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Funny Fiction Contemporary

SENSITIVITY WARNING: Contains profanity, but with the gore and fecal matter, you would curse, too.


Chimpanzee people are crazy. 


For starters, you have to be off your rocker to want an animal that will rip off your face because it’s Thursday. Did you know that a chimp can deadlift 1000+ lbs? They can easily pull any human adult male up a tree with ONE ARM while hanging onto the tree with the other. 


Chimps are not to be effed with, is my point here. They are scary-strong.


On top of that, though, they – chimp people, that is, and to a one – always want to baby the animal, and that includes baby talk, which then graduates to an eventual need to attempt to engage in real communication at some point. Would you baby a grizzly bear, then want to know its innermost musings? No. No you would not. 


So why you would want to own a chimp at all is beyond me, but wanting to communicate with one is a whole other universe of wtf. Do you suspect the chimp has Thoreauian thoughts while sitting by the patio door and scratching its diaper-clad backside? No, it’s pretty much banana, sleep, sex, fling poo, rip face. Chimps are simple creatures, when you get right down to it… and I say that as a simple creature.


But there are suckers to be had, and I was unemployed at the time. One day while we were getting high, Jackson – a buddy of mine who’s in the biz – encouraged me to cash in on the enormous piles of dosh to be had by becoming the world’s first Chimp Whimperer, or “Chimperer,” for short. One of his clients had horrifically lost some of her furbabies to a new household chimp, the taming of which was an untapped market at the time. 


It sounded like a good idea, so I immediately began drawing up a business plan. (It was mostly a stick-figure drawing of a chimp pulling $500 bills out of its ass, but you get the idea.)


When it occurred to me that I didn’t actually know what chimps were saying, he laughed for so long I thought I would have to punch-reboot him. “Man, nobody does… how are they gonna know if you’re wrong??” Brilliant! I guess that’s why he’s the king of animal secrets, and I am just a pauper.


Jackson generously agreed to fund some print and web ads for me, and before I knew it, I was receiving all kinds of voicemails. There were more chimp owners than I had realized, in my area of West Hollywood!


I flipped through the messages and decided on Ava, first; her accent seemed Russian, and she sounded hot. Because the message gave her address and said, “Hurry, is emoorgency!” I went right over without calling. When I got there, I could hear the chimp shrieking from within; I rang the bell.


A Bettie Page lookalike answered the door; male or female, I couldn’t tell, but in West Hollywood, you often can’t, and … does it matter, anyway? I told Bettie I was the Chimperer she ordered. “Igor is logked in keetchen.” The sounds of breaking glass made that apparent. I started to head toward the back of the house.


“Where you goink?” She demanded.


“Uh, to talk to the chimp?” Had she made me as a poser this soon? 


“Talk?? To CHEEMP?! No, you feex sova.” She stabbed a long arm, ending in a sharply pointed nail, toward a purple velvet divan in the corner which was covered in a mound of feces.


“Noooo… you called The Chimperer. That’s me. I talk to the animal and find out what’s wrong with it.”


“Oh this bool. You say you feex animal problem. You feex sova.” 


At least she wasn’t a sucker, but I was out of there. I slowly backed out the door and down the front stairs, leaving Bettie to sort out her shitty menace for herself. I heard a plate hit the back of the door as she slammed it shut, and silently wished her luck. I think I dodged a bullet, on that call.


The next message was from “Deke.” He had a real Steve-Dave quality to his voice, but when I got there, he looked like an actual bouncer. A combination of steroids and a 24-hour gym membership, I was sure this guy only got a chimp to have a workout buddy. 


“Uh, hi! You called The Chimperer?”


“Yeah, come in. I think Bob sprained something. He hasn’t been himself.” 


“Oh, well I’m not really a veter…”


“Well could you just take a look and see? Maybe ask him where it hurts? Vets won’t do that.”


“You see it’s not really like that. I get into their psy…”


“JUST ASK HIM!” Whoa, dude.


“Sure, no problem.” I remembered my “training” (the fact that people don’t know what the animal is saying), and got close, but not too close. “Bob, hi. Deke says you’re hurting. Could you…” uh oh. Deke was standing right there. Any request for obvious cues was going to fall flat. “... tell me with your eyes what is going on with you today?” 


(“Our eyes are our most expressive organs, you know,” I said as an expert aside to Deke, who nodded in a clueless-yet-knowing way.)


We sat there, the chimp looking back and forth between us for several minutes. “Hmm, that’s odd. Where did you say Bob seemed to be injured?” I inquired.


“Well, I thought it was his solarplexus.” Shit, I didn’t know anatomy. My ruse was failing; I had hoped for some better guidance.


“Well, he says you're totally right and he needs a vet for that, but what I’m also getting from Bob is a heartbreak indicator. He’s lonely, and a little sad. Have you ever thought of getting another chimp?” It was a gamble…


“Oh wow, man. I never thought about that! Then they could talk to each other, and when Bob’s injured, I could still work out with the other one. That is a fantastic idea. Awesome, man, thanks so much!” Deke stuffed a wad of bills in my hand and saw me out the door.


Holy crap, I couldn’t believe it! This was a goldmine!


I had time for one more call before I needed to get to the bank, so I decided on “Diamond.” I liked the sound of that, from a purely financial standpoint. 


As I pulled up to the front of the building, the valet indicated that Diamond was currently on the rooftop doing yoga but had left instructions that I was welcome to wait in the penthouse and get to know Jimbotron.


Hoo boy. This was going to be a doozy.


Plush white carpeting greeted me underfoot when I exited the elevator; greenery everywhere was reminiscent of a jungle palace, complete with marble columns peeking out here and there, and the sounds of small waterfalls just out of view, gently trickling into hidden pools somewhere nearby. It was a fairytale. Classical music was softly playing, and the windows were open, letting gentle breezes flow in from the penthouse-length patio. The sliding doors left open, an occasional bird flew in and landed on open seed wells, beautifully carved in shapes of flower bells. If there was a paradise, this was as close to it as I had been.


“Hello?” I quietly and somewhat reverently inquired into the peaceful setting, wondering why I had not been met upon arrival. I ventured further into the palatial abode and encountered a sunken den. In the center of the darkened room was a television, and facing that was a man on a wrap-around white leather sofa, watching football.


“I’m Diamond,” came a sensual woman’s voice from behind me. I spun around and blinked. Looking right, then left, then right again, my mind refused to grasp the obvious. 


There was no woman standing anywhere: only a Lululemon-clad chimp, flashing a toothy grin.


“D-Diamond,” I finally managed. “Uh-Hi. Hello. I’m the Chimperer you called for?” I felt like an ass and an idiot, saying it specifically to the chimp. I half expected it – her – not to answer. My brain felt like Jell-o. Could this all be an elaborate prank?


But, answer, she did: “Yes, and thank you for coming out so quickly, under these circumstances. That’s Jimbotron on the sofa. As you can tell, that's his only trick, hence the nickname. I would dearly love it if you could get him to do literally anything but watch televised sports.” Jim grunted.


“Well, usually I work with chimps..anzees,” I told her. Her gaze narrowed. “I don’t really know all that much about the human psyche.” 


“I consider myself to be a “chimpanzee person,” if you please.” She growled, the toothy grin changing to something more of a fangy grimace. “I took a great risk bringing you up here, and now you aren’t even going to help me? Tell me, “Chimperer,” have you ever survived a five-story fall?” She began bouncing up and down and gesticulating wildly.


The last thing I clearly remember is a pair of kungfu primate feet headed straight for my head at that exact moment, with some designer legwarmers visible just behind them… 


And that’s how I ended up here, with no face and complete paralysis, dictating this cautionary tale. 


Like I said in the beginning, and now I mean it even more: chimpanzee people are crazy.


December 16, 2022 18:35

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33 comments

Michał Przywara
23:51 Dec 22, 2022

What I love most about this is, it opens with a rant about chimp people, and then naturally segueues into profitting from said people :) But then the ending is fantastic too, since it changes what "chimp person" means. And then the service calls are amusing too - basically, there's a lot here to like :) Catchy title, good voice, tantalizing warning - thanks for the laughs :)

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Wendy Kaminski
00:18 Dec 23, 2022

Thank you so much, Michał! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and leave such a lovely comment! :)

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Graham Kinross
15:47 Dec 21, 2022

“ Chimps are simple creatures,” clearly you’ve not seen the documentary Umbrella Academy. Pogo is a complex guy with a lot to say for himself. “ stick-figure drawing of a chimp pulling $500 bills out of its ass,” how much of an ass does a stick figure have? What’s the name for the body type, not quite an hourglass. Upside down champagne flute? That’s what you get for trying to hoax people in the prequel to planet of the apes I guess.

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Wendy Kaminski
17:57 Dec 21, 2022

Lol :) Your reviews always crack me up!

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Graham Kinross
06:55 Dec 22, 2022

I’m still stuck on the idea of a stick figure pulling money out of its ass. Notes transitioning from one dimensional to two dimensional, as the chimp twerks with a cheeky grin I assume. Or perhaps great discomfort? That’s not the kind of birth nature intended. Awful place for a papercut.

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Wendy Kaminski
12:05 Dec 22, 2022

Oh dear Lord LOL! :)

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Lily Finch
02:36 Dec 20, 2022

Hi Wendy, this story is a refreshing view of the prompt. I liked the story line and enjoyed the ending. Great job. Great pace and flow! Your diction is colourful and engaging. LF6

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Wendy Kaminski
02:44 Dec 20, 2022

Thank you so much for always being so encouraging, Lily!! :) I really appreciate it!

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Dan Coglianese
17:15 Dec 19, 2022

I really enjoyed this one. Such a great take on the prompt. You have a rich vocabulary which adds to your ethos. After having read a couple of your stories, I am really impressed at how effectively you can write in different personas. All around terrific stories.

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Wendy Kaminski
18:19 Dec 19, 2022

Thank you so much for reading, and for the very kind words! I am glad you enjoyed it. :)

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BRUCE MARTIN
02:54 Dec 18, 2022

Very imaginative and colorful, as usual. Great story! Just as an aside, there is an author named T.C. Boyle who wrote a short story about a woman who leaves her husband for a chimp. The story is "Descent of Man." I have really enjoyed his writing. I just noticed that he recently published a novel, "Talk to Me," about raising a chimp as a human child and trying to train it to speak English. He is a very talented writer, and I think you would enjoy checking it out.

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Wendy Kaminski
02:57 Dec 18, 2022

I will do that! Thank you very much for the recommend! Also for reading and commenting. :-)

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Wendy Kaminski
03:02 Dec 18, 2022

This looks awesome! Here's a roundup link if anyone else might be interested: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/books/story/2021-09-09/t-c-boyle-on-his-new-chimp-love-triangle-novel-and-being-big-in-germany.

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Delbert Griffith
00:29 Dec 18, 2022

Funny, clever, witty - you hit the trifecta with this one, Wendy. The amusing tableaus and the con game on chimp owners made for a very fun read, and an enlightening one. I think the humor in the story also speaks to how little we really understand the animal kingdom. I especially liked the ending. The chimp turning the tables on the human was a nice twist. Nicely done, Wendy. As usual.

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Wendy Kaminski
00:43 Dec 18, 2022

There you go making my day, as usual. :-) Thank you!

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Delbert Griffith
01:13 Dec 18, 2022

P.S. In paragraph #5 (I think) you called the main character a 'chimp whimperer.' Should that be 'chimp whisperer'?

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Wendy Kaminski
01:44 Dec 18, 2022

Not after what he went thru lol

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Martin Ross
17:13 Dec 17, 2022

OMG!! That was such an absolute hoot, and what a great statement on us guys, from the scamming Chimperer to Deke to Jimbotron! As I told a neighbor with a man-wary rescue dog yesterday, we are the WORST. The matter-of-fact account of the climactic horror and its consequences was a dark comedy gem, and the episodic structure helps build suspense. This would have made a five-star entry in Jordan Peele’s recent Twilight Zone reboot. It kept me glued to our sova😉. One incidental note that amplified my nervous enjoyment: When I was a kid in the ...

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Wendy Kaminski
02:52 Dec 18, 2022

Oh yikes, that chimp's motives were probably harmless, but it does give me chills. :) I heard the Travis the Chimp recording once, and it has... affected me... =/ Noooo not a man hater, truly! I do live in a part of the country where it seems needlessly rampant, so bop me about the keyboard fingers if it ever seeps through. :) Your line about the sova cracked me up, and your reference to Jordan Peele ... ahh! A fave. :) Also, you really stuck the comment landing with your last. Thank YOU for the entertaining review! lol :)

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AnneMarie Miles
23:41 Dec 16, 2022

Oh my gosh, this is fun! I will return your earlier compliment to me to you: this is fresh and original! And how you managed to whip this up in one day, whew, good job! The trigger warning was a great opener, and the voice is lighthearted and casual. I really liked the inner dialogues sprinkled throughout: "Whoa, dude" and "This is going to be a doozy." You gave us three very suitable and very different "crazy chimpanzee people" and while your MC has no face and is paralyzed, they will forever have this whacky story to tell any and all wh...

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Wendy Kaminski
00:05 Dec 17, 2022

Thank you so much, Anne Marie! I really appreciate your enthusiastic review! I was hoping to go for even more zany “interpretations”, but it turned out to be more challenging than I thought. :-) There may be some edits lol.

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AnneMarie Miles
00:22 Dec 17, 2022

I'm sure more ideas will wake you up at night - LOL! Would love to hear about them if they do! Happy Friday!

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Wendy Kaminski
00:26 Dec 17, 2022

hehe You, too! :)

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Martin Ross
17:14 Dec 17, 2022

I think it’s pretty flawless! The tone was letter-perfect!

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Wendy Kaminski
17:16 Dec 17, 2022

Thank you so much! Very flattering! :)

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Mike Panasitti
22:01 Dec 23, 2022

I loved the way you used West Hollywood as the setting for this tale of primate shenanigans. The strangest things seem possible in that part of Los Angeles. Also, I remembering hearing once, long ago, that a chimp owner had been attacked by her pet after giving it an unhealthy dose of Xanax. The humor, suspense and speculative nature of this story kept me enthralled from start to finish.

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Wendy Kaminski
22:28 Dec 23, 2022

Thank you so much, Mike! And yeah, Travis the Chimp is that cautionary tale.

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Mary Bendickson
20:22 Mar 12, 2023

Hi, Wendy, Just dropping in to thank you for liking my 'Holes in My story'. Thought I should pick one of your less liked posts to convey my appreciation. But this was a gem as all I have read of yours are. It humbles me when I witness talent like yours. Thanks for the support.

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Wendy Kaminski
20:24 Mar 12, 2023

Thanks so much, Mary! I do upvotes to remind me to comment later, so thank you for the reminder as I wend my way through the list! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. :)

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L M
19:41 Dec 26, 2022

Thiss is really funny. Great story Wendy.

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Wendy Kaminski
19:49 Dec 26, 2022

Thank you so much, LM! :)

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L M
19:53 Dec 26, 2022

Youre welcome.

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Roger Scypion
01:32 Dec 07, 2023

Awesome writing Wendy! You are gifted for sure! Great story and the ending was epic! Kudos yet again!

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