On Arming Gorillas

When The Sims first came out, many years ago, I was intrigued by a promise on the box: “Control every aspect of your Sim’s life!” And so I shelled out the money, installed the software, and immediately created the unhappiest Sim in the history of the universe. He had no job, lived in a shithole (literally, it had no toilet), and I wouldn’t allow him to eat, bathe, or do anything even remotely healthy. It was like college in a lot of respects. But I had also set his characteristics to the worst settings I could imagine, and as a result he spent 95% of his time weeping on the floor. This delighted me because I am a horrible person.

Sure, I could have done it differently. I could have told my Sim when to bathe, eat, shit, drink, and not fight with others and then get royally pissed off when it didn’t listen to me. But I’ve got kids, and I have to do that shit every day. And why the fuck would I want to go through the trouble of raising a virtual person who isn’t obligated to support me when I’m old and drooling? So I spent all of my time tormenting my Sims. “Hey, Sammy Sim, guess what happened when you were out working that bullshit job I made you take? I remodeled your house so that now it’s the size of a phone booth! What do you mean, storm cloud, frowny face, skull & crossbones? Are you complaining? Fuck you, try not going to the bathroom for seven days, asshole! Oh, and lots of luck keeping that job when I won’t let you anywhere near the bus stop!”

If there was a way I could piss a Sim off, I’d do it. I’d let him make contact with someone and then just as they were about to become friends, I’d have him insult the other person until they left. Or when someone approached him, I’d make him run and hide in the closet. I didn’t do this because I like to see people suffer (seriously, I’m very much the opposite). I just don’t have the patience that the Sims required back then, when you had to tell your Sim what to do down to an asinine level of detail.

If it would have been easy to make them happy, I would have created a virtual Led Zeppelin and lived vicariously through their groupie-defiling exploits. But that shit is hard, and so I made them eat shit and lie in the middle of the road.

"Hey, what are you doing here?" "No toilet at home. You?" "Lost 87 jobs this year, and my apartment is now a slaughterhouse."

“Hey, what are you doing here?” “No toilet at home. You?” “Lost 87 jobs this year, and my apartment is now a slaughterhouse.”

On to the subject of gorillas… A while back I took my family to the zoo. My middle son, five at the time, read a sign at the entrance. “‘No firearms allowed’. Daddy, what are firearms?”

“Guns,” I replied as I fished out my debit card to pay the entrance fee.

“Why can’t we bring guns to the zoo?” he asked. I love this question. He asked it in a tone of voice that suggested that bringing guns to the zoo was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and why in the world would anyone have a problem with it?

“Ok, kids, there are a lot of fucking dangerous animals at the zoo, so we’re going to be packing some serious heat. You never know when a bear might break out of his cage, or a hippo decide to go on a rampage, or maybe that fucking tiger has got just a little too much attitude. So we’re bringing the AK’s, and I want everyone to carry a 9 mm as a sidearm for close in fighting. Now let’s go to the motherfucking zoo! Yee-haw!”

Now let's see those goats at the petting zoo start some shit!

Now let’s see those goats at the petting zoo start some shit!

Anyway, as the person at the register rang up my card, I answered my son. “They don’t want the gorillas to get their hands on the guns. A gorilla with a machine gun can do a lot of damage, and believe me, this zoo doesn’t want to go through that again!”

“Oh,” said my son.

The cashier handed over my receipt with a look that let me know that she thought I was the world’s worst parent. Pfffttt. That’s nothing. She should see me with my Sims.

Later, I got to thinking what it would be like if you did give a gorilla an automatic weapon in a populated area. Banana related hold-ups would skyrocket, and you’d better believe that there’d be a lot of fucked up luggage lying around…

But what would happen after the initial outburst of violence? If no one was allowed to shoot back at the gorilla and it just began to wander around with an Uzi, how would it affect day to day life? We’d probably have daily gorilla reports on the news, with perfectly coiffed news reporters breathlessly telling us which parts of town to avoid:

“Thanks, Carl. Out here on the West side of town, residents are barricading themselves in their basements as Koko the killer gorilla ransacks local supermarkets in a quest for food. As you can see behind me, Koko has already destroyed a TCBY and flung feces all over neighboring businesses. Reports of gunfire are few, but there have been reports that the Phoenix Suns gorilla mascot was found raped and shot in the head outside of the US Airways Center.”

So that would be fun. I wonder how small of an area people would feel comfortable sharing with an Uzi-toting gorilla? I certainly wouldn’t want to share a room, house, or subdivision with one. A small town? Probably not. A major metropolitan area or a county? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t even want to share a state with one. I’d say that I’d take my chances with a country that had a machine-gun gorilla population of one, but nothing smaller. We should put one in France and see how everyone feels about it. (Vegas odds on France surrendering: 2:1)

And it’s this kind of thinking and my past experience with the Sims that makes me (and now you) realize that it’s a good thing that I’m not running the show. I’d do a lot of weird shit just for kicks. You wouldn’t think that you could put a large alligator on a Segway and let him loose in the mall, but I bet you that I’d at least try. And what would happen if squirrels were equipped with and trained to use tasers? If elected to office, I’d be sorely tempted to find out.

All of which makes this blog a public service. If I were to ever attempt to run for office, it would be my undoing.

Me: …and in conclusion, we can see that numbers clearly prove that we can balance the budget, pay off our national debt in seven years, provide medical coverage for all American citizens and their pets, all while ridding the airwaves of reality TV for good. Thank you.

Debate Moderator: Thank you, sir. Mr. Freeplestock, your rebuttal?

Freeplestock: My opponent once admitted that he would be tempted, if elected to office, to dose several thousand wolverines with mescaline and set them loose inside a Shriner’s convention.

Newspaper Headline the Next Day: FREEPLESTOCK IN LANDSLIDE!

Sub-Headline: Candidate Dogs caught trying to cross border with large quantities of mescaline

Special Agent Rover was never the same after that bust. He was tripping balls for months.

Special Agent Rover was never the same after that bust. He was tripping balls for months.

I may still run, however, if only for the humor value of the political attack ads against me.

Voiceover: Sure, Dogs says he can balance the budget, but how do you know that he won’t use the money we save to give howitzers to circus ponies?

Me: (surreptitious film clip of me speaking with an arms dealer) Do you have anything that can be fired by animals with hooves?

Voiceover: Dogs: Fiscally responsible, certifiably insane.

Freeplestock: I’m Fred Freeplestock, and I approve this message.