October 11th, 2001


Some things you might not know about the apes

So, I went to a press conference today. It was really nice. Free coffee and orange juice, a little raffle, and comfortable chairs in a nicely air-conditioned little lecture hall. The topic was, of course, the apes. They were trying to get people to understand a little better.

Some not-so-well-known facts:

1. The apes don't actually like the taste of human flesh; they consider the flavor unpleasant, and only eat it as an exercise of discipline.

2. Unlike normal apes, the apes can vote, and, in fact, their votes count double.

3. Making eye contact with one of the males apes is not just a challenge to its dominance - it's a civil tort in the state of California, with typical awards in the $50k-$200k range.

4. The apes are not actually enemies with robots. It's more of a playful rivalry.

5. The apes do not speak English, but they do speak Icelandic, Bengali, and Hittite.

6. Everything one ape sees, the rest see. However, this is not the case for smell, touch, or taste, and only true for hearing to a radius about ten miles or so.

7. The apes do not live in "clockwork laboratories." That's simply their preferred decorating style.

8. The apes naturally prefer desert climates, walks on the beach, pasta, and invisibility.

9. While superior physically to humans, the apes are banned from participating in most sporting events because of their uncontrollable rage.

10. The apes can perform integral calculus without difficulty, but become berserk if they attempt derivatives.

11. The apes are all baptized at age five, in a faith of their choice.

12. The apes' spittle does not bring about human immortality. In fact, it just causes a nasty headcold.

13. The apes do not have flaps on their arms to allow limited gliding. Their ability to glide is based strictly on skill and hard work.

14. All traffic speed limits are doubled for the apes.

15. The apes are entitled to collect Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment benefits in the U.S. However, the apes can also challenge one another to single combat to claim these rights from one another; as a result, many of them have lost their benefits.

16. The apes do not naturally have metal claws or teeth.

17. The apes do occasionally write soul-searching, contemplative, or depressive poetry, but they keep it to themselves.

18. Due to an unusual synesthesia, the apes can taste the sun every dawn and dusk. They describe the flavor as "something like a twin prime, or perhaps a fourth interval chord".

19. The apes are capable of love - they just choose against it.

20. The apes have no ideological "warrior's code" - what seems like a "warrior's code" to us is actually their sense of humor.

21. The philosophy of the apes centers around the different properties of various clear nonviscous liquids.

22. The apes are not amused by our cinema, nor by our time machines.

23. They dance to keep themselves limber, not out for boredom. The apes do not ever get bored.