I have a friend who used to be one of Koko’s personal attendants. For those of you who might be unaware, Koko is a gorilla residing at the San Francisco Zoo, who holds a claim-to-fame of being extremely well-versed in sign language. My friend ultimately departed from his position there after some rather dicey sexual harassment charges were filed and the workplace became overtly tense. It seems as though part of Koko’s initial “getting to know you” process involved asking her new acquaintances to lift up their shirts. Apparently not everyone on staff found the practice amusing; a few women felt her request constituted a clear violation of their rights, and filed sexual harassment charges against the gorilla.

I was reminded of this incident when I stumbled across a story on Gawker about a zoo in Spain that inadvertently caused a chimpanzee to become hooked on porn. Employees at the zoo installed a television in the chimpanzee Gina’s cage, and found that after only a few days she was amazingly adept at using the remote. She also seemed to prefer the porn channel. Now to me, this begs the question why did the TV have a porn channel? Is that standard in Spain? Should we all move to Spain now?

Bobs gorilla file 1 167

For those of you who have never known what it’s like to work in the restaurant industry, this one goes out to you. I’ve spent about ten years, off and on, working in different restaurants and bars, and with complete sincerity I am telling you, until you’ve worked in the industry, you have no idea what it’s like, or how physically, emotionally, and psychologically taxing it can be. I’m a firm believer that everyone should at some point in their adult life work in the field.  There’s a level of understanding that you can’t even begin to scratch the surface of until you’ve experienced it firsthand. By “it” I mean having a customer leave you a handful of buttons or a psalm booklet instead of a tip on a hefty bill, be forced to feign a calm exterior while delivering painfully hot entrée plates to a table, or any other number of soul-crushing instances which occur on a daily—sometimes hourly basis.

Imagine my delight then, when I read on Foodbeast about a café in Italy who gives discounts for customers with manners. The sign posted out front translates to: “One Coffee = $3.00, One Coffee Please = $2.00, Good Morning, make me a coffee please = $1.00.” This kind of reminds me of when my parents would have to bribe me to clean my room. I can’t decide whether this idea is really awesome or really depressing. What do you think, dear reader? Would it take a discount to coax some manners into your daily interactions? It’d be nice if people were polite for the intrinsic value in perpetuating human kindness, but discounts are pretty dandy too. Quandary.

image source hollywoodgorillamen.com 

 

Tags: , ,

Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.