Planet of the Aprons: because evolution is a messy business

The media seem to be saturated at the moment with apocalyptic stories of robots taking our jobs, robots generally assuming unheard of levels of power and influence in worldly affairs and robots getting preferential treatment in the allocation of allotments. Personally I don’t buy any of it for one very good reason.


(Insert your own Brexit joke here. I can’t be bothered to make it myself).

When those amazing documentaries about apes running our planet first aired most of the excitable commentary and chat was perhaps understandably fixated on their hyper-aggressive attitudes towards humans and also Charlton Heston. No one in their right mind would complain about that. But what was missing after all the predictable fuss about them riding horses and raiding the wardrobes of David Essex and Gary Numan had dissipated was a necessary focus on some of the consequences of their ascendency: namely, the amount of ape housework that suddenly needed doing. It might be curtains for the human race but curtains as we all know don’t clean themselves.

Now at last these fascinating matters are the subject of a blistering new film. The Planet of the Aprons is a high-octane thriller about the annoying domestic chores that will inevitably fall to the species that replace us.

Focusing on one particular ape (Gerald) and his struggles to run a dry cleaning business at the same time as keeping his two-bedroom apartment spick and span, he begins to pine for his old compound back at MonkeyWorld where all he had to worry about was getting to the swing-tyre before Bozo every morning. “Life under the humans was humiliating” he laments to himself, “what with never having a shit that wasn’t video recorded by hundreds of gaping idiots. But at least we never had to clean up after ourselves. Those were the salad days”.

Will Gerald get his old life back? Is he on his own thinking such treacherous thoughts or are there others like him, other hairy lazy arses tired of cleaning out the bath?

The Planet of the Aprons is at a cinema near you shortly.

And even if it isn’t you can still get t-shirts and tea towels featuring Gerald doing some hoovering because Accidental Republic cares about you having access to the best of things. Coming soon..

On the indignity of it all.

The other morning I fell out of my car. It isn’t what you’re thinking. It was stationary at the time. I’d just turned up to work and my feet got tangled up as I attempted to get out the vehicle, thereby precipitating a ridiculous and prolonged stumble across the tarmac. Avoiding a full collapse by skilfully impersonating a deranged Michael Flatley in reverse I finally corrected myself about six metres from where I started and had to walk back to the car to retrieve my belongings, all the time surveying the local environs to ensure no one had witnessed this bizarre piece of slapstick. I think I got away with it.

I’ve since had the thought – probably inspired by watching the gymnastics from the Rio Olympics – that gymnasts routinely dismount their chosen apparatus (be it parallel bars, or pommel horses) by the technique of triple twisting somersaults with a half tuck and painted on smile and if they somehow fail to land on the head of a pin they get deducted an outrageous amount of marks. It occurred to me that in the context of this athletic prowess my car-park stumble was especially disappointing. I don’t know where it leaves me but it’s certainly out of the medals.

The reason this is so difficult for me is that I used to be an unusually graceful sports person myself. And there was a time – a considerable amount of decades even – after ceasing to play sports when I carried this efficiency of movement and yes, grace is not too strong a word, through my everyday practices and routines. I was, though I say it myself, a veritable David Gower putting my socks on in the morning, an Eric Cantona putting out the bins. And now it’s come to this. Falling out of stationary cars like I’m auditioning for the part of Jacques Tati in a remake.

Life is cruel and then some.