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April 29, 2007

Striking Similarities

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

I have a great affinity for monkeys. While in the south of France, there was a brochure at the front desk saying Ecole de Chimpanzee. Obviously, we did not stay at the best establishments. In fact, I think ours got a half a star.

Did I want to see Monaco? The famed beaches and castles? No, I absolutely had to visit this institution of higher learning to supplement my teacher education course work.

I dragged my poor wife and we entered the arranged seating area. Apparently, this was a learning situation for the apes to learn to perform before an audience. The chimps were dressed as children and the setting was a kitchen where the simians had to sit and eat at a table. At least I think that's what was going on, as I don't speak a word of French.

The trainer barked commands and the "children" were supposed to follow them. One time big brother ape picked up the table and threw it at the instructor. It reminded me of most of my eighth grade classes.

The instructor went out and reset the table, walked back behind the curtain and barked commands. This time, the little monkey, dressed in a pink dress, threw the cup and saucer at him. He came rushing out again admonishing the family. I think he was giving them a good cussing, as the words were universal in any language. This went on for about an hour and I really don't know who was funnier, the trainer or the apes.

I, of course, enjoy the Bonzo movies and noticed the startling comparison between the Gonzales hearings and the films. I immediately decided to write a comparison between the two. (How's that for a segue?)

Bedtime for Bonzo is the story of a chimpanzee. Bedtime for Gonzo is the story of the attorney general of the United States who has the memory of a chimpanzee.

Ronald Reagan tries to prove that Bonzo's behavior is the product of his jungle environment. Everyone knows Gonzo's behavior is the product of the Bush environment.

Reagan uses Bonzo to test out theories. Bush uses Gonzo to test out lies.

Reagan nearly goes to jail for Bonzo. Gonzo will go to jail for Bush.

Reagan teaches Bonzo right from wrong. Bush teaches Gonzo wrong from right.

Reagan must meet with the angry Dean of College. Gonzo must meet with angry Senators.

Quote from Bedtime for Bonzo "Who expects a psychologist to think? Especially when you are so busy thinking what you think other people are thinking."

Quote from the hearings: "Who expects an attorney general to think? Especially when he is so busy thinking what he thinks the president is thinking"

Bonzo Goes to College is the story of a chimp who escapes a circus. Gonzo is the story of a person who lives a circus.

Bonzo replaces a football player. Gonzo replaces eight sitting judges.

Bonzo gains the support of the football team. Gonzo loses the support of Senate Republicans.

Bonzo completes a pass. Gonzo is sacked 47 times on the "I can't recall" call.

Bonzo gets kidnapped on the eve of the big game. Everyone hopes Gonzo will be kidnapped on any eve.

Good supporting performance by Maureen O'Sullivan for Bonzo. Poor supporting performance by George Bush for Gonzo.

Whether on the south of France, in movie theaters or the United States Senate, I always enjoy the monkey shows.


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