“OOOH OOOH! AAAH! AH!” The gorilla caterwauled as it cascaded through the streets of Central London. Pedestrians ducked and cowered from the source of the cacophony until they were firmly in the wake of the havoc-wreaking 400lb silverback tearing along Oxford Street. Swinging from lampposts and bouncing off taxicab roofs with a destructive precision, as if Juggernaut from X-Men had joined a parkour club. A banner trailed behind the gorilla, fluttering past the confused Londoners, who could make out the words investeq.com, closely followed by a panicked zookeeper sprinting through the confused masses.
“Come back! Otto! Please!” He stammered, reaching out to grab the streamer of a gorilla that was clearly widening the gap by the second. His pleas fell on deaf ears as Otto surged past the Uniqlo store and towards the sunset. “Where are you going? The zoo’s the other way!” The zookeeper, realising his race was ran, came to a stop and bent double over his knees, hands on his head, watching Otto disappear over the horizon. “Does anybody know where he’s going?” He looked around effusively at the watching civilians. Maybe the gorilla had mentioned in passing where he was headed to, but if he had, none of them had caught it. “I’m going to be in so much trouble…” The zookeeper whimpered.
That morning, in the south corner of London Zoo, the final touches were being added to a glorious commercial adornment of the gorilla habitat. The name, investeq.com, was splattered across the banners that were hanging between trees and on the railings, the artificial rocks in Otto’s enclosure were painted in the corporation’s trademark baby blue, colour code #89CFF0, and the monkey’s favourite tyre swing had been decorated to look like a giant bitcoin. This, of course, made it impossible to swing in, but the corporate sponsors had insisted that Otto wouldn’t mind taking one for the team.
But the centrepiece of all this, slap bang in the middle of Otto’s play area, was a full-size, professional boxing ring, it was a squeeze getting it erected between the trees and climbing frame, but they had still managed to make room for copious amounts of investeq advertising and a red carpet, upon which the two esteemed fighters would make their entrance. They hadn’t yet decided on the intro song for the gorilla, but his human opponent had selected his signature tune far in advance, and the zookeeper was hard at work testing out the speaker system with its aggressive bassline, much to the chagrin of the neighbouring parrots and flamingos. Just as he had calmed the birds for the final time, the zoo manager approached.
“I’ve got bad news I’m afraid, Terry.” The zoo manager started. Terry’s heart sunk. “Mike Tyson has dropped out.”
“I don’t know if that is strictly the term. He was on his flight and punched the person he was sitting next to. Apparently the man kept making jokes about Mike being lactose intolerant, which he didn’t take kindly to. I don’t think he actually is lactose intolerant, but either way, he didn’t like the implication and, well he’s in jail now and won’t be getting here today…”
“How can he do that? Does he not know what’s at stake?! We’re three hours away from curtain!” Terry was beside himself. “It’s over then! I knew it! After all my hard work… well this is what I get for trying, it’s the life of a zookeeper, I suppose.”
“Get a hold of yourself, lad! Settle down!” The manager said, shaking Terry by the shoulders. “I’ve brought in a ringer. He’s no Mike Tyson, but any pro boxer will do in a pinch and luckily he had a gap in his schedule.”
“Does he know he’s gonna be fighting a gorilla?” Terry asked.
As the words left his mouth, the replacement appeared, clad in a black bandana, Gucci sunglasses and a Prime energy drink t-shirt.
“HaHA! YES!” KSI shouted. “I. Am. HYPED! Let’s do this! DENCH!”
“You’re not a boxer! You’re a Youtuber, aren’t you?” Terry stammered. His manager placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.
“This isn’t the time to quibble over definitions. KSI here has appeared on many title cards and taken in over £100million from boxing, you can’t get much more professional than that!”
“Count it! Heskey Time!” KSI bellowed, as he gave Terry an overzealous shove to the chest.
“Well, you’ve certainly got a lot of vigour.” Terry muttered. “Which song are you using for your walk-in? I’ll get it set up.”
“Play this one! It’s gonna go off. I need the energy.” KSI pressed a CD into Terry’s chest, then proceeded to open and drink an entire bottle of his Prime energy drink. He wasn’t a fast drinker, so they passed a good twenty seconds in silence as they waited for him to see it off.
“OK, I’ll get it sorted. You go and get ready, KSI. We’ll call you when it’s time. You’ve done this before, I’m sure you know the protocol.” Terry said.
“Attaboy.” Terry’s manager encouraged. “Only condition he has is that we need to have some Prime adverts up alongside the investeq shit, so I’m gonna need you to take down half of their banners and put up these Prime ones.” Terry rolled his eyes.
A few hours of painstaking rearrangement later, Terry was up in the AV deck, looking out over the assembled crowd and down into the gorilla enclosure. All eyes were on the ring announcer as he welcomed his audience and introduced the first fighter.
“Ladies and gentlemen, K. S. I!” That was Terry’s cue and, with gusto, he pressed play on KSI’s song, it was one of the Youtuber’s popular songs that, despite a record-breaking chart performance, was doing little to enthuse the boxing crowd. But KSI didn’t seem to care, walking up the red carpet with machismo oozing out of his every pore. His arms were spread wide, taking in love from Mike Tyson’s adoring fans and nodding confidently.
“Who wants it? Who wants it?!” KSI called out. He lumbered into the ring and turned to face the gorilla, standing 20 metres back, ready to start his own ringwalk. KSI, eyes wide and tongue out, raised his glove up to his shoulder and pulled a throat slit gesture that would no doubt have been intimidating to a boxer that understood human hand gestures, and also wasn’t twice his size and able to kill him easily.
Terry faded out the KSI song and faded in Welcome To The Jungle as the announcer welcomed Otto. The handlers were struggling to reckon with the simian’s immense strength, guiding it down the red carpet with wrist clamps as KSI prowled about the ring, staring down his rival and beating his chest with increasing confidence. When they finally got Otto under the ropes and into the ring, he was even more irate. KSI turned to the TV camera in his corner and held up his glove.
“One round!” He yelled over the crowd’s cheers. “One round is all it’ll take!” He went to turn back to the ring, before double taking and facing the camera again. “I almost feel sorry for him! HaHA!”
With that, KSI strutted into the middle of the ring, framed by Prime and investeq adverts above his head and below his feet. Terry couldn’t make out the referees words to either KSI nor the gorilla, but it was brief. They touched gloves, a difficult feat in itself as the gorilla was now flailing and screaming in his handcuffs. The bell rang and the handlers unleashed the clamps around Otto’s wrists.
KSI, fists raised, danced over to the Otto with perfect form. Almost incidentally, he got clattered to the floor by the full force of the gorilla battering through him on his way out of the ring. KSI died on impact. Otto jumped onto the top rope and up to the investeq banner, which held surprisingly well. He swung off it and out of the cage before anyone knew what was happening. The crowd were hysterical and the lax approach from the security guards, with their tranquiliser rifles, did nothing to ease their fears. Otto was over the railing and out of sight while one guard was still fiddling with the ironsight and the other had stopped to ask him if he needed any help.
Terry was alert to the situation and sprinted down from his booth to the cobbled zoo road, positioning himself between the gorilla habitat and the exit gate, in an attempt to head Otto off on his escape path. Unfortunately, Otto was too wily for his keeper in this situation, and turned slightly, handily jumping over the wall and out into the streets of London, with Otto running out of the entrance, over the turnstiles, after the gorilla.
Terry stood, dismayed, in the middle of Oxford Street, hands on his head, wondering how he would spin this under “Reason for dismissal” when applying for his next job. Suddenly, he heard a motor roar behind him and a beep caused him to turn around.
“Get in!” A cockney voice came from the jeep. It was Terry’s manager! “I’ve got a tracker installed, we can catch him.” Terry didn’t need telling twice, he jumped in and the zoo manager’s foot hit the floor immediately. He weaved through the dented taxis and ubers like an expert and threw a shotgun into Terry’s lap. “Here, lock and load! I’m driving so it’s gonna be up to you to take out that monster before he does any more damage!” The zoo manager said, narrowly dodging a family of tourists who only just jumped out of the jeep’s path.
Having watched countless action movies over the years, Terry instinctively knew what to do with the gun, just like you would. He held the gun by the barrel, kind of shook it to pump it and it made the satisfying noise that indicated it was ready to blast.
“This has got a tranquiliser dart in it, yeah? I don’t wanna kill him!” Terry turned to his manager.
“Yes, definitely” His manager retorted. “It has definitely got a tranquiliser in it. I remember putting it in there myself!”
“Really? Cos it doesn’t look like this kind of gun can even hold darts.” Terry said, looking down the barrel. “Are you sure?”
“Quick! There it is!” The manager called, he had overtaken Otto and came out onto the main road ahead of him. He jerked the wheel around and yanked the handbrake to pull up in front of the gorilla, now hurtling towards them at a frightening pace. Terry lined up the tranquiliser shot. Looking at the beast as it came over the top of the adjacent car. He squeezed the trigger. A blast of hot lead unloaded over Otto and his head was obliterated in an instant.
“You said it was a tranquiliser!” Terry whipped around at his manager, who was already out of the jeep and running over to the silverback.
“I thought it was!” He replied, pulling out his pocket knife and skinning the body for its valuable hide. “Regardless, the monster has been stopped, that’s all we needed to do, the details are irrelevant. I wish I could say it was beauty who killed the beast but… well…” He looked back at Terry, whose face turned a deep shade of red.
After the ordeal of Terry’s life, he slept for hours and hours. When he arrived to work the next day, he was abruptly called into his manager’s office. Terry was informed that it had been a fabulous day for investeq and Prime, in financial terms of course. Their stocks had both risen 200%, which was great news for all living shareholders. KSI was seen as something of a martyr, his quick death at the hands of a gorilla was believed to have been a major factor behind the fiscal growth. Even Terry’s manager was receiving a sizeable windfall; after the notoriety of the zoo had risen with this incident, a foreign investor had gotten in contact and promised £350million for future boxing events at London Zoo. Unfortunately, none of this good news was the reason for Terry being called into his manager’s office. As the man responsible for the fight, Terry had dropped the ball, and was unceremoniously fired, effective immediately.
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