I’m coming to the conclusion that surveys of human mating practices are worthless. The participants simply say what they think the interviewer wants to hear rather than confessing their deepest desires (to say nothing of their kinkiest fetishes). 

I base my opinion on the results of a recent survey of human couples in long-term relationships. It appears that the women said regular sex was essential, whereas the men said they needed to be kissed and cuddled. After pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t in a parallel universe, I realised what must have happened. The women were so worried about appearing needy and emotional that they pretended to be men, while the men were so fearful of looking like heartless lechers that they pretended to be women. The result of all this disinformation was a report with findings that would make a baboon chortle. 

The ability of humans to lie convincingly is a big problem for us anthropological apes. Mother Nature has designed the face of homo sapiens to be the perfect lying machine. Those devious inscrutable eyes; that prominent nose (which unlike Pinocchio’s remains the same length unless you pull it); that weaselly mouth, capable of beguiling the naïve listener with its forked-tongued phrases. Many an honest gorilla has been hoodwinked by deceitful humans. 

Fortunately, my time in the circus enabled me to hone my human-face-reading skills. I remember a clown once asking me not to kick his arse during our act, because his pelvis had been replaced by a metal plate after a riding accident. 

“You would break your foot,” he warned, apparently concerned for my welfare. 

I sensed he was lying from the way his eyebrows twitched as he spoke. After some diligent detective work, I discovered that the only metal plates in his backside were those he stuffed into his underpants before putting on his costume. To teach him a lesson, I entered the ring with a large mallet in hand and smashed his buttocks like a pair of cymbals. The audience loved it. 

Another devilish trick humans employ is to tell you something that sounds like a tall story which turns out to be true. A few days ago, the manager of the safari camp asked me if I’d been invited to the “monkey wedding” in India. 

“A simian of your stature ought to be present at this ground-breaking event,” he said. “If I were a monkey I’d want you to be my best man.” 

“You don’t say,” I replied. “Well, unfortunately I’ve got a prior engagement to attend a chimpanzee christening before going to the barber to get my arse-hairs trimmed.” 

“Look it up if you don’t believe me,” he said sniggering.

I did and was amazed to find a corroborating news item. It seems that an Indian villager brought up a monkey as his son and found a bride for him in a neighbouring village. Their betrothal was celebrated with a traditional Indian jamboree involving saffron and plenty of coconuts. I don’t see it lasting unless their tails are tied together.

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