Glowing monkeys

Japanese scientists have created a new breed of monkey that glows in the dark. A fat lot of use that is. A good night’s sleep is already a tall order in the jungle, thanks to squawking parrots, farting elephants and other nocturnal disturbances. The last thing we need is the added distraction of luminous monkeys hopping about in the branches overhead.

I’m sure the scientists meant well. The probably wanted to prevent the monkeys from sneaking around unseen at night, raiding larders and pissing in water tanks. Such concerns, however, are quite unnecessary. Monkeys may be shameless thieves and vagabonds, but they are also abject cowards who fear the dark. After nightfall they ascend to the treetops, fidgeting nervously until sleep overtakes them. Rather than pissing in water tanks they piss in the wind, causing untold aggravation to whoever is resting below. It's about time they bred monkeys that can hold their water until daybreak.

A lot of humans are very worried about scientists messing around with DNA, dreading the creation of a hybrid monster with the chest of a man and the arse of a horse. Such fears are the product of movie-induced hysteria. Evil scientists like Dr Strangelove and Professor Badass simply don’t exist in the real world. Deep down, the boffins yearn to be loved by the masses for their good deeds and cleverness. Look at the way Einstein courted publicity and flirted with the ladies in his funny German accent. There are a few mad ones, of course, but any occupation has its fair share of kooks.

Gene therapy should be embraced by humankind with open arms and grateful bosoms. God willing, it will eliminate much of the demand for cosmetic surgery. I find it tragic that so many nubile women want breast implants, and shocking that some have unspeakable things done to their cha-chas. If molecular biologists could identify the coding required for a standard pliant pair of titties, many women would be saved a lot of needless angst about their bodies. Perhaps there are also genes that will keep things tight and tidy down below.

I once mentioned these possibilities to a fashion model at the safari guesthouse. “Miss,” I said, “one day, genetic engineering will enable all women to have a body like yours. Although with all due respect, I would hope that many would opt for something a little more curvaceous.”

My suggestion seemed to irk her. “I work very hard to keep in good shape,” she huffed. “If any woman could look like me, what would be the challenge in life?”

I left her question unanswered. One should not quarrel with guests if one can help it, and usually I can help it. I changed the subject by asking her to name her favourite brand of perfume, which softened the frown on her face. Don’t ask me what it was, I have no memory for brands of perfume.

After we parted company, I reflected wryly on our conversation. Imagine thinking that having an attractive figure is the main challenge in life! It is an ambition that is bound to lead to disappointment in the fullness of time. If these models are too slender to bear children, I would advise them to take up horticulture and grow their own fruit. As Dr Whipsnade once said, cultivating your own plums is a challenge that will last a lifetime.

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