There was the usual crowd in the bar that afternoon. A couple of orang-utans nursed beakers of lemonade as they played cribbage in the corner. A baboon was hitting the Irn Bru hard, but quietly, over by the window. Some chimps were huddled over a very large bowl of peanuts. At the bar the ring-tailed lemur polished a couple of glasses.
The street door swung open and an enormous shadow filled the room. The lemur froze, glass in the air. The chimps fell silent, a few stray peanuts falling to the floor unheeded. Even the orang-utans looked round, scratching nervously.
The gorilla just stood there, filling the doorway, sizing up the joint. 30 stone of raw muscle and bulk, swaying lightly from foot to foot. His eyes fixed on the bar and he ambled over. Nobody got in his way. You figured that nobody ever would get in his way, not if they didn't want to be flattened.
"Yus Mr Kumbuka, sir, what will it be?" croaked the lemur, never taking his eyes from those huge hands swinging easily on either side of him. The place held its breath. If he was in one his nasty moods...
"Blackcurrant. As much as you've got. The real stuff, no water. Got it?"
"Yes sir, got it".
As the lemur began hoiking the huge bottles onto the bar we all began to breathe again. If the gorilla was going to go on a blackcurrant bender, he was in a placid mood. Maybe none of us would have our arms torn off today. The chimps nibbled peanuts. The baboon took a swig of his orange-coloured poison. It was going to be all right, just another hard day's drinking at the Zoo.
*Anything he wants.