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Tag Archives: ridiculous

My Review of The Whispering Gorilla, by Wilcox and Reed

8 Dec

December 8, 2018

The Whispering Gorilla by Don Wilcox & Return of the Whispering Gorilla by David Reed.

Wow, where to begin?

First, if you have not checked them out, look at the other titles published by Armchair Fiction. They publish a huge number of stories from the pulp era.

As for this book, it may be the best story of a gorilla with the transplanted brain of a man fighting Nazis that I have ever read. On the other hand it is also the worst. (I’ve only read one, of course.)

And that really does sum up this book. The first story is short, about 79 pages, but it is a fast read and deceptive. It reaches 79 pages only because it is printed in a larger font than the longer second story. However, it is the better of the two. It is written in a simple and straightforward style but it is surprisingly realistic. Although the Whispering Gorilla talks like a man and dresses and acts like a man, he is still in the body of a gorilla. A sillier story (and yes, I know how silly this already sounds) would have him simply accepted as a talking gorilla. But that never happens in this book. Everyone suspects he is a very eccentric man in a gorilla suit to hide his identity. Not for a second does anyone think he is a real gorilla. As for the plot, the gorilla continues his previous human life as a crusading journalist (whom everyone thinks is a man in a gorilla suit, for some reason) and brings down a ring of war profiteers, before apparently dying at the hands of the police. Ridiculous as it sounds, it is a fun tale.

The second, longer story, is written by another, arguably better, author. I say “arguably” because while the writing is more complex and sophisticated than in the first, the plot is ridiculously laughable. The Whispering Gorilla did not die at the end of the first book but was secretly transported back to Africa to recover at the home of the scientist who created him. The problem is that he is slowly losing his humanity, while also becoming leader of all the jungle apes. Well, if it stopped there, this could be a somewhat interesting variation on Tarzan. Problem is the author didn’t stop there. The Whispering Gorilla is not the main character in this story. Neither is the scientist, who had a large part in the first book. Here, the scientist is bed-ridden and does little at all. The main plot is about a group of Nazis who plan to train gorillas to command submarines to sink allied destroyers. In the jungle!

I’ll let that sink in. A group of Nazis who plan to train the gorillas to command submarines to sink allied destroyers.

To that end, they build silly gorilla-sized ships and submarines on wheels and ride them around the jungle like oversized tricycles to teach the gorillas maneuvers that will destroy the enemy ships. This takes only a couple of days, believe it or not,  and the head Nazi is ready to put his plan into action. To say it doesn’t work is really not necessary, is it? The rest of the plot is about resistance fighters and a beautiful girl, with whom the gorilla -of course- falls in love.

This was certainly one of the stranger books I’ve read. I really enjoyed the first story. It was a great example of 40’s pulp fiction. The second story had delusions of grandeur and never lived up to the fun of the first. I’m glad I read it and I’ll probably reread the first story again, but not the second.


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I Answer Google’s Insane Job Interview Questions

5 Dec

December 5, 2016

Google sounds like a great place to work. But how hard is it to get a job there? Until recently, Google interviewers asked applicants a series of ridiculous and inane questions to, well, um… OK, I really have no clue what the point of these interrogations was. But here, from IFLScience, are some of the unbelievable questions Google is now banned from asking, and my answers. It is my opinion that they were never actually interested in the answers, but wanted see how fast, creative, and intelligent the applicants were.

iflscience

How many golf balls can fit in a school bus?
That depends on how many I can fit in my pockets without the clerk in the pro shop catching me.

Explain the significance of “dead beef.”
That’s a mafia expression. It means that the “beef,” or dispute, is “dead,” or finished, since both guys got whacked.

How many piano tuners are there in the entire world?
Only one, but he’s the best.

You’re the captain of a pirate ship… and your crew gets to vote on how the gold is divided up. If fewer than half of the pirates agree with you, you die. How do you recommend apportioning the gold in such a way that you get a good share of the booty, but still survive?
I’d give them the bulk- 3/4 of the loot and a pep talk about how they deserve it, how hard they work, yada yada yada. They’d have to split the gold between 15 or 20 guys, and my 1/4 would still be a heck of a lot more than anyone else has.

pirate

Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco.
Get out!

You are given 2 eggs… You have access to a 100-story building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile means it may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from 100th floor. Both eggs are identical. You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-story building an egg can be dropped without breaking. The question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break 2 eggs in the process.
I am sorry but I cannot answer this question since I am allergic to eggs.

How much should you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
$10,000 per window because I really don’t want the job. But if anyone is silly enough to hire me, I’d happily wash windows at that rate.

There are more. Now It’s your turn. How would you answer these?

Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.

You are shrunk to the height of a nickel… and your mass is proportionally reduced so as to maintain your original density. You are then thrown into an empty glass blender. The blades will start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?

You have eight balls all of the same size… 7 of them weigh the same, and one of them weighs slightly more. How can you find the ball that is heavier by using a balance and only two weighings?

A man pushed his car to a hotel and lost his fortune. What happened?

How many times a day does a clock’s hands overlap?

You need to check that your friend, Bob, has your correct phone number…but you cannot ask him directly. You must write the question on a card which and give it to Eve who will take the card to Bob and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure Bob can encode the message so that Eve cannot read your phone number?

Why are manhole covers round?

 

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