How to Tell Your Friends from the Apes Author:Will Cuppy "Hilarious is right. I always doubted that is was possible to write a funnier book than How to Be a Hermit, but Cuppy has done it." -P.G. Wodehouse, in the NY Herald Review of Books — That eminent zoologist and ornithologist, Will Cuppy, believe at the moment of going to press that the proper study of mankind is animals and a few assorted birds. ... more »Following this hunch, he has arrived at some amazing, not to say epoch-making, conclusions for all concerned. He takes sharp issue with such men as Baron Cuvier, Buffon and other illustrious predecessors who looked into the matter from other angles.
He has collected and described a lot of delirious birds, beasts, and all manner of funny critters from Man to Amoeba, with the sole object of causing 1,723 good, hearty laughs. How to Tell Your Friends From the Apes is the second of Will Cuppy's "How" books on how to be and to certain things, all pretty simple, once you catch on.
Among the contents may be mentioned a pleas for cheaper Giraffes and a startling and almost censorable disclosures about the abuse of chromosomes by Neanderthal Man, the decline and fall of the Gibbon and the disadvantages of the Three-toed Sloth as a pet, together with what Mr. Cuppy believes to be the low-down on the Robin, the Aardvark, the Blue-faced Booby and many even stranger forms of life. All of which sustains his thesis that animals are just folks, or vice versa.
As for the central problem of the volume, emphasized in the title, Mr. Cuppy says: "I grant you there are plenty of old-fashioned ways to tell one's friends from the Apes. What could be simpler, for instance, when you are at the zoo? The Apes are in cages." "Yes, but when you are not in the zoo, what then?"