By Chloe McDonald
“You guys ready for a summary of the news, and my interpretations thereof? Okay.
“Concluding Question Time, the Prime Minister smirked and said, “Chitter-chatter.
“Precise Meaning: We’re the best. Police, judicial, health, transport, technological know-how, and of course, finance: who can do better? Who is like us? No one.
“Deeper Analysis: This is true because I say so. Squawk-squeak, that would be the MPs of the party’s rapturous response.
“Accurate translation: Who is like us? Our society is great and caring, and we’re lining our pockets big time at the public’s expense.
“Front page headline, the editor probably brayed, Hee-Haw.
“Exact Interpretation: Guilt proved. The celebrity in question, and whom we have hounded for months on end, has obligingly hung herself. Nothing is more deeply satisfying than conducting a trial by print, fabricating facts wherever possible, and pretending to be the thermometer by which morality is gauged.
“Smugness Rating: Fantastically huge. More papers sold equals…enormous bonus.
“Public response: B-a-a. B-a-a. People riding on buses and trains, travelling in cars, walking wherever, working in offices, shops, and factories, or slobbing it at home, say that all the time.
“Abbreviated Definition: A feeble repetitive sound.
“General usage: Everything we’re told, and read must be true, and if it isn’t…what can we do about it, eh?
“Once again, it’s official,” announced the eccentric young man, who read to the baboons at London Zoo every Sunday, and had been amazed his target audience were paying attention this morning. His newspapers folded and thrown into an adjacent waste-bin, he said, “Skulduggery, double-dealing, and general tom-foolery rules in the jungle out there. Take it from me, you lot are better off in here. Next week, dudes.”
“Didn’t I say,” Best Friend stopped trawling through Alpha’s fur for lice to scratch his vividly red and blue striped bottom, “you’d find it worth listening to?”
“You did,” agreed Alpha, thoughtfully chasing fleas through short hairs under his chin. “I should have listened much, much, sooner.”
“So…” Best Friend resumed searching for parasites on Alpha’s back, “what are we going to do about it?”
“Give me a moment. Shocking to discover we, the noble Bandarlog, never wanted to be hairless apes as that bloke Rudyard Kipling wrote. In fact, it’s devastating to find they’ve been working all this time to emulate us. Damned near succeeded, too!”
“Shameful.” Best Friend, shoved a blood-swollen tick between his teeth. “We’ll definitely need a new slogan, boss. ‘Who is like us?’ doesn’t cut it if they’re using it.”
“Paint my posterior Indian Violet,” Alpha howled. “The deceit of it all.”
“That’s a great slogan.”
“For a long campaign, perhaps. However we, the noble Bandarlog, must respond immediately to make our contempt known in a way they’d never do.”
“We could piss on anything that comes in range, boss. Hairless apes never do that, or maybe they do, just not in a literal sense.”
“Oh, please.” Alpha groaned, “isn’t it evident? Metaphorically, they’ve been doing exactly that for centuries? A cunning solution’s needed to counteract this dastardly imitation of our noble selves, right?”
“That’s the warp and weft of it, boss.”
“Then I have a plan. One: forget Jungle Book. Two: We don’t respond when we’re called baboons. Three: We stop monkeying around. Four: We sit back and watch the copycats peel that bunch of bananas.”