Ivan the Gorilla
Ivan sat on his favorite rock taking the last few drags of his cigarette and preparing to put in another day as the star attraction of the zoo. Yes, people love the elephants. Yes, people think the zebras are cute. The monkeys always do well. Ivan the Gorilla was the star and everyone knew it. His first day at the zoo Ivan told the monkeys what was what. He had no sense of humor and got cranky easily so no monkey shines. He made them understand there was a reason for the "500 pound gorilla" saying.
The monkeys were making a racket so the first visitors must be on the way. Ivan walked over to the edge of the moat and started to take a leak. Suddenly a little kid yelled out,
" Look, mommy, the ape is peeing in the water".
Oh, thatís just great. The dayís only begun and Ivan gets caught pissing in the moat despite the signs that say- "No pissing in the moat". The keepers are going to be pissed off if they hear about this.
Ivan looked up to see what had to be the oddest-looking kid in the world; something definitely went haywire on this kid. He looked at the mom on the chance she was a looker. Whoa! This woman really has a couple of links missing from her DNA chain. In Africa this kid would have been killed at birth; so would the mother.
The next group was a bunch of school kids. Thatís usually not too bad. They have adult supervision and other than being annoying they werenít too bad. Plunk! Ivan got hit in the head with something. He looked down hoping it was a piece of candy but it was a pebble. He stepped back out if range to hear a woman say,
" Look, the ape ran away from Timmy. Isnít that just precious?"
Precious? Precious!? What's precious about it or Timmy? Ivan made eye contact with Timmy and let out a tremendous roar. Then he ran to the edge of the moat and jumped up and down and beat his chest. Little precious Timmy ran screaming to his mother and wet his pants. Mom screamed at him and said heíd just wear those wet pants, she wasnít leaving on his account. Ivan decided that this was very precious , a real Kodak moment.
The rest of the morning was sort of quiet with nothing too bad happening. Ivan went inside to have a salad and a tall one and a nap. He woke up with a headache and felt really cranky.
Naturally, something had to happen and it did. Some idiot got dared to climb into the enclosure with the gorilla. His friends assured him the "big monkey" had to be harmless if he was in a zoo. Yea, the moat was there to protect the gorilla from people instead of the other way around. Ivan watched the guy swimming across the moat, figuring out whether to rip his head off and play soccer with it or play snap the whip with him. Then a security guard yelled at the guy to get back up there. The guy looked relieved. Ivan scaled a pebble off the back of the idiotís head.
Then came what Ivan loved. A great-looking girl with next to nothing on. Ivan went through his whole repertoire of tricks and stunts for her. She giggled and laughed and jumped up and down. It was the jumping up and down part that Ivan liked. Boy, he wished he knew how to swim. The girl turned to her boyfriend and told him,
"Isnít the orangutan so cute?"
Orangutan! Ivan was a gorilla not some ugly, ridiculous, stinking hairball. He was looking around for another pebble when they walked away. Ivan went to the middle of his area to pout for awhile.
He started thinking about the time a civic group complained about certain things that show on a naked ape. The zoo, fearing the loss of their subsidy, tried to put a diaper on him. The word is tried. Some of the zookeepers will never have to worry about birth control again thatís for sure.
The crowds all left and the day got real quiet. Ivan figured he had earned his keep. He hoped those crazy PETA people never got their way. Those goofs want to send him back to the jungle. Talk about your nutty folks! The jungle! They have some romantic view of the jungle as a paradise. It was a hot, wet, stinking rat hole with snakes that sneak up and bite you on the butt and IVAN WANTS THAT? Letís see those peta-pipers live there for even a week.
Night fell. The day ended. You could hear the birds chirping and the monkeys chattering. Ivan started toward Monkey Island where he was going to kick the daylights out of those stupid monkeys.
It only took Ivan about one minute in his winter habitat to get himself into trouble. The first people through the door was a young couple. The girl seemed okay. It was the guy who was a twit. While the girl was content to look at Ivan and, perhaps, make comparisons, the guy was making faces. Ivan hated that nonsense. He jumped up and slammed against the glass.
The girl was smart and ran. The guy was to terrified to move except for his bowels. Ivan hated that too. Made the place smell like a sewer instead of a zoo. While the maintenance guys were cleaning up, Ivan waited for the lecture. The Simian Area would be closed for a while and that upset the managers. Ivan figured they'd try to give him a mild tranquilizer to calm him down. Ivan would rather have a beer. No, a six-pack.
Ivan had stolen the key to his area by this time. He wasn't going to stay locked up at night. His entrance to the corridor was a concrete room with some hay thrown down. The zoo folks called it "his nest". Ivan thought of it as a room with some hay thrown down. He wasn't sleeping there.
Ivan slept in the directors office. He liked the couch. He broke it the first night. The director said it was broken and "stunk". He bought a new one. It was strong enough that Ivan could sleep without hearing it crack as it broke. It was comfortable. The director said it also "stunk". He decided that since he wasn't going to sit in it that it didn't matter. He'd just spray something on it and let it be.
Ivan got frustrated with the door to the liquor cabinet. He could have broken it off but that might be suspicious. He pulled the door by it's hinges until the screws came out. Ivan took a bottle and then pounded the door back in place. The director meant to get the loose hinges fixed one of these days.
Ivan got up when he heard people moving around. He'd sneak back to his area and kick the hay around a little. No one was the wiser. He'd wait for the banana man to come around. That was Ivan's nickname for the guy who brought the day's food. Banana man. What kind of guy does this for a living? Ivan felt so sorry for the sap that he wouldn't even threaten the guy. The guy looked like he'd been threatened enough by life itself.
Most of the visitors, except for kids, were alright, They'd stare but that was all. The kids were a pain in the butt. They'd bang on the glass. Ivan started each day with a hangover and these kids weren't helping any. Ivan needed to get a hold of an ice pack. That would do the trick. He wouldn't be able to explain it but, as an ape, he didn't have too. It would just be one of those mysteries in life.
Nothing seemed to embarrass humans either. They'd wear clothes to cover up and then wear them in a way to show as much as possible and still be dressed. That made no sense to Ivan. If you're going to go naked then go naked. You're born naked. That doesn't seem to bother anyone. Another human quirk, Ivan supposed.
They grew hair and cut it off in some places. What was that all about? They'd paint pictures on themselves. They'd punch holes in their bodies and put rings in them to make them look different; not better, just different. If Ivan ever did half the things humans did they'd put him to sleep.
Ivan's real complaint about the place was his mate. He would never have chosen her. That's a hard fact. Not only did she always have a headache but she was ugly. How could she have a headache when she didn't drink? She was just as ugly when Ivan was drunk as when he wasn't. The idea that she might find him repellent didn't occur to him. All Ivan knew was that he was probably no worse off than that guy from the first day. That girl would always picture that "accident". Not exactly a turn on. Well, with humans you never knew.
Ivan's theory was that he didn't ask to be here so to heck with everything. He couldn't for the life of him figure out how humans ended up at the top of the totem pole. They were just puny, weak, emotional things. If apes had bothered to learn to talk, well, things would have been a lot different. Maybe the humans would like to be placed on display. Actually they did as far as Ivan could tell from watching tv. He saw things they did that would embarrass an ape. A monkey, no. Nothing embarrassed them.