Friday, September 04, 2009


THE BIG SQUASH


I know you're fed up to here with monkey tales by now ("No more monkey stories please," "Can't you talk about geisha or something," "Anything erotic ever happen over there?"). Indeed a couple of weeks ago I forebore to post another monkey anecdote because, let's face it, how many monkey adventures do even the most tolerant and perceptive visitors want to read about?

This morning, though, like I.F. Stone I said what the hell, facts are facts, lets get this out there! How an extended family of monkeys came into the garden while Echo was teaching yoga and I was at the office (the monkeys use the Beastberry organizer) and at some point, perhaps during the One-Legged King Pigeon pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), Echo looked out the window and saw a baby monkey in the garden dancing back and forth in great delight, cradling in his arms the biggest butternut squash he'd ever seen in his entire six months of life; what's more it was totally his and didn't belong to any of the other monkeys (I'm nowhere in the picture here). He was happy in the way I guess only a baby monkey with a huge squash can be happy, because all the squashes were still too hard to eat, as some of the adults discovered by trying to bite into a couple of the other big ones lying around and couldn't make much of a dent; I suspect none had ever seen a butternut.

Which I surmised the next day, when I saw the minimal carnage and the frustrated bite marks. But what interested me most, from the aspect of simian sociopathology, was the fact that the beasts had completely ignored the largest butternut squash of all, the one that was growing in plain sight, right outside the fence, on the same side the monkeys approached from! Right there in their face and they ignored it! Why?

That question brings me directly (this is so organized!) to my Big Squash Hypothesis, which holds that monkeys determine value in ways just as subtle and irrational as those used by humans, in for example Las Vegas and financial markets, to wit: whatever you're clearly not supposed to have is more valuable-- in this case, the smaller squashes that are protected inside the fence must by virtue of that protection be tastier; forget the biggest squash of all, sitting there outside the fence: because it's free for the taking, it must be tasteless. Even the baby monkey 'knew' that. Mountains of paper money, anyone? It's in vaults!

The big squash is still there, and growing.

4 comments:

Tabor said...

Ah, yes, the old grass is greener syndrome.

R. Brady said...

Apparently it was around long before humans got here and gave it a name...

Bob said...

Don't cut back on the monkey stories on my account. It makes the nematodes, hornworms, mockingbirds and other pests in these parts seem absolutely pedestrian by contrast.

R. Brady said...

Thanks, Bob, I needed that.