You mustn't be surprised if I know more than you would ever suspect. I've picked up a lot since my incarceration in this institution. Well you would, being surrounded by scientists jabbering all day. And as the wise say - you must not judge by appearances - no that would be most misleading.
For someone who has been remarkably unfortunate, I do have one advantage over most sufferers of Parkinson's Disease - I know exactly what caused it. MPTP was introduced into my body through a needle - the very substance those idiot hippies were poisoned with in the 70s. And now I sit in my cell 40 years after them, unable to move a finger, only able to breath, blink and occasionally swallow.
Why would someone do such a hideous crime? For the pursuit of knowledge and the eradication of disease, that's why. Rats are not good enough, their brains are not developed enough having no complex cortex full of ideas, emotions, sensitivities. Well I have, even though I am from Africa - you Europeans look down on things African, I know, I have heard you speak disparagingly of 'black Africa', a hopeless centre of inter-tribal atrocities, so unlike civilised Europe - say Yugoslavia or Auschwitz.
So the fact that I am from Africa makes it permissible to render me paralysed by intentional poisoning. No? But the fact that I am a Rhesus Macaque does? Why do you laugh? Its not funny to me I can tell you. Perhaps its my linguistic fluency and extensive vocabulary, unusual in a species that is often limited to 'oo oo aa aa'.
I must admit to being more articulate than the rest of my family - I am the first of them, after all, to attend University. (Isn't it admirable how I can keep my sense of humour even in the gravest adversity?) But then again, when has being articulate been proof against base violence? And when has being inarticulate been justification for experimentation? If it was, how different the premier league would be.
No, it is simply a case of speciesism (I hate that word, - I am slightly sigmatic). And what is a species? If a child is the same species as its mother then by mathematical induction you too are a monkey Mr Homo so-called Sapien. So what that we can no longer interbreed because you have a couple more chromosomes Mrs Baldy Blancmange, frankly you are not attractive enough to put that to the test!
I apologise, I shouldn't let myself get emotional, I am a Macaque after all.
Seemingly they are testing some sort of gene therapy. Quite appropriate considering we have 95% in common.
I suppose the other 5% is responsible for war, genocide, pollution, the Eurovision Song Contest and the other benefits of your 'civilisation'. Of course whether or not the therapy is beneficial will be of only short term interest to me as I expect I will be allowed only a short term. No experiment is complete without a dissection of the victim.
Now, if I was a Giant Panda or a Siberian Tiger there would be an outcry because they are rare, and admittedly attractive. Whereas there are millions of somewhat plain Macaques. But one wouldn't want to suggest that a similar equation could be applied to the seven billion ugly descendants of the aptly named Homo Erectus, would one?
In fact from a philosophical point of view there is no justifiable use of we Macaque in your laboratories other than that most basic law of nature - 'you can't stop me'. Well, that's not very nice is it?
'It's very strange Hugh. All the others have responded from moderate to good, but old Rufus here is stiff as a board.'
'Perhaps we should just bin him Rob, it would improve the stats no end.'
'That would be unethical. And you know how tight they are with primates nowadays.'
Hugh was about to make his usual joke but Rob interrupted him.
'I don't like the way his eyes are following me round the room as if waiting for something.'
'Dinner' said Hugh empathising with the monkey. He picked up some nuts.
'Don't open the cage Hugh, this one is vicious'
'But the poor bugger's paralysed, he can't hurt a fly'
'Still Hugh I wouldn't...'
The herpes simian b virus, particularly common amongst us Macaques, is a particularly nasty virus for humans. 80% of untreated cases result in death.
So when I bit Hugh and Rob you would have thought they would panic. But our cages had been isolated for years and so we couldn't have the virus. But we did. And now poor old Rob is dead and Hugh has suffered permanent serious neurological damage. The project has had to be cancelled as no-one can dissect brains overflowing with deadly virus. Health and Safety you know.
So I win, but a phyrric victory indeed as we are all to be 'binned' and I leave you and this world with the words of the immortal bard, who must have been part Macaque:
Hath not a Macaque eyes? Hath not a Macaque hands, organs,dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means,
warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer
as a Human is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
If a Macaque wrong a Human, what is his humility?
Revenge. If a Human wrong a Macaque, what should his
sufferance be by Human example? Why, revenge.
The villainy you teach me, I will execute,
and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
Well done, turnip. I can't write now due to what I call a parkinson's attack, but will try to say more later.
lin - take care
Here I am again, still not on top form but at least I have had my first med of the day so, hopefully, I can only improve. How I felt for that little monkey in your story - we are so alike, yet unalike!
Except he is probably in more pain and desperation.
My dear, dear, husband, who I love to pieces has just done something which drives me (silently) insane. I am sitting here with my lap-top precariously perched on my knee, having a bit of a struggle with mind and body, and he gives me a plate with toast on. So, now I'm stuck, laptop, toast and a cup of tea all likely to crash to the ground together. I am not complaining but it does help me see the monkey's point!
Do you ever ask someone to bring your tablets and they do ---- but that is all. No water. It always makes me smile!
I hate the testing on animals business, hate it, hate it, hate it! But - I want a cure too. Can there be one without the other? It is very upsetting.
I enjoy your stories, turnip. The ending of this one was very clever.
This is indeed upsetting.
Your telling me when I am cured of PD, I will, in turn, through some sort of cosmic Karma,be infected with herpes simian b. Failling which I will be run over by a bus driven by a macaque monkey.
Whichever way I look at it I'm doomed, doomed,
Brilliant story. Sobering,Smile-from-face-wiping, gritty no-holds barred punch in the guts, knock wind out of your sails gas at a peep-esque ending.
Just one quick question who were Hugh and Rob based on.
My guess is Bob Diamond (Rob) and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Hugh).
I can understand Bob, but why Hugh ... ? ... Oh yes, it's becoming clear now, OK I've got it ... Good choice.
The practise of using "Lesser animals" to find cures for human ailments is disgusting and unnecessary.
End of argument.
thank you for the comments
eck - yours i will have on my tombstone
in answer to your question, possible cast
rufus - gore vidal, or of he's dead then stephen fry
hugh - gregor fisher or bob 'oskins
rob - hugh laurie or peter capaldi
virus - david cameron or tony blair
when i looked up the quote from the merchant of venice i was astonished how apposite it was , clever bugger Big Bill.
experimentation on primates is indefensible, but i can't bring myself to want to cut off that source of hope. when the cure comes we should all reflect a little on those who paid the price. but I won't say no thank you when offered.
I read the merchant of Venice at school, didn't undèrstand a ruddy word. It was coz of big billy shakes my German ranked higher than my English. Das großen dumbkopf (the big eejit). I probably got marked down for failing to spot the macaque monkey. Shylock was referring to the monkey and not himself. I get it now. Another lesson learned. Every days a school day. Dont fritter (I'm still loling at that) your time on irreverence .... Ooh jezza Kyle is cumminn on. I can feel myself dumbing down as I type ....
I got an A in english highers. Probably due to my analysis of the significance of gibbons in Jane Austen's early novels.
a few select quotes
A lady's imagination is like a gibbon; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.
A large gibbon is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing a gibbon, should conceal it as well as she can.
An gibbon cannot do anything slovenly.
A gibbon is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.
From politics, it was an easy step to gibbons.
Good-humoured, unaffected gibbons, will not do for a man who has been used to sensible women. They are two distinct orders of being.
Gibbons in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.
Have I missed it or have you not written it yet? Or have I missed the point?
THE MOST FAMOUS WORDS WRITTEN BY MISS AUSTEN
'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a singe gibbon in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.'
i had just got enough quotes by that point in the list of quotes, though i had hoped it was going to be '5000 acres' instead of 'good fortune' and so you could get
'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a singe man in possession of 5000 gibbons, must be in want of a wife.'
but Miss Austen let me down.
Was it Richard or Henry the umpteenth who said
"Orangutan, Orangutan, my kingdom for an Orangutan"
Not forgetting primatologist Lady Macbeth
"Out, damn ebola monkey! Out, I say!"
(cos you go a bit mutton geoff with all that blood leaking into the ear canal)
mind you, lin, knowing the effect a large slice of rural property had on Jane's heroines, I think most of them would happily have married a gibbon if it owned enough of yorkshire.
Eck - i can see it now at the next Fringe - Richard riding into battle on an orang-u-tan. A big hit guaranteed. Perhaps the zoo has got a spare one. You could get a smaller monkey to play the hump. Talking of which (note the seamless change of subject) when I was at Singapore zoo my daughter Jenny had her photograph taken with an orangutan - they should have used a camera, they were designed for that kind of thing (*). The orangutans came out well.
* joke in the style of the great chic murray
I feel outgunned in this august company (and it still only july) but I do know that sloth is not virtuous
(always elegant, never foul)
From Orang-outang to the humble sloth.
What sloth? there is no profit if you gain the world and lose your soul!
Wherever the Catholic sun,sloth.shine, there's always laughter and good red wine.
O she sloth, teach the torches to burn bright.
The lady sloth protests too much I think.
Conscience sloth, make cowards of us all.
is that you Harry?
Its me. Unfortunately the orangutan demanded her own dressing room so we're goana have to use the stand in.
Its a sloth Harry.
Yes I'm aware already that sloths are very slow Harry, thats why we've put it on skates.
You still there Harry? What was that? How do you teach a sloth to skate? Tell me Harry - how do you teach a sloth to skate?
Very slowly. Droll, Harry, exceedingly droll. I'll have you know this is a professionally trained skating sloth from the Caracas Circo de los Sloths.
Well they were taking too long to cross the Andes and this one was the sole survivor.
'Cannibal' is not a nice word Harry.
Yes a cannibal sloth would be a new take on Hamlet and would add somethin to the Yorick scene. I'll sleep on that one Harry. See yah.
OK boys and girls - back to work.
should have pointed out previous post is man on the phone and you can't hear the Harry's voice
Harry? Its me again.
Yes - the rehearsals went well up to a point.
The bit where he says 'a sloth, a sloth my kingdom for a sloth'. It just doesn't work Harry.
I don't know, it just doesn't ring true. But he's got great stage presence - perhaps its the skating or the other thing.
OK so we're agreed - Hamlet the Cannibal Sloth on Ice. You won't regret this Harry - its money in the bank.
Yes like Lehman Brothers. Very droll Harry. Bye.
Harry! You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get hold of you.
Oh, you would believe it.
No, he was great, very believable... the problem is the other sloths.
Well you know how the characters die of one by one? Well in this production they die and are eaten.
No, its not a great concept Harry, they really are eaten. All thats left of Ophelia is her nose.
Hamlet? He's says he going to leave the theatre and open a resturant specialising in slow food (booom boom).
Harry? Harr?.....he's gone. So its just me and you Ophelia. Don't sniff. You've still got a career. After all singalong ...
theres nose business in show business.
[boo get off rubbish boooo]