An Ape in the Corner.

My college roommate, Curt, had the coolest thing - a full-size ape suit. What could be better than that? And I, being a very responsible student and also the resident assistant for our floor of the dorm, had my own key to all the rooms. We did have some fun. We would pick a victim who was out of his room, maybe doing his laundry or shooting pool downstairs, or just brushing his teeth before going to bed. Curt would pull on his ape suit, I'd slip him into the victim's room, and he would hide for awhile, usually hiding in the dark corner behind the chest of drawers the guys used to bunk their beds. Curt was amazingly patient. He would wait for this guy to come back in, lay down, read awhile or watch TV. Eventually, sooner or later, it was lights out and Curt would wait just long enough for the guy to begin to drift off to sleep. Then, in the pitch dark, Curt would let out his best King Kong yells and throw his big hairy ape body on the shocked student. The rest of us would be waiting down the hall, listening for the blood-curdling screams that would always follow. Most of the victims would "scream like a girl." Sometimes we recorded the screams to play for them later.

Other times Curt would hide in the big community bathrooms, hiding in a stall with his feet up waiting for someone to sit down in the next stall. Then he would slowly stand up on the toilet and come over the top of the stall with his big ape sounds and long hairy arms. You can imagine the effect. And no matter how many times you tried to tell yourself, "There's a guy on this floor with an ape suit who likes to scare people," he would still get you. We were never ready for him. He got me a few times too, and once or twice I got to wear the ape suit. Pretty fun stuff.

And no, that was not the sum total of my college education, but it was part of it. This world is a pretty scary place, even without the ape suits. And sometimes what's hiding in the dark is real. And fight or flight, we have to deal with it, face our fears, stick together, and in the end, we overcome.

If I were to come face to face with one of those huge silverbacks high in the mountain country today, I would probably just punch him on the shoulder and say, "Knock it off, Curt. You're just not that scary anymore."


jules said…
Hello - I noticed the picture of the little boy saying his prayers with his dog. We have a dog that seems just the same but it is the unique blend of ridgeback and basset... Is yours the same? I know that she had 8 brothers and sisters so there have to be a few more out there. I've always wondered where they ended up.

Siena was born in 2001 and we got her from somewhere out on the edge of Durbanville, Cape Town. She's an amazing character, very playful and loves every living creature.

Kind regards,
Drew Hill said…
Julia- It is a beautiful dog, isn't it, and a great picture. Unfortunately, neither is my own. I would love to have such a dog, and most of the pictures on my blog are my own, but this one I borrowed from elsewhere.

Thanks for asking and feel free to send me a picture of Siena. -Drew

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