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Dead Monkey

If you hoped to pick Koko the Signing Gorilla in the Dead Pool tomorrow, you’re out of luck. She daid. Also, she was a monkey.

Oh, don’t give me that ‘gorillas aren’t monkeys’ crap. Who are you, Gregor Mendel?

I’ll be honest, fam — I’m pretty seriously monkey phobic. (Long story. Has to do with a childhood friend of my mother’s who had a circus act).

So I’m prejudiced, I admit. But I don’t buy for a minute that she had an IQ of 85 and a vocabulary of…however many words she’s supposed to have had a vocabulary of. Without her ‘interpreters’, I’m not convinced she could consistently sign “ook ook banana.”

Also, of all the dozens of pictures of Koko with kittens, have you ever noticed how unhappy the cats look? And how it’s always baby kittens? What happened to them…? Just sayin’.

Well, whatever. Back here tomorrow, 6 WBT. Dead Pool 110!


Comment from Pablo
Time: June 21, 2018, 10:15 pm

Everybody who was going to rush in to pick Charles Krauthammer can just settle down. Krauthammer has left the building. RIP, sir.

Comment from Jeff Weimer
Time: June 21, 2018, 10:43 pm

I was about to say, looks like the Dead Pool convention of waiting until Fridays means we avoid having an argument about Dr. Krauthammer, since he announced what, two weeks ago, and I (for one) thought that picking him violated at least the spirit of Rule O.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: June 21, 2018, 10:59 pm

Remember that gorilla researcher in SF (I wonder if KoKo knew her) who made her grad students flash their breasts to the ape? Supposedly, it was to make the ape more maternal or the researcher was having a laugh or she was just kinky. Anyway, dont think these animals shd be in captivity.

Comment from RimrockR
Time: June 21, 2018, 11:01 pm

Koko joins Harambe in Gorilla Heaven, sad.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: June 21, 2018, 11:06 pm

IIRC Koko liked having a cat around to blame things on.

Comment from Matt Harris
Time: June 21, 2018, 11:44 pm

1) She was famous
2) She was objectively smarter than most celebrities.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: June 22, 2018, 12:32 am

2) She was objectively smarter than most celebrities liberals.

There. Fixed it for you.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: June 22, 2018, 12:34 am

Gorillas aren’t exclusively herbivores. Just sayin’.

Comment from OldFert
Time: June 22, 2018, 6:34 am

Yep, Mr Carson.
They should’ve realized a problem when the damn dirty ape kept naming the kittens “Donut.”

Comment from peacelovewoodstock
Time: June 22, 2018, 11:52 am

IQ of 85? I guess that’s why Koko is reading “Socialist Review” in the pic?

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: June 22, 2018, 1:33 pm

Yeah. I’m a bit monkey-phobic myself. Don’t like zoos either.

My son and his wife taught sign-language to their first-born, and it was amazing to see how Child adapted what she’d learned to what she wanted. At five months, I watched her repeatedly sign “bottle” and “more” when her father walked past her with his plate of barbecue. She didn’t know what it was, but she damn sure wanted some!

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: June 22, 2018, 3:12 pm

Alas poor ape.
I heard she liked dressing up as Fay Wray.

Or was that Christopher A. Wray?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2018, 4:55 pm

Phew! I just accidentally posted the DeadPool in realtime, instead of scheduling it for 6WBT.

Is my face red.

Comment from LesterIII
Time: June 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

It still isn’t up, though

Comment from LesterIII
Time: June 22, 2018, 5:13 pm

Currently pulled off highway awaiting morbidity wagering!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 22, 2018, 5:17 pm

WBT doesn’t observe British Summer Time, so it’s not for an hour yet.

Comment from Montenegro
Time: June 22, 2018, 5:23 pm


Comment from BJM
Time: June 22, 2018, 6:13 pm

I actually met Koko in the early 90’s. We were were selling some of our specialty Nikkor lens and camera equipment. A guy inquired about one of the more obscure lenses. When he arrived I immediately recognized him and asked “Aren’t you Ron Cohn?” pointing to a B&W lithograph of Koko on our wall that we bought at a charity auction.
He was very taken aback as they were not well known at that time.

Long story short; He bought the lens and we were invited to the Woodside compound to observe Penny in a session with Koko.

Outsiders were not allowed direct contact, but observed through a two-way mirror, so that their data wouldn’t be skewed, but I swear Koko understood and was feeding info back spontaneously and appropriately, it did not appear to learned or rote behavior…she was sort of riffing on the humans. The twinkle in her eye was almost as if she was thinking “So you want the sign for banana do you? How about asshole instead?”.

Everyone was totally dialed into the project and Cohn was barely keeping the lights on from scant donations and his own pocket. Their equipment was kludged and the whole operation had that feeling of doing something exciting.

The researchers and technicians, including Patterson volunteered as most were working on their doctoral thesis in various medical and behavioral sciences at nearby Stanford.

However, I also agree that monkeys and Chimpanzees are kind of creepy and shouldn’t be kept as pets, period, but then I also feel the same about parrots, etc…except most birds can’t rip your face off. Although I recently met a Macaw that surely wanted to. I don’t get the attraction of caged wild birds.

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