“Boom ba da boom boom!”
Ernest looked up from his drum over to where the other gorillas were packing up their mallets and drumsticks.
“That’s it for tonight, guys,” yelled Bert, the bandleader. “Practice tomorrow, same time.”
“Hey Ernie, you joining us at the Jungle Room for drinks? It’s mojito night,” said Phil.
Ernest shook his head. “Nah. Think I’m gonna practice a bit more.” The others just laughed and shook their heads as they walked away from the drum circle towards the bright lights of the Jungle Room, where the rest of the clan’s young gorillas could usually be found on a Friday night. As their voices trickled into the hot jungle air, Ernest breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, some time to himself…with nothing but the clan drums before him.
He walked around the eight canisters, the tribe’s prize possessions, taken from a human trading camp and reinforced over the years with ground cacao from the forest. Their deep jungle tones were the perfect accompaniment to clan rituals, which Ernest had been watching avidly ever since he was a kid, admiring the tribe drummers and mirroring their energetic movements on any surface he could find, treetops, boulders, his dad’s bulging paunch. He’d climbed a tree and hooted for joy last year, when he had finally won a coveted spot in the tribe’s drummer corps.
But even though he’d thrilled to be part of the corps, over the past year he’d grown antsy, playing the same ceremonial clan cadences every Friday night. He’d taken to sneaking out to the tourist camps at night, just to listen to the radio stations the humans would play, picking out the odd syncopated beats of funk and disco, headbanging silently behind a tree to heavy metal and hard rock, and occasionally feeling his heartbeat speed up to the penetrating rhythms of European house. There was so much in the world of music, and limiting himself to gorilla beats felt like limiting his diet to native jungle grubs when a world of diverse bugs awaited.
Looking around to make sure that no one was listening, Ernest tentatively beat out a bass line from a popular club dance song. The birds and creatures of the jungle paused to listen, alert to the unfamiliar sounds. Ernest moved to the second drum, and lightly tapped out a famous disco classic. He continued around the circle, accelerating his thumps in line with his energy as he danced from drum to drum, hammering out a mele of every different progression he could think of, whirling around the drums like a dervish, a dark blur of hair and limbs and noise.
Panting heavily against the last drum in the circle, Ernest found Bert standing at the edge of the clearing, staring at him open-mouthed.
“Dude…you’re amazing. Have you always been able to play like that?”
Ernest blushed. “I’ve been practicing.”
“That’s obvious.” Bert pulled out an electric guitar from behind him. “I’ve been trying to start a band forever, but it’s impossible to find anyone who can play anything besides jungle beats. What do you say – wanna give it a go?”
And thus the Raging Apes heavy metal duo was born, along with the Primal Primates, who quickly landed a weekly cover gig every Saturday night at the Jungle Room.
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in a double boiler or the microwave.
- Combine other ingredients (except sea salt).
- Pour warm chocolate halfway into mini cupcake liners. Refrigerate until partially hardened.
- Add about 1 tsp of the sunbutter mixture, then pour more warm chocolate to fill up liner.
- Put in refrigerate to harden, then sprinkle with sea salt.
- Eat, or drum on, or eat while listening to drumming, or just have a party. These guys are versatile!