I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

« July 28 | Main | August 1 »

July 30, 2005

It's hot again, and the three-legged cat was waiting outside my door with a bunch of things to say about it. I let the cat in and gave it some cold water. My mother says it probably has fleas, since it spends all of its time outside. I told her I think she probably has fleas and hung up. Actually, I just asked to borrow some money.

So, here's the news out of Jacksonville:

A gorilla and a chimpanzee are both recovering after a fight at the Jacksonville Zoo. They live just across the moat from each other, which is usually a good barrier, since both fear the water and neither knows how to swim. One of the largest gorillas at the zoo, a 24-year-old male named Quito, either fell into the moat or tried to cross it, and ended up on the chimps side.

Dr. Nick Kapustin is the Zoo's Veterinarian. He says, "There was an altercation and we have a chimp with Quito going into his territory and the two got aggressive with each other."

Chimps are more aggressive, but much smaller. A 150-pound chimp named Jackson went up against a more than 500-pound gorilla, named Quito, and the chimp lost.

Kapustin says, "Jackson the chimp sustained some bite wounds and lacerations and he was treated immediately."

Quito didn't have any physical wounds but apparently went underwater when he was in the mote, which left him very sick.

Kapustin says, "He likely inhaled water into his lungs. That can create some respiratory problems and that's what we're dealing with now."

Both Quiot and Jackson are recovering in their indoor habitats and both are expected to be okay.

What in the hell was the chimp thinking? That gorilla had 350 pounds on it! I guess everybody has to defend their territory, but let's face it, if some 550 pound guy showed up at the door of my apartment, I would make certain strategic concessions and perhaps devise a plan involving running away with the remote control. That's not what the chimp did, though, and fortunately his unrealistic assessment of his own fighting ability did not prove fatal. An exhaustive two-minute search of the Jacksonville Zoo website did not reveal any updates about the condition of the combatants, although apparently a bonobo had a baby last year, so that's nice.

Anthropological studies tend to focus on social interactions and hierarchies within the individual species, but I've never been able to accrue as much data as I'd like regarding what different kinds of monkeys and apes think about each other. Now, we know that when a chimp sees a gorilla, he thinks, "I can take that guy." So that's good to know. It's a start.

Obviously, I ain't got no job, and I've been playing this game called Facade over the last couple of days. It's unique in the sense that the goal is not to defeat someone or win a contest or wrangle shapes; you play a character who visits his married friends one night and observes their marriage falling apart, and then you either speed the decline or try to save the marriage. It's done in the style of a one-act play, complete with curtains. (In a nice touch, it generates a 'stageplay' based on what happened during the game.) The characters speak out loud, and you talk back to them by typing. They're meant to be able to parse complete sentences - you don't select from a set of responses, like most RPGs, and they remember what you've said before. There are a few things that come up each time (a bad trip to Italy, the decor of the living room), but otherwise, each game is intended to come out differently depending on what you do.

Well, apparently, I am the last person you want to save your marriage, because I fucking suck at it. On the few occasions that I haven't been kicked out of the apartment, one of them has declared the marriage a sham and stormed out. I'm getting nowhere with this. The best I've managed to do is get them united in being pissed off at me, which hopefully leads to, I don't know, angry denunciation sex later on. One problem is that I don't type fast enough to break into the conversation, but more than that, I'm frustrated because I can't tell what portion of the blame falls on the programming (it's a college A.I. project, not a professional venture) and what is the fault of my various emotional inadequacies. I guess I'm bringing this up in the hope that someone a little better-adjusted than I am will give it a go and let me know. 'Mark' is one of the names they offer - the characters address you by name rather a lot - so I use that one when I'm doing my best (and things inevitably fall apart at the end), and 'Gonzalo' is the name I use when I'm getting frustrated.

(A bit of web research has at least revealed that Grace will not run off with you, no matter how much you make out with her, so at least I'm not the only person who has tried that.)

I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


January 2012, December 2011, January 2011, September 2010, August 2010, June 2010, March 2010, October 2009, February 2009, January 2009, September 2008, August 2008, March 2008, February 2008, October 2007, July 2007, June 2007, January 2007, September 2006, July 2006, June 2006, January 2006, December 2005, September 2005, August 2005, July 2005, June 2005, May 2005, March 2005, February 2005, January 2005, December 2004, October 2004, July 2004, June 2004, May 2004, April 2004, February 2004, January 2004, December 2003, November 2003, October 2003, September 2003, August 2003, July 2003, June 2003, May 2003, April 2003, March 2003, February 2003, January 2003, December 2002, November 2002, October 2002, September 2002, August 2002, July 2002, June 2002, May 2002, April 2002, March 2002, February 2002, January 2002, December 2001, November 2001, October 2001, September 2001, August 2001, July 2001, December 1999, November 1999, October 1999, May 1999, February 1999, January 1999, December 1998, November 1998, October 1998, June 1998, May 1998, April 1998, March 1998, February 1998, December 1997, November 1997, October 1997, September 1997, and the uncategorised wilderness of the Beelzetron era: 010622 - 010619, 010615 - 010611, 010608 - 010604, 010601 - 010529, 010525 - 010521, 010518 - 010514, 010511 - 010507, 010504 - 010430, 010427 - 010423, 010420 - 010416, 010413 - 010409, 010406 - 010402, 010330 - 010326, 010323 - 010319, 010316 - 010312, 010309 - 010307, 019223 - 010219, 010216 - 010212, 010209 - 010205, 010202 - 010109, 010126 - 010122, 010119 - 010115, 010112 - 010108, 010105 - 010102, 001229 - 001224, 001222 - 001218, 001215 - 001211, 001208 - 001204, 001201 - 001124, 001124 - 001120, 001117 - 001113, 001110 - 001106, 001103 - 001030, 001027 - 001023, 001020 - 001016, 001013 - 001010, 001006 - 000927.

Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.