Tuesday, March 31, 2009


So there it was, the big net cube, with snakes inside. Perhaps you recall that netting label photo that I posted in Part 1 (third post below), where, above the monkey on the net is a dark word-balloon that says "Pita!"? That's the Japanese onomatopoetic sound sort of for stoppage of an action (I say 'sort of' because like so much about Japan, it's hard to define; Japanese is full of such bizarrely subtle onomatopoeias, subject of another post). Something about the net that I could not identify would stop the monkey cold: a simian stickiness, an irritation, a scent-- something, there was something about this net that repelled furry red-faced beasts. Would it work? Now all I needed was a monkey.

One morning I was at the kitchen sink looking out over the garden, when down one of the big cedars came the solitary monkey I'd been waiting for. With a look of simian curiosity on his face, he ambled over to the netted garden containing some of his preferred vegetables, sat there at the side for a few moments sussing out the situation. He examined the bottom of the netting carefully, then scanned the top of the netting and did some advanced calculations. (Monkeys live in total adherence to an obscure economic principle that lies at the very heart of money, and that Krugman doesn't even talk about: "The greater the effort, the lower the value." You can't get much frugaler than a monkey.)

Algorithms completed, the beast then ambled over to the side of the garden away from the house and sat there peering through the net, seeing what was here and there: coupla fake yellow snakes, coupla fake orange snakes, monkey's onions, bob's garlic, chard and cabbage, monkey's carrots, bob's parsley, monkey's potatoes etc.

Then he made his move: ZAM! Straight to the top of the pole, in direct contact with the net, without the slightest sign of Pita! I, a rather solid skeptic, had fallen for-- monkey-trouble advertising, of all things. I had trusted a label! Just because it had a monkey beneath a little onomatopoetic stoppage sound on it! It had shown me what I wanted to see and I had fallen for it... I should have looked more closely at the second monkey on the label as I'm doing now, observing that the fellow beast is not only enjoying himself, he is inside the net! In fact, perhaps they both are! Or not. That's so the net makers can't be sued for false advertising. So I ran out and chased the real monkey away in person as usual.

Nevertheless, as one-sided as this ongoing struggle may appear, I don't let it get to me, because I'm a monkey too - a more advanced monkey, even - so I must have a pretty good shot at enjoying my own onions, right? I can be as devious as the next beast, right?

All I have to do is emulate Wall Street.


Alice said...

Pita in my Hubby's private vocabulary means "pain in the a**" which has served him well over the years in describing anything or anyone annoying--children, bosses, monkeys, politicians, even me (sometimes). Couldn't help being reminded by your story.

Ian R. said...

Can't we cover the top of the cube with NET as well??? How hard can that be . . . How are they going to get in if the top is wired in with fence wire or chicken wire? All we need to do is be ladder usage intelligent . . . and then all the chasing of MONKEYS will be come an infinite belly laugh no? . . . Ian R.