Ape genius

I hear that a captive chimpanzee has been solving computer puzzles at breakneck speed. Let’s hope he learns to tie his shoelaces before he’s offered a chair at MIT. If I were his agent, I’d negotiate a sponsorship deal with Apple. He could appear in their commercials with the slogan: 

You don’t have to be a chimp to use our products, but it helps. 

Being a stellar new talent in the world of homo sapiens is never plain sailing. Look what happened to The Beatles. Their fans behaved like hysterical baboons, screeching their heads off and going on the rampage whenever they flew into town. I don’t blame the Fab Four for taking medication to prevent the adulation going to their heads. It’s a wonder they could think straight at the end of it. 

As a former circus ape, I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of hero-worship. Most of my fan letters were from flighty young maidens who wanted me to rescue them from the evils of man. “Carry me off to your tree-house” was a common request. I got this type of attention because I’m a gorilla. Celebrity chimpanzees attract busty ladies who want to mother them with cuddles and fresh fruit. We apes cater for all the human fetishes. 

It’s important to answer such fan mail politely, of course. I normally included the sentence “Sadly, my contract doesn’t permit me to keep pets” in my reply. I also sent them a piece of latex with my teeth marks on it as a memento of our courtship. 

Now, some entertainers go to extremes in their quest for stardom. Have you heard of a man called Felix Baumgartner? One would have thought a fellow with a name like that would appear in kinky German porn films, having his buttocks thrashed by a busty dominatrix. In reality, he’s a crackpot daredevil who’s planning to jump out of an aircraft at an altitude of 23 miles, which is apparently the edge of space. 

I have a number of serious reservations about this stunt. To begin with, where are the audience going to be seated? If they’re waiting for him below, they’ll miss the most exciting part of the dive, when his beard is covered in icicles. But if they’re up in the plane they won’t see the finale, when he’s babbling deliriously on the ground as the medics put an oxygen mask over his face. The other worrying issue is what he might hit on the way down. Birds could probably take evasion action, but blimps and hot-air balloons would be sitting ducks. If I owned a dirigible, I would sue any skydiver who landed on my canopy without permission. 

The big unanswered question is whether performing this feat will make him a hit with the babes. Will he be feted like an astronaut and acquire a harem of starry-eyed groupies? Or will nubile women view him as an awesome nincompoop who jumped out of a plane? I will observe his fate dispassionately, like a biologist watching a moose during the rutting season. 

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