loved to death

Image: Sad Monkey by Kelly Deluded via flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.

An acquaintance of mine, whom I will call Jasper, returning from a Florida fishing trip, after not catching a single fish and suffering a severe sunburn, once bought a used monkey at one of those back-roads’ tourist traps.

Jasper said the monkey was the most pitiful-looking critter he ever saw — skinny, its matted hair flecked with grey. Its sad eyes pleaded to him.

Jasper and the unfortunate simian connected on a telepathic, spiritual level — one desperate guy to another.

Jasper felt he couldn’t leave that jumbled, tumbled down site without taking the monkey with him. After some haggling with the toothless, unshaven, under-shirted, tattooed owner, Jasper bought the animal for $250.00. The owner threw in a heavy collar and chain, and a small beat-up wire travel cage.

When he got back home to Alabama with the monkey, Jasper’s wife had a running fit. She didn’t appreciate his sense of adventure and openness to new experiences; and his sympathetic feelings for a lesser creature in a jam.

She totally failed to comprehend that Jasper’s innate generosity and willingness to take a chance on unknown quantities was probably why he married her.

His wife finally calmed down a bit, but said he had to bathe the monkey to do something about its odor. She said the smell was making her sick.

So, Jasper put the monkey in the tub and gave it a long, hot soaking bath, with his wife’s expensive shampoo. He said the monkey didn’t seem too happy about it, but didn’t put up much of a fight.

After a weak struggle, the monkey finally just sat there hunched and shivering in the tub, with its few teeth chattering and a far away, wistful look in its eye. It was just another insane, torturous ordeal these crazy humans were putting it through.

However, when Jasper tried to dry it with his wife’s hair dryer, the monkey went berserk, climbing the walls, screeching, even ripping the shower curtain.

The monkey even tried to bite Jasper’s hand. But it had so many teeth missing, Jasper’s finger was caught in one of the gaps and the monkey just “gummed” him.

Jasper finally got the frightened monkey back in the travel cage. He carried the cage to the back deck to let the monkey air dry in the sun.

When Jasper checked on the monkey a while later, it was lying on its back, its teeth bared in a pathetic grin, its eyes closed — it was also stone cold dead. It had been killed graveyard dead by love and good intentions.

Evidently, crap happens, even to monkeys.

But, to Jasper’s credit, the monkey smelled as fragrant as a spring flower garden after a gentle rain.

He had owned the monkey for 24 hours. At a total cost of $250, his monkey cost him slightly over ten bucks an hour in operating costs, plus a few bucks for the Happy Meal he had bought the monkey in Dothan, Alabama, on their way home.

And the cost of giving his wife yet another reason to consider him a bumbling fool — priceless!

So try to ignore the know-it-alls who give unwanted advice. Especially, any doofus who is telling you to wash your new pre-owned monkey. Monkeys are supposed to smell funky.

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Image: Sad Monkey by Kelly Deluded via flickr and used under a Creative Commons license.