Bubbles: “MJ Had The Best Cucumbers.”
“He’s in a better place now,” says Jacko’s former chimp pal.
Bubbles, the chimpanzee Michael Jackson famously adopted in the 1980s who was once Mutt to the King of Pop’s Jeff, has finally broken his silence regarding the singer’s untimely death.
“This is really shocking, unfortunate news,” the chimp said in a phone interview Thursday from his habitat inside the Center for Great Apes near Wauchula, Florida. “I mean, to drop dead at the age of 50…it’s just so surprising, because that guy had like the best quality of cucumbers I ever ate. He had to have been shipping them in from Asia or something. Just delicious. I guess he wasn’t eatin’ too many himself, though.”
Bubbles, 26, learned of Jackson’s passing late last week from another primate in his playpen.
“Another ape was like, ‘Hey, Michael Jackson died,’ and I was like, ‘Ah, you’re full of crap.’ But then I checked my Facebook, and sure enough, every one of my friend’s updates was about ol’ MJ.”
The plucky chimp first met Jackson in 1983 when the singer adopted eight month old Bubbles from a California animal handler. The pair soon discovered they had a lot in common—both were fans of horror movies, and both enjoyed nothing more than a good tree climb. When Bubbles was five, he and Jackson toured Japan, where the chimp moon-walked for the media.
“At first, I had no idea what Michael did for a living,” Bubbles remembered. “I thought he was just some eccentric weirdo who flew around the world collecting animals and old toys. But then someone showed me ‘Thriller’ and some of his Jackson 5 tapes, and I realized, ‘Oh, you’re some kind of rock star or something.'”
Born in Texas in 1983, Bubbles never once regretted shacking up with America’s most famous (and reclusive) pop superstar.
“Would I have been happier at home in Texas or in a jungle somewhere? I don’t know. Maybe I missed out on some important ape life skills. But, come on, this guy gave me my own crib, he let me wear pants…and the bathrooms at Neverland? Sheesh! I feel like a hobo pooping on the ground at this dump.”
After two decades together, the friendship between Jackson and Bubbles came to an acrimonious, somewhat ambiguous end in 2003. To this day, Bubbles refuses to divulge the exact details of the pair’s split.
“Look, Mike said I was getting too aggressive, and that was his opinion, and I respect it. But there’s too sides to every story. All I’ll say on the matter is he who lives in glass houses shouldn’t throw fecal matter.”
Despite the rockiness of their friendship in recent years, Bubbles is still saddened by his former pal’s untimely death. He says he’s turned his cage at the ape center into a makeshift shrine, tacking up newspaper clippings and various pieces of memorabilia (including a framed photo of Jacko giving the thumbs up sign in front of the Taj Mahal).
“They say drugs, pills, whatever,” Bubbles laments. “Honestly, I think the cruelty of the world just broke his little heart. But in the end, it doesn’t really matter. He’s in a better place now. I can only imagine the kind of cucumbers he’s not eating now.”