Monday, July 2, 2012

Nice to Know I'm Not Crazy
One Sunday afternoon when I was in college in the late 60s, I was spending some time with friends at Overton Park in Memphis. As we sat there, a Rolls Royce pulled up and stopped near us. The driver got out and opened the door for his passenger who emerged wearing a three-piece, navy blue, pin-striped suit and carrying a soccer ball under his arm. I thought it was rather peculiar that he would wear a three-piece suit to play soccer in the park. It was also rather peculiar that he was barefoot, but maybe not so much since he was a chimpanzee. 

Well, some people gathered around them for a bit, but we just sat and watched. The chimp and his chauffeur kicked the ball around for a while, and then they got back in the Rolls and left. That was the last I saw of them that day.

Over the next couple of years I saw them a few times driving around town. Once I saw them driving through the shopping center that was near my home. I never saw them get out of the car again, though. I would always mention them to people when they appeared and sometimes others had seen them, sometimes not. 

I hadn't thought about them for a long time, but recently they came to mind and I started asking around. "Do you remember that chimp in the three-piece suit that used to ride around in a Rolls Royce?" Blank stares. Most of my friends have moved to Memphis from someplace else, or are too young to remember the 60s, but even when I've asked my sister and people I've know since high school, they look at me like I'm crazy.

So, finally the vision in the Rolls came to mind when I was at the computer and I googled "chimpanzee rolls royce memphis" and got several hits, the first of which was this one. (Be warned, it's rather unedifying in places.) And, of course, who else in Memphis would have owned a chimpanzee with a three-piece suite in a Rolls Royce. Meet Scatter.

You know, I like Elvis all right, but I'm not really a fan. I've been sort of amazed at the number of times I've written about him in the past couple of weeks and it was my intention not to mention him again, but then he just insisted.



  1. I would say the same, except I plan to say something, to wit: first, how bizarre, and second, that in light of a couple of incidents in the past few years where chimps attacked people with very horrifying results, the stories in that link gave me a bit of a shudder.

    I suppose if you live in Memphis Elvis is bound to get mixed up in a lot of things.