Miller hires super chimp

Todd Vanderwerff

Todd Vanderwerff

Bucking convention, President Peggy Gordon Miller fired all SDSU administration, faculty and other staff members and replaced them all with a super-intelligent chimpanzee named Hiram.

“Hiram will take this university to the next level of learning. We must band together to celebrate the diversity that unites us in a fun and pro-active manner. Hiram will help us do that,” Miller said in a press release.

A difficult life

Hiram, who hails from the jungles of Africa, formerly lived as a docile and friendly chimp in the Denver Zoo, where he has lived since he narrowly escaped poachers as a baby.

However, on the evening of March 9, 2003, a burst of radiation swept through the zoo’s chimpanzee complex. All of Hiram’s other friends died in the accident and zoo personnel believed Hiram to be dead as well when he was found in critical condition.

“I have to admit, the little bugger looked as though he was gonna’ die, but he sure did pull through,” said zookeeper Robert Sinclair.

When Hiram awoke on the morning of March 19, he revealed that he had an understanding of mathematics and language far beyond most humans.

Frantically using sign language (as chimps do not have vocal cords), Hiram lectured zoo workers for over three hours on such concepts as quantum physics, Jungian psychology, the Kantian dialectic of the universe and the deeper meaning of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

“Man want kill uncle. Uncle kill father. Bad uncle,” Hiram signed.

He then went on to expound on Shakespeare’s themes of universal alienation, the indecision of man and the meaninglessness of a life that will only end in death.

“Alienation bad,” Hiram signed.

A natural fit

As soon as Miller learned of Hiram’s abilities, she knew he was a perfect fit for the SDSU family.

“Hiram brings a smile to my face and a warm cup of coffee to my hand every morning,” Miller said. “Who needs a staff when you’ve got a freakishly intelligent chimp?”

Miller was forced to fire all staff members to raise enough money to purchase Hiram.

“Several other institutions believed Hiram would be a good fit for their family but I thought Hiram would love SDSU,” Miller said. “I needed millions of dollars and the quickest way to raise that money was to fire everyone else.”

Hiram, who granted an exclusive interview to the Collegian, has enjoyed South Dakota so far.

“Hiram happy. South Dakota bring Hiram cookie,” Hiram signed cryptically, perhaps referring to the large pile of “big cookies” given to him by Jack’s Place workers shortly after his arrival.

Miller and Hiram both admit that it will be impossible for Hiram to teach over 100 classes at the same time in several different places. While the radiation did give Hiram super-intelligence, super-strength, super-speed and super-thumb wrestling skills, it did not give him the ability to be in more than one place at one time (as a similar burst of radiation gave to the University of Minnesota’s super-intelligent lizard Chopsy).

To solve this problem, Miller says that all students will be required to turn on channel two (the SDSU channel) every morning at 8 a.m. and watch until 5 p.m. Hiram will then lecture on the many mysteries of the universe, hoping to give all students a well-rounded education befitting a forward-thinking land-grant institution.

In Hiram’s first transmission, broadcast Monday, he spoke at length about his childhood in the jungles of Zambia, comparing it to the portrayal of childhood in Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer.” He also instructed students on how to solve Fermi’s theorem.

He then spent roughly an hour flinging feces at the camera.

“Wasn’t that wonderful?” Miller said, clasping her hands excitedly.

Hiram also informed SDSU students that he would know if they did not watch his program every day, as he is psychic and can kill from a distance with mind powers. Just to prove his point, Hiram killed several small songbirds from across the room with psionic waves. The birds, who had been singing prettily only seconds earlier, laid in the bottom of the cage, twitching and fluttering.

“Hiram no like students skip class!” Hiram angrily signed.

After his first class, Hiram began his janitorial duties by thoroughly cleaning the pens in the swine unit.

Disgruntled professors

Some SDSU professors did not embrace Miller and Hiram’s forward-thinking ways immediately.

“I don’t honestly believe that a chimpanzee can teach human students better than a human could. I just refuse to jump on this pro-chimpanzee bandwagon,” said linguistics and English professor Dr. John Taylor.

Taylor expounded on this subject at length while preparing fries at his new job at Burger King. Taylor said that he tries to make his fries the best they possibly can be.

“I try not to use too much salt, but I do understand that people like to have some salt,” he said.

Taylor said that to diminish Shakespeare’s treatment of alienation to a two word phrase such as “Alienation bad!” doesn’t give Shakespeare enough credit and makes the whole work rather trite.

“That phrase, that is ‘Alienation bad,’ is simply a reductionistic pidgin-creole utterance. To say, ‘Alienation bad,’ that is, ‘Alienation always bad,’ reduces the play to a simplistically post-post-modern dystopia. I just don’t understand what he’s trying to get at there,” Taylor said.

He then collapsed to the floor, quivering in his death throes, the latest victim of Hiram’s psionic waves.