Growing up, it's every boy's dream to one day stand up in front of his peers, introduce a hyper-intelligent ape he raised from a baby, and tell the audience that he'll never forgive them for doubting him. "I will feast on your entrails!" this ur-child screams, pounding his fists on the podium. "So please, I beg of you, take care of yourselves! High-fiber foods!"
Until recently, this dream had always remained out of reach, the available training and diaper technology inadequate to the task of creating a hyper-intelligent primate. But in the past few years, great leaps forward in the educational and poop-concealing realms has brought the prospect of grooming one's own personal renaissance-ape within reach. And as many of my readers have both mislaid priorities and great loneliness, I knew this was something they'd be interested in.
After spending several months unselfishly working on this, I've come up with the following methodology and an illustrative example. So whether you want to ruin everyone who ever crossed you, or just need someone to split the rent with, this should provide you with everything you need to know to create your own hyper-intelligent ape.
To begin, first find places in your community where apes are likely to hang out, such as zoos, Africa, or 1930's traveling circuses. When approaching one of these organizations, remember that their leaders are unlikely to just give an ape to just anyone. Make sure to dress like a person mentally and physically capable of controlling an ape. When I was doing this, I wore eyeglasses, a bowler hat and a shirt two sizes too small, sort of like what I imagine a genius muscleman might wear.
If you're in a pinch and can't find an ape in your community, go for a monkey instead -- they're more compact and much more easily obtainable. Although I definitely recall reading somewhere that there is a difference between an ape and a monkey, it'd be a pretty jaded son of a b***h to not be impressed if he came across you having a conversation with a hyper-intelligent monkey. This is what I ultimately ended up having to do: On Craigslist I found a 4-year-old male howler monkey.
I named him Hannah Montana.
The next step is to set up your training habitat, which I'm going to assume is in your home somewhere. You really should do this before you get the ape, but if you forgot like I did, remember that some IKEA stores have a ball pen which will entertain an ape or monkey for hours. Failing that, a couple volleyballs and the trunk of your car will also serve as a suitable holding pen.
Your first instinct will be to decorate your home like the ape's natural habitat: littered with bananas, vines, jungle music, etc. ... But that's actually the exact wrong thing to do; you want to encourage your charge to fit in with human society. Instead, decorate your home like a school. Coat pegs, alphabet posters, tiny little urinals, etc. ... If you need ideas, try hanging around an elementary school taking notes. This kind of first-hand research is invaluable, even if you do get some funny looks, or your name on a few funny watchlists.
I went a unique way setting up my in-home schoolhouse because of a bunch of materials I had on hand due to a sex thing I have: I set up my apartment to look like an whimsical old boarding school, a kind of Hogwarts for apes.
A sexy Hogwarts for naughty apes.
Prepare to be frustrated, as you slowly come to appreciate how majestically stupid apes are. It doesn't matter what you try. Print key concepts like "Italy is shaped like a boot" and "The ends justify the means" onto flash cards, and see how long it takes your ape to eat them. Try something simpler like the alphabet, and realize just how awful an ape's hand smells when it's been up its bum instead of learning the f*****g alphabet.
Finally, just throw them in a room with an Xbox. I found with Hannah Montana that his tiny little thumbs could easily manipulate a controller, and within two hours, he had pretty much gotten the hang of Halo. Most of his kills were just cheap camping though, and he did spend entire matches shrieking at teammates. Though that did actually make him one of the more civilized players.
gg HowlingMontana. Thanks for only shrieking endless gibberish, and not racist gibberish.
Still, being hyper-intelligent in comparison to an Xbox player is damning with faint praise. I needed faster results.
I know a lot of my readers don't write a column for Cracked, so you may not have access to the volume of solicitations which get passed my way by vendors looking for me to advertise their wares. Most of this is spam, your typical Nigerian penis lottery scams and that kind of thing. But the offers for vials of intelligence serum caught my interest, especially after Hannah Montana's endless failures at learning to tie my shoes (so I wouldn't ever have to).
I got a few of these offers from different vendors: Most of the time, their intelligence serum turned out to be a couple expired Jello Pudding cups, or a ziplock bag full of semen. But eventually I did receive a vial of what legitimately appeared to be intelligence serum (it was in a vial). Wary of the quality control methods in use in the darkest labs of China, I decided to wear gloves when mixing it in to Hannah Montana's Lunchables.
But it worked! Within minutes of ingesting the serum, Hannah Montana was capable of counting to 20 and looking down on me, and would get rapidly better at both skills.
Hannah Montana soon became bored with my apartment, and actually got kind of snide about it. (What the hell does "deviant-shabby" even mean?) To get him out of the house and give me room to cry a little, I began taking him on field trips in to the real world. Hannah Montana seemed agreeable to this, wanting to find a way to earn his keep, "and move out of your sad little garden-level sex dungeon."
Because he lacked any formal education or certificates, we first looked around for a position in low-level service industry jobs. I was imagining he could be one of those people who wear sandwich boards advertising the existence of a newly opened IHOP, or failing that, as a Wal-Mart greeter. Hannah Montana got right on board with the second idea, actually landing a position as a Wal-Mart assistant manager when he was the only one to show up to the interview with a resume. He didn't even have anything on the resume, it was all: "Howler Monkey - 2007-Present" and they were blown away.
Although he was a male howler monkey, so that might have helped.
For the next few weeks things seemed to be going fine. Hannah Montana was doing well at his new job, was kicking in for the rent and even set the clock on the microwave for me. It was, in retrospect, too good to last, and when Hannah Montana finally figured out that he despised me and the rest of us hairless monstrosities, he escaped my apartment to plot our downfall. I knew I had to do something, if only because I needed him to write down the trick for remembering how to tie shoes one more time.
But I found that when tracking a hyper-intelligent, completely furious primate, it's not worth calling the police. It's just a really awkward, disjointed conversation to have -- they don't really have the right call-out codes or procedures for dealing with this kind of situation. And in my instance, they even strongly implied that I was in more trouble than Hannah Montana.
Instead, if the same thing happens to you, I'd suggest you begin searching neighborhoods your former ward is likely to frequent. Try trolling the streets, driving up and down trailing a banana behind your car. If your ape or monkey is anything like Hannah Montana, this won't entice him out of hiding at all. But it will infuriate him enough to cloud his flawless monkey-judgment, and bait him into launching an attack on mankind too soon.
You know that when one of the steps involves baiting someone into attacking mankind too soon, you're dealing with a How-To Guide with balls.
Unable to find his own kind living in the city, Hannah Montana instead grew to become a leader of the local population of stray cats, as well as a group of disenchanted Wal-Mart employees/species-traitors.
He earns a button for every confirmed kill.
As for myself, I knew that to fight a cat-armed monkey, I was going to have to think like a cat-armed monkey.
"I should throw these cats at things."
Knowing that, I equipped myself with thick clothes capable of withstanding a cat scratch, 12 cans of tuna fish to serve as cat-distractions and eight dollars which I could use to bribe up to five Wal-Mart employees, should they get in my way.
The actual fighting turned out to be pretty easy, most of the heavy lifting being handled by animal control when a couple of restaurants complained. Then when Wal-Mart's senior management declared Hannah Montana's army to be a union and fired them all, morale shattered, leaving Hannah Montana alone and exposed.
If you've been faithfully following this guide, by this point you'll find yourself standing precariously on the girder of an under construction skyscraper, facing your former creation, the pair of you armed with bicycle chains. Beneath you, the streets are swollen with people, eager to watch humanity's fate be decided. So you'd better be damned sure you have something dramatic to say to let all understand the gravity of what's happening. I urge you to choose something better than, "Hannah Montana, I loved you! I loved you like a brother!" which will really only confuse people.
The actual fight itself will depend a lot on how good your balance is, and whether you read my classic (and now-removed) column How to Attack Animals with a Bicycle Chain .
It turns out that when a man clad in head-to-toe denim and reeking of tuna fish is caught whipping a monkey with a bicycle chain, people are naturally inclined to take the monkey's side. Knowing that speaking aloud would only confirm my story, Hannah Montana remained silent as the police intervened and chased me from the skyscraper. On a unrelated note, it turns out that the top of an active construction site is the worst possible place to learn Parkour in, in much the same way as head-to-toe denim is the worst possible outfit to learn Parkour in. When I bravely regained consciousness days later, I found out that all charges had been dropped because of the good laugh I gave everyone.
Hannah Montana escaped during my lengthy and hilarious fall (I'm told that I hit basically everything on the way down. It took me almost two minutes to reach the ground). I'd like to think that he's forgiven the grudge he held against me, and by extension humanity. But if anyone happens to see Wal-Mart doing something evil, well, I guess we know who to blame.
For more from Bucholz, check out If Harry Potter Was Written for Middle-Aged Men and Editing Your Comment Spam for Optimal Porn Delivery.
Our bodies are changing.
Many of today's celebrities have some real surprises in their family trees.
Everybody loves a good old-fashioned meltdown.
Science is fun.