All monkeys are wonderful, but some are more wonderful than others. The dancing monkey, for example, grinding her crotch into thin air. The angsty adolescent monkey, writing FUCK in Boots No 17 lipstick on the bathroom mirror. The monkey who is going through a ‘help, I’m 33 and from a Catholic country where everyone keeps banging on about how I’m the same age as Jesus when he died’ crisis and has to run around trying to have sex with teenage girls.
Mister Internet tells me that red colobus monkeys “belch in each other’s faces as a friendly gesture”. They also like to climb trees and watch the sun rise or set, “like messengers of God”, it says here, though it’s possible they’ve got it the wrong way round. Maybe the belches are the message from God, and the sunrise an embarrassing accident.
I went to look at some monkeys the other day, and they were very good monkeys, although all they did was eat leaves. I don’t know what I was expecting: a striptease, perhaps, or a traditional dance. These weren’t particularly expensive monkeys: colobuses are the crack whores of the primate world, costing only around $20 a go; chimpanzees are slightly dearer, although still a bargain at around $40. Gorillas are the primate equivalent of high class hookers, the kind that wear nice shoes and come to your hotel, and the relevant authorities will charge you $300 a day for the pleasure of stumbling around densely forested hillsides looking for them.
Baboons are free, like people who really love you or who are very drunk in a bar.
Monkeys: Man is a sad animal who combs his hair. 10 out of 10.
I look down at my Adidas and I remember that the world is a beautiful place, that humanity is constantly striving to better itself and that all difficulties can ultimately be overcome with the twin weapons of an open heart and a firmly closed pair of legs. Or I used to, until last week, when I went island shopping down south. We were so busy tormenting the itinerant fishermen with our near-nudity and excessive photography that I failed to notice one of them stealing my trainers from under my nose. The government official who’d accompanied us to the island on a rickety boat, spending the journey entertaining me by looking terrified and saying repeatedly, “I feel that death is very near”, insisted on taking up the matter of the trainer theft with the head of the village. I cowered like an embarrassed teenager. Adulthood: will it never end?
Now I can take it easy for the rest of my life, knowing that I was responsible for introducing stripy sports shoes to a remote community in the Indian Ocean. My boss has now bought the island, so new flavours of corrupt western desire will doubtless be introduced as soon as is convenient for both parties.
My poor, lost trainers! What strange and unappreciative pair of feet are you on today? I’ll get over it soon: my fiancée, who isn’t really my fiancée, has promised to bring a new pair when she comes to visit. Coincidentally, a friend of mine used to have crazy self-pleasuring fun with a website that featured men wearing nothing but Adidas trainers. Apparently most brands of sportswear have a similar following. I suppose it was inevitable, given world enough and time, that humanity would start to develop a bizarre Pavlovian sexual response to brand names.
Trainers: Comfy, though, aren’t they. 9 out of 10.