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Frozen Gorilla

When I lived in Tennessee I had a friend who was a graduate student in Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Occasionally on cable TV you can catch documentaries about the work of Dr. Bass and his long-term studies of cadavers. Through the years he and his graduate students have gathered a lot of information on how to determine the cause of death of long-dead bodies.

One day they got a call from the Chattanooga zoo: our gorilla has died; do you want him? Well, of course ... and my friend was sent down to go and get him. So off she goes in her red VW Beetle, about a hundred miles down I-75. At the zoo she presented her credentials and they loaded the gorilla in the back of the Bug, frozen and wrapped in a blanket.

My friend made the trip with alacrity, for it was a warm Southern day. And, of course, within a few miles, she got pulled over by a Tennessee State Trooper. Who was not fooled by the blanket.

"Step out of the car, ma'am!"

"I can explain everything!"

He lifted the blanket and saw not a dead human but a frozen dead gorilla. Okay, this is going to be good. My friend told the officer what was up, and he called his station on the radio to check the story out. Sure enough, the zoo and Dr. Bass at UTK confirm her story and he lets her go.

"Ma'am, I can understand the gorilla wrapped in a blanket in the back of yer car, but why were you speeding?"

"Officer, he's melting!"

"Oh. Yes, ma'am. Well, you're free to go. Drive carefully. I'll radio ahead and tell 'em to let you go on by."

And so the call went out on the police radio about the young lady on her way to the University of Tennessee in a red VW Beetle with a frozen gorilla in the back. And of course every Tennessee State Trooper in Ooltewah, Cleveland, Charleson, Athens, Niota, Sweetwater, Philadelphia, Loudon, Lenoir City, Farragut, and Knoxville had to get a look at him. Under ordinary circumstances, that trip takes about two hours. That day, it took her nearly six hours.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 7th, 2008 12:21 pm (UTC)
Wow.... Awesomest excuse for speeding I've read ever. "Officer, he's melting!"
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )