“Australian girls are having their bottoms branded!” exclaims the manager of the safari camp, handing me a news clipping.
I inspect the documentary evidence impassively before responding.
“So they are – it seems to be some kind of fashion statement.”
“Hah!” sneers the manager. “The only statement they make by branding their backsides is ‘I am somebody’s cow’!”.
“In that case most of the first ladies in Africa ought to do it,” I remark.
I later realise that proof of ownership may indeed be the motive. Australians consume so much alcohol during their barn dances that they lose the ability to recognise faces. Your average sheep-shearing ocker might take the wrong Sheila home, not realising his blunder until he pulls down her knickers and sees the brand of his best mate. Australians are an honourable breed, so he’d ring his buddy immediately to inform him of the mix-up.
“Bruce, me old cobber,” he might say, “I’ve taken your girl home by mistake. If you’ve got my girl we’ll call it quits and carry on with the business. If you’ve got someone else’s girl we’ll settle up later. I’ll buy you a crate of beer or something. No worries.”
We gorillas never have this problem because our sense of smell is too acute. I could sniff out a mate of mine if she got inside a pantomime horse and whinnied like a mare. A randy young female once infiltrated my harem during one of our nocturnal orgies. I knew she was an intruder from the first whiff of her lady parts.
“Hang on a minute!” I cried as she attempted to curtsy on my face. “I don’t believe we’ve been introduced!”
“I’m from the virgin forest upstream,” she confessed. “I heard about your orgy and thought you’d let me gatecrash. You won’t be disappointed, my pelvic action has the power of a crocodile’s tail.”
I gave her a look of cool disapproval. You don’t impress an experienced silverback with that kind of vulgar boasting.
“A powerful pelvis is no passport in my domain, young lady.” I replied sternly. “If you’d like to join my harem I’ll consider it, but not before I’ve discussed the matter with your father.”
“My father ran away to Gabon when I was an infant,” she said sadly. “He joined a band of nomadic apes who believe that the secret of eternal youth is never to mate with the same female twice. I’ve not seen him since.”
I grunted sympathetically and gave her some nuts to eat. Why is it that the most promiscuous females always seem to have absentee fathers? Perhaps they subconsciously believe that being deserted by their dad means that any variety of bozo is good enough for them. Not that I’m a bozo, of course, but you see the point I’m driving at.
This rather pitiful anecdote casts a dim light on the bum-branding broads from Down Under. In a world where errant fathers leave their infant daughters to fend for themselves, is there any excuse for subjecting one’s buttocks to such flagrant abuse? It won’t improve the flavour of the meat, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t want to taste it in any event, being a vegetarian.
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