BB #10: Observing Primates

I was digging through boxes I’ve carted around for four decades looking for a short science fiction story I wrote in high school. So far I haven’t found it, but I refuse to believe it’s not there somewhere. There’s a lot to go through; I’d forgotten how much writing I did in high school and into college. Most of it is embarrassing juvenile crap (I may share some of it with you just for laughs).

I did find a piece I wrote seven or so years after college. Reading it made me laugh out loud (but I’m easily amused). Perhaps it will tickle your funny bone as well.

Helpful Hints for Observing Primates

1) Always keep a safe distance from Primates and use your optics to observe the subtleties of their behavior. Remember that Primates excite easily, so remain calm when you are near them. Make no sudden moves, and—most importantly—never feed a Primate!

In addition, it is not safe to approach large groups or females with young. If you do see an excited or loud Primate, remain calm, retreat at once, and be watchful of other Primates in your line of retreat. Without making sudden moves, take the safety off your blaster and be ready (but do not point the weapon unless you are threatened).

2) Never corner a Primate! We cannot stress this enough. This always leads to violence and the death of the Primate. There are few animals in the universe as unpredictable, or as cunning, as a cornered Human Primate. Their weapons may be primitive, but Primates can surprise you.

3) The best time to observe Primates is in the hottest part of the light period (local term: “noon”), just after a heavy feeding period, or just before the system star goes below the local horizon. In heavily inhabited areas, the best time is just after the nightly feeding ritual. At these times Primates are at their most calm and will exhibit the greatest range of behaviors.

4) The best time to see mating behavior is when the greatest amount of system starlight is reflected by the planet’s satellite (local term: “moonlight”). Conditions are especially good during the regional weather change from cold to hot (local term: “Spring”).

For best viewing, conceal your party and remain hidden while feeding or mating behaviors are taking place. Male Primates are especially dangerous during the extremely visual—and sometimes loud—mating rituals.

5) Do not play God! Primates are easily fooled and led. The result of such a deception could be disastrous for both yourself and the Humans involved. Always remember, you are there only to observe and record.

6) “Buzzing” of unsuspecting lone Primates is strictly forbidden. Infractions will result in the loss of further viewing privileges.

7) Always bring enough survival equipment for emergencies. Insure that all members of your party have rugged, fully charged communicators. No one wants to be lost among wild animals.

8) Check your Medical Index to see if you are susceptible any airborne diseases Primates are known to carry. Never touch a Human! Many do not have sanitary habits and should be considered a biological hazard.

9) Please remember to keep your observation and landing area clean so you don’t spoil the planet for the next group of visitors.

Thank you and enjoy your adventure on Sol III!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

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