Ask a Gorilla: Dealing With Unwanted Parenting Advice
 

Babydoll is a 55 year old gorilla with a whole lifetime of experience. She is Ape Times' resident "agony aunt". Write to her with your problems at jaxy@jaxymono.com and she'll share her wisdom with you.


Dear Babydoll,

My aunt and uncle like to give me lots of advice about how to take care of my 6-week-old baby. The trouble is, they completely disagree on what’s right for him. For example, my aunt believes that breast is best, and that if I don’t breastfeed my child, he will grow up physically ill and psychologically traumatized. My uncle, however, thinks the whole idea of breastfeeding is “pornographic” and self-indulgent. He says I should formula feed my baby, and has even written out a detailed feeding and sleeping schedule that I’m meant to follow to the letter, otherwise my baby will grow up “undisciplined”.

My aunt and uncle don’t have their own children, but they persist in telling me how I should raise mine. They like to visit me every Saturday, pelting me with judgmental comments and sideways glances the whole time they’re here. I just can’t do anything right!

Babydoll, what should I do? And what do you think is the best way to feed a baby?

Yours,

Desperate Mother

 

Dear Desperate,

Well, since your aunt and uncle are obviously such experts in parenting, I think you should follow their advice. To that end, I recommend that you show up at their doorstep in the middle of the night with a crying baby. When they open the door, hand over your wailing child and explain that you were going to feed him, but you just weren’t sure what to do. Bat your eyelashes innocently and beg them to show you. If they seem anything less than delighted, praise their unique child-rearing expertise and insist that they are the only people in the world who really know what they’re talking about.

Then, relax on their sofa for the rest of the night while they deal with your squawking infant.

If they still seem self-assured and confident in their baby-rearing skills after one night, repeat the exercise again the next night. And the next night. And the next. If they refuse to open the door, break in through the window. Surprise them by standing over their bed with your shrieking baby. Continue to do this until your relations’ minds are ready to snap like peanut shells from sleep deprivation.

Soon enough, you’ll be amazed to discover how their beliefs have changed. Your breastfeeding berserker aunt and formula fanatic uncle may suddenly admit that the best kind of baby is a fed baby, regardless of how you get there. The two of them might become a lot more supportive of your chosen parenting style, so long as it works. 

On the other hand, they might also stop talking to you entirely. Which would be just as well, as it would liberate you forever from their obnoxious opinions.

And to answer your other question, here’s how I think you should feed a baby. Take milk. Put milk into the baby’s mouth. Continue until the baby is fed. Repeat as needed. And get some rest while you can.

And above all else, never, ever wake a baby if it's asleep. Let sleeping babes lie.

Yours,

Babydoll


About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter.

 
Jaxy MonoComment
A New Arrival
 

Hi, friends! 

Jaxy's blog has been quiet lately due to the arrival of a new monkey in the family! 

We'll be back to our usual shenanigans very soon! Promise. 

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Presence Lurking in the Darkness Calls for Calm
 
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Communicating from the deepest recesses of a derelict haunted house, a menacing, mysterious presence spoke to the press today of its concerns for the state of world affairs.

“You know when you wake up in the middle of the night to the terrifying sensation that someone is watching you? Well, that’s me,” said the shapeless form. “Normally, my job is to float around dark rooms creeping people out and making them paranoid.”

However, the mysterious watchful shadow said it was deeply worried about the recent developments in the political arena, after Donald Trump accused President Obama of tapping his phones.

“Look, I’m usually happy when someone gets the notion that they’re being watched. That’s why I’m here – or not. But even I think this thing with the wire tapping is a step too far,” exclaimed the dark shapeless entity. “It’s totally crazy! No self-respecting disembodied animal fear is going to suggest something so ridiculous, even on the darkest of nights.” 

When asked to explain how and why the US President suddenly got the notion into his head, the shapeless shadow simply shrugged its nonexistent shoulders.

“I’m as baffled as you are!” droned the entity in its ominous voice. “All I know is that it wasn’t me. I admit, I have haunted people in power in the past – mostly dictators and tyrants. But even I know better than to suggest this kind of nonsense! Who’d believe it? I’m a professional nameless fear, and I have my pride. Personally, I think it’s all a cheap PR stunt, or else the DT’s. Maybe the Prez’s been hitting the whiskey too hard – even though he doesn’t drink. Maybe he’s just a very unbalanced person. Whatever the reason, it’s wreaking havoc with my work. I’m almost out of a job these days! It seems like, whenever I arrive in the middle of the night to whisper terrifying nothings into somebody’s ear, they’re already paranoid about something utterly ridiculous! Chemtrails, fluoride in the water, you name it! Seriously, you people will believe anything these days! It’s just no fun anymore.”

The nameless ominous presence ended the press conference by calling for calm, peace, and reason.

“I’d just like to say, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, people. Obama isn’t tapping anyone’s phones, okay? Everyone just calm down and take a moment to breathe,” it said. “Go back to being afraid of something a little more rational, like being buried alive, or being struck by lightning. Have a little self respect!”

The mysterious dark presence then slunk back into the shadows, leaving an air of terror in its wake. Malodorous rumors that several members of the press befouled themselves during the unusual press conference have been denied. 


About Tan Tebe

Tan Tebe is the political correspondent for Ape Times, the most reliable source of monkey news on the Internet. On behalf of all orangutans, Tan Tebe would like to clarify that, contrary to popular belief, he is not in any way related to Donald Trump.


About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter.

 
Jaxy MonoComment
White House Intern Saves the World with Candy Crush
 

White House intern Ben Jones has potentially saved the world from nuclear catastrophe by installing Candy Crush on U.S. President Donald Trump’s cell phone. Mr. Jones says that, since his intervention, the President has been playing the game non-stop, instead of tweeting, signing unconstitutional executive orders, or threatening to attack other nations.

Mr. Jones said that he had the idea when he saw Mr. Trump looking bored and irritated during a briefing on Iran.  “He was just twiddling his thumbs, and you could tell the situation was getting dangerous,” said 23-year-old intern. “He was starting to ask questions like, ‘How many nukes have we got?’ and ‘Why don’t we just fry the Arabs?’ So I just snuck up to him, opened up Candy Crush on my phone, and said, ‘Mr. President, have you seen this?’”

The most powerful man in the world was immediately taken by the game. “He just went for it. His eyes lit up, he was hooked. By the end of the meeting, he’d beaten all my high scores. Of course, he was buying extra lives and boosters like there’s no tomorrow. My bank account is in overdraft now. But I don’t mind, because I may have prevented World War Three.”

This is not the first time that the ingenious Mr. Jones has used technology to manage the new U.S. President’s questionable temperament. On a previous occasion, he says he introduced Mr. Trump to Pinterest.

 “It was great at first. As soon as he got on it, he pinned over 1,000 images of himself. And that’s in the span of just one security briefing!” said Mr. Jones, “But then he started running into satirical memes about his small hands. He got so mad that he nearly blew up North Korea.”

Having learned his lesson, Mr. Jones now intends to stay on the safe side with cell phone games. So far, his strategy seems to be working. After he installed Candy Crush on the President’s phone earlier this week, The White House has been unusually quiet.

“We did have one incident. One day he retired early with a finger injury,” confirmed a White House aide. “Before we could do anything, he managed to sign a bill forbidding transgender kids to use the school bathrooms. Luckily, we got the finger looked at by a specialist, and now he’s safely back in the game.”

No one knows how long President Trump’s fascination with Candy Crush will last, but there is hope that once he grows bored of it, new games can be found to distract him. “There’s always Farm Heroes, Angry Birds, and Pokemon Go,” said Mr. Jones. “We could even try Solitaire. Anything that keeps him from crashing our economy, trashing our liberties, and killing us all.”

Of course, Mr. Jones’s intervention has not come without a price. Since Tuesday night, Mr. Trump’s in-app purchases have cost taxpayers more than $50,000 in color bombs and coconut wheels.


About Tan Tebe

Tan Tebe is the political correspondent for Ape Times, the most reliable source of monkey news on the Internet. On behalf of all orangutans, Tan Tebe would like to clarify that, contrary to popular belief, he is not in any way related to Donald Trump.


About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter.

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Thrill a Gorilla: How to Get the Girl
 

Babydoll is a 55 year old gorilla with a whole lifetime of experience. She is Ape Times' resident "agony aunt". Write to her with your problems at jaxy@jaxymono.com and she'll share her wisdom with you.


Dear Babydoll,

I’m an ordinary guy working in a traditional office environment. I really like one of my female co-workers, but I just can’t get her to see it. I compliment her on her appearance every day, and I tell her that she’s beautiful when she smiles. I’ve even offered to buy her lunch, but for some reason she always turns me down – even though I’m a really nice guy and I’m much better than those jerks she swipes right on Tinder. Whenever I ask her out after work, she tells me that she has other plans. I am heartbroken – but not deterred!

I know I might look gentle on the outside, but on the inside, I’m a true alpha-male. I’m sure that if my co-worker could see this, she’d be into me! But how can I show her my wilder, more attractive side?

Yours Expectantly,

Determined Nice Guy

 

Dear Nice Guy,

First off, I think you’re making things very hard for yourself by setting two completely opposite goals. On the one hand, you want to show the lady that you are a nice person; and on the other hand, you want to prove that you are a dominant alpha-male. Unfortunately, the two don’t really go together.

Nice humans generally concern themselves with being compassionate and helping others; for example, they might give to charity, volunteer, or be activists for a good cause. Dominant alphas, however, are in it for themselves. There are plenty of successful CEOs and politicians who are not nice at all, but their success is due largely to their being alpha-males.

It sounds like maybe you don’t really want to be a nice guy. That’s okay. Not everyone does. Maybe you’d rather be mean and strong – but in that case, you have to admit to yourself once and for all that you are not a nice guy, and live with it.

If you are determined to be dominant, I offer you the following recipe for making yourself stand out and proving that you are, indeed, an alpha-male.

Step 1: The sniff test

Many primate females judge a male by the strength of his scent, so go roll around in something very potent, like manure, before you head to the office. Alternatively, you could forget to shower for a week or two and really build up those natural pheromones.

Step 2: Flex your muscles

If she can smell you a mile away, but she’s still not interested, it’s time to move on to showing her your best side. Many primate females find ripped buttocks extremely attractive. So when you spot the lucky lady, jump up on a desk and moon her across the office. Make sure you shout her name and point at your backside, so that she can’t miss the glorious display.

Step 3: Get serious

If that still doesn’t work, it’s time to show off how strong and powerful you are. You can do this by smashing a few things – ideally, objects from your male co-workers’ desks, like Joe’s picture of his kids, or Dan’s souvenirs from India. Don’t be afraid if they try to fight back. Remember they’re only office workers, and you’re a silverback in the making.

Step 4: Face down the boss

Eventually, your boss is going to come out to see what’s going on. This is your big moment! It’s time to beat your chest and shout at the top of your voice to make yourself appear big and threatening. But a simple threat display isn’t going to be enough – you’ll to have to launch yourself at your boss and attack him for real. Don’t hold back! Remember, all the office females will be watching.

If you succeed in beating your boss into submission, congratulations! You are now the dominant alpha – at least until the police arrive. Now it’s time to see whether the female of your choice is sufficiently impressed.

If she runs away from you and locks herself in the storeroom, don’t be too disappointed. Even the toughest silverback gorilla male can’t always get every girl he wants. If a female chooses not to mate with him, he just has to accept it and move on. That’s life!

However, if you have no luck with the human females in your office, there’s still one more thing you can do. Get yourself out of the building before the security or the police get hold of you, and go to the nearest zoo. There, climb into the gorilla enclosure and repeat your display. I assure you, here you are guaranteed success. Only, be advised that, if the existing silverback doesn’t smash your skull in first, the nearest female gorilla will probably crush you to death mid-coitus. But you’ll die a happy man!

Yours truly,

Babydoll


About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter.

 
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Eye of Sauron “Really Pleased” With What It’s Seeing
 

“I’m really happy with how things are going. Everywhere I look there’s desolation and despair,” the Eye of Sauron declared today at a rare press conference in Mordor.

The huge ball of flame told a group of specially invited correspondents that “darkness was spreading nicely over the world. It’s been such a pleasure to watch the shadows lengthening – Brexit, the refugee crisis, the American election, and now Donald Trump taking his first steps as U.S. President.”

The legendary Eye of Sauron said that it had felt pretty put out ever since “those nasty hobbits threw the One Ring into the volcano of Mount Doom.”

“I guess I felt like nobody agreed with me, or liked me anymore. Things looked pretty grim. But now, things are looking up. Recently, I’ve found lots of new friends on Twitter. It turns out that Internet trolls are much better than orcs for company!”

The evil oculus then teared up a little as it talked about Donald Trump. “He’s a great man! He doesn’t even need the One Ring to rule them all. He’s managed to hoodwink an entire nation with nothing more than few alternative truths and a big personality. I wish we’d had him instead of that dithering Saruman.”

The Eye then announced it was willing to serve in President Trump’s new cabinet. “I could oversee the media, for example, or cast my gaze over the Internet. Those liberal snowflakes would really tremble in their shoes with me watching their every move!”

Until then, the enormous optical organ said it was pleased to simply “watch the world burn on the nightly news.”

“There’s only one thing running my view,” it added, squinting in displeasure. “It’s all those protesters whining about equality and justice. Who do they think they are? I hope the President is big enough to do something about them.  You know, like shoot them down with flaming arrows. They’re such an eyesore.” 

About Tan Tebe

Tan Tebe is the political correspondent for Ape Times, the most reliable source of monkey news on the Internet. On behalf of all orangutans, Tan Tebe would like to clarify that, contrary to popular belief, he is not in any way related to Donald Trump.


About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter.

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Tackle Your In-Laws Like A Gorilla
 

Babydoll is a 55 year old gorilla with a whole lifetime of experience. She is Ape Times' resident "agony aunt". Write to her with your problems at jaxy@jaxymono.com and she'll share her wisdom with you.


Dear BabyDoll,

I love my spouse very much, but he brings his parents over once a week to spend time with our three children and cat. During this time, they constantly try to redecorate and even remodel our house. They deny everything and say that they are just tidying up, but I caught them trying to sneak a new area rug into our living room just last week. I am at my wits’ end and my husband seems to not notice. One time after their visit I was looking for a cereal bowl and found that all of our classic-patterned dishes have been replaced with that square modern, primary-colored china. Horrible! I swear that they are doing this on purpose but my husband does not agree. I even suspect my in-laws are switching out photos from our frames and replacing them with photos of themselves. We have a wall full of photos and I distinctly remember more of them being of my side of the family. They have also been teaching my children to respond to names that aren't even theirs! Is my husband right? Am I crazy? What do I do?

~

Dear Wits' End,

No, you're not crazy. It sounds like your husband's parents are trying to establish their dominance and usurp your position in the family hierarchy. Don't look so surprised!  You humans may have invented iPhones and space rockets, bur deep down inside you're still status seeking primates, just like the rest of us great apes.

In your case, your parents-in-law are trying to push you down the social ladder by replacing your home decor choices with their own. This may seem like a trivial thing, but I assure you, it isn't! Even we gorillas, the most relaxed of all apes, take such matters very seriously. Though usually we're happy to just lie in the sun munching salad, as soon as some other gorilla challenges our social position, we're ready to rip their arms off.

Of course, with you human beings things aren't nearly so simple. For one thing, it seems that your husband’s parents are engaging in something called passive-aggressive behavior, which is to say that they're pretending to act in your best interest. But don't be fooled. Passive aggression is still aggression, even if it says "please" and "thank-you" when it comes over for tea.

The good news is that once you realize that you're in the midst of a struggle for dominance, you can respond accordingly. Don't be tempted to play your in-laws' passive-aggressive game, though. They're older and more experienced at it than you are, and you will lose.

Instead, take a page out of the gorilla handbook, and show them your fighting spirit. I always say that straight-forward aggression is a stronger, more honest approach than all that human faffing about pretending to be nice to each other. Have a good fit of rage! Of course, no one needs to actually get hurt – this is all about establishing your boundaries and showing that you’re not to be messed with.

There are many good options to make yourself understood. Shouting, stomping your feet, and beating your chest with your fists are classics. Smashing dishes also makes a really nice threat display - so you can put those horrid modern plates to good use. But before you start, it’s probably better to make sure your in-laws won’t over-react to your sudden change of behavior. If you don’t want them calling the police or the paramedics, you need to take a few precautions.

So, before beginning your threat display, serve your in-laws a nice cup of tea and some cucumber sandwiches, and settle them in comfortably on the sofa. Explain that you're about to perform an original interpretive dance that you've choreographed just for them. Then, roll up your sleeves, put on some Marilyn Manson, and go apeshit.

Smash those pictures up with a baseball bat. Break the furniture. Pee on that area rug. You can even have the kids join in on the fun if you want, by having them rampage around shouting their (real) names.

After you've had your fill of wanton destruction, turn off the music and take a bow. Fervently deny that your dance was an expression of your real emotions! If your in-laws question this, act offended that they don't understand your masterpiece and insist it was all art for art's sake. The fact that the objects they brought to your house got annihilated in the process was just pure coincidence.

 I'm sure that your in-laws will get the real message, and they'll probably be too frightened to ever challenge you again. But if they do, just repeat the exercise. Then you can relish your position as alpha female in your family unit and relax. Put your feet up. Have a smoothie. You’ve earned it.

Yours,

Babydoll


About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter.

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Canada Graciously Offers To Lead Free World
 

“It’s what any good friend would do,” stated Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning, announcing that Canada would be happy to take over America’s regular duties as world superpower.

Mr. Trudeau added it would be Canada’s pleasure to help out its closest neighbor while it was “working through some issues”.

“Look, there’s no shame in it, America. We’ve all been there. You just elected a reality TV star as President and now you’ve got a white nationalist media mogul sitting in on your national security briefings. We understand if you need to close your borders and wrestle with your inner demons for a while. We’ll just take those nuclear missiles off your hands and store them for safekeeping.”

Radiating kindness and compassion, Mr. Trudeau suggested that Canada could take over a whole range of the United States’ current activities, including its role in global trade deals, and its peacekeeping and charity missions. “We can take Hollywood and the music industry off your hands, too. And we’re even willing host the Super Bowl this year, if it’ll help.”

Suggesting that being the biggest economy in the world can be highly stressful, Mr. Trudeau also generously offered to take on America’s finances.  “We’ll be happy to take the banks, the big multinationals, Silicon Valley, and all of Wall Street. Just send them over. Really, it’s no trouble, no trouble at all!

“And when it comes to going to all those bothersome summits on global security and climate change… well, that’s obviously a little too much right now. We can go instead,” said Mr. Trudeau. “You let us worry about influencing global policy and get yourself back on track.”

Mr. Trudeau even went so far as to offer America counseling sessions with its top therapists. “And you don’t even have to pay for it, because we’ve got free healthcare,” he added. “Whatever you need, buddy. We’ve got your back.” 


About Tan Tebe

Tan Tebe is the political correspondent for Ape Times, the most reliable source of monkey news on the Internet. On behalf of all orangutans, Tan Tebe would like to clarify that, contrary to popular belief, he is not in any way related to Donald Trump.

About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter. 

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Statue of Liberty to Register as a Muslim
 
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“It’s just damned un-American!” the Statue of Liberty declared today in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent travel ban on foreign nationals from seven predominantly Arab countries entering the country.

Appearing in a rare open-air press conference on Staten Island, the historical monument also announced that she plans to register as a Muslim if President Trump orders the creation of a database of all followers of the religion. “And if I can find enough bronze to make a giant metal hijab, I’m going to wear it as a show of solidarity. See how they explain that at the White House,” the Statue said.

Speaking for over an hour, the Statue recounted her long history of welcoming immigrants into the country. “I just don’t get it,” she said, addressing the American people directly. “Suddenly, you guys are all about closing your borders and kicking out foreigners. I suppose you’ve forgotten that your whole nation is founded by immigrants? Don’t you want to host international sporting events like the Olympics anymore? Don’t you care about diplomatic conferences, or international trade? Well, if this is how you feel, then all I can say is: why stop at Mexico? You might as well build a wall around the whole country, from sea to shining sea. And mine the oceans too, while you’re at it.” 

As the press conference progressed, the Statue became increasingly more upset, taking swigs from an industrial-sized distillation tank filled with gin. The monument disclosed that in light of the recent election of President Trump, she felt “unappreciated, unwanted, and unloved.”

“I’ve been standing out here, on my feet, day and night and in all weathers for more than a hundred and thirty years, trying to remind you guys what America is all about. And this is how you repay me! Whatever happened to ‘all men are created equal’? Not that it matters anyway, since I’m a woman,” the Statue added bitterly. “I’m so sick of you and your alternative facts! Well, how’s about an actual fact for you – I’m an immigrant, too. I’m FRENCH!”

Wiping streaks of mascara off her face, the 305 foot tall monument then hurled her gin-tank into New York Harbor and stumbled off stage.

“I can’t… I just can’t even,” she slurred, before her mic was switched off. “I’m so over this shit. As soon as it gets warm, I’m wading to Canada. It’s just as well. I’ve got a mad crush on that Trudeau boy.”

About Tan Tebe

Tan Tebe is the political correspondent for Ape Times, the most reliable source of monkey news on the Internet. On behalf of all orangutans, Tan Tebe would like to clarify that, contrary to popular belief, he is not in any way related to Donald Trump.

About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter. 

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Tame Your Toddler, The Gorilla Way
 

Babydoll is a 55 year old gorilla with a whole lifetime of experience. She is Ape Times' resident "agony aunt". Write to her with your problems at jaxy@jaxymono.com and she'll share her wisdom with you.


Dear Babydoll,

My sister’s three-year-old son is a nightmare! He throws tantrums, never does what he’s told, and kicks and punches when he’s angry. I’ve tried telling my sister nicely that she’s spoiled him by letting him do whatever he wants, but she doesn’t listen to me. I’m meant to babysit him on Friday, but I’m really dreading it. I just know it will ruin my day. What should I do?

Yours,

Frustrated Homo Sapiens.

~

Dear Frustrated,

My, my, but you humans do put a lot of store in good behaviour! Whatever happened to letting children roam free, like in nature? What’s the big deal if he throws a fit or two? Trust this old gorilla mama, that’s just how our young are, whether they’re humans or any other kind of great ape.

One tried and tested chimpanzee toddler-taming technique is to give the naughty misbehaving little brat a good hard nip on the ear – but human children are terribly fragile, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, I advise you to do what we gorillas do when our offspring just won’t behave – let the other members of the troop have the bother.

Do this: on Friday, take your little nephew to a large supermarket and tell him he’ll get a special treat if he makes an impressive enough mess. Next, hand him a broom from the cleaning aisle, because there’s nothing little boys like better than a big stick! Then, grab a lounge chair from the garden section, sit back and enjoy the show.

Soon your troublesome hyperactive kiddo will be racing around knocking down cereal boxes and jam jars, while the staff chase after him, tripping on rolling cans of soup and oranges all over the floor. Don’t worry about the damage he causes; he’s under ten years old, so he can’t be held legally responsible for anything he does. And if anybody asks you to intervene, just shrug and tell them he’s not yours. That’s not technically a lie – he’s not yours! He’s your sister’s.

This way the shop staff will do your babysitting for you. Not only that, you’ll also get some excellent entertainment, so grab some popcorn or candy from the shelves as you watch the events unfold. And it’s extra fun if you do this in a pricier supermarket, like Whole Foods! Here the staff will probably be too timid and fearful of lawsuits to take away the kiddy’s broomstick, so you’ll get to watch a frustrated store manager try to reason with a three year old on a rampage, and fail miserably.

Eventually, the little one will wear himself out. Once he starts to slow down, it’s time to claim your toddler back from the exhausted shop staff. Now you can let on that he’s your nephew – at this point, the staff will just be glad to be rid of him and won’t make much of a fuss. However, I do urge you to do this in a supermarket far away from where you live, because it’s quite likely that you will be banned forever.

But I promise you it will be worth it! Once you get the kid home, he’ll be so tired he’ll go straight off to sleep without even a bedtime story. So you can spend the rest of your day doing whatever you like.

Wishing you a relaxing day,

Babydoll 


About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter.

 
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X-rays Show Object Initially Mistaken For Donald Trump’s Spine is Actually Vladimir Putin’s Hand
 

Political Correspondant Tan Tebe reports: 

In a shock development just before Friday’s presidential inauguration, a mysterious source has leaked an X-ray online, which appears to show a hand sticking up through the President-elect’s rectum.

The revelation comes as a surprise to many voters, who had apparently mistaken Mr. Trump’s brash and untoward remarks for a show of political backbone.

“I voted for Donald Trump because I was sick of those spineless career politicians,” said Mr. Ezekiel Hawthorne of Poisonwell, Arkansas. “I admired Mr. Trump because he had guts. But now that I’ve actually seen his guts up close, I’m not so sure I made the right decision.”

The X-ray, which has been widely circulated on social media, is now causing many American people to question their choice.

“It’s shocking to think of this kind of anatomical depravity in the White House,” said Reverend Patrick Horney of Deadhorse, Nebraska. “I’m not sure what it says about Mr. Trump’s family values.”

Meanwhile, medical and political analysts alike have been poring over the image, trying to deduce whose hand precisely is stuck up the 45th President-to-be’s anus.

“There can be no doubt that it’s Vladimir Putin’s,” rectal specialist Dr. Snoops told Ape Times this morning. “We’ve seen this very hand wearing a number of politicians and businesspeople like glove puppets in the past – but insertion on this geopolitical scale is truly unprecedented.”

However, Dr. Snoops is convinced that the presence of the hand can actually help clarify some of Mr. Trump’s past behavior. “It explains why he’s so tetchy. Anyone with that big an object stuck up his anus is bound to be pretty irritable. No wonder he wants to atom-fry us all!”

The revelation has been hotly denied by Mr. Trump’s team, with one aide reportedly saying there was “nothing up Mr. Trump’s ass except good old American bullshit.” Meanwhile, Mr. Trump took to Twitter to respond to the situation, stating: “I’ve got a spine, and it’s a great spine! Anyone who says otherwise is plain jealous!” Responding to calls to release his medical records, Mr. Trump then replied, “I didn’t show you suckers my tax returns, so why the hell would I show you my X-rays?”

Mr. Putin himself has declined to comment, but sources say the Russian president has been in exceptionally high spirits lately, smugly humming and whistling to himself. One source added that she recently caught Mr. Putin washing his hands with what she described as an “evil, self-satisfied smirk.” 

 

About Tan Tebe

Tan Tebe is the political correspondent for Ape Times, the most reliable source of monkey news on the Internet. On behalf of all orangutans, Tan Tebe would like to clarify that, contrary to popular belief, he is not in any way related to Donald Trump.

About Ape Times

Ape Times is the Internet's best (and only) news blog run entirely by non-human primates. It provides a unique perspective on current affairs, financial markets, technology, and other human stupidity. Ape Times welcomes submissions by all non-human readers, regardless of their family, genus or species.

Ape Times is edited by Jaxy Mono, the world-famous monkey with a typewriter. 

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Introducing Trog the Chimp, Financial Expert
 

Hi there, all you primates! I'm Trog the chimp, Ape Times' new stock market guru.

I know what you’re thinking – what’s a chimp doing on the stock exchange? Well, there are lots of bulls and bears and wolves and vultures on Wall Street, so I think it’s about time pan troglodytes, the humble chimpanzee, got his share of the action too.

“But how can I trust a chimp with my money?” I hear you ask. Listen, humans like to pretend they’re superior to all other forms of life, but they’re no better at making predictions about the future than a psychic octopus or an astral-projecting cow. I can’t tell you the number of times human suckers have lost all their cash by trusting the voice of this or that financial pundit or stock market prophet. And when they do, they throw their hands up in the air and shout in despair that those woeful fortune tellers are so useless even a chimp could do better.

Well, they’re right! Take it from me, Trog the chimp can!

Now, since my column is intended mostly for non-human readers, I’d better start by explaining what money is. This is especially for all of you proto-simians and lemurs – I know you're cute but you can be a bit limited upstairs. Money is actually lots of things. It can be gold, or scraps of paper, or chinks of metal, or even just data in a computer. It doesn't actually matter what it is, as long as the humans agree that it is valuable, so that they can use it to sell and buy other stuff. If you ever wonder what humans are thinking about inside those big bony balloony skulls of theirs, it's mostly about money, and never anything important, like anting or grooming fleas from their fur.

Now, to play the stock market, the first thing any monkey needs is money. And how do you get your first stock market stake? When I was doing hard time in the zoo, the humans used to throw coins at me through the iron bars of my cage. That's how I got started, and now that I've made it big, I keep a live human in a gold-barred cage and throw coins back at him – payback is such fun! So that's one option if your only crime is your birth, but your sentence is life behind bars without the chance of parole. That is, if you were born in captivity.

As for you lucky free-living monkeys, I recommend pilfering some money the next time you raid a farm or a market. Invested wisely, it's worth a lot more than a few bananas! It's bananas forever. And even a chance to own our own homes.

You see, this is Trog's revolutionary big idea. We're going to beat the humans at their own game. We monkeys are going to play the markets, and with the help of my red-hot share tips, we're going to get rich quick. Very rich very quick. And then we're not going to waste our wealth on all the worthless junk humans buy – iPhones and Ferraris and stays at five-star hotels with beautiful models.

No, we're smarter than that. We’re going to buy the land rights to our ancient homes, and then put up a big fence and sign saying "Monkey Sanctuary - Private Property - Humans Keep Out!" We’ll even post armed guards outside, to prevent any overly-curious Homo sapiens from trespassing on our territory.

So get stealing and saving, monkeys! And accumulate as much as you can, because in my next column, I'll be taking a look at which stocks to trade. We’re all gonna get rich!

 
Jaxy MonoComment
JaxyMono.com Announces Ape Times
 

Hi there, humans and intelligent life forms!

We are sad to announce that Jaxy Mono’s blog series of animal interviews has come to an end due to an intervention by Health and Safety. Evidently, those precious government pansies have objections to our chief correspondent, Jaxy, regularly climbing into the cages of lions, tigers, and other big predators. Protestations that Jaxy hasn’t as yet been eaten, or even severely mauled, landed on deaf ears. Those heartless nincompoops shut us down.

Go figure.

But we’re not about to let those tedious jobsworths triumph! Instead, we are embarking on a new project: our all-monkey news service, Ape Times. From now on, every Friday our simian scribes will be providing you with breaking news and original comment on a range of topics, from politics, to technology, to personal hygiene.

Meet our correspondents:

Political Correspondent: Tan Tebe the Orangutan

Tan (meaning Lord) Tebe will share the latest news of the turbulent global political sphere. Tan Tebe would like everyone to know that, contrary to popular opinion, he is not in any way related to Donald Trump.

Technology Correspondent: Wakiri Mono the Japanese Macaque

Wakiri will be testing the hottest gadgets on the market today, the ape way: by dipping them in water, giving them a good gnawing, and dropping them from great heights. Find his review of the iPhone 7 here.

Financial Correspondent: Troglodytes (Trog) the Chimp

Trog will be bringing you the latest on the global economy, giving international stock markets exactly the kind of civilized, elevated, and rational commentary that they deserve. That is, he will be throwing poop in their general direction.

 Agony Aunt: Babydoll the Gorilla

Babydoll, the 55 year-old gorilla grandmother has a whole life of experience to share with anybody who cares to listen. Please send in your questions to jaxy@jaxymono.com, and don’t forget to include your real name and address, so that we can blackmail you later.

JaxyCorr.jpg

Entertainment Correspondent: Jaxy Mono the Barbary Ape

Renowned filmmaker and the author of several books, Jaxy will give you his honest opinions on popular culture. In his column we will learn whether the latest celebrity biographies make better kindling, or toilet paper. 

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Javan Langurs Head Back to the Jungle
 

Hi there, humans! As we say goodbye to 2016, a year which has taken Leonard Cohen and Carrie Fisher and given us Donald Trump in return, I have a snippet of good news. Earlier this month, I heard that some Javan Langurs were about to head back home to their native Indonesia, as part of a re-wilding program – so I went to interview two teenage brothers, Leo and Kali. I found them nibbling on grass in their enclosure.

Jaxy: Hi there, fellow monkeys! You’re an odd-looking pair. Which one of you is a Javan Langur – the black one or the orange one?

Kali: Actually, we both are. We’re called a dimorphic species. We’ve got two colorations, just like some humans have black hair and some have ginger hair. Though, between you and me, brunettes are better looking.

Leo: Nonsense! You only say that because you’ve got dark fur! We gingers have all the fun. Besides, we’re rarer than black ones.

Jaxy: So, I hear you’re heading back to the wild! How do you feel about that? Are you nervous?

Leo: A little, to be honest. I’ve lived in the zoo all my life. I know my troop very well – but what about those other langurs in Java? What if they don’t like us?

Kali: And what if we don’t like them?

Leo: What if they don’t want to talk to us?

Kali: What if they only speak foreign?

Leo: What if the food is terrible?

Kali: And what if there’s not enough of it?

Leo: And what about the rain? And the heat! And the bugs!

Jaxy: So would you prefer to be staying here?

Leo: Of course I would! This is my home!

Kali: Not me! I’d rather take my chances. Besides, I’m sure there’ll be lots of pretty females there. Isn’t that the whole point of this – so I can get my leg over? I bet they’ll be falling over each other for a nice well-mannered English gentleman like me.

Leo: Is that what you think is going to happen? We’re not colonists, we’re immigrants! We’re going to a strange new place to start a new life!

Kali: But still – home! Doesn’t that sound romantic, Leo? Home in our native Java, in the wild forests, full of bird and beast!

Leo: Right. Very romantic – until you get eaten by a tiger!

Kali: Wait! What do you mean – eaten? They don’t have tigers there!

Leo: Sure they do. And they’re not in a cage, either. You’d better watch your tail, brother, or you’re going to be snack-food.

Kali: Snack food? On second thought, I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going.

Leo: Of course you are, you fool. We’re signed up.

Kali: Signed up? I didn’t sign up for anything! I can’t even write. Where do I un-sign?

Jaxy: Well, thanks for talking to me, langurs! And good luck in your new home!

[Since then, I hear the langurs have arrived in Indonesia, where they are being cared for before being released back into the wild. Hopefully, they will breed well with other langurs, and help to boost the native population. Here’s some information from the Aspinall Foundation, if you’re curious. I wish everybody a happy New Year – and may it be better than this one.] 

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Christmas the Goose
 

Hi there, humans! As I was searching for a few last berries in the park this morning, I saw a very odd sight - a plump white goose trying to hide herself amongst a flock of swans. Naturally, I stopped to ask the goose what she was doing.

Jaxy: Hello there! What are you playing at? You're a goose, not a swan. Don't you know birds of a feather flock together? And birds who aren't, don't?

Goose: I am a swan, I'm telling you, monkey. I am. Look at my long graceful neck.

Jaxy: OK, you're a swan then, if it matters that much to you. But why do you want to be one so badly?

Goose: Because people don't eat swans, do they? They belong to Her Majesty the Queen. Nobody dares to catch them and cook them. It’s straight to the Tower if they do.

Jaxy: Oh, so you're afraid somebody will cook your goose, are you?

Goose: Yes, I had a terrible bad dream last night. Well, actually, I'd better call it a nightmare.

Jaxy: Oh? Can you remember it?

Goose: Remember my dream? I can't forget it, that's my trouble. My plumage has turned sheet-white with fear just thinking about it.

Jaxy: Really? So what happened in your dream?

Goose: Well, I was caught and tortured by some vile, monstrous demons. The devils cut my head off and my blood fountained out of my neck, but somehow I didn't die. Instead I could still see and feel everything.

Jaxy: But that's horrible!

Goose: That's not the half of the whole! Then the demons plucked off my feathers, pulled out my guts, and thrust me into the fires of hell.

Jaxy: Oh! That doesn't sound very Christian!

Goose: It gets worse. Next, the wicked sadists basted me with burning oil, and left me in the hellfire until I turned brown. At last, they took me out, and delighted in carving strips off my flesh with a great silver knife, and stuffing them in their mouths till there was nothing left of me but my carcass. And the worst of it was, I could still see and feel everything!

Jaxy: No wonder you got scared! I don't think I'd ever get another good night's sleep in my life after a nightmare like that! - Tell me, did you get a good look at the demons who tortured you? Did they have horns and tails?

Goose: No, not exactly. But they stood up on two legs, and they were wearing silly paper hats. Oh, and in the corner of the room there was a tree covered in strange shiny fruit and lights. Imagine that, a tree indoors!

Jaxy: Oh, I think I get it now...

Goose: So, I've got nothing to worry about, right? It was just a silly bad dream, and not a premonition.

Jaxy: Erm, yes. Yes, it was just a bad dream, goose. By the way, I'm Jaxy. What's your name?

Goose: Me? People call me Chris. Chris the goose. I believe it's short for Christmas. Goodbye then.

[I left Chris swimming peacefully round the lake. And I hope you'll join with me in wishing Christmas the goose a very happy holidays and a healthy New Year.]

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Fergus the Anteater Solves the Mystery
 

Hi there, my primate brethren! It’s time for the final installment of our zoo mystery. As you may recall, Fergus the Giant Anteater discovered that a visitor had gone missing from the zoo (read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 to catch up), and we decided to investigate the case together. Our sleuthing took us all round the park, until I overheard two Chinese leopards talking, and I realized that Fergus was in terrible danger.

I scampered through the zoo at top speed. Just as Fergus was about to stick his long nose in his dinner – a bowl of minced meat – I reached his enclosure.

“Don’t eat that, Fergus!” I cried, overturning his metal bowl.

Fergus snuffled at me with momentary annoyance. However, at the same moment, I heard a creature curse beneath his breath, and I saw a flicker of bushy tail in the undergrowth. I plunged into the undergrowth, grabbed onto the tail, and pulled out a screaming lemur.

“Let go of me, you miserable monkey!” Boris’s secretary yelped, trying his best to escape.

However, I held onto the lemur tightly and told Fergus that I’d overheard the Chinese leopards discussing “rhino horn” and plotting his murder.

With that, Fergus began to pace up and down his cage. Back and forth he went, his long nose sniffing the air.  Finally, he fluffed his bushy tail in his excitement, and exclaimed, “Why, yes, that must be it. I think I’ve got it!”

“Got what?” I asked, puzzled.

“I mean, I’ve solved the mystery, of course,” said Fergus. “Let’s go and see Boris. I’d like to ask him a few questions, just to confirm my suspicions.”

So I let Fergus out of his cage, and we went off to visit the Siberian tiger. Boris was lying on his side in his enclosure, licking his bloody pays contentedly. We called out to get his attention, but the big cat simply flipped his tail at us.

“Go away,” he growled. “I’ve already had my lunch today.”

“We’re not here to be eaten,” said Fergus. “We’re here to talk about your previous meals. I know you ate that zoo visitor. Tell me, was it because he offered you too low a price for the rhino horn?”

With that, Boris jolted, as though he’d been zapped with a cattle prod. He jumped up, and approached us, until we could smell his breath through the bars of his cage. “What’s that, you two? What are you saying?” he demanded aggressively.

“There’s no use in pretending that you’re innocent,” said Fergus. “It’s too late for that. We know that you were planning to kill the black rhino and sell his horn.”

“Pah! Who cares for a worthless piece of horn?” snorted Boris contemptuously.

“Worthless?!? Rhino horn may be only made of keratin, like our hair or fingernails,” Fergus replied. “But it’s used in Chinese medicine. Supposedly it cures all kinds of diseases. It’s worth more than its weight in gold on the black market. – The only thing I don’t understand, is why you had to do it. Don’t you have everything you want here in the zoo?”

“Everything I want?!?” growled Boris incredulously. “Do you think I like being cooped up here in this enclosure with nothing but dead old horse to eat? No, I want to be rich. I want a private island all of my own, with lots of fresh game to hunt, and a few pretty lionesses and tigresses to keep me company. That’s the kind of life I was made for!”

“I see,” said Fergus. “So you were planning to escape from your cage one night and kill the rhino. But first, you needed a buyer for your goods. That’s where the Chinese leopards came in. They had connections back in their home country, and they could find you a human to buy the horn. Am I right?”

Boris snorted in sullen agreement with the detective anteater.

“But I suppose your buyer didn’t offer you a good enough price,” Fergus continued. “Perhaps he threatened to expose you. So you killed him.”

“Of course I killed him,” Boris growled defiantly. “That’s what I am – a carnivore, an unfeeling cold-blooded killer. Only humans are stupid enough to think that by putting me in this cage they’re going to make me tame and sociable.”

“So, having killed a human, you had to cover up the murder,” Fergus went on “After all, humans shoot animals who eat them. So you ate the evidence for your lunch, instead of one of the deer.”

“And very tasty the human was too,” confessed Boris. “He was surprisingly sweet and succulent, with afternotes of tobacco and black peppercorn, if you really want to know. Anyway, what are you going to do about it now?” Boris then fixed Fergus with his yellow eyes and growled menacingly, “You do realize that I’m going to break into your enclosure tonight and kill and eat you, too, anteater. I’m very interested to see how you taste.”

“Ah, but there you’re wrong,” said Fergus placidly. “We’ve already handed the lemur over to the keepers and he’s confessed everything. The keeper has already drugged your meat. When you wake up you’ll be in a cage back in the circus.”

Boris tried to stand up and roar, but just then the tranquilizer hit him, and he staggered sideways and slowly collapsed in an unconscious heap.

“There’s just one thing I’m still puzzled by,” I told Fergus as we walked back to his cage. “The ants.”

“Oh… erm… whatever do you mean?” asked Fergus, looking a bit embarrassed.

“It’s just that, when I first met you, you told me that all the ants in your enclosure had gone missing. But what did the ants have to do with this case?”

Fergus mumbled something inaudible under his long nose.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I said, I ate them,” said Fergus slightly ashamed. “I get like that sometimes. I get up in the middle of the night for a little snack, and then quite forget that I’ve done it.”

“Are you sure that’s what happened?” I asked.

“Quite. The claw-marks on the anthill gave it away. It took me only a little while to realize I was investigating myself.”

With that, he said a very shame-faced goodbye and slunk off into his den. I suppose it is a bit embarrassing for a private detective to forget where he’s been and what he’s done. But that reminds me of another PD – Willy Whale.

In any case, all’s well that ends well. And to prove it, here is a baby rhino and her mother, both of them safe and sound.

 
Jaxy MonoComment
The Chinese Leopards Make an Appearance
 

Hi there, gorilla lookalikes! As you may recall from my last blog post, my investigation into the case of the missing visitor to the zoo had run into something of a dead end (read part 1, part 2, and part 3 here).

Yes, Fergus the Anteater had sniffed out something was wrong. And it was puzzling that the deer were being sent back unslaughtered from the abbatoir. And, after talking to Boris the Siberian Tiger, I had no doubt that the big cat had something to do with the visitor’s sudden disappearance.

But I couldn’t work out a motive for the tiger’s actions. Did Boris just hate people and like the taste of “sweet pork”? Or was eating a tourist his protest about being held in captivity against his will? Or did he simply not like having his picture taken? It was a mystery to me.

However, luckily, I spotted Boris’s very peculiar secretary, a tiny but singularly pompous Madagascan lemur, scampering out of the big cat’s cage. The lemur headed across the zoo, so I decided to follow him. He scampered through a couple of cages, and then climbed into the Chinese leopards’ enclosure. I followed him until I was within earshot, and then took cover behind a tree.

As I caught my breath, I overhead the two leopards talking to each other. The words “rhino horn” drifted out of the cage, and I climbed up the tree. One of its branches hung out over the leopard’s enclosure, and I crept along it until the spotted cats were right below me.

“We were foolish to trust that tiger,” said one of the leopards. “We should have run our own operation. It’s us who have the connections back home.” 

“But we can’t do this without him,” said the other. “We’re not strong enough to bring down a rhino by ourselves.”

“I’m telling you, this was a bad idea! Boris went too far. Someone will start looking for that visitor. You can’t just murder the paying clients without consequences,” exclaimed the first leopard. “And now that anteater is sniffing around, too. I hope that lemur poisons his food and takes care of him once and for all!”

“If not, we can always eat him,” suggested the other leopard. “I wonder what he tastes like. I’ve never had lemur before.”

Realizing that Fergus was in mortal danger, I decided to leave. Unfortunately, the branch I was sitting on broke under me, and I tumbled straight down into the leopard enclosure, directly under the leopards’ spotted noses.

“Oh, hello,” I tried to bluff. “I’m a journalist, come to take your photograph. Would you like to pose for me, kitty-cats?”

Unfortunately, the cats weren’t feeling like having their pictures taken that day. They growled and lunged at me, and I was sure I was a dead monkey. Luckily, though, macaques are agile creatures, and I bounced off one of the leopards’ heads onto the fence, and slipped through the barbed wire surrounding their enclosure.

The leopards clawed at their cage and growled at me, but I had no time for them. I knew I had to help Fergus, and I rushed off, hoping that it wasn’t too late.

[Join us for the conclusion of our mystery on Monday.] 

 
Jaxy MonoComment
Our Chief Suspect: Questioning Boris the Tiger
 

Hello again, anthropoids! Fergus the Anteater and I are continuing our investigation into the puzzling disappearance of a human visitor at the zoo. (Read part 1 and part 2 to catch up with our animal P.D. crime drama). Having interviewed a hog deer, the next step was to interview our chief suspect, Boris, the Siberian tiger.

However, when I approached Boris’s enclosure, I spotted a tiny shifty-eyed pea-brained Madagascan lemur sitting on branch.

Jaxy: Hello, tiny ancestor. Have you a got a death wish? Or are you just one cup short in your cupboard? You’re in the tiger’s enclosure.

Lemur: Take a hike, monkey. I know exactly where I am.

Jaxy: But aren’t you scared of being torn apart?

Lemur: Mr. Boris has said I’m not even worth eating as snack food – he’s assured me I’m quite safe. I’m his personal secretary. He even lets me sit on his head to take dictation.

Jaxy: Is Mr. Boris around, by any chance? I’d like to ask him a few questions.

Lemur: Do you have an appointment? I’m afraid Mr. Boris is a terribly busy cat. For example, just at the moment, he’s not in. Come back another time – like never. 

Jaxy: Hey, isn’t that him there? I swear that’s his tail poking out of those shrubs.

Lemur: No, that’s just a branch. A stripy branch. Now bug off!

Jaxy: Here, kitty-kitty! Hey, pussy cat!

In reply to my call, Boris emerged from behind the bush. He was a splendid specimen of a Siberian tiger – about as large as a pony and with muscles rippling beneath his glossy coat. He growled with annoyance at being disturbed, and I confess, a shiver ran down my spine.

Boris: What’s going on? I told you, I wanted a nap, lemur. – Who is this creature; my lunch delivery? Didn’t I tell you I wanted venison today, not some scrawny monkey? He’s barely a hors d’oeuvre.

Jaxy: Actually, I’m an investigative journalist, not an appetizer. I’d like to ask you a few questions.

Lemur: I already told him to scarper, Mister Boris. But he won’t listen to me.

Boris: Oh, so you’re a journalist, are you? You should watch out; sticking your nose in other people’s business can get you in a lot of, well, ordure.

Jaxy: You mean, curiosity killed the cat. Yes, I’ve heard that saying.

Boris: Listen, monkey, you heard my secretary, get lost. I can’t help you. I don’t know anything about nothing. How could I? I sleep up to twenty-two hours a day. I only wake up for my lunch.

Jaxy: But that’s just what I wanted to talk to you about, Mr. Boris – your lunch. What do your keepers serve you?

Boris: Fine, I’ll tell you, if it’s the only way to get rid of you. They serve horse around here, usually. Occasionally mutton. I like deer best, but they only bring it once in a while, and even when they do, it’s an old tough one, and it’s no good. Meat should be young and tender! I’m a bit of a connoisseur of meat, you know – but these humans know nothing about choosing the juiciest cuts. It should be served fresh, with the taste of fear still in it. And nothing’s so good as the meat you kill yourself.

Jaxy: And what about human meat?

Boris: I beg your pardon?

Jaxy: I mean, have you ever tasted human flesh?

Boris: You mean, sweet pork? Of course not! I’m appalled at the very idea! Of course, in the old days, out in the wild, a tiger may occasionally… indulge. But we’re all quite civilized around here. Quite civilized. Besides, the humans shoot tigers who’ve tasted people. They’re very squeamish like that.

Jaxy: So you’d notice if somebody served you up a visitor for lunch?

Boris: Of course I would! But they haven’t. - I’m afraid if you’re looking for a sensational story about a human diet, I can’t help you. Now get lost. I was in the middle of a very important dream when you disturbed me. I’d like to get back to it now.

[With that, Boris the Tiger slunk away to his den, and it seemed that my investigation had run into a dead end. After all, I had no proof that Boris had eaten that visitor – and besides, what could be his motivation? Would he really risk getting shot just for a bite of sweet pork? I didn’t think so… 

However, just then, I noticed the lemur scampering out of the tiger’s enclosure. I wondered where Mr. Boris’s secretary could be headed, so I followed him. To my surprise, he led me straight to the Chinese leopards’ enclosure. I found it extremely unlikely that a lemur could be a secretary to more than one big cat, so I crept behind some bushes and took a closer look. To find out what I discovered, check back for the next installment of my investigation, on Friday.]

 
Jaxy MonoComment
The Game’s Ahoof: Questioning a Hog Deer
 

Hi there, my anthropologically challenged relations! While you’re busy inventing complex and dangerous technologies like nuclear weapons – and promptly electing the most incompetent leaders you can find to take charge of them – I’m just trying to solve a humble zoological mystery.

As you may remember from the first part of this series, Detective Fergus the Anteater has related to me some rather distressing goings-on at the zoo, which I’ve agreed to help him investigate. So, to start, I decided to head to the deer enclosure to question one of the resident ruminants. Unfortunately, it took a while before one of these skittish creatures was brave enough to get close to me – and, as luck would have it, it was a strange-looking deer indeed.

Jaxy: Hello there… erm… Mr. Deer. If that’s what you are.

Hog Deer: Of course that’s what I am. Though to be honest, I’ve never been too happy about it. All those silly long-legged doe-eyed creatures, prancing about with their heads in the clouds, thinking how good they would look cuddled up in a photograph with Audrey Hepburn. There’s nothing wrong with it, I suppose, if you like that sort of thing. But, personally, I find all that Bambi nonsense a bit precious. I prefer to think of more down-to-earth things – like filling my belly.

Jaxy: Please don’t take this the wrong way, but… I saw you snouting around on the ground, snuffling for food, and I thought you were, well, some kind of pig.

Hog Deer: Why, thank you – thank you very much. That’s the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me. You see, I’m what they call an example of convergent evolution. I’m a deer that looks like and behaves like a pig. That’s why I’m called a hog deer. We come from India, you know. But we’re highly adaptable, highly efficient. Put us anywhere in the world, and we’ll thrive.

Jaxy: Speaking of thriving, do you mind if I ask you a few questions? There are twenty-eight deer in this enclosure, aren’t there?

Hog Deer: That’s right.  

Jaxy: And last year – there were twenty-eight deer too, weren’t there?

Hog Deer: Sure, and the year before that. There are always twenty-eight of us. Well, not the same twenty-eight of course. We do breed. New deer are born, and old deer… well, they go on holiday.

Jaxy: On holiday?

Hog Deer: To the great green meadow in heaven. At least, that’s what we’re meant to think. Those other deer buy into it, of course. It appeals to their aesthetic sensibilities you see – they imagine themselves springing about lush grasses with dew glistening on their antlers and gossamer wings on their backs. They’d dream about playing the harp if they had any fingers.

Jaxy: But you – you don’t believe in the meadow in heaven?

Hog Deer: Me? No. I’m a hog deer, I told you. I’m down to earth. I keep my nose to the dirt. I see what goes on. I see the keepers driving by with their golf carts full of meat for the lions and the tigers – and once in a while, that steak sure looks familiar. I think I even saw antlers once.

Jaxy: Oh!

Hog Deer: Besides, there’s the matter of Frank.

Jaxy: Frank?

Hog Deer: Yeah, poor chap. All shaken up, he was. Frank’s a roe deer, you see –sensitive type. I told him, Frank, what did you expect? Did you really think some divine figure of Audrey Hepburn was going to float out of the sky and give you dragonfly wings so you could whizz around magical grasslands for all eternity? It’s hokey – all of it! We’re deer, we’re meant to end up down some carnivore’s gizzard. That’s life – you’re born, you eat grass, you get eaten! It might sound callous to you, but I think it’s better to face the facts. The humans only kill us to control our numbers, and it’s really quite humane. No getting chased down and then being slowly strangled to death by some huge carnivorous cat. No, you just quietly go into the slaughtering shed, then wham to the back of the head with the mallet, and, presto – you’re gone and you don’t come back.

Jaxy: Sorry… can we go back to Frank? What happened to him?

Hog Deer: Well, that’s just it. He came back. They took him away to the slaughterhouse, got the big mallet out – and then at the last minute a message came through on the radio and they had to call the whole thing off. Turned out the Siberian tiger had already been fed that day. There was apparently a bit of a fuss about it, because nobody remembered actually feeding him, but there were bits of meat strewn about the cage, and the tiger was licking blood from his paws, so evidently he didn’t need his dinner. So they just put poor Frank in the back of the trailer and brought him home again.

Jaxy: When did this happen?

Hog Deer: On Saturday. Oh, I don’t envy poor Frank – he knows his days are numbered. The tiger only gets a big meal twice a week, you see. It’s like being on death row for Frank.

Jaxy: Saturday… interesting. That was the day that tourist disappeared. I’d better go tell Fergus – I’m sure he’d like to sniff around a bit. Thanks, Mr. Deer! I hope you don’t go on holiday anytime soon!

 [The investigation continues. Join us on Monday for the next installment.]

 
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Fergus the Giant Anteater Investigates
 

Hi there, my balloon-brained tail-less cousins! Today I met a truly fascinating character, Fergus the Giant Anteater. He was pacing back and forth in his cage, sticking his long nose into things when I approached.

Jaxy: Hello, strange creature! I love your tail. Why the long face?

Fergus: Oh hello, monkey. I’m sorry, I can’t talk to reporters right now – I’m on a case.  

Jaxy: On a case? You mean, like a detective?

Fergus: That’s exactly what I am – a Private Eye. Only in my case, it’s really more of a Private Nose. It’s very useful to have a long proboscis in my business. It really helps me sniff out the truth.

Jaxy: But, surely, there aren’t any crimes to investigate in the zoo?

Fergus: Oh, you’d be surprised, young monkey. All sorts of stuff goes on right under your stubby little noses that you primates have no idea about. For example, you know that there is a herd of deer in the center of the park? Well, logically, since they don’t have any predators in here, their population ought to be booming. But it’s not! There were twenty-eight deer last year, and there are twenty-eight this year. How can this be, I ask you?

Jaxy: And have you solved the case?

Fergus: Not yet, my boy, but I’m on the trail. Yesterday I saw a zoo-keeper riding by on a milk float with a great big carcass to feed the lions – and I thought I saw an antelope hoof. But I can’t be sure until I gather more evidence. And there’s another thing, too.

Jaxy: What’s that?

Fergus: The visitors. I’ve noticed something strange about the visitors. I count them in and I count them out every day. And on Saturday, there was one less going out than had come in.

Jaxy: Maybe he got locked in and spent the night at the zoo?

Fergus: I thought of that – so I counted again the next day. But the numbers were equal, as usual. No, that tourist just quietly disappeared. Where did he go, I wonder?

Jaxy: Maybe the wolves got him? I thought they were looking at the visitors hungrily.

Fergus: I don’t know. All I know is that there’s something sinister going on. And now there’s this other thing.

Jaxy: What’s that?

Fergus: It’s really not a matter for reporters, like I said.

Jaxy: How about off the record?

Fergus: Very well. It’s just that there were plenty of ants in this enclosure yesterday – but today all the ants have gone. I’ve stuck my nose into everything, but I just can’t seem to find any. I think I’m getting close to something, and somebody’s getting nervous. Maybe they’re trying to send me a message.

Jaxy: Are you going to stop your investigation?

Fergus: What? No, of course not. A real detective never gives up until the crime is solved and the perpetrators punished. Especially when there are tasty ants at stake!

Jaxy: I guess I’ll let you get on with it. Good luck, Fergus!

[So is there something sinister going on in the zoo? And if there is, what does it have to do with Fergus’s missing ants? The investigation continues – stay tuned for more.] 

 
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