Baboons, Menopause, and Antidepressants

“They say that we’re more like Chimpanzees than Gorillas,” New York Times Guy (PP will make it clear why he’s called this later on) nodded, serious and informed. PP sinks into the hot tub, grinning mightily. This is gonna be good! While she enjoys the Women Only Hot Tub Talk at the Y, these Mills College Guy Talks are definitely missed. Esp. when the Guys are talking about Chimps and Gorillas.

“Why is that?” Dashingly Handsome Boyfriend asks, completely serious.
Guys. Apes. It’s Manly Hot Tub Talk. (Though Guys at Mills College hits her a bit strangely still even though they have been around the campus for years now.)

Out of the corner of her eye, PP spies AO, locally (maybe internationally?) famous Jazz Pianist, dipping into the tub right as NYTG makes his Gorilla Assertion. PP can’t look at AO. For some reason, she thinks he’s laughing. But this could just be her projection; he’s probably just nodding in Serious Guy Bonding Unison.

NYTG thinks for a moment about DHBF’s question, then plows on. “It’s cuz Chimpanzees will swim. Gorillas won’t. So since we swim, and granted we don’t really belong in the water, and neither do the Chimps, but we both can swim. Not the Gorillas.”

DHBF nods. Mulling this one over, but before he can respond, NYTG continues. “And this other article, also in the New York Times Tuesday Science Section, talked about how Baboons are helping Menopausal Women with their depression and instead of taking anti-depressants, the Baboons will….’

Wait a minute. PP got that dialogue wrong. But she had ya going there, right? Were you all gonna run out and buy the next Tuesday NYT to read about Bestiality and Menopausal women?

Here’s more like how the dialogue went, though still could be slightly off, knowing PP. “Baboons, unlike some other apes, will also swim, but they like to swim in groups. Safety in numbers they say.”

PP still can’t remember how the menopausal depression connects to the baboons. Sorry. Maybe if she keeps writing it’ll come to her? She does remember asking about the baboons, even though she’s always thought baboons were completely gross and slutty with their bright red bare asses in your face on Wild Kingdom.


Maybe that’s why menopausal women all have to take antidepressants? They’re all of the generation that watched Wild Kingdom as girls and those disgusting Baboon Butts are buried deep within their psyches causing untoward subconscious images of horror and shame.

Hence the only answer is tons of Well-Butrin.

“I have this friend that buys the Tuesday NYT for just that reason!” AO pipes in.

PP glances up at AO. His friend buys the NYT to read about Baboons? Is this the purpose of such an erudite publication? PP hadn't thought so, but hell, you learn a lot in the hot tub.

But for her, she's never gotten the Big Deal about the goddamn NYT. She's just not impressed. Maybe cuz she’s from LA. Maybe cuz she’s Blonde. Maybe cuz she’d just rather not read all that teeny tiny print about Baboons! In any case, NYTG is always quoting the NYT like he’s some impressive intellectual, which obviously he’s not or he wouldn’t be in the Hot Tub talking about apes, but would be spouting off about Plato or Wittgenstein, or who the hell else do Intellectuals spout off about?

PP has no clue since all the intellectuals she hangs out with are poets or teachers and all they talk about is food and cats.

Giggling to herself, PP glances around the tub. Pretty African American Orange Bikini girl, Silent Macho Hot Tub Man. Both completely ignoring the Baboon talk.
Or not?
PP thinks she detects a sly smile on SMHTM's mug. He's listening. Recording?
Hell, PP thinks she ought to add a woman's perspective here.

“Maybe all the menopausal women are taking Antidepressants cuz their husbands or boyfriends or whatever remind them of baboons!” PP announces into the Hot Tub Air.

The men all look anywhere but at her. Silence. PP starts to giggle. “I was just kidding you guys.”

They shift around, eye each other sideways, still not answering her.

PP laughs. Sinks into the bubbly watery warmth.

Men. They may not be baboons, but they still can drive a girl to drink and drugs.

Women, on the other hand……

Orange Bikini Girl glances up from her book, gives PP a sly smile, before standing, stretching and climbing out of the tub.

Delighted, PP watches her saunter sexy across the deck.

Women. Definitely not Baboons, as PP watches her open the door to the locker room and disappear into its showery steam.


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