Monday, September 13th 2010
Pet Peeve: Baboon Butts

Nice weekend, y’all?

Ours was a week. end.  HolyCousin visited – always wonderful, never often enough. She’s one of those people that can get along with anyone and fit right in to any situation effortlessly. My whole life I’ve watched her do that and wondered how. I still don’t know.

We were sitting around my mom’s table on Saturday night having an odd conversation/argument with Ethan-10yr about baboons/gibbons. I was telling him that I’ve always disliked baboons and feel embarrassed for them and wish someone could launch a ministry of Protecting Baboon Modesty and put underwear on their bare red butts already. I didn’t word it that way at the time. But I’ve always, always, always thought that someone needed to help them. As a kid, I hated seeing them in zoos, all exploited and more so than the other animals because of the big red butts. I remember wondering if they were embarrassed, and concluding that of course they were, how could they not be? No offense, God, but it’s just not right, yaknow?

Ethan-10yr said I was thinking of gibbons, not baboons. (no. I wasn’t, but Ethan-10yr is way convincing.) Then he went on to discuss some sort of gibbon favorite food (the child actually used the word ‘delicacy’ oh yes he did) of shark eggs that only wash up after a full moon or during an eclipse. Also known as ‘mermaid’s purse,’ he tells us.

My mom and HolyCousin and I try to keep up with all the weird baboon/gibbon/mermaid talk, but it is hard. Ethan-10yr is brilliant and he knows a lot of weird stuff. He’s also known to make up a whole lotta weird stuff and make it sound real good when it’s actually pure nonsense. It entertains him.

Ethan-10yr goes off on the benefits of the furless red backsides of gibbons that i find so objectionable and how it actually factors in to the ‘attractiveness’ and ‘leadership selection’ ratings within the gibbon clan.  According to Ethan-10yr, the leader in the gibbon family is always the one with the least fur on his backside.

We lose it.

I turn to my mom and HolyCousin and we murmur about how in our experience, this rule only applies to gibbon families. Mike is in the other room and does not hear the murmuring and does not weigh in on the issue.

Later, Ethan-10yr and his big mouth are tucked into bed and I do a little factchecking. The kid is SO full of it. It is baboons, not gibbons, who need underwear and the internet had never heard of the “Least Hairy Butt Makes You the Chosen Leader ” Theory of Total Crapola. Nice one, Ethan-10yr! I confront him the next morning on the way to church and he laughs and says he has no idea why he made all that up. I tell him that according to actual research the red furless butts are for the baboons’ ‘sitting comfort.’

I kinda don’t think that is justification enough and we should all save up our kids’ too-small undies and donate to the cause.

*I am way tired. Just asked Mike about his thoughts on baboons and he made a face and said, “you’re asking me if baboons should wear red underwear?”  And I didn’t mean to say that, but whatever. It would be an improvement. I should just go to sleep.


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