The Aristocrats as Told by Koko the Gorilla

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Elena Passarello created “Koko” from the one-thousand word vocabulary of a gorilla who uses sign language.

OK. So this is the last segment for the book. It takes me about five minutes to explain why I wrote it and two minutes to read it out loud. I was saving one animal for the very end, Koko-the sign language gorilla.

She's very funny. It was kind of great. She calls all women lips. Like, “You--lips.” And then she goes to bed and to make her feel safe they draw these drapes around her enclosure. So if she doesn't want to talk to you anymore she just goes, “Drapes.”

So here's Koko telling the vaudeville joke, the Aristocrats.

The Aristocrats is a kind of a shaggy dog story that comedians often told behind the scenes. The premise is a guy walks into a talent agency office and says I have a family act and it's just going to blow your socks off. And then the father begins to describe the most disgusting acrobatic sex act. You know whatever the comedian can come up with and some people have told this joke for like four hours straight and it's like strange and involves a lot of gymnastics. It's like Cirque du Soleil but gross.

And then when the talent agency has this barrage of graphic imagery thrown at him, he asks the father so what do you call your act? And he goes, “The aristocrats.”

So Koko the gorilla tells a famous joke: Father-gorilla, mother-gorilla, baby-gorilla, hungry. Need work. Mustache man tell: “What Work?” Father gorilla tell: Really together show, fine show, good practice, lights-off good. Mustache-man tell: “Hurry, give me.”

Father gorilla tell: “Hello!” do Mother-gorilla; “Hello do Father-gorilla! Together dance; clap people.

Father-gorilla harmonica; mother-gorilla clown time; clap people. “Hello!” do Baby-gorilla. Skateboard do, puppet dance do; clap people.

Father-gorilla kiss, Mother-gorilla kiss; gorilla hug, Mother-gorilla nipple find; clap people.

Nipple kiss, nipple rub, nipple pinch, nipple slap, nipple-on-bottom, nail clipper nipple many, many nipple touch. Tongue nipple. Nipple sandwich.”

Mustache-man tell: “Who nipple?”

Father-gorilla tell: ALL nipple. Now Father-gorilla, Mother-gorilla peekaboo pickle.

Poke stomach. Peekaboo pickle with pat-bottom. With walk-up-my-bottom. Pull-out hair. Nasty time. Mean love. Mother-gorilla leash-on pickle; skateboard ride do. Clap people.

“Mother-gorilla find Baby-gorilla. Little noodle pull. Zip mouth shut. Strangle tadpole. Mayonnaise necklace. Father-gorilla there; sit Father-gorilla. Thirsty Father-gorilla lick; Mother-gorilla strap-on. Baby-gorilla sit Mother-gorilla. ALL PEEKABOO PICKLE. Trouble pickle.

“Baby-gorilla get Ingrid. ‘Hello!’ do Ingrid. Ingrid turn-around; Baby-gorilla wrestle. Ingrid trouble. Devil Ingrid. “You bad dirty toilet Ingrid.’ Ingrid pudding do. Ingrid laugh; Ingrid eat. Ingrid sick. Mother-gorilla taste. Bottle-match! Ingrid electric pudding Ingrid get Father-gorilla. Pickle bottle-match! Peekaboo pickle on fire now!

“Ingrid hold smoke-ring blow. Mother-gorilla hole blow harmonica. Father-gorilla dance, ballon-on-noodle. Baby-gorilla clowntime, balloon-on-tadpole. Ingrid hole smoke-smoke. Around together skateboard do – smoke noodle balloon harmonica ride all! Harmonica hole play ‘Purple Rain!’ All MAYONNAISE RAIN! All finished! Thank you.”

Mustache-man tell: “Wow. What name show?”

Father-gorilla tell: “We WONDERFUL SNOB PEOPLE!”

Mustache-man smile-frown.