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Animal Awards: Apes

What’s
so great about apes anyway? In my opinion, not much. One a scale of one
to ten, I would probably rate my interest in apes at about a four. I’ve
seen apes around town, but I haven’t really paid any special attention
to them.

Which is to say: I don’t actively dislike
apes, but frankly I’m not a huge fan of them either. So it is with a
mild disinterest that I announce that I have inexplicably decided to
give out achievement awards to many different styles of animal,
beginning with the apes.

What’s
so great about apes anyway? In my opinion, not much. One a scale of one
to ten, I would probably rate my interest in apes at about a four. I’ve
seen apes around town, but I haven’t really paid any special attention
to them.

Which is to say: I don’t actively dislike
apes, but frankly I’m not a huge fan of them either. So it is with a
mild disinterest that I announce that I have inexplicably decided to
give out achievement awards to many different styles of animal,
beginning with the apes.

Which Animals Qualify?

GibbonI’m
not about to sit here and type out a definition of apes. I can
certainly bore people easily enough without resorting to some hack
boredom-inducing cliché like that. Let’s just say I’m being pretty
loose with the definition here. To me everything is an ape: Monkeys,
orangutans, chimps, and gorillas. You know what? Let’s just go ahead
and throw gibbons in there too. Gibbons don’t often get a lot of
recognition these days.

Also, in case you’re curious, I don’t consider humans to be apes. Humans are therefore ineligible for the Ape Achievement Awards. I’m sorry but that’s just the way it’s gotta be.
 

Top 3 Apes

Best MonkeysI
had a hard time choosing the “best” apes on the planet.  But after
several seconds of intense research (typing “famous apes” into a search
engine and subsequently clicking the link to the Wikipedia article with
that title), I was finally able to narrow the list down to my five
favorites.

These creatures are among the best (if not the best) the ape
family has to offer.

3. Koko the Gorilla

Koko

This
gorilla learned sign language, which is pretty impressive if you think
about it. Then again, maybe it isn’t. What else has a gorilla got to
do? Those apes have nothing but free time.

Also I think I saw in a
documentary where this gorilla had a kitten as a pet, but it escaped,
ran into the street, and got killed by a car. That’s why this ape is
only at number three: Irresponsible.

1. None

BikeAlright: No
apes are at number two or number one because I am sick and tired of
trying to find apes which have accomplished anything significant. Look
at the garbage I’ve got to work with here:

Sky Ape: A millionaire gorilla with a jetpack

Brani-ape: A gorilla with the transplanted brain of Adolf Hitler

Aldo (From Planet of the Apes): The first ape to say “no” to a human

The
first two are just insane, and who the hell is the third one supposed
to be, the Rosa Parks of apes? Are we really so desperate for
inspirational apes that this kind of crap makes it to Wikipedia’s list
of Famous Apes? It’s a shameful day for apes everywhere.
 

Worst 3 Apes

SmokingThis
list was far easier to come up with. Just by scanning the list I was
able to instantly come up with about a hundred candidates for “worst
ape”. The difficult part was narrowing it down. It was so difficult, in
fact, that eventually I ended up just looking through the list and
picking a few apes.

I don’t feel this is cheating. All the apes all pretty bad.

3. Jack: The
chimpanzee from the MVP films.

MVPIf
you aren’t familiar with the MVP
series, it’s a couple of low-budget children’s films in which a monkey plays
sports and become famous. I guess MVP stands for something different
each of the films. For baseball it’s Most
Valuable Primate, skateboarding, Most Vertical Primate, and so and
so on in a
similarly obscene fashion.

Once I attempted to watch MVP2,
which had a picture of a monkey playing hockey on the cover. This lead me to foolishly assume that the film was about a monkey playing
hockey. This was certainly not the case. I was appalled to discover
that the monkey in the film only played hockey in the first few scenes (in which he is thrown off of a human children’s hockey
team).

It’s apparent that the filmmakers want this to seem like
an unjust act, but I have to say that the league officials seem to have
a good point here: The monkey is neither a child, nor is he human.
Probably shouldn’t be allowed in a little league hockey game.

But
my
entire point here is that after this scene, the entire rest of the film
features the monkey skateboarding with a
homeless child. I feel this is false advertising. If you put a picture
of an ape playing hockey on the cover, AT LEAST 75% of the movie
had damn well better be about an ape playing hockey.  If I
would’ve
paid to see this film instead of downloading it illegally, I definitely
would’ve felt cheated.   

2. Grape Ape

GrapeI
don’t really feel like writing anything about Grape Ape. Instead, here
are some choice selections from the Grape Ape Wikipedia entry:

“…a 40-foot-tall purple gorilla voiced by Bob Holt.
His catchphrase is repeating his name twice (“Grape Ape, Grape Ape”)
after anything anyone says, usually as a form of agreement or
acknowledgement of what was said.”




“Grape Ape and his friend Beegle Beagle usually move in a small yellow
van driven by Beegle Beagle with Grape Ape sitting on the roof.”




“Given his size, Grape Ape’s sneezes were equivalent to a hurricane; and
when he cried, which was sometimes when he was homesick for his family,
his tears could cause flooding in areas.”

1. The Ape in ‘The Ape and the Lady’ in Princess Ida by W S Gilbert

GilbertI
included this ape out of pure spite. I’d never heard of
“The Ape and the Lady” before, and reading its name on a list of famous
apes made me feel stupid.

So suck on this, Gilbert: You created the
worst fictional ape of all time.

That’s all the animal
achievement awards I’ve got to hand out for now. Frankly, this fiasco
has got me pretty disillusioned with the whole “giving animals prizes
for no reason” idea. I went in expecting to be pleasantly surprised by
all the great things apes have done, but have come through to the other
side feeling sad and hollow because apes haven’t accomplished anything.
Let’s just hope subsequent animal award ceremonies turn out better.

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