Hartley: Primates for prostitutes — a zany zoo indeed

Todd Hartley
I’m With Stupid

You know how you always have a soft spot in your heart for certain animals because of some relevance they have for you? For instance, I love sloths because my then-girlfriend, now-wife — who I hope had a wonderful birthday Thursday — and I visited a sloth rescue place in Costa Rica on our second date.

Similarly, I have long been a fan of bush babies because I met a bush baby once in Kenya and it climbed all over me and pinched my nose and thankfully didn’t poop on my shoulder.

Right now, some of you might be a little confused because you’re wondering what a bush baby is. Well, it’s not like Tarzan or Mowgli, some child raised by apes or talking panthers or whatever (although technically you might be a bush baby if you were born and raised outdoors in some parts of Australia). Regardless, a bush baby’s not a kid.

“Bush baby” is also not a slang term for a 1970s adult film, as far as I know. I don’t know very far, however, as far as you know, so it actually might be, because if it’s not, it should be. I’m proud of myself for thinking it up. I must admit, though, I had help.

You see, normally, I wouldn’t equate bush babies with anything related to sex. I was 9 when I met the one in Kenya, so it’s not even like I was on a date for that one — not that I equate sloths with anything related to sex, either, as far as you know. (Kidding! I’m way over my sloth thing.)

Sadly, however, I was forced to associate bush babies with the sex trade recently when I learned that in addition to being what I know them to be — small, nocturnal primates with large eyes and long tails — apparently, bush babies are also currency that’s good with prostitutes.

No kidding. Just last week in Eugene, Oregon, the owner of the Zany Zoo Pet Store was arrested after he allegedly used store funds to pay for a prostitute and tipped her with a bush baby named Gooey, which would be a cute name if I didn’t use it in the same sentence as “prostitute.”

The guy claimed the bush baby was stolen, but when police found Gooey with the prostitute, she (the prostitute, not Gooey) claimed the store owner had paid her with store money, including tip-jar donations and money from Girl Scout cookie sales, and then given her Gooey with the tip — pardon me — Gooey as a tip.

This whole affair seems a little sordid, admittedly, but I have to say, I admire the prostitute’s taste. Not in johns, mind you; the guy sounds like a douche. But if some woman wanted to pay me for sex by giving me my choice of any animal in the Zany Zoo Pet Store and the store had a bush baby, that’d be the easiest decision I ever made.

As for Gooey, I certainly hope that prostitute is giving him or her a good home. I love hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold stories, so I’m just going to assume that she’s taking great care of Gooey and exposing the little creature to upstanding morals, values and practices. Bush babies are primates, after all, and they should be raised accordingly.

Still, I can’t help but think this is not the best way to treat what is a very exotic animal. Chances are, the prostitute probably doesn’t make enough to have an appropriate bush baby enclosure in her one-bedroom apartment. Maybe hookers in Eugene do really well, though, and she’s got some spacious estate with its own gamekeeper. Who knows?

But that doesn’t make it OK to treat animals as illegal currency. My concern is that this could be setting a horrible precedent. Before you know it, bush babies will be the new Bitcoins, and they’ll start disappearing from all over Africa and showing up in red-light districts around the world. That wouldn’t be fair to bush babies, and it wouldn’t be fair to me because I want a bush baby, and my wife won’t pay me for sex.

So let’s nip this problem in the bud. Guys, this should be pretty simple: Stop paying for your prostitutes with bush babies. In fact, other than mountain gorillas and certain lemurs, you should never use any kind of primate to pay for sex. If you want to use amphibians, crustaceans or nematodes, go ahead, but never primates. Those are your genealogical cousins, for Pete’s sake. Treat them with some dignity.

Todd Hartley apologizes for the Gooey joke. That was just wrong. To read more or leave a comment, visit


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