At the Harvard Monkey Lab | HumorOutcasts

At the Harvard Monkey Lab

March 12, 2018

In a room lined with monkey cages, country music softly twangs beneath the chirps of excitable cotton-top tamarins.  Nearby, a “Tom and Jerry” cartoon plays to a room full of rhesus macaques.

Boston Globe article on corrective steps taken by Harvard’s primate lab after it was cited for animal welfare violations.


It’s about freaking time we got some music you can listen to without going totally apeshit around here.  Indie rock, Karlheinz Stockhausen, emo–it was driving me crazy!  I mean, why is it so hard to grasp the concept–we don’t like your taste, eggheads!

There’s one of you at every goddamn Cambridge party.  “You just have to hear the latest Nasal Tweezers CD!  I know the guy who plays bass!”  Then the dink proceeds to suck all the life out of the room by putting on some crap that sounds like you stuck a sandpaper Q-Tip in your ear.

“Your music sucks!”

Country is easy to listen to, you stupid higher-order primates.  If you want to put some James Taylor on to recall the dear old folkie days in Harvard Square, that’s okay.  But don’t pretend you actually like the highbrow and hardcore stuff you listen to.  You’re just trying to impress the one woman in the lab, but in case you haven’t noticed–she doesn’t care.  She’ll be getting the big grant bucks while you guys are still scuffling along in post-doc hell.

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Hey–don’t touch that dial!  I like Tom and Jerry.  What are you changing it to?  PBS?  Oh for the love of Charles Darwin.  Don’t make me fling crap at you.  Yeah, you in the lab coat. Ai-eeee!  Another Ken Burns documentary?  Gag me with a spoon.  What’s it on this time–Prohibition?  Another stupid human experiment, just like the ones we’re subjected to, day in and day out.

Maybe if I can grab this guy’s cell phone out of his pocket.  S-t-r-e-t-c-h . . . there we go.  Where’s the browser–good, good.  Now–what’s the number for the National Science Foundation?  Hmm–main number, Human Resources, Join the NSF, Rent Our Facility For a Grant Writing is Fun! party.  Geez, everything but what I need.  Oh wait, here it is.

Lab Animal Abuse Whistleblowers Hotline.

Con Chapman

I'm a Boston-area writer, author of two novels (most recently "Making Partner"), a baseball book about the Red Sox and the Yankees ("The Year of the Gerbil"), ten published plays and 45 books of humor available in print and Kindle formats on My latest book "Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!" was released by HumorOutcasts Press last year. My humor has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe and Barron's, and I am working on a biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's long-time alto sax player for Oxford University Press .

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One Response to At the Harvard Monkey Lab

  1. March 14, 2018 at 4:45 am

    That really does explain all the crap-flinging, doesn’t it?

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