Wednesday, February 18, 2009

513 Chimp Down

513 Chimp Down

Travis the chimp is over and out, shot dead by Connecticut cops after he went on a rampage, injured a neighbor, trapped a police officer in his cruiser.  No matter Travis was able to log on to the Internet, brush his teeth with a WaterPik and was potty trained.  He attacked a neighbor and a police officer.  And during a confrontation, that's an automatic death-by-cop and fully justified.

Travis wasn't exactly King Kong.  But two hundred pounds of rage?  That's a lot of simian to wrestle.  And since his owner had already stabbed him in efforts to stop him from further injuring a woman, a friend, whom he'd attacked, this was already one mad monkey.

So everyone feels lousy.  One woman's in critical condition after the mad monkey attack.  The owner is likely distraught -- her companion, raised as a human since birth was dead.  The cop probably feels awful for pulling the trigger.  And there's little doubt how the chimp felt those last few minutes of life.

But the fact remains that while Travis and you are pretty similar, it may not be similar enough for you all to live together in peace and harmony.   Every family has its dysfunctions.  Most of the time, they don't get in the way badly enough or often enough to do permanent damage.

It's really cute to live with a friendly, apparently extraordinarily talented and intelligent animal.   Some chimps and some humans get nasty in their old age.  But in their dotage, chimps retain the ability to do serious damage if so-moved.  And, apparently Travis was so moved, as he demonstrated when he walked to the passenger side of a prowl car, opened the door and cornered the occupant.

So, the real question is should we be have these guys around in the first place?  Even if they're cute.  Potty trained. Able to turn on the computer and find pictures.  

Ask anyone who has one and you'll get an answer like "Travis?  That doesn't happen very much.  He had Lyme Disease, after all.  They gave him Xanax, what do you expect?"  Humanesque as he might have been, maybe Xanax doesn't work for chimps.

You also have to wonder how this case would it have been handled, had it been somewhere other than a small, tony-in-spots seaside city in Connecticut. 

Eventually, we may find out.  Many chimp owners are like gun owners and overprotective parents.


Shrapnel:

--Okay, do you feel more stimulated?  You, neither, right?  Still, it's better than being Travis the Chimp.

--Sirius XM radio got a bailout from Liberty Media and won't declare bankruptcy.  Liberty gets a good chunk of the company in return.  A new version of "Give me Liberty or give me death."

--Radio geniuses figured satellite broadcast would work because we're all used to paying for TV that used to be free.  Not the case.  Not with free "regular" radio and almost-free Internet radio.


I'm Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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