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Tom Jacobs dealt with his hatred for gorillas in the only constructive manner he knew. He stole them.
This hatred was birthed early in his life. When he was only eight years old, Tom was vacationing with his family at a big city zoo. While at the zoo, they went to see the gorillas.
Tom was eating a snow cone. It was cherry, Tom’s favorite. As he was eating his cone, Tom got too close to the gorilla cage. Tonka, the gorilla, was in a poor mood that morning, and not having a snow cone of his own, he hawked a goober on Tom’s.
Thick yellow-green phlegm oozed down Tom’s snow cone without Tom’s knowledge or consent. As Tom’s father and Tonka looked on, Tom took a great big juicy bite.
After that, whenever Tom and his family went out for a snow cone, his dad would ask, “Would you like some gorilla snot with that?”
Oh, how Tom hated gorillas.
The idea of stealing them, for fun and profit, first entered Tom’s head in high school. His science teacher was doing a unit on gorillas, the worst five days of Tom’s life. That week Tom’s teacher expressed the notion that if a gorilla were released from captivity it would lead a shorter and much less fulfilling life. Tom decided right then and there that once high school was over, he would lead a long and satisfying criminal career — releasing gorillas from captivity. He would teach those nasty apes not to put phlegm on little boys’ snow cones.
Three weeks after graduation Tom stole his first gorilla.
After paying off the security guard who let him into the zoo, Tom immediately took the gorilla into the nearby woods to release it. He laughed uncontrollably as the ape sat in front of him looking confused and forlorn. Tom rubbed his hands together in anticipation of future conquests. He looked into the gorilla’s eyes, intoxicated by a feeling of superiority. The gorilla returned Tom’s stare, and promptly sneezed on his face.
Tom stormed out of the woods in disgust.
He stole two more gorillas the next week. One he released on a beach, the other in a desert. Soon, he was stealing up to three gorillas each week. He hit upon the idea of selling them to new owners. He would then steal them back and release them. Gorilla carcasses were turning up everywhere, and Tom’s bank account was growing. All seemed to be going well for Tom until one day in June.
Tom was watching the evening news, waiting for the next dead gorilla report, when he learned that a special investigative unit made up of animal rights activists was being formed. Its sole intent was to capture, and/or humiliate, the “Gorilla Bandit.” The name of the new unit was the “Ape Force.”
From that point onward, life was pretty hard for Tom. He liked his new nickname, and even had a tee shirt printed up to wear on raids, but the Ape Force foiled every attempt he made to release more gorillas. They also very nearly caught him on more than one occasion.
His most recent occasion was a particularly close call. He was just about to lead a large male gorilla named Bertrand out the employee entrance of the zoo. Suddenly, they were surrounded by a small band of Ape Force activists. Tom shielded his face to keep from having his picture taken by an outstretched camera phone. Another activist took that opportunity to cover Tom’s chest with the dough of unbaked banana bread. The stupid Ape nearly chewed off Tom’s left nipple before he could get away.
“What I need,” Tom said the next day, rubbing his chest, “is a way to distract the Ape Force while I make off with the gorillas.” After much contemplation, Tom came up with his new plan.
Tom formed a political action committee and started getting gorillas elected to public office. They ran on a new ticket calling for equal rights for all species. Even the Ape Force dismantled in order to run “get out the vote” campaigns.
Soon slogans like “He’s an ape, but he’ll do!” and “Vote for me, my opponent’s only human!” were echoing across the land.
The day finally came when every last, living gorilla in America was elected into office. Tom was ecstatic. He expected the bewildered beasts would shrivel up and die due to the rigors of public office.
A year passed with no gorilla deaths. Tom began to worry. He was terribly disheartened to learn that the gorillas were actually thriving in their new positions. Worse yet, the apes’ constituents loved the jobs they were doing. The animal rights activists, encouraged by this turn of events, began campaigns to get donkeys elected to office.
That was when Tom Jacobs decided to drop out of society. He got a job at the local zoo, dressing up in a gorilla suit to fill a vacant position.
Last election day, after the newest jackass was elected to Congress, Tom was in a less than pleasant mood. A small boy passed in front of his cage holding a cherry snow cone. Just for fun, Tom hawked a goober on it.
Copyright 2007, Eric Calderwood
Revisions and additional material Copyright 2017, Eric Calderwood
Note: Neither of the animal species depicted in the above story are intended to represent any particular political party.
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