The wisdom in this instructional guide is undeniable. I will be mindful of the proffered advice to be better prepared for this uncharted phase of my life.
| It seems that everyone finds themselves in this situation at least once in their lives. You are in a gorilla suit (the full head-to-toe variety, leaving the wearer safely hidden within the large monkey persona), and you are suddenly expected by onlookers (of which there are inevitably many when a gorilla costume is involved) to peel and eat a banana in order to demonstrate the costume’s “reality”.
At first, the simple task of eating a banana will seem almost trivial, especially if wearing the gorilla suit has instilled you with Alpha-Male feelings of power and invulnerability. There is no need for shame; such delusions overtake the best of us when donning the ape suit. But humility will quickly replace pride when you first attempt to peel the banana. A gorilla’s hands are large, strong, and powerful. A human’s hands are agile, nimble, and dexterous. A human’s hands in gorilla suit gloves, however, are bulky, awkward, and practically unmanageable. Gorilla suit “gloves” don’t fit like gloves as much as they do oversized mittens sewn together with oily rags and used typewriter ribbons. They will invariably be two or three sizes too big, hanging loosely from the wrists, and the combination of rubber and cloth will ensure your sweaty palms and fingers gain no firm purchase on their gummy interiors.
These misshapen monkey paws may be detrimental to the banana scenario, but you can overcome this obstacle if you keep your wits about you. Be sure that when you take the banana from your tormentor that you grasp it firmly, as you would a baseball bat, allowing your hairy hand to hold a full fifty percent of the fruit. Then, while hopping from foot to foot (in the commonly accepted “excited banana dance” that gorillas are expected to perform), grasp the stem at the top of the banana as you would a broken garlic press and snap the stem forcefully.
There is a risk of breaking the stem completely free if this move is performed with too much gusto, and this nightmare scenario must be avoided at all costs. While fingernails are typically enough to rectify such a dilemma, your temporary gorilla hands have nails fashioned from flimsy foam rubber injected molds, so remember to gauge your faux-ape strength carefully.
Peeling the banana is easier, but there still remains room for error. The first strip you peel from the banana will be attached to the stem, and thus already in hand, but the rest of the peel will be far less accommodating. Do your best to make that first portion as large as possible. Your unmanageable monkey glove digits may not be ideal tools, but you should be able to force their stubby ends beneath the remaining folds with a little effort and care.
Do not attempt to completely peel the banana! This will result in an undesirable mushy mess that will wreck the illusion and sacrifice the rental deposit on the costume. Instead, peel the banana halfway down, allowing the peels to drape over your gorilla fist. This will keep your dry cleaning bills low and please your audience at the same time.
Now, all that is left to do is to eat the banana. This has been your goal from the sad, miserable beginning of your pathetic journey into the realm of low-rent entertainment icons. But here also lies the ultimate trap. The gorilla suit you currently find yourself captive in will no doubt be similar to the majority of gorilla suits found across the world (except in New Zealand, where they are currently illegal to own outside of the military), which means that the mouth opening in the face of the gorilla mask will be nowhere near the size that would be needed to force the peeled banana through.
Do you remove the mask? Doing so might allow you to partake of the slippery feast in hand, but will also break down the “fourth wall” your performance has so far successfully erected between you and your increasingly hostile audience. Destroying the illusion that you are actually a gorilla at this point is a bad idea, especially if there are young children watching who will only perceive that the funny monkey they have been laughing at has now begun to tear his face from his skull in some gruesome suicide attempt. Emotionally scarred children do not make for pleased onlookers.
Do you simply refuse to eat the banana? This strategy is highly unadvisable. Demented crowds of delirious thrill-seekers that stoop as low as to force gorilla-suited fools into inane mock food consumption are rarely forgiving or rational, and many injuries and deaths (including several well documented riots) have resulted from such last minute program changes. No, it is best to follow through with the charade.
Luckily, the magic of theatre is on your side. At this point in your pathetic act, the audience will be so drunk with joy and amusement that they simply want to believe that you are eating the banana. All you need do to disguise your lack of a proper facial orifice at this stage is to motion the banana near your mouth while beating your chest with your free fist (as gorillas are known to do) and move your head back and forth in the accepted mime recreation of eating. The onlookers will be so mesmerized that all you will need to do at that point is toss the banana to the ground as if discarding the peel and jump around (in the commonly accepted “excited I just ate a banana dance” that gorillas are expected to perform) while making grunting and whooping noises.
Granted, since this detailed instructional guide ends without the banana actually being eaten, one might argue that the title should have been “How Not to Eat a Banana While Wearing a Gorilla Suit.” But such an essay would be pointless, for if you didn’t want to eat a banana, you had no business putting the silly costume on in the first place.
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