Jack be nimble

If you became a double amputee from a work-related accident, would you go find a baboon and train him how to help you do your job? If you were a South African railroad worker in the late 1800s named Jumper Wide, of course you would. You would find a really smart baboon, convince his owner that you needed him more than he did, you would name the baboon Jack, you would train Jack to fetch keys and work the switches and signal levers, you guys would ride your own personal trolley in to work together, and everything would be great until some fancy lady riding the train saw you guys and got worried that a baboon couldn’t be responsible for the safety of her precious caboose.

And then you and Jack would have to prove that Jack could do the job great, and everybody would cheer, and you wouldn’t get fired and  Jack would get an official employee number and get paid, and everything would be great again.

That’s what you would do if you became a double amputee from a work-related accident and you were a South African railroad worker in the late 1800s named Jumper Wide.

Published in: on October 3, 2017 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Who eats lettuce in the bathroom?

There are five commonly accepted collective nouns for a group of baboons:

  • a congress of baboons
  • a flange of baboons
  • a rumpus of baboons
  • a tribe of baboons
  • a troop of baboons

I’m pretty sure this is a rumpus.

via Arbroath, via Neatorama
Published in: on April 26, 2013 at 10:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Banana wobble

The Swedish office for Tori’s company sent her a rather interesting promo for a music festival just now:

The premise is interesting to me, of course, but the actual experiment is bullshit. It was nice of them to hang the keyboard upside down for it, but is a two-toed sloth even a monkey? Disqualified. And why do the pygmy marmosets get the Bleeptronic 5000 while the baboons are stuck with the Casiotone? Who can blame that guy at 1:51? Then again, maybe he was just emulating Art of Noise:

I say give that guy some samples and see what he can really do.

The power of editing

It’s such a fine line between touching and terrifying sometimes, isn’t it?

via Nag On The Lake
Published in: on March 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm  Comments (2)  
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My typical reaction to current events

I find history and politics to be intimidatingly complicated, so when something like massive protests in Egypt comes up, I tend to shut up and retreat to simpler ideas about the subject in general. Egypt. Sometimes when I think of Egypt, I think of that interesting casting choice they made for that TV movie back in the ’80s by casting Louis Gossett, Jr. as Anwar al-Sadat, but right now, even that thought is a little too complicated and controversial for my brain. Let’s retreat further.

Egypt. I had a history teacher in high school who said that Egypt was the sexiest word in the world. “Those curves! The swooping! And then you have to cross that t!” Okay, I’m going to stick with this thought. I suppose in this day and age it could be controversial that a high school teacher tells his students what he thinks is sexy, but if I retreat to any simpler thought than this, I’m going to be stuck staring at that mummified baboon at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum they used to take us to on field trips in grade school. Hm. Mummified baboon. Wait; what? Apparently there isn’t even a baboon in that thing I spent all that time staring at. It’s a goddamn jar wrapped in cloth. To the cartoons, then.


Mort Kunstler

The website for the radio show Shut Up, Weirdo recently drew my attention to the 20th century American artist Mort Kunstler. I had never heard of Mort Kunstler before, which is kind of odd because his art is right up my alley.  He contributed artwork to various men’s magazine stories with titles such as:

  • Pou-Pou and Her Balloon-Girl Ring
  • The Strangler Came Out of the Sea
  • I Need “Freak-Out” Love
  • The Sergeant Who Decoyed the Nazis’ Fraulein Werewolves
  • The Hell-Surfers
  • Nude Pushover on Sinners’ Beach
  • Those High-Handed, Money-Gouging Plumbers

Oh, wait; I guess he didn’t illustrate that last article. But still. I would want to read all of these stories even without the fantastic artwork. I can’t find the accompanying story for my favorite illustration by him, however.

Maybe if you have a moment or two today, you can write the accompanying story in the comments section.

Why is the sommelier so hairy?

The baboons in South Africa are now coming after the grapes for our wine. Our wine, people. According to Discovery and the AP,

‘”They choose the nicest bunches, and you will see the ones they leave on the ground. If you taste them, they are sour,’ said Francois van Vuuren, farm manager at La Terra de Luc vineyards, 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Cape Town. ‘They eat the sweetest ones and leave the rest.’…

One farm, La Petite Ferme, was hit particularly hard after fires in the Franschhoek wine-producing region devastated large swaths of land, burning up the baboons’ normal foraging areas. The primates then descended on its chardonnay crop, eating or destroying up to three tons of grapes.”

Okay, okay. I’m really trying to keep out of this human vs. primate war (mainly because I think we’ll lose, but…). Maybe we can reach some sort of detente, baboons. Keep to the chardonnay grapes and keep your mitts off the pinot noir, and I have no issue with you. Let’s talk about this.

Video and article link via The Awl. You probably want to turn your sound down on this one.
Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Agricultural report

I know a fellow named Tomatoes, and it was his birthday yesterday. I don’t know if Tomatoes is his real name; I don’t know a lot about Tomatoes, actually. One of the few things I know about Tomatoes is that when he was a kid, he played soccer across the street from a bunch of hippo goddesses that protected a mummified baboon. Also, I know that he’s not in this cartoon:

Anyway, happy birthday, Tomatoes!

Beware of Fred

The AP reporting from South Africa early last week:

“The cheeky primates have learned how to open car doors and jump through windows in pursuit of tasty sandwiches and snacks….”

As a primate who loves a good sandwich, I’m impressed. I’m not yet at the point where I’m able to jump through a window to get one. Score one more for the baboons.

Photo by gremionis on flickr
Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 11:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Another genus enters the fray

According to some news out of Merseyside this summer, baboons have joined in on the ever-escalating human vs. primate war that I have been keeping my eye on. And it goes without saying that they’re not on our side.

The Daily Mail is reporting that the baboons at the Knowsley Safari Park, previously thought merely to be petty vandals and license plate thieves, have now taken to exhibiting deviant sexual behavior in the form of stealing bras and panties from car rooftop luggage racks and rolling around in a semi-engorged state while drooling over said garments. They also are apparently on the lookout for inflatable sex toys:


So far, the park has issued “Anti Social Baboon Orders” on the animals and there are rumors of military deployment, but there are no confirmed reports about the latter. I will of course continue to follow the story; feel free to post any tips of your own in the comment section.

Published in: on September 15, 2009 at 7:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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