This Chimp Can Chat
by Josef Schuman
METROPOLIS, SEPTEMBER 7 —
Is he the only one of his kind, or the first sign of a future depicted vividly in 1968’s classic sci-fi film, Planet of the Apes? As he tells it, his only concern is whatever case he’s trying to crack. He is best known as Detective Chimp, the intelligent ape as skilled with a magnifying glass as he is with the English language. Encountered at Metropolis International Airport, where he was awaiting a flight to France, this simian Sherlock Holmes-wearing a deerstalker cap, a sports jacket, and a T-shirt saying “What are you looking at?”—agreed to a brief interview.
Daily Planet: What’s your real name?
Detective Chimp: Sorry, that’s a secret. Have to maintain my privacy. You want to call me something, Bobo will do. It’s the name my benefactor gave me when he first found me, and it kinda stuck.
DP: How successful can a chimpanzee, even an intelligent one, be as a detective?
DC: Not very, if you go by my bank account. All my clients stiffed me on their bills, because they knew that as a chimp, what could I do? I have no legal standing as a person or a citizen of the U.S., so I couldn’t get the law on my side to make them pay. Couldn’t pay the rent on my office space, my electricity bills… Even police dogs get free meals and free room and board-can’t tell you how many of them lorded that over me. Dogs can be real catty, you know?
DP: How old are you?
DC: That’s a secret, too. I don’t want to be subjected to ageism as well as species discrimination.
DP: Is it true you’re politically active? You can’t even vote.
DC: I should be allowed to vote. I tried to force the issue. So I registered as a Republican-but only because I’ve never gotten along well with donkeys. They’re way too argumentative and set in their ways. Plus, there’s the fact that back when I was living in Africa, one of my best friends was an elephant. Simple as that, really.
DP: You can really talk to any animal?
DC: Only the ones that’ll listen.