Monkey Business

Monkey Business

It has been reported that in the Tennessee legislature scores of pro-Trump lawmakers have been spotted entering the statehouse chambers dressed as humans but slowly morphing into stages of ape-like appearance. Some have shed their clothing altogether and are loping along on all fours, humping one another, and doing “Cheetah” imitations. Others have been seen grooming each other, defecating in the aisles, and leaping across desks and chairs with impunity. Meanwhile, Tennessee humans in towns all over the state, devolving to apes, are crashing cars, eating bananas, thumping their chests, and retreating to state parks and living in tribes.

Tennessee is going ape. Republican legislators who have not yet made the transition (which bathroom do transspecies use?) are changing the laws, most recently passing a bill which prohibits minors from getting Covid-19 shots unless they have their parents’, who are high on Jim Jones Kool-Aid, permission. The parents are also pushing laws to dress their teenage daughters in “Handmaid’s Tale” sheik. Not surprisingly, teenagers are rebelling—with a cause. Seems that teens think their monkey parents are batshit crazy.

Even conservative columnist Kathleen Parker has commented, “Parental rights are sacred, and, most of the time, I would say rightly so. But not necessarily when a life-saving vaccine is being withheld by parents who’ve surrendered to political rhetoric over verifiable information.”

In 1966, when I was an impressionable lad, innocent (outwardly, at least; inwardly, I was a cauldron of lust) and wholesome. I had been bitten by the show biz bug and—thank the gods—show biz would be my moral downfall. I would star in a series of plays and musicals at Monticello College, a women’s institution at which my cauldron of lust would find a home. God bless the Monti girls.

Meanwhile, I auditioned for Alton Little Theatre’s production of “Inherit the Wind,” a fictional retelling of the 1925 so-called Scopes Monkey Trial in—wait for it—Tennessee. Mr. Scopes, a substitute teacher, was asked to serve as a test case for Tennessee teachers who used a state-approved textbook on the theory of evolution. Scopes agreed, and Clarence Darrow, the celebrated Chicago lawyer and greatest orator of his time, took on fantastic blowhard William Jennings Bryan, representing Tennessee Evangelicals.

The trial became a three-ring circus, famous all over the world, with the Evangelical judge not allowing Darrow’s science experts to testify. Scopes lost—of course—was fined a few hundred dollars, and science teachers went on teaching evolution. Bryan died a few days later. Perhaps he just popped like a balloon.

At Little Theatre, I got the part of Bertram Cates, the Scopes character, a science teacher on trial for teaching evolution. Cates was represented by the Clarence Darrow character, played by my high school drama teacher, Cliff Davenport. And who did Davenport cast as my girlfriend? My sister. I told him no way, and he said OK, we’ll cast someone else for you part. Remember acting, Gene? She’s your girlfriend but not your girlfriend? And that’s how my sister and I ended up holding hands onstage, and my cauldron of lust was empty. (I was sick with flu for the run of the show; the stage manager had a vomit bucket ready for me. Coincidence?)

Remember “remember the Alamo?” The Alamo was fake news, fake as in Davy Crockett et al, decidedly not heroes, growing hair on their chests and already setting the stage for devolution, were posturing and then they got their asses kicked. Remember the polio vaccine? Not fake news. And now the Corona-19 vaccine. Ninety-five percent of the deaths from the virus are unvaccinated people. Thirty-eight percent of Tennesseans are vaccinated. And teens are getting sick.

Meanwhile, at the statehouse, humans devolved back to apes are controlling the legislature in the name of Donald Trump, that bloviating ape, who tried to forcefully mate with every cute female that crossed his path.

So, if you are “seeing monkeys,” don’t call your shrink. You are in fact seeing monkeys. Monkey pox is coming. You will know the devolving hybrid humans/monkeys by their highway signs: “Trump 2424.” They lack imagination, so they have coopted the Confederate flag.

With apologies to Willie Nelson, “Mothers, don’t let your babies grow up to be Trump boys.”


About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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