JANET OF THE APES

BRI­TAIN’S BEST LOVED CHIMP, MON­KEY AND APE FO­RUM, HOSTED BY TV’S JANET STREET-PORTER

VIZ - - Invasion of the space wasps - Mon­keyest re­gards, Janet They scam­per about and they live in the trees, They pick through their fur with their fin­gers for fleas, Some have got tails and oth­ers have none, And at a chimps’ party they might eat a scone, They’ve been on the telly to ad­verti

WOTCHA! Night­mare flame-haired telly har­ri­dan JANET STREETPORTER here. When I’m not screech­ing on Have I Got News For You or edit­ing the In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day be­tween 1999 and 2002, you can prob­a­bly find me ob­sess­ing about apes. I’m ab­so­lutely fas­ci­nated by all man­ner of non-homi­noid simi­ans - in fact, you could say that I’m ‘mon­key nuts!’ And judg­ing by the size of my

Janet Of The Apes post­bag, Viz read­ers are as potty about pri­mates as I am. So let’s stop ‘mon­key­ing’ around, and check out the best let­ters I’ve re­ceived this week.

AS A life-long ape fan, I find it ut­terly sick­en­ing that every an­i­mal species has been granted a unique name for its ba­bies - ex­cept mon­keys. Baby kan­ga­roos are called joeys, baby dogs are called pup­pies, baby cats are called kit­tens, and so forth. But baby mon­keys are sim­ply known as “in­fants” - the same word we hu­mans use to de­scribe our young. Come on OED, how about coin­ing some brand new names for baby simi­ans, such as “mon­keyling”, “apelet” or “chim­pule”? Oliver Re­ac­tion, Chip­ping Nor­ton

“POP out and get us some mon­key nuts, will you, love?” I asked my hus­band Derek the other day. And I had to chuckle as I pic­tured him driv­ing over to the lo­cal zoo to cas­trate a chimp and return with its bloody, sev­ered testes. You can imag­ine my dis­ap­point­ment and rage, then, when he didn’t comed­i­cally mis­con­strue my re­quest at all and came back a few min­utes later with just a bag of peanuts still in their fi­brous shells. Mrs Ethel Vet-Cameron, Port Vale

MY hus­band used to make a very good liv­ing shoot­ing wild mon­keys in China and then sell­ing their body parts to state-owned med­i­cal com­pa­nies. How­ever, he’s re­cently chucked that job in to be­come a pro­fes­sional im­per­son­ator of the late, great Bri­tish Formula One racing driver, James Hunt. So I sup­pose you could say - if you re­ally wanted to - that he used to ‘hunt apes’ and now he ‘apes Hunt’. Dei­dre Dog-Breeder, Am­ble­forth

I MUST say I find it laugh­able that the French word for “mon­key” is “singe”. Don’t those Gal­lic gar­lic-munch­ers re­alise that mon­keys are en­tirely un­able to ‘singe’ any­thing, since they’ve yet to dis­cover the se­cret to man’s red fire? Hon­estly, what are the French like? They make me fuck­ing sick. N Farage, Herts

THE athe­ist fire­brand Richard Dawkins would have us be­lieve that we are all re­lated to mon­keys. How­ever, I have yet to wit­ness Pro­fes­sor Dawkins invit­ing any mon­keys over to his house for Christ­mas. Per­haps Pro­fes­sor Dawkins should prac­tise what he preaches, or he may end up be­ing ac­cused of hypocrisy. J Welby, Can­ter­bury

THE church’s of­fi­cial po­si­tion is that the The­ory of Evo­lu­tion is non­sense and that God cre­ated us in his image. Fair enough, but then why oh why do they then in­sist that all their bish­ops are “Pri­mates”? They can’t have it both ways, and the sheer hypocrisy of this dou­ble stan­dard makes me sick to my stom­ach. Ramp­ton Sax­ilby, Lin­coln

AS the Poet Lau­re­ate, I didn’t have a huge amount on this week, so I thought I might as well do a poem for World Mon­key Day. Which does ex­ist, by the way, I’ve looked it up. Any­way, here it is: I think it lost its way a bit in the mid­dle and turned into a poem about tea, and I had a bit of a prob­lem find­ing a rhyme for the word ‘milk’, but on the whole, I reckon it’s cer­tainly the best one I’ve writ­ten dur­ing my ten­ure. Also, there is also a World Tea Day, so I’ll prob­a­bly use it again for that and have the day off. CA Duffy, Manch­ester WHO­EVER coined the term “ape” mean­ing to “copy or mimic” needs their head ex­am­ined. Ac­cord­ing to the evo­lu­tion­ary bi­ol­o­gist Charles Dar­win, we hu­mans evolved off the apes, so if any­thing, it was us who copied and mim­icked them. Bene­dict HideousReplica, Port Mer­riot WHAT is it with mon­keys pulling our car aeri­als and wind­screen wipers off in sa­fari parks? This is why we can’t have any­thing nice. Anony­mous, Lon­gleat

IF we’re sup­posed to be de­scended from mon­keys, then why haven’t we all got long tails? Un­til Pro­fes­sor Richard Dawkins and his like minded cronies can an­swer that one, they should all just shut the fuck up. Rev. J Fo­cault, Truro

“MON­KEY see, mon­key do”, or so they say. Well I was at Bris­tol Zoo yes­ter­day and I watched a mon­key mas­tur­bate in front of my wife and chil­dren be­fore throw­ing his fae­ces at the wall. Well I don’t know who he was copy­ing, but it cer­tainly wasn’t me. T Piles, Tring

IT MAKES me sick to think of the num­ber of pop songs we hu­mans have writ­ten about mon­keys, when they’ve never writ­ten a sin­gle one about us in

return. Mon­key’s Gone To

Heaven by the Pix­ies, Mon­key Man by the Rolling Stones, Brass Mon­key by the Beastie

Boys, Mon­key Wrench by the Foo Fight­ers... the list goes on and on and on. And still, not one sin­gle mon­keypenned ditty about us Homo

sapi­enses. I think we hu­mans should refuse to write any more ape-themed hits un­til our non-homi­noid an­ces­tors have done us the com­mon cour­tesy of im­mor­tal­is­ing us at least once in song form. Agnes No-Changeling, Portsmouth

ZOOLOGISTS

ap­par­ently in­sist that we re­fer to orang-utans, go­ril­las and chim­panzees as the “Great Apes”. Well, I saw a go­rilla in the zoo last week and I’m sorry, but I fail to see what’s so “great” about be­ing sick into your own hand and then eat­ing it up again. The “Need To Be Taught Some Ruddy Man­ners Apes” would be a more ap­pro­pri­ate name for them, if you ask me. And that’s swear­ing. Dolly Bol­locks, Port Tal­bort

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