Thursday, April 20, 2006


SOCIAL STUDIES


Out in the dark last night I heard some monkeys arguing (they never argue quietly, like humans can; they don't care who hears) in the trees south of us, sounded like a fight over who gets to sleep where, which caused me to keep in mind that we might be seeing some monkeys in the garden in the morning.

I was up early today, and was upstairs checking my email when Echo, standing at the big kitchen window, yelled out: "Monkey in the garden!" I ran downstairs and out the door from the kitchen to the deck and there beheld, sitting quietly on his haunches and eyeing my new beans while nibbling leaves from a decorative bush not ten feet from me, a solo teenage monkey who looked like he hadn't been able to sleep where he wanted last night, and was not in a good mood.

Slowly chewing a wad of leaves, he looked at me with the saucy simian teenage equivalent of "We got a problem here, pop?" I responded with the crotchety human equivalent of "Yes, we do, young fellow!" (All subsequent exchanges are rendered in their relative equivalents, except where indicated.) "And that problem is...?" "This is my garden! that's the problem! Now make tracks!" "Your garden? YOUR garden? This whole damn mountain belongs to my gang!" Chew... chew...

As this brief and pointless exchange indicates, diplomacy and negotiation do not work with monkeys (let alone teenage monkeys), who know nothing of money, having no need for it since they are firmly convinced that everything is already theirs. So I threw the mutually understood equivalent that is a rock.

He shot off as only a teenager can do, stopped in the far corner of the garden about a hundredth of a second later and stared insouciance at me while provocatively fondling my blueberries. I said another rock. I still have a pretty good arm and coulda been a contender, but I burned up all my sizzle on snowballs back in NY, so the simian punk wasn't all that impressed until I spoke again and more precisely. He got the message in ricochet, and ran onto the property of my upmountain neighbor, who has no problems with monkeys because he has a lawn.

To a monkey, especially a teenager, a lawn is like social studies class to a human teen, a place of like, total boredom that's like, way irrelevant. I knew he wouldn't be able to stand it there for long, nothing to steal, nothing to eat, nothing to swing from, so I just stood there, tapping my foot and hefting my next word, until he did his equivalent of the resigned teenage massive shrug with dramatic sigh and ambled off into the forest that should damn well be his proper calling, what is this world coming to.

He must have told the others about the social studies, because not one member of the gang has come by since.

7 comments:

Todd said...
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Todd said...

Without your efforts, it wouldn't be long now before the planet (well...mountain, at least) was ruled by damn dirty apes!

You don't resemble Charlton Heston, by any chance ;-)

Winston said...

Hah ... like Todd I had visions of Charlton Heston, etc.

Terrific post. I really liked the rock-as-word metaphor -- very effective. Around Nashville we don't have monkeys, as you know, unless you want to count the hoards of music-star-wannabees that are constantly clamoring up the sides of the record label buildings on Music Row, trying to find a way in...

Robert Brady said...

Rumors of my resemblance to Charlton Heston are exaggerated, though the monkeys might see something there... Hopefully those star-wannabees aren't invading your garden and eyeing your new beans?

Joy Des Jardins said...

How strange Robert. I left a comment yesterday, but in a different format. It was a bit confusing, but I'm glad you have your old format back. Won't repeat my comment, since I'm sure you already saw it Pops.

Chancy said...

Robert
Next thing you know those teen monkeys will be rolling your yard and knocking down your mailbox.

Robert Brady said...

I'll just crank some heavy metal and become their homey.