t was rainy and windy a half century ago in Vancouver, and on this day in 1964 I set off for Lewis Jr. High School while my brother stayed home ill to read Year of the Gorilla . (He had just got it for his birthday.) I got my report card—mostly Bs, but an A in math and Cs in Art and PE. (My art teacher wrote that I “need[ed] to activate [my]self a trifle”.) My reading teacher observed that I was “Excellent in all reading—should give more attention to written work.” My social studies teacher wrote that I “could be doing better. More effort and less reading during class time.” He agreed with my PE teacher that my display of effort was unsatisfactory.
When I got home I found out that my brother had received a copy of something called Planet of the Apes, a Pierre Boule novel translated from the French. (I don’t know if it was a belated birthday present or just some random gift.) He let me read it, but I wasn’t impressed. The ending irritated me. Our hero manages to make his way back to earth from a planet run by apes only to find that the apes have taken over our planet as well. Or something like that. It’s been a long time since I looked at the damn thing.