Live Like an Ape Man

“Welcome to the season premiere of BookTalk.  This is our seventeenth season, and of course, we could never have gotten this far without your support.  We’ve always aimed to bring you only the very best of in-depth discussions of literature and the fine arts, so of course I’m pleased to welcome back to the show Mr. Tyrell Hokus, who has written a new study of planets populated by apes.  Thank you for agreeing to appear on our show for the sixth time, Mr. Hokus.”

“It’s a pleasure to have me, Ross.”

“It’s Tom, as I have told you at least fourteen times on this show alone.”

“Excellent, glad to hear it.”

“Mr. Hokus, your new book — astoundingly, your tenth — purports to be an analysis of several planets you claim to have visited over the course of the last few years, all of which are populated by intelligent ape-like humanoids.”

“That’s right.  Ape worlds.  There’s scads of them.  The galaxy is thick with apes, mate.”

“Our research indicates that you’ve been employed as a laundry folder in Shoreham since 1997.”

“Well, I have time in me off-hours.”

“Of course.  So tell us something about these ape worlds.”

“Well, you got your worlds where apes was in charge from the jump.  Your person, he never really got his act together, sapience-wise, so bingo bango, monkeys fill the void.”

“Bingo bango.”

“Like the old saying says, monkeys abhor a vacuum.”

“That’s not an old saying.”

“It is on monkey worlds.”

“Very well.”

“Then of course you got your worlds where your people used to be on top, but they fannied about and let the apes take over.  Degeneracy, nuclear hollycaust, your various what-have-yous, no more man, only ape.  Usually this ends up with carbines and leather smocks.”

“Much like in the popular film series, Planet of the Apes.”

“Look, Stan.”

“No, not close.”

“Look, I knew you were going to bring up them films.  I have never seen a Planet of the Apes, I have never met nobody who has seen nor heard of a Planet of the Apes, and I will sue any bastard who suggests otherwise.”

“Mr. Hokus, surely.  These are amongst the most popular films of the last five decades, and your book is essentially nothing but chapter-long recapitulations of the films, in exact sequence.”

“I am not the prime minister of coincidences.”

“These seem to be rather more than coincidences.”

“Did you know that man did not evolve from apes?  Rather they had a common ancestor.  A common miswhatyoucall.  Perception.  Misamperception.”

“This is fascinating.”

“Now some of your worlds, your ape worlds, they come from neither ape nor man, but from this proto man ape bugger.  These are your planets of the man-ape.”

“Which, according to your publisher, was the original title of your book when it was a spec script for a Planet of the Apes movie.”

“It transcended its origins.”

“Did it.”

“Like a space ape.”

“Mr. Hokus, how is it that you keep getting booked on this program?”

“It’s a mystery of science, mate. Like a black hole or a magnet beam.”

“Or a planet of the apes.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say that.  But buy my book.”


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