Bootyology 101

Discussing chest-buns, the Baboon's Ass, and furniture moving at the Monkey Club

British zoologist Desmond Morris, author of such works as Homosexuality in the Ten-Spined Stickleback and The Toilet of the Cutthroat Finch, was also the first scientist ever to have completed an exhaustive investigation of the booty. His most famous work, The Naked Ape, published in 1967, turned his nerd gaze to the hominid primates who go by names like "Chip" and "Marsha." He studied mankind like a crouching biologist on gorilla ridge, and he came up with the frighteningly insightful conclusion that everything we do or are interested in revolves around either boobs or ass.

Apparently we are subconsciously attracted to round shapes because they remind us of the curve of a buttock, which reminds us of procreation, which reminds us we ain't had any in a while, which is a great motivator. For example, the smile of a fat baby is nothing but a big butt with dimples to our subconscious. A doughnut is a glazed ass-cheek. Then there are boobies, which are nothing more than the butt transferred to the chest. In The Naked Woman: A Study of the Female Body, a book he published last year at the age of 77, Morris writes: "[Breasts are] a pair of mini buttocks on the chest that enable the woman to transmit those primeval sexual signals without turning her back on her companion." (This has indeed been a real timesaving measure for me; thank you for thinking outside the box, Lord.)

Morris' theories all seem super-kooky and sexist until you consider the baboon, which I did after I wandered into the Monkey Club at 21st and Bryant and ordered a drink called the Baboon's Ass. As we all know, the baboon has a mighty red booty, and it has been speculated that, over time, the animal's chest has transformed into the same crimson and pink hues so that the beast can transmit primeval sexual signals without having to get up and flash the rear view. By pressing my buttocks into a barstool and resting my considerable chest-buns on the bar with a sour-apple-flavored drink named for the courtship of a primate, I was merely embarking on a study in biological anthropology. I was thankful that I didn't have to get up, point to my butt, and exclaim, "You want this?" Nope, I could let my breasts do all the talking.

So as to encourage similar courtship behavior, the Monkey Club has one of the best happy hours in the city, with its $7 drinks marked down to $5. I had both the Baboon's Ass and a Melonrita, which was a Midori margarita, and they were super. As for the décor, the Monkey Club has that same unimaginative interior design that has cropped up all over the place but somehow works: dark lighting; richly painted, deep red walls; votive candles; and great big cushy booths and ottomans in vaguely Middle Eastern patterns. The space is kind of like the visual equivalent of a record on the local Om label. The music on weeknights is also the equivalent of something you would find on said label, with soft reggae-ish stuff and downtempo this 'n' that. Weekends are a different story, with hip hop and house DJs blaring their sonic buttocks and every corner packed to the gills with A Night at the Roxbury dancers.

The place is so dark, actually, that I was worried no one would see my butt-boobs. I needn't have worried though, because within a few minutes a fellow came up to my right and ordered two beers and a cabernet. Finally, someone who likes good red wine and not that merlot bullshit. I like a bold, fertile, round wine, not a flat, sexless one. We got to chitchatting and he soon invited me over to join his gregarious group. (What can I say? I guess I have an ass-face.)

Seated therein were Beth, a pretty thespian with dangly earrings and a vaguely military jacket; Bonnie, Beth's roommate, who likes the Goo Goo Dolls' version of Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit"; Greg, who is engaged to be married but was somehow disengaged with us that night; and finally Joe, the guy who invited me over and actually thinks that Kathy Griffin does a fab-u job interviewing celebs on the red carpet.

"Oh my God I love her," he gushed, not unlike how Griffin herself would've said it. We had to agree to disagree on that one. God bless 'em, but the folks at the E! network seem to go out of their way to find the most annoying people on the planet to fill their time slots.

"You have to come to Joe's birthday party this weekend!" said Beth. I had quite possibly stumbled into the friendliest table in San Francisco. We talked on and on about the film Sideways, the Grammies, and Joe's boyfriend. Eventually we went to exchange business cards, and I came across a slip of paper with the name "John" written on it and a phone number. Now, when Desmond Morris talked about the posterior theory, he left out one big category: the booty call.

"Oh man, let me see that!" laughed Beth, swiping it out of my hand. "Let's call him!"

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