a gorilla.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

A piglet squeals

I’m going to nominate Britney Spears’ former bodyguard for the ‘Sissy of the Year’ award. He has recently been telling tales about Britney in court, claiming that she pranced around naked and made him watch her play with herself. He believes this entitles him to sue her for “sexual harassment” and obtain ridiculous damages. If I were Britney’s lawyer, I would ask the jury one simple question: How could a man who protects people for a living behave like such a snivelling wuss? 

Now I don’t dispute that Britney did behave like a sex-crazed vixen in need of a good seeing to. One wouldn’t expect anything different from the woman. Nor am I saying that the fellow should have jumped on top of her the minute she wiggled her naked butt-cheeks – that sort of behaviour is for the goats and baboons. But a man who expects to be financially compensated for being propositioned by a nubile woman has forfeited the right to own a pair of testicles. 

There is always a polite way of declining a woman’s favours without making her feel like a heifer whose udders are unfit for milking. When holidaying in England, a few years ago, I had the privilege of reading the memoirs of Lieutenant Cornelius Wagstaff of the Royal Navy, whose journal was an heirloom in a stately home I visited. In its pages, there is a description of an incident that occurred during shore leave in Naples, when the Contessa di Napoli invited Wagstaff to her palace to examine some artefacts of the late Lady Hamilton. 

When Wagstaff arrived, he found a home empty of servants apart from a maid, who gave him directions to the Contessa’s bedchamber before leaving herself. On arriving, he found that both the door and the Contessa were wide open. As the latter sprawled naked on her bed, arching her back like a pussycat about to be stroked, she addressed her guest as follows: 

“Here I am and this is what I offer you.” 

Like a true officer of the King’s Navy, Wagstaff composed himself before responding to the challenge of an enemy vessel. Taking a deep breath, he said: 

“My lady! Your body is an exquisite temptation which causes my sturdy loins to surge with manly desire. Yet I cannot succumb, for I am betrothed to a woman who at this very moment clasps my portrait to her tender, yearning bosom!” 

“I see,” said the Contessa. “Shall I dress and show you the palace?” 

Wagstaff chewed his lip and frowned before replying to this question: 

“Rather than dressing, my lady, let me join you in your unveiled simplicity as we tour this majestic domicile, that you may witness your effect on my manhood. You have shown me yours, so I must show you mine.” 

So the Lieutenant and the Contessa walked around the palace as innocently and as nakedly as Adam and Eve on their first day in Paradise. The Contessa was satisfied that her physical charms had not been scorned, and Wagstaff had turned what might have been an untoward incident into a triumph for British diplomacy. 

Is there a man alive today with the manners and discretion of Lieutenant Cornelius Wagstaff?

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

She's bad!

A German grandmother aged 50 has embarked on a career as a Michael Jackson impersonator. Before fans of the late great Jacko bite their kneecaps in horror, they should note that Großmutter Christine Guntrip is eminently qualified for the role, having shed 32 kg to make herself as svelte as MJ, and studiously avoided sunlight to keep herself as pale. Obviously she will sing the songs in a German accent, with the odd “ich” and “liebe” thrown in, but you can’t have everything. 

Frau Guntrip laughed off suggestions that she would be putting vegetables in her knickers to bridge the gender divide: 

“When you get to my age, there is enough natural stuff down there to fool the casual observer,” she explained. “Maybe I will stick a little zwiebel inside before doing dances where the crotch is making in-out movements.” 

This seems like a sensible approach. I find it hard to believe that Jacko’s fans were remotely interested in the contents of his underpants – indeed, only his detractors seemed preoccupied with such matters. I would advise Frau Guntrip to take her act to Las Vegas, where the celebrity impersonator is a respected pillar of the community. In that golden city, Elvis Presley look-alikes officiate weddings, sell life assurance and give children lessons in road safety. If she can’t make it there, she may as well throw in the towel… and throw out the zwiebel. 

The one big thing in her favour is her age. A 50-year old woman has many natural advantages as an entertainer: her face is more expressive, her voice is more confident and her wobbly bits make her more suited to comedy. It is the perfect time in a woman’s life to throw caution to the wind and let it all hang out. 

Back in my circus days, I was often approached by nubile young women who dreamt of a show business career. If they were hoping for encouragement, they had come to the wrong ape. 

“Don’t do it!” I exclaimed. “You will be deceived and exploited by lecherous impresarios at every turn! Now is the time in your life to find a stable occupation or a rich husband. Don’t even think about entertaining the masses until you have passed your child-bearing years and acquired a solid foundation.” 

More often than not, women who hit the big time at a tender age go off the rails. Consider the case of Marianne Faithful, who became a successful pop singer at the age of 19. Premature stardom went to her pretty little head, causing her to leave her respectable husband for the Rolling Stones. As she later wrote in her autobiography: 

"My first move was to get a Rolling Stone as a boyfriend. I slept with three and decided the lead singer was the best bet." 

Her licentious conniving did her no good. Jagger was obviously a very bad influence, inspiring her to mimic his degenerate lifestyle of drug-taking and debauchery. Among her many notorious deeds was an act of self-penetration with a chocolate bar at a libertine party in Soho. However successful Frau Guntrip is in her new career, I am pretty confident that her coochie will remain a chocolate-free zone.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Portuguese police drama

I have a certain amount of sympathy for the Portuguese policeman who was bitten by a member of the mayor’s office, but not enough to sacrifice a chicken on his behalf. The mayor’s aide was clearly the policeman’s social superior, so one can understand his rage at being addressed with the familiar pronoun. That said, no amount of plebeian impudence can justify sinking your teeth into people. A man of position should respond to such provocations with patrician hauteur. 

In all my years in the circus, I was never once bitten by a human. I would like to think it was because I treated people with courtesy, but in truth it was probably the fear of getting a mouthful of fur that deterred the maniacs. In any large crowd of humans, there are bound to be assorted yahoos who think that biting a gorilla might win them fame and the love of beautiful women. Fortunately, the prospect of having to hawk out hairs from the back of the throat was too vexatious for them to countenance. 

The nearest thing to getting bitten I experienced happened after a show in Winchester, when I was escorting my friend Lady Chuffington to her Bentley. From close behind, I heard a frantic woman utter the following words: 

“I want to make you my beard, you big hairy hulk!” 

Before I could turn round, she had buried her chin in the small of my back and was massaging vigorously. I have to admit it didn’t feel too bad, and had I been unaccompanied I might have allowed her to continue; but I obviously couldn’t let her carry on like that in full view of her ladyship, who would have been scandalised by the sight of a strange woman being afforded such liberties on my person. So I shook the woman off and told her to compose herself, while Lady Chuffington gave her a moisturising wipe for her flushed face. 

After calming down and attending to her appearance, the woman began to explain herself. It turned out that she was a kick-boxing champion who had been enthralled by my performance in the ring and wanted to show her appreciation in a tangible way. 

“I knew what I was doing was crazy but I just couldn’t help myself,” she said. 

“I quite understand,” I replied. “After attending to her ladyship, I shall escort you to my trailer and give you a souvenir.” 

It goes without saying that I did not invite her to serve me with further chin-to-back stimulation. Such things are only tolerable in the heat of the moment, and a gorilla does not press his advantage with an infatuated woman. 

Perhaps this incident sheds light on the behaviour of the mayor’s aide in Portugal. The rational part of his brain must have known that biting a policeman was an act of grotesque depravity, but such inhibitions were overridden by a powerful surge of emotion. I suspect that many of the world’s problems are caused by over-excitement. 

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