Ape Chat Rooms?

Ape Chat Rooms?

"Can monkeys surf the net... and corrupt our kids? Chimpanzee chat rooms, next on Sick, Sad World."

Now, I think I'm as concerned as anyone else with the possibility that monkeys or any other primate will someday learn how to surf the net and corrupt our kids, but based on the famous 1998 internet chat with Koko the sign language gorilla, I don't think we have have too much to worry about.


When Koko's trainer Dr. Penny Patterson asked her opinion about a pony tail elastic, Koko's response was to put it on her head and sign “Hat that toilet. Good tell-you-hurry.”


Dr. Patterson replied “It's a toilet hat? No, it's a nice hat. Pretty.” Koko did not agree, and countered with “Fake stink tell-you-hurry.”

Koko indicated a sunflower and signed “That fine eat know give-me.” When Dr. Patterson tried to analyze this comment, Koko signed “Obnoxious.”


When the trainer asked Koko what she thought of a man named Michael, she replied by saying “Foot, foot, bigtoe-foot good go.”


Dr. Patterson chose to interpret this to mean that Koko thought Michael was a pretty good guy. Koko's response to this was “Nipple.”


When they asked her what she thought of Ndume, a gorilla they'd been trying to mate her with, her replies were a little easier to interpret: “Frown bad bad bad... Toilet down kiss good go hurry.” I interpret this to mean that gorilla males, much like human males, are not very good at remembering to put the toilet seat down, and that Ndume was a “kiss good go hurry” kind of guy.


She then moved on to the topic of “Browse drink polite nipple there hurry,” before closing with “That nipple go drink, go. Lights-off good.”


It seems to me that if internet monkeys are going to make any credible attempt to corrupt our kids, they're going to need to work very closely with human interpreters, or else limit themselves to sections of the internet where most people already speak their language, such as the comments on Yahoo news stories or Youtube videos. It's a sick, sad, world!