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Pamplona's Running Of The Chimps Just As Dangerous
PAMPLONA, Spain (CAP) - Lost in the shadows of the city's more famous San Fermin festival tradition, another race through the streets of Pamplona doesn't garner as much international press but still promises the same level of thrills, danger and idiocy as its elder statesman. And this year the 8th Annual Running Of The Chimps did not disappoint.
"Certainly it is not the same as possibly being gored by a bull," said run organizer Rodolfo Atilio. "But trying to run a half mile with a monkey on your back beating you about the head with a stick is not as easy as it sounds.
"And to do it while the chimp's friends throw handfuls of feces at you," Atilio added. "Well, you can understand why it is such an accomplishment just to finish."
The chimp run began almost a decade ago as a safer, more child-friendly alternative to the risk-laden running of the bulls, for which participants must be at least 18. The first event featured three chimps and about 25 teenaged children running the same path through the old part of the city and into the bullring.
When one 14-year-old boy tripped and fell in Telefonica and was immediately pounced on by all three chimps, organizers realized they had stumbled onto something special.
"Now we have three dozen of the country's most ornery chimpanzees and hundreds of people of all ages racing through the city," Atilio said. "And next year we're going to put another 10 chimps waiting at the bullring so even if you make it all the way without incident, chances are you will still get hit with feces."
Animal rights groups have been protesting the running of the chimps since its inception, often lining the race route and chanting that "it's all fun and games until someone loses a face." According to Wikipedia, to date no one has ever lost a face during the running of the chimps, although six people have lost their lunch.2
"Have to say, it's still much better than that time they tried the running of the Chihuahuas," said one activist. "You think your one dog at home gets underfoot? Try 17 of them. And the yipping. Oh, my God, the yipping."
Unlike the running of the bulls where participants must be sober and not incite the bulls, competitors in the running of the chimps are allowed to partake in alcohol and actually encouraged to taunt the chimps. After a few of the chimps managed to brandish rocks during one year and seriously injure five runners, organizers decided to arm them with sticks as a means of helping control the level of violence.
"Each year we treat many more injuries during a single running of the chimps than we do for all the running of the bulls combined, but it's mostly just abrasions," said Spanish Red Cross spokesperson Estrella Idoya. "Well, that and feces. We don't see much feces in the running of the bulls."
Idoya pointed out that the more intoxicated a participant is, the less pain they tend to feel while undergoing a chimp beating. Conversely, the more drunk a participant is, the more likely they are to taunt the chimps in the first place, which then leads to being beaten. "It's a vicious cycle of self-perpetuating entertainment," she noted.
Fox has announced plans to televise next year's running of the chimps in a show hosted by Jenny McCarthy.
VATICAN CITY (CAP) - Vatican employees are threatening en masse to leave the Catholic faith and convert to Protestantism if Pope Francis does not back down from his decision to cancel bonuses for workers following his election.
"Well, on your way out, don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you," said Pope Francis as he waved off the threat. "The only way anyone's getting any extra money around here is if they get fiddled by a priest and sue us.
"Otherwise, get back to work," he added. "My robes don't fold themselves."
WASHINGTON (CAP) - In the wake of continued threats against the United States by North Korean leaders comes word that President Obama is set to launch a new initiative aimed at "putting the smack down" on that country's nuclear threat.
"Frankly, I'm sick of the bullshit and their mamby pamby games: moving missiles here, moving missiles there," Obama said during today's press briefing. "Do you need a missile? We'll send you a missile. We'll send you a dozen fucking missiles.
"I have one message for you, Kim Jong Un," he added. "Back the fuck up, or prepare to be PUNK'D."
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