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The Ape who Aped Shakespeare!

March 11, 2009

Statistically speaking, if you sat a monkey down in front of a typewriter, it would eventually type out the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, that would take a heck of a long time. But what if one of these research monkeys starts? He gets all the way through All’s Well that End’s Well before some snot-nosed punk research assistant notices. Whoa, he thinks, this ape really has his shit together. He tells the prof, and the prof goes totally…ahem…bananas.

‘Holy shit!’, he says. ‘Get me somebody important!’

So this kid goes and gets the media. By the end of the next day, the monkey finishes the Comedies. He’s made all the local papers and the midday news. But he hasn’t caught on yet. The ape is not Big Time. But the kid has found a new beer buddy, as he now gladly shares his reefers and beers with his evolutionary co-partner. The prof is going wild writing papers, making himself appear grandiose, living off the ape.

The next day, the ape is hung over. He hammers out the Tragedies without breaking a sweat. The kid is ecstatic. His new buddy is in the papers, man. Like, whoa. The prof is busy with reporters and faculty. The Dean is beaming. He throws a big party and invites the ape. The ape, now knowing what beer tastes like, will not drink anything else. He gets totally moshed. The party is swinging, and so is the ape. The media eats it up, and by the end of the day, the whole world knows about the ape that is ‘bananas for Shakespeare’.

The last day, the ape has to go through the Histories and the Sonnets. He tackles the poems effortlessly, and moves on. He’s got a hangover the likes of which the world has never seen, but he is brave the way an ape should be. The kid is cheering from improvised stands that have been erected for the public. Only the greatest of media superstars are there. The kid leans over and whispers to the Queen of England: ‘Huh, that’s my bud!’

The crowd is chanting: ‘Ook! Ook! Go ape go!!’ The ape eats it up.

The prof is biting his nails. He’s pulling his hair out by the roots. It was a bad idea. He’s ruined. That fucking orangutan will destroy his career.

The whole world is watching. People have been let off work early to go home and watch this ape pull it off. Mayors across the world are flying to the campus to give this ape the key to their cities. National holidays are about to be declared. The President will call the ape up and congratulate him on beating that limey bastard at his own game.

So it goes until the last few lines. The ape hesitates. He looks confused. He turns to the huge stack of paper next to him, containing the last 3 days work. He shuffles through it. He scratches himself. He eats a banana. He takes a leak. He wanders around the arena that his lab has become, talking to the superstars and signing autographs. The prof has a coronary. The ape swings from the lighting. The kid is watching. He doesn’t know what’s happening with his bro. The ape watches the sunset. Then it dawns on the kid.

‘Whoa, dude,’ he says, ‘writer’s block.’

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