The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 05, 1993, Page 5, Image 5
Koko monkeys around with love Remember Koko — the kind ly young gorilla who made news in the late ’70s because of her American Sign Language pro ficiency and lovable personality? Well, Koko is no longer a young un. Like all child celebrities, she grew up when we weren’t looking. One day she’s a cheeky, little mon key with a pet kitten, and before you know it, she’s blossomed into 230 pound womanhood. And now Koko has got herself a man. A significant other, a lover, a mate — a primate. Where, you might ask, does a lone ly young gorilla on the make find her perfect match? Like the rest of us, Koko had no luck with the bar scene and single’s nights at the Piggly Wiggly. Never one to leave her future to blind luck, Koko turned to video dating. That’s right, in an effort to find Koko a mate, her caretakers gathered videotapes of eligible gorillas and then screened them for the lucky bachelorette. Koko watched carefully and even commented on some of the studs — “He’s got nice hair on his head,” “Feet too big.” After she chose her favorite, he came over for a visit. This first choice turned out to be a dud — don’t they all — but Koko wasn’t too discour aged. She hit the VCR again, and found another hunka-hunka burning monkey manhood. Koko was pretty excited when Mr. Right finally showed up at her pad. She chased him around willy nilly and slapped him a few times. Slow down, Koko, there’s plenty of time for all that. Silly kid. As happy as I am to see Koko crazy in love — I mean, really, she deserves it — I’m worried about her future. Chances are, Koko is much bright er than her male counterpart. Say what you will about opposites at Like the rest of us, Koko had no luck with the bar scene and single’s nights at the Piggly Wiggly. Never one to leave her future to blind luck, Koko turned to video dating. trading, I’m pretty dam sure that this relationship is going to suffer astronomical communication prob lems. After the thrill of romping around wild-eyed wears off, Koko’s going to need more from her partner: con versation, affirmation, positive feed back. “Honey, what are you thinking? Honey?” “Let’s talk about us. Where is our relationship going? Answer me!” “This stoic crap just isn’t cute any more.” “I SAID, pass the orange peels.” There might be children by that point. And no doubt, Koko will pick up most of the childrearing responsi bilities. Who’s going to teach the kids that yes means yes and no means no? Who will help them with their sign language homework? Koko. And she’ll probably be the disci plinarian, too. “What would you fa ther say?” just doesn’t have the same effect when Dad can’t talk. When the relationship finally falls apart, what will Koko do? What sort of world is this for a divorced gorilla with a couple of kids? Will she give up completely on love and romance? Sweet Koko, don’t close your heart. There are plenty more apes in the jungle. Well, actually, there aren’t. But I hear that zoos are a great place to meet guys. Hopefully, Koko will find a sensi tive guy who doesn’t mind dating someone more educated than him self. Really, though, he should have some basic language skills. Maybe Grape Ape is available. Sure, he was no Mr. Ed, but at least he could say his own name — over and over again. And every once in a while, he’d grunt meaningfully. With a little persuasion, I bet Koko could even talk him out of wearing that goofy bow tie. Maybe Koko should stick to this video dating idea. “Love Connec tion” is always looking for unique contestants, and Koko has better man ners and hygiene skills than many of the people I’ve seen on the show. Consummate game-show host Chuck Woolery wouldn’t even be phased by a non-human contestant on the show. Chuck’s pretty slick. He’s seen worse — oily, crude men in raw silk pants. Spike-heeled women who say things like, “Omigawd Chuck, you wouldn’t be lieve my embarrassment. I swear he hadn’t brushed his teeth for two months; they were like butter.” On second thought, Koko’s way too good for those “Love Connec tion” losers. She’d fall into that “I’d rather go out with you, Chuck” trap. “Now Koko,” Chuck would say, tugging at his collar and making “Whew!” faces at the audience, “you know I’m a happily married man.” Poor Koko, looking for love in all the wrong places. Rowell li a junior news-editorial, adver tising and English major and a Daily Nebras kan columnist. -1 1 Data assumes dire dimensions Iwant to apologize. This isn’t my real column. As I was printing out my bril liant 80-line dissertation on the met allurgical advances in aluminum foil since 1940, the computer suddenly began shrieking like a gibbon in heat and spewing forth green vomit. At first I nodded knowingly, rec ognizing my own PMS symptoms. But then there was ghostly silence. The screen went blank for a moment, then those words appeared: COM PUTER CANNOT READ FILE. 1 looked at my puny fists. No, a base ball bat would be far more appropri ate. Why? I asked myself. A pencil costs less than a quarter, and there are only a few recorded cases of pen cils spontaneously losing or destroy ing the work of scribes. I took a deep breath and thought of Brent Spiner, the actor who por trays Lt. Cmdr. Data on Star Trek. Whenever 1 think I would like to pour Drano into my disk drive, I like to think of that glorious day in the 24th century when computers will be infallible, mild-mannered and sub missive servants. Someday, you’ll be able to go to Radio Shack and buy a Mister Rogers with superhuman strength. Sunday’s episode of ’’Star Trek: The Next Generation” proved me horribly wrong. In the absence of Picard and Riker, Data assumed the role of captain with frightening re sults. He performed with surprising authority and curtness. Data even challenged the inalienable right of Worf, the show’s token Klingon, to be obnoxious and overbearing. As the show’s credits whooshed by, I sat stunned. Data threw Riker into the brig at the end while the sound editors played the comic-re lief music! Didn’t they see how fright ening this could become? Hqw many episodes before Data realizes he can run the ship all by himself? It may be a matter of months before Data beams the entire crew into the center of a He performed with surprising authority and curtness. Data even challenged the inalienable right of Worf, the show’s token Klingon, to be obnoxious and overbearing. white dwarf star, sparing only Coun selor Troi, who will be forced to prance around the Enterprise in a thong bikini until the season’s end. He’d be nearly impossible to stop. He feels no pain, nor any emotion. He is bound to realize that in a future of atheism, there is no reason for ethics. Maybe 1 could send a warrior an droid from my time period to battle Data, thus ensuring the possibility of more “Star Trek” episodes involving Captain Picard’s bare hiney. But who could build such a robot? Next thing I knew, I was racing down O Street. I hoped it wasn’t too late. The guy on the phone had said that since Showbiz Pizza changed its name to Chuck E Cheese’s Pizza, Billy Bob Bear, Showbiz’ mechani cal bandleader, technically no longer existed. What if this Chuck E Cheese was really a guy in a rat suit? Could it be that human workers are more efficient and are making androids obsolete? I shuffled through the front door and walked past the “Lord of the Flies’’ nightmare that is the Chuck E Cheese game room. 1 found a door marked “Employees Only” and passed through it into a dimly lit storage closet. There were paper cups stacked four feet high, boxes of Tai wan treasures for which kids played Skeeball until their arms were numb, and in the corner... Billy Bob! His face was still stretched into a merry grin. He had probably been singing a Beach Boys song when they killed him. I plugged the tattered cord into the wall outlet, and he jumped to life, singing loudly. I desperately tried to quiet him, but I had to unplug him when he would not respond to my pleas. 1 whipped a roll of aluminum from my pocket and tried to construct a machine that would project my com panion and I 400 years into the fu ture. Several hours later, I began to wish that 1 hadn’t dropped out of 4-H when 1 was a child. 1 would have to settle for bringing Data to Lincoln. I folded the Reynolds foil into a Fibonacci generator, and after applying precisely 76 torques to the device, Data arrived in shimmer ing splendor. I quickly plugged in Billy Bob and pushed him to nis feet. “Bushy, bushy blond hairdo ...” he wailed. Data cocked his head. He drew out his fazer and shot Billy Bob. I was stunned. Sparks shot from Bob’s mid-section. “Suuuurfin—** and thus he died. When the smell of burning acrylic fur and smoke cleared, Data was gone. I scampered out to the gameroom, and after a quick pause to enjoy a round of that “pound the plastic gophers on the head’’ game, I gave chase. The parking lot held only cars. He’s out there. Maybe he’s the new pledge in your fraternity or your new boyfriend. He may even be sit ting next to you on the Star Tran, asking the driver if he’s seen Gene Roddenberry. 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