The gorilla in the window

December 10th, 2014 · 44 comments

A reader in Canberra, Australia passed along this article about an English granny up in arms about her right to display a knitted toy gorilla in her window.

To whom it may concern Are you the person that made a complaint to the police about the knitted toy gorilla in our window Well why did you not knock on our door and tell us face to face what your concerns were about this toy. These toys usually bring a smile to most people's faces especially kiddies. I am so looking forwards to seeing your face but it's not going to happen IS IT?
Says the article:

Anne Feast, 70, knitted ‘Cilla the Gorilla’ last year and the toy has been hanging in the window at her home in Bell Holt, Ely, alongside numerous other characters she has created, ever since.

But mother and grandmother-of-two Anne, who has lived in her home with her husband, Philip, 71, for around 14 years, was asked by police to remove the gorilla after it was reported by a passer-by.

The couple don’t know exactly why Cilla caused offence, but they suspect it is either because someone thought it was racist or the way that the ape hangs down.

Yes…the way the ape hangs downOh, and here’s a transcription of that note:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN Are you the person that made a complaint to the police about the knitted toy gorilla in our window Well why did you not knock on our door and tell us face to face what your concerns were about this toy. These toys usually bring a smile to most people’s faces especially kiddies. I am so looking forwards to seeing your face but it’s not going to happen IS IT?????

Adds our submitter: “I love the fact that on top of the note she makes sure the message reaches its target by calling the local newspaper for coverage.”

related: A day in the life of a crank

extra credit: The meme that wasn’t!

FILED UNDER: a matter of taste · newspaper · old folks · the po-po · U.K.


44 responses so far ↓

  • #1   EmptyJay

    I really hope she leaves it up. What are they going to charge her with?

    People need to learn not to be “offended” by every little thing that makes them the slightest bit uncomfortable.

    Good for her for getting the story published in the local paper!

    Dec 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   The Beast Among Us

      How dare you say such things, EmptyJay! You are a horrible person! I am so offended by your closed-mindedness and your lack of political correctness that it makes me want to kick a rock!

      Dec 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   Winston

    What’s offensive about a knitted gorilla?

    It’s good to know there’s so little crime in little britain that the police have time for this.

    Dec 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Sarah

      I think it’s kinda cute!

      Dec 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.2   Jami

      Australia, not the UK. So little crime in Australia.

      Sorry, but my Australian friends get really pissed off if someone asks what part of England they’re from.

      Still, it’s a freaking knitted toy of a gorilla. People need to calm down.

      Dec 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.3   Wench

      Bell Holt, Ely is in Cambridgeshire, not Australia :-)

      Also, where’s the debate about outdoor knitted gorillas vs indoor ones?

      Dec 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.4   Smokegrey

      The incident took place in the UK. The PAN reader who submitted the link is in Canberra.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 12:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.5   The Beast Among Us

      Knitted gorillas should stay indoors, otherwise they can go moldy.

      Dec 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.6   Lita bang

      And nobody wants a moldy gorilla.

      Dec 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #3   Ben

    The articles says: “Cambridgeshire Constabulary said it had no record of the officers’ visit.” Meanwhile, Mrs Feast says, “everyone I’ve told can’t believe it.” No, I’m not sure I can either…

    Dec 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Beth

      Sounds like a lazy reporter. From the Daily Mirror – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/police-quiz-gran-over-racially-4643771 :

      Cambridge police said the gorilla was simply spotted by the two PCSOs who decided to check it out.

      A spokesman said: “The police did not receive any calls from members of the public about this.

      “Instead, while out on patrol on September 17, two PCSOs saw an object hanging from a window which they thought may be seen as a ‘potentially racially offensive object.’

      “The officers were unsure as to what the object was so knocked on the door of the home and asked the woman what it was.

      “She told officers it was a gorilla she had knitted which she displays in her front window.

      “After establishing that the object was in fact a hand-made knitted gorilla and nothing offensive the officers left and carried on their patrols.

      “At no point was the woman asked to remove the gorilla from her window.”

      … How weird – here in the US, you’d probably never get a stop like that over displaying something offensive unless it was clearly obscene.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 9:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.2   Poltergeist

      Well then it’s just those two police officers who are morons. What did they think, that somebody just decided on a whim to hang in their window an effigy of a black person swinging from the ceiling above a garden gnome? Even the most racist asshole would think that was a stupid assumption.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.3   Ben

      Thanks for the link, Beth. I would hope that the constabulary had no record of it at the time rather than the journo making things up, which would be pretty shoddy even for a local rag!
      According to the Mirror article you link to, they were PCSOs, not actual police officers – they’re basically neighbourhood watch in a uniform – in light of which fact I’m not so surprised or bothered by the farcical nature of the whole thing.

      Dec 13, 2014 at 9:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.4   Ben

      EDIT: there’s still some confusion about whether a complaint was made or not. Feast says the officer PCSO told her there had been a complaint, the spokesman said no *calls* were received. Someone here is lying or obfuscating..!

      Dec 13, 2014 at 9:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   TKD

    This lady needs to stop monkeying around. It’s time for some gorilla warfare. Find that passer-by and throw a banana. Or other stuff that monkey’s are know for throwing. :-)

    Dec 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Raichu

      Gorillas aren’t monkeys! /biology pedant

      Dec 13, 2014 at 9:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   TKD

    That poor, abused gorilla. Stuck inside all day. Teased by the sights just outside the window. Does this lady not know that gorillas are outside animals? She could at least let it hang from the window sill once in a while. Sheesh.

    Dec 10, 2014 at 1:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #6   kermit

    This picture reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Marge Simpson is complaining about the violence in Itchy & Scratchy cartoons. Nobody can read her picket sign because it is too small and wordy.

    Dec 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #7   Dizzle

    Of course this happened in the UK. Remember folks, being offended is a CHOICE.

    Dec 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Chug

      I’m pretty sure Canberra, Australia isn’t in the UK, unless the Earth’s done some furniture re-arranging lately.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 12:03 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   Smokegrey

      The incident took place in the UK. The PAN reader who submitted the link is in Canberra.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 12:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.3   dragon bang

      Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of 381,488, it is Australia’s largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 8:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.4   Dizzle

      Thanks for that copy-paste, dragon. Here’s another slightly more relevant one:

      “Anne Feast, 70, knitted ‘Cilla the Gorilla’ last year and the toy has been hanging in the window at her home in Bell Holt, Ely, alongside numerous other characters she has created, ever since.”

      Dec 15, 2014 at 7:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   Belaani

    Wait until I hang my crocheted two-headed, anatomically correct sock monkey in my window! In support of all crafted primate enthusiasts, I have to do that!

    Dec 10, 2014 at 4:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   The Elf

      If it’s an anatomically correct male sock monkey, it’s automatically two-headed.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 7:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #9   Poltergeist

    You know what would be great? If the knitted gorilla ended up coming to life and strangling the person who made the complaint.

    Plus it would kill two birds with one stone since it would give the police something better to do than telling grandma to put away her stuffed animals.

    Dec 10, 2014 at 6:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #10   Ajana

    I’m exceedingly offended that no one mentioned the knitted garden gnome in the window. You gnomists! /sarcasm

    Dec 10, 2014 at 11:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   TKD

      Calm down Ajana. This is Cabridgeshire, where gnome acceptance has been the culture for decades. And clearly this is a gainfully employed knit gnome, nicely watering Granny Anne’s plastic flowers. Not one of those illegal immigrant gnomes, who loiter about the garden all day.

      You militant gnome rights activists can be so annoying. Go peddle your Gnome Equality in Romania, where the gnomes are so oppressed that they are forced to hide by day and do all their garden tending at night, while being stalked by vampires.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 6:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.2   The Elf

      Wait…. what is that gnome doing? Is he doing what I think he’s doing?

      Dec 11, 2014 at 7:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.3   TKD

      At first glance, I thought he was watering the plastic flowers. But upon further inspection, with browser set at maximum zoom, I do believe he is taking liberties with a nest of knitted goslings. That’s just… disgusting! I don’t think he is one of those nice, hard-working gnomes at all. He could be a nixie or a kobold.

      Or perhaps grandmother was correct. You just can’t trust any of the mystical creatures. She always said they would take advantage of any gosling that walks by.

      Dec 12, 2014 at 7:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.4   The Elf

      No, no , no, your grandmother was wrong. You can trust the elves. We never mess with goslings!

      Dec 12, 2014 at 7:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #11   Chug

    Why is it our culture believes that the one person who complains about something has more rights than the dozens who like it?

    Dec 11, 2014 at 12:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   The Elf

      Because that complainer is just going to keep on complaining, to the annoyance of everyone else, and eventually we’ll have to either appease them or stab them.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 7:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #11.2   Rattus

      I vote stab.

      Dec 15, 2014 at 11:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #11.3   Feather Blade

      Appeasement, as all the great national leaders of the 20th century can tell you, is a surefire way to make the complainers go away (and come back in tanks).

      I second the vote to stab!

      Dec 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #12   SparkyRell

    How much is that gorilla in the window?

    Dec 11, 2014 at 2:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   The Elf

      The one with the curly hair?

      Dec 11, 2014 at 7:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.2   pooham

      I do hope that gorilla’s for sale.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 9:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Kwyjor

    “Well why did you not knock on our door and tell us face to face what your concerns were about this toy,” she asks? Perhaps the plaintiff was concerned that local media would be contacted and that he or she would be subjected to unwanted journalistic scrutiny?

    Dec 11, 2014 at 8:46 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Poltergeist

      And they would have deserved the unwanted journalistic scrutiny considering how fucking stupid their complaint was.

      Dec 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #14   Elizabeth Capper

    Get a life, honestly! The things some people complain about, she should put a picture up with her boobs out just to annoy them ;)

    Dec 11, 2014 at 6:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   ChristineC

      They have crocheted boob scarves. Or knitted. Whatever. Also boob beanies for babies.

      Dec 15, 2014 at 8:51 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #15   Findia Group

    Thanks for sharing!

    Dec 15, 2014 at 2:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   kyt

    Bell Holt, Ely does not exist in Australia anywhere. I know, I have a friend in Australia, and google maps are very handy. Secondly, if you go to Google maps, it will give you a wonderful view of Bell Holt, Ely, Cambridge.

    Just thought I’d necropost this just so that people who come here very late to the argument will know because there was too much discussion back and forth on this simple fact. ;)

    Have a Nice Passive-Aggressive Notes reading day! :D

    Apr 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     

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