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Fiction #325
(published April 12, 2007)
The Chimpanzee Ate My Cookies
by Julie Ann Shapiro
Hairy, the chimpanzee, ate my cookies at the airport. I carried his bananas with the gold embossed wrapping. He frowned at them. Nervous that security would quarantine him, I ate his bananas. Security searched through my backpack. Mascara, eye shadow and water got confiscated in the span of two chimpanzee squeaks. Man those security folks are fast.

They said, "You and the ape need to go to the holding tank while we search through your paper work."

I said, "He is no ape."

Hairy hates it when people get confused. I shook my head at Hairy, a warning to stay calm. He jumped on the conveyor belt with me in tow, joined by a little leash; the zoo's idea, not mine.

Security called for back up. They said, "We have a situation." Someone on speaker said to them, "Yeah well, don't make a monkey out of security."

I looked at Hairy and thought, "That's one psychic security guard," then I remembered airports have cameras at the exact moment Hairy started doing the Tarzan, me Jane thump, thump on his chest with me still leashed to him. Man is he strong.

With me careening in the air and Hairy having a ball on the conveyor belt, I felt a swat like a mosquito bite. Hairy must have too for he started screeching.

I tried to reach into my back pocket for the stash of banana chips, emergency preserves for dire situations, but nothing prepared for this. Never did my hand twitch before and that's when I noticed Hairy's hands doing the same thing, that is, before he keeled over beside me. We must have been zapped with a tranquilizer.

Security hauled us to the holding tank with hardly a squeak out of Hairy. I worried about explaining our arrest to the zoo, but that should have been the farthest thing from my mind.

In the security tank they had tarantulas and man I hate spiders. I just wondered what brainiac at the zoo thought those could get past airport security. That's when I saw the approaching Llama on a leash. The camel next to a pair of overheated penguins, a gazelle family, even a baby zebra with its zig zag just starting to zag and knew something was wrong, very wrong with this picture.

Half the zoo it seemed wound up at airport security. Some nut called in a bomb threat, not at the airport mind you, but at the zoo. All the available zoo hands got word of this and high-tailed it over to the airport for protection.

I just wanted Hairy to be OK. His quiet body scared me. I should have known better. When the gazelles pranced and the penguins tried to dive for cover, not realizing the concrete wasn't ice; Hairy let out a screech. The likes of which sent an alarm buzzing which caused him to jump. And I mean jump. That chimpanzee of mine swung from the rafters with such ferocity. All that inbreed captivity over generations got wiped out in an instant. As for me I was still in the air, right along with Hairy, that is, until they fired the shot. It took Hair down, but not before he thumped on his chest. I thumped right back at him, "Yes, you're in the jungle now."

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