It's rare day indeed when I bump into a show biz fancy-pants who hasn't been to my house. Once at a party, I had the good fortune to meet one of the key make-up artist's from the Apes film. "You live in Roddy's place?" he marveled "I have something for you."
Two days later a box arrived containing one of the chimpanzee extra's masks from the movie. The background apes (you read that right) didn't endure the grueling six-hour make-up process the principals did, and wore specially designed over-the-head rubber masks, one of which I know held in my trembling fanboy grip. With no one home, unable to restrain myself, I yanked it firmly down over my head.
Here's a funny fact about polyurethane rubber. Over time, its chemical compound starts to decay, and it undergoes a process called "off-gassing", where the toxic exhaust of its deterioration is released. In the case of, let's say, a chimpanzee mask, this gas settles in the muzzle of its mouth. One could say that an over-the-head chimpanzee mask is, in fact, the perfect vessel for capturing these fumes. And when said fumes have brewing for two or three decades, they are exquisitely ripe.
I found this out when I tried to breath. "Ungoo!" I grunted, as thirty-odd years of monkey mustard gas knuckle-punched my nostrils. Stunned, I staggered back and tried to clear my head. Then I coughed, sending what poisonous vapors were not in my nose up into the safety of my eyeballs. Blind and hacking, my head encased in a simian gas chamber, I zig-zagged about the room. "I can't die like this," I thought, "it's too hilarious."
Finally, I got down on my knees wrenched the mask from my head. A chimpanzee face stared back at me from the floor, impassive, but mocking.
Damned Dirty Ape Mask
Dana Gould owns Roddy McDowall's house:
Tags: monkeys, movies
Current Music: Verbena -- Monkey, I'm Your Man ♬
This is, in fact, a hilarious story. I enjoyed it very much. I would have enjoyed it more if the writer understood the proper use of an apostrophe.
Also, you should have lunch with me today.
the idea of dying because you wanted to have a secret moment alone in a chimp mask is hysterical. Especially when you say, "I can't die like this, it's too funny".
I am laughing so hard there are tears in my eyes man, tears in my eyes.
While Dana Gould is definitely wonderful the fact that he owns Roddy McDowall's house may mean that he's taken his Planet of the Ape's fandom to truly excessive levels. Or perhaps, as he explains it was merely coincidence, this is his cosmic reward. A shame he hasn't been able to really bring the Simpsons around. He did some decent episodes, but also some really poor ones IIRC. Then again, I guess it's not really the best medium for him. And it's definitely been lacking in any obvious Planet of the Apes references... aside from, well, the obvious ones from before he came on.