Tuesday, October 22, 2002

CHIMPANZEE WHO "THINKS HE'S A KID" ENTERTAINS AT TRADE SHOW

The American way of snacks
Penthouse Pets, Joker rolling papers and frolicking chimpanzees: At the National Association of Convenience Stores show, it all makes a kooky kind of sense.
By Chad Dickerson

...I end up pulled back even further into the most fundamental of childhood longings -- the dream of having one's own pet chimpanzee. I have just come upon the Too Tarts Candy booth, and 10 feet in front of me, a chimpanzee frolics with his caretakers, a darling young couple.

I watch Too Tarts Jackson -- "the lovable chimp who thinks he's a kid" -- charm the adoring crowd, and I am giggling in delight along with everyone else. He does somersaults. He shakes his head. His caretakers regale the crowd with stories of Too Tart Jackson's high jinks. Too Tarts Jackson is a lovable mess of energy. Too Tarts Jackson has his own kitchen, and boy is it a mess! Too Tarts Jackson once called 911 by hitting a speed dial on the phone. What a mess! When the police found out that it was actually a chimpanzee on the other end, oh, how they laughed and laughed. In the end, they invited Too Tarts Jackson to the police station, gave him a tour, and even gave him an honorary badge! Oh, the antics. I had already scripted a life with Too Tarts Jackson in my head by then, complete with laugh track and monogrammed TTJ sweaters....