Gorillas and Such
Like most people I daydream about having a lot of money. Not the kind of money where you win a lottery and the state takes half of it and unscrupulous relatives take the rest and leave you alone and bitter and addicted to pain medication in some seedy split-level in Alabama. I mean big money.
"This is where 'the help' (said with practiced disdain) sleeps" kind of money.
The kind of money that people like myself never actually acquire because they spend all day trying to figure out which state they should deposit the unfortunate lottery winner in and if they should Google a specific pain medication instead of just saying they were addicted to "pain medication."
But if I did have that kind of bread I think I would open a store in the mall that exclusively sold apes and monkeys. A big place. Not the usual pet store-sized spot sandwiched between the bargain footwear outlet and the old record place that now just sells bad jewelry and ear piercing services but where the Sears would usually go. A couple floors of primates. Every conceivable monkey and ape you've ever thought of.
I'd call it Gorillas And Such.
And before you ask, we would absolutely have a strict policy against selling prosimians. Why you would even suggest that I have no idea. Use your head before interrupting me next time ok?
(Prosimians ... really?)
Obviously it would be expensive to maintain such a place of business but why would I need the "big" money you ask? (finally an intelligent question) Because what fun would it be to own a giant store that sells every species of monkey and ape if you couldn't 'accidently' let one out every now and again.
The lawsuits would no doubt start to pile up but I can't think of a better way to use my money. The idea of an enormous gibbon running wild through the food court and savaging the surly teenager who works behind the Jamba Juice counter gets my toes to tapping.
That's to say nothing of the silverback we 'accidently' let loose in the parking lot during the July 4th fireworks spectacular.
Another selling point, although completely unnecessary ... you had me at gorilla, would be that after only a few weeks in business the stench of the place would be overpowering. I think even Yankee Candle would fly the white linen-smelling flag. And the noise complaints ... just thinking about them is intoxicating.
Perhaps the best part is that even in the best of economies primates are expensive, let alone now after the effects of the current government policies have really taken hold. There would be weeks where we didn't sell a single baboon, mandrill or orangutan. I bet the bank holding our loans would love that. Trying to keep a straight face while sitting across from a dour-faced bank officer and pitching my idea of having a real gorilla hand out flyers in the mall to improve traffic would be awesome.
And finally, what Xmas season would be complete without the traditional group of chimps (decked out in full Santa gear) chasing a colubus monkey (sporting elven garb complete with jinglebells on his attractive-yet-slippery boots) up the tree, cornering it, tearing it apart amidst an ear-piercing cacophony of agonized screams and guttural roars, and then eating the unfortunate elf in full view of hundreds of formerly-festive children? I can think of no better way to express the true spirit of the season and reinforce to the traumatized kids how thankful they should be for the thin line that exists between their cushy lives and the violence and cruelty that awaits them in the forest than the dripping red of the Santa's beards.
A very thin line indeed.
All brought to you by Gorillas And Such.
Lance Manion is the author of four short story collection; Merciful Flush, Results May Vary, The Ball Washer his latest one Homo sayswhaticus.
He contributes to many online flash fiction sites and blogs daily on his website www.lancemanion.com.
He was born to neither run nor be wild and finds the na at the end of banana as annoying as you would if it were bananana.