The ape was clearly having a good time. Putting on a show, shouting and flailing his long arms, climbing up the branches of the Big Tree in his glass-encased little paradise. He was the joker, it was clear; the King being the fat one with his back to the people, sitting on the ground and eating leaves. The people, safely crammed into an auditorium on the other side of the glass, were pressed up against the window, taking movies and gawking at the show. It was their highlight of the day, to be sure. Most of the time, the animals at the zoo were content to lie around.
At most, they’d flick away flies, get up, stretch and plop back down again. They seemed to know that it didn’t really matter what they did, they were stuck in their compounds anyway, and doing something like, say, walking around or making noise, why that would only attract the weirdos – crowds of ‘em — all popping pictures and squealing like the chimp who was putting on the show up and down the Big Tree. Most of the veteran animals really had no time for that sort of nonsense. They got their three hots and their cot whether they scared the little kiddies or stayed planted on their rumps all day.
The chimp was clearly too young to understand this. And the people were delighted, after a long day spent trudging up hills and standing in front of tiger dens and panda exhibits, only to glimpse the occasional emancipated tiger lift up his head and yawn. Predators are the worst for doing nothing at all, because they don’t have to and because, well, the meanest group of any species is inherently lazy and arrogant. They’re the ones with the big teeth and the raw attitude. That in itself will get you farther in life than a nice personality and a good show routine, something the Democrats have yet to figure out. Republicans know all about Big Teeth and bad dispositions, which is why they win most elections, then lie down and dare the little Dems to do something about it. They don’t, of course, because of those teeth, mainly, and because little chimps are apt to run away and hide when talk gets down to raw meat and white bones. Yea, this time around may be different, for the chimps can sense that the jackals are bleeding and the crowds are mad because, after all these years, they’ve been waiting for the damn dogs to do something – anything – to show how they’re still Meanest of the Jungle. It gets to the point where they’d rather go to the chimp exhibit and watch the funny ape making faces in the glass, until, of course, he does what he always ends up doing – drinking his own pee or flinging his own poo.
When that happens, the people shut off the cameras and head back out to the jackal compound, waiting, hopefully, for that damn mangy dog to get off his ass.