There is something enviable about being a baboon. Or perhaps even many somethings. I won’t deny certain aspects of daily baboon life are dull, capricious, and frankly upsetting, but there is a certain freedom that comes from a laissez-faire government (though perhaps its really more of a hierarchical oligarchy with an understaffed police force and very few laws). Here are the top ten perks (in no particular order):
1) If you like someone, you don’t have to play games. You just start following them around. You sit next them if and when you feel like it, and you can groom them until your fingers become arthritic. If you’re a male, you can be downright stalker-ish, steering your female obsession away from other males, and mounting her just to make your point. Sure, she can walk away (and walk away and walk away and walk away) but it’s not like she can take out a restraining order. It’s not much different for females, though their love interest can get fed up and chase them off, but that doesn’t mean they need to stay away. And if it’s obvious someone doesn’t like you, you don’t have to take the hint. You can just go right on following them and no one will whisper behind his/her hands as you walk by.
2) If you are tired of walking you can just stop. Even if your group leaves. You can just lie down any old place and take a load off. Napping is encouraged.
3) Baboon children are hilarious. Watching them spazz around on trees, falling and swinging and putting gross things in their mouths, is pretty much the most entertaining thing about hanging out with baboons. They walk in crazy bounces, flop on the group needlessly and strangely, climb on whomever they feel like without giving two deer craps if they get shoved off (some adults aren’t big into other peoples’ kids).
4) If you really like a certain food there is absolutely nothing embarrassing about sitting in a tree and eating it FOR HOURS. No one will judge. And when you end up getting seed pod gunk caked on your face and stuck in your fur, no one will even notice, let alone roll their eyes at you.
5) Public farting is a-okay. So is scratching your butt. Repeatedly.
6) It’s not rude to completely ignore someone who is talking to you. Say that annoying baboon who just goes on and on and on (i.e Wildflower: she’s a sweet kid, but she she’s all kinds of Midwestern chatty) is near you and she’s grunting away, and the polite thing to do is to grunt back. Well, you don’t have to. If you don’t want to talk to her, you just don’t. And nobody’s feelings get hurt.
7) If you’re a high-ranking female, everyone else takes care of your kid FOR FREE.
8) If someone just groomed you for an hour and now expects reciprocation, you can just walk away. Tit-for-tat isn’t big with baboons. (Also, along those lines, no one holds grudges. Sure that female might have just chased you all over the beach five minutes ago, but, well, that was five minutes ago. She’s moved on. So have you.)
9) If you accidentally pee on someone, it’s their fault, not yours.
10) You’re born knowing how to swim. And no need to put on a bathing suit when you do it.