This week’s topic is going to be a tricky one children. We’re going to be tackling the thorny subject of sex.
Now don’t get too excited, we’re talking Panda sex here, or rather the lack of it.
Some, or maybe all of you, will have heard about the two giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo who last week failed to get it on. The whole world, it seems, was watching them with fingers crossed; the zoo keepers were doing their bit by running around after Tian Tian, syringing up her urine then sending it off to be tested by the boffins at the Royal Vetnary College to determine exactly when she was at her most receptive. But Yang Guam, the male, was having none of it. Although he and she had successfully mated in the past, they hadn’t mated with each other and this was causing a great deal of head scratching amongst the experts and zoo keepers.
They’d built love tunnels for them, in case they got fruity and wished to meet--- they had built frames so they could look adoringly over the fence and hopefully get all hot under the collar and rush each other in a sudden onslaught of hormonally imbalanced sexual fervour. But the great zoological minds of our day were to be stumped as to why Yang Guam wouldn’t go for Tian Tian.
Isn’t it obvious? I don’t care who you are in this rich and glorious animal kingdom of ours, you have to be at least a little attracted to the partner you’re going to boink--- and although Tian Tian was apparently up for it, Yang Guam wasn’t. Perhaps to him, Tian Tian was the Panda equivalent of Anne Widdecombe, and let’s face it lads...would you?
But still the so called experts drove on. They were at it every day, constantly trying to dream up new ways to get this couple together for some serious Panda ‘rumpy-pumpy’. They tried helping by shouting words of encouragement while lifting her tail up with a broom stick every time she went past the disinterested Yang Guam. But surprisingly nothing happened.
Surprisingly? No not really. Can you imagine what poor Yang Guam had to go through? He may very well have caught hold of Tian Tian’s pheromones as they wafted in on the breeze---he may very well have been aroused by the sight of her walking past him with her posterior up in an alluring manner (even if it was with the aid of a broomstick/sex aid), but the second he’d have grabbed a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (Always assuming he didn’t see her as a Panda version of Anne Widdecombe), reached for the bamboo flavoured condoms and ran out with his sap rising all over the place, he would’ve been confronted by hundreds of cameras pointed at him, cheering crowds of adoring spectators, scientists with clipboards and strange looks of arousal and eager zoo keepers with helpful ‘come and get it’ looks in their eyes. He’d have taken one look at them all, thought ‘sod this for a game of soldiers’ and gone back inside--- drunk the wine--- made humorous balloons out of the condoms and fiddled with his bamboo stick for a while.
The keepers and scientist and even the Panda sex experts (I kid you not, I actually saw someone being interviewed with the words ‘Panda sex expert’ after their name) have all been putting their two penn’orth in as to why they think the seemingly perfectly planned tryst failed: ‘They only have a brief window of two days’, they say ‘and we’ve tried everything to get them together’. The keepers at Edinburgh Zoo said they’d set up a romantic environment for them and had even tried getting Yang Guam aroused by showing him porn.
Now I’ve no idea what kind of porn it was. Maybe it involved a Panda house wife doing the housework--- the doorbell rings and she goes to answer it only to find a Panda Plumber called Sven Sven who’s offering to fiddle with her pipes for a while. The only alternative would be human porn and unless one of the female keepers was willing to hang around the bamboo patch in a come-hither-to fashion, that was doomed to failure too.
No put simply, the reason why Pandas don’t have sex in public is the same reason humans don’t (unless you’re in the porn industry or George Michael). No one wants to be watched doing what comes naturally by a plethora of cameras, experts, broom stick brandishing zoo keepers and a crowd of encouraging well wishers and onlookers.
I mean can you imagine what it would be like if a film crew and David Attenborough turned up when you were about to get it on with a new partner for the first time? Picture the scene: The camera would pan slowly through the hastily drawn curtains and the hushed undertones of Sir David Attenborough would issue forth:
“And here we are in the den of Stu, an Alfa male, and Ceri, a popular female in this large, urban community.
Stu has been trying for more than a month now to get Ceri back to his place. Ceri, not normally known to put up much of a fight, has been uncharacteristically reticent with this particular male. But Stu has, after a long war of sexual attrition, finally found the right combination of ambience, setting and Tequila Slammers to get her in the mood.
Having successfully managed to break her away from the pack of females she’d been travelling with earlier on in the evening with the lure of his mating call: ‘Ere, ow do you like your eggs in the mornin?’ and the promise of unlimited Jägerbombs, Stu now has her just where he wants her; hanging off the sofa, semi dressed and partially unconscious.
Having gone to all the effort of chasing Ceri down and having chosen just the right kind of plumage to attract her--- smelling also like he’d taken a wash in a bath full of Lynx Chocolate desire--- he finally has her at his mercy. She is giggling at his funny lines, sipping at the nearly empty bottle of Morrison’s Vodka while feebly groping around for her missing eyelash---
Stu struggles with a packet of brightly coloured and highly scented condoms. One pops out of its foil packaging and sails over Ceri’s barley conscious head and lands behind the sofa. With bravado and confidence Stu stands upright and is resplendent in his Burberry hat, irregularly buttoned shirt, novelty boxer shorts and one sock.
So with resolve--- and following the scent of the wild strawberry and coriander condom--- he attempts to step over the prostrate Ceri to retrieve it. Slipping on the edge of the sofa and falling headlong into the gathering dust behind it, he cracks his head and passes out. On the other side of the sofa, Ceri cradles the now empty bottle of vodka like a baby, hums an indeterminate tune and falls into an alcoholic slumber.
Ceri will wake two hours later and make a mad dash for the toilet while Stu will rise from the back of the sofa with a large bump on his head, his Burberry hat at a rakish angle, a confused look on his face and a wild strawberry and coriander condom stuck on his big toe’.
So in my opinion, if you want Tian Tian and Yang Guam to get it together next year ---leave them alone--- turn the other way--- stick a bag over Tian Tian’s head feed Yang Guam a bucket full of oysters the night before and let the fireworks begin.
And that’s my scientific opinion.
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