As Chief of Chimpanzees, I have the duty to assure our closest genetic cousins, and most unrelenting enemies – human beings – that though we chimps are developing weapons, we are not doing so to attack the kings of the earth. Despite their paranoid nature, humans, I am certain, will believe me. Their arsenals of missiles, bombs, guns, gas, and bacteria are so overwhelming they surely do not fear us on any field of mechanized battle. Granted, if we confronted unarmed humans, our several-times stronger arms would hammer them into the earth prior to ripping out their eyes and biting off their noses and fingers and anything else we chose. But we desire no such actions and emphasize that only bad chimps attack people, and such occurrences are quite rare.
At this seminal moment, as humans publicly verify that we chimpanzees are making spears, it is essential to emphasize we are doing so for entirely peaceful purposes, much as people build slaughterhouses or nuclear power plants. When female chimps adroitly use teeth and hands to tear branches from trees then remove twigs before peeling the bark and gnawing on the stick ends to make a sharpened spear two or three feet long, we are merely seeking nourishment from the sumptuous half-pound bodies of those cuddly primates, the bush babies. We know that as nocturnal creatures they’ll be snoozing during the day, in the hollows of branches, so we use our powerful arms to rapidly and repeatedly jam our sticks into their dens and pull them out like shish kebabs.
I must take issue with human scientific reports that in twenty-two spearing attempts we emerged with but one bush baby, and that was perhaps due to blind fortune. Please. We haven’t survived for millennia by being inept providers of food. Our actual rate of spearing success is a commendable seventeen percent, substantially higher, I reckon, than most men shooting at deer or geese. I do want to thank humans for acknowledging our long-admired ability to slide slender sticks into holes and mounds to extract live insect protein. And I must emphasize that when we swing clubs and throw rocks, we are not hunting ineptly. We aren’t hunting at all, just exercising and having fun. I hope no one is insinuating we’re uncoordinated. For perspective, imagine contemporary humans trying to earn their dinner with either a well-swung stick or an accurately-hurled rock.
In addition to the earlier-mentioned military asymmetries, there is another urgent reason for increased cooperation among our two almost identical species: we’re both becoming matriarchal societies. Female chimps are not merely the weapons makers but custodians of our culture and irresistible prizes for young male chimps competing for powerful mates. Noting that the majority of college students are female humans, we chimpanzees believe the ultimate power in your society will soon reside in the supple hands of women. And when that happens, young studs will have to battle to mate with the most mature and distinguished females.