Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Gorilla

For many years, I read Reader's Digest and was particularly enamored of it's feature called 'Laughter Is The Best Medicine'.
To this day, I still enjoy a good joke, although they may not be as fit for family reading as they used to be.
You can decide on this one.

The Gorilla

A big zoo in Texas was proud of acquiring a prime specimen of Mountain Gorilla.
In addition to being physically impressive, this gorilla had a very pleasing personality and a real affinity for people, a characteristic that the zoo hoped to capitalize upon to help increase attendance and defray the investment and maintenance costs of its new star attraction.

So, it was a mixture of concern and disappointment that the zoo management felt when it learned the new gorilla had begun to act strangely with animated antics that seemed likely to endanger its own well-being.
The gorilla was making loud repetitive sounds, leaping around, climbing the cage walls and then flinging itself violently to the ground.
Also, its eating habits had fallen dramatically and it didn't seem to welcome zoo visitors.

The Head Zoo-Keeper called an emergency meeting to discuss what could be done, especially considering the Zoo's financial limitations.
No one seemed to have a good idea of exactly what to do, but the Assistant Zoo-Keeper did suggest asking his promising new part-time helper, Tex, for his advice.

Tex was a strapping young man who had an unusual understanding and affinity for animals.
Having been raised on a working ranch, Tex's actual experience with animals was pretty extensive.
So, it was natural for him to elect to study Animal Husbandry when he was offered a scholarship to Texas A&M University.
Now, after only one year at A&M, Tex was really excited about being offered an internship at the zoo.

It didn't take long for young Tex to assess the situation with the prize gorilla, whereupon he duly reported his findings and recommendations to the Zoo management.
He had concluded that the gorilla was a female, in heat, and that the best way to alleviate the bizarre behavior was to simply mate her.

The Head Zoo-Keeper was relieved to learn what the problem was, but distressed at the potential cost, and mentioned that finances might limit any remedy to no more than about $300.
With this new constraint, Tex asked for some more time to think on it.

Later, Tex knocked on the Head Zoo-Keeper's door, then entered, removing his 10-gallon hat.
Looking a little sheepish, Tex explained he had a proposal, but it was contingent on three conditions;

Number 1 - I ain't gonna kiss her!

Number 2 - The Zoo needs to fit the gorilla with padded gloves, 'cause I don't want my back all scratched up'.

Number 3 - I ain't gonna pay more than $100!


I hope this hasn't offended anyone too much, but it is one of those jokes I remember so vividly -not so much because of the 'punch line', but the way the joke was told with such relish!

My friend Horace is a Texan, a jovial guy who attended the University of Texas in Austin, and who really loved to tell 'Aggie' jokes.
He told this one at lunch time, back in 1983 or 84, with 3 other people present, and it took him longer than I could imagine, because he himself enjoyed the telling so much!
Horace would actually stop every so often and just chuckle aloud at what was to come next.
And, being rather portly in build, when Horace laughed, you knew it.

Long before the joke ended, he had us all laughing along with him, a progressive kind of anticipation that just kept building on itself.
One might call this kind of laughter -especially with Horace- a 'belly laugh', but actually it was more than that.
It was a side-splitter, and you actually began to feel pain in your gut by not being able to control the involuntary mirth.

There were times when I wondered if the restaurant might throw us out, so many people were attracted to our jollity.
But, they didn't and we eventually left, weak kneed and red-eyed and lighter in the pocket, due to the larger than usual tip.

Joke experiences like this don't come along very often, which is unfortunate.
But, when they do, you tend to remember them vividly.

I was reminded of this experience last night a friend's birthday celebration, where the price of admission was to bring a joke.
I didn't tell this one then, but next time, I might.

My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes.  ~Douglas Adams [Author - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy]

Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. 
Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. 
Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. 
Amen.  ~Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

Lord, lord, lord.  Protect me from the consequences of the above prayer.  ~Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless



Murphy's law is an adage that broadly states: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

And on the eighth day God said, "Okay, Murphy, you're in charge!" ~Author Unknown

Murphy was an optimist. ~O'Toole's Commentary