Monkeys on Ethan

Stasha's brother and his family spent the holidays in Morocco, away from their home in Boston. That's a pretty cool thing to do, since Boston must be a nightmare in the winter. Morocco used to be a French colony so they speak French there. I've never visited. Apparently while there they paid money to have monkeys on the head of their nine year-old son Ethan. Since one of the monkeys (in the background) was wearing a diaper, that suggests they cannot rate high on the trust factor. And with that I shall start another rant.

I've always been a big fan of monkeys. It was one of the first Cantonese words I learned when I was a Mormon missionary in Hong Kong in the early 90's and I used to feed them whenever we'd visit monkey mountain in Hong Kong. Monkey Mountain was quite a place. I bet there were a thousand monkeys living there, swinging from the trees. There are few place names more interesting and fun to say than "Monkey Mountain". But - as Stasha will tell you, since we lived there together for a short time in the late 90's - those monkeys were filthy, greedy and incredibly mean. You existed to serve them and if you failed to live up to expectations, look out.

The residents of Monkey Mountain looked a lot like the monkeys climbing on my nephew in this photo. They can't be trusted. They look innocent and harmless in the photo above but I can assure you that's a canard.

Right there while they were touching his head I guarantee they were hatching a plan to cause mayhem at some future moment, probably not too far distant. They're conniving and evil and all they want are peanuts and bananas and they'll do anything to get them. "By any means necessary."

I prefer the gentle residents of the mangroves of Borneo, otherwise known as Proboscis Monkeys. I have got to post separately about Proboscis Monkeys. And chimps. Chimps do funny things like wear suits and act in Fall Out Boy videos and pick fleas out of each others' skin. And Spider Monkeys, because the name "Spider Monkey" is almost as cool as "Monkey Mountain". I don't care so much for gorillas. They're very menacing and they do all that chest-beating. I'm not into that stuff. And I don't like baboons at all. Even baby baboons are evil-looking, they fight over carrion with vultures and jackals and they have those weird butts that are all different colors. It creeps me out. So in a relative sense I would say the monkeys in the photo above, while evil and greedy, are probably about average as monkeys go, in terms of likeability.

At least monkeys have hands. I've always thought it would be frustrating to be an animal and you don't really have any hands. You can't pick up money if you find it on the street, you can't hug your kids, and you're pretty much only good for running. Except sloths, but I guess technically they have hands. I've never seen a pig throw a ball. They probably exist just for meat anyway. Bacon is delicious even though it's incredibly fattening.

My brother-in-law said they paid 10 dhirams for the monkey photos. I guess that's the currency of Morocco. Whatever 10 dhirams is worth in dollars, it used to be worth half that because the dollar is so weak now. I'm disappointed that Bush doesn't do more to shore up our currency. I'm looking forward to getting a new president. It's not that Bush is a bad person or anything, but the last four years have just kind of been one mess after another. A lot of that is media-generated but sometimes the guy really could have been a bit smarter and more diplomatic about the way he went about things, don't you think?

The only problem is who to replace him with. Mitt Romney is the most qualified person from a business perspective but he's pandering so much to the religious right I can hardly stand it. And it's not going to work: those Southern Baptists are so bigoted it's incredible. Barack Obama would be a great choice to bring everybody together but his fiscal policies are no good. The dollar would probably drop to like fifty per pound if he took office. I still might root for him though. Giuliani is from New York and has been married like 68 times so he's out. McCain is a hundred years old and is just kind of ornery, though I can't blame him given where he lived for five years in the early 70's. He's probably the best choice given his frank honesty on almost everything. I really respect that. But a lot of people don't like him and at this point we need a president that most of us can really get behind together. On the other end of the spectrum we have Jonathon Edwards the Scheister. The dude would say he's against mothers if he thought it would get him elected.

Huckabee and all those other dudes with pocked faces (Richardson, that actor dude, etc) are just flashes in the pan. They'll be yesterday's news in a couple of weeks. Huckabee just has no chance, even if every born-again Christian in Iowa votes for him. What a joke. For one thing, his name isn't going to work. If you want to be President you have to have a name like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln or Monkey Mountain. Huckabee or Huckster or Scheister just aren't going to work.

And then there's Hillary. I don't like her at all. She's smart enough for the job and it would be great to have a woman president, but can't we find one with more of a personality than a cigar store Indian? Or a wet cat. A dead wet cat. And I'm so tired of seeing her brightly-colored pantsuits. I don't have a problem with women wearing pants, I mean my own wife wears them every day and I'm happy for her. But sometimes you have to do away with the pantsuits. I guarantee you in the 70's she had like a hundred polyester leisure suits in twenty different pastel shades. "Strong but with a feminine touch." Stuff like that doesn't play in 2008 baby. This whole election isn't for 10 months and I'm already exhausted by it.

Reagan was a good choice for everybody. Not that smart but a good delegator and always ready with a joke to poke fun at the Russians. We should bring him back. Or Jimmy Carter. He made everybody unhappy but at least he was honest. Has anyone noticed that Dick Cheney isn't running? I'm trying to think if Cheney's place in history will be more ignominious than Dan Quayle's. It's really a toss-up.

We don't manufacture anything in the US anymore anyway, so who is Bush kidding about us benefiting from a weak dollar because our goods are more affordable to foreign buyers? I'm not saying he's saying that, but why else would he take such a laissez-faire attitude toward our currency? Maybe he's too busy at his ranch in Crawford. I've never really cared that much for Texas. The whole "Don't Mess With Texas" thing is really overdone. I mean can we all just move on and agree that no one in the other 49 states cares about Texas and no one thinks Texas is tough and no one thinks anything is bigger in Texas, except maybe women's hair and people's waistlines? I can't stand that slogan. Maybe Texas should just be its own country. Bush can be president of that. The Texas White House can be in Crawford. Patty Sheehan can be secretary of state. All she does is follow him around anyway. And Ann Richards and her hair can be VP. She'd be better than Dan Quayle. Although I think she might be dead. No matter, so is Reagan and I'd still bring him back.

It's not like our steel needs to be cheaper so we can export it. And our cars are so ugly no one wants to drive them. Or they get like 2 miles to the gallon. If I ever saw a Buick in Europe I would eat my shirt. I'm so glad Oldsmobile went out of business. The only thing we manufacture anymore is intellectual property for information technology and pharmaceuticals, and that's basically immune to exchange rates.

So let's shore up the dollar and make it easier for Americans to buy summer houses in places like Morocco. Then we can hang out with monkeys all the time and it will be cheaper to just take your picture with them for 10d and have it cost like five cents, instead of having to feed them a bunch of peanuts and then when you run out of food they get mad and jump on your back and scare the living daylights out of you. Though it's not like that ever happened to me at monkey mountain or anything. I'm voting for Monkey Mountain for President. MM In 08. Hey I'm just trying to add content here.

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Blogger Dave Barnes said...

Before I begin let me apologize for what I am about to do. I am warning you this will be a long drawn out comment, please do not continue reading.

I write this long drawn out comment not just to hear myself type or to start my own side blog in the comments sections of this blog to upstage Dave with witty and thoughtful banter equal to if not eclipsing his. I do this because Dave talks about things that really grab me, pull me in, and make me want to comment. The reason for this is that Dave and I have had many shared experiences (Mission in HK, Housemates at BYU, first job at AC in SF, and more) and for some reason he and I are in many ways like minded. Another reason is for my long comments is that for work I have been asked to monitor contract talks between the Great State of Tennessee and a consulting company named Maximus. What this means is that I go to a lot of meetings with very little to do or say but if I type on my laptop while in these meetings I look ‘engaged’ like I am taking notes, not bored out of my skull. The number of long comments you see from me on this blog is directly proportional to the number of these meetings I must attend. If the length of my comments were proportional to the length of these meetings Google/blogspot would need a new server farm to hold it all.

But I digress. Dave now on to you, (your favorite subject), what is the deal with you and Monkeys? Specifically the Proboscis Monkey? This has got to be the 10th time this particular monkey is mentioned in your blog. If you were to start your own religion (and I know you are working on it) this character the Proboscis would probably figure prominently. Quoting Dave, “I prefer the gentle residents of the mangroves of Borneo, otherwise known as the Proboscis Monkey.” What is wrong with you Dave everyone knows the only simian worth its weight in hurled feces on Borneo is the Orangutan. Has a Proboscis ever made a movie with Clint Eastwood? I think not.

On to the good stuff specifically Monkey Mountain. I am with Dave on this (in fact I have actually accompanied Dave to MM and with this shared experience comes a shared fascination). That place is amazing, and by that I mean it is unlike anywhere else I have ever been. You get off of the bus at an unassuming bus stop with a little trail that goes down a slight hill off into the jungle. You see some monkeys when you first get off the bus but soon things get crazy. The Monkeys are everywhere, big monkeys, small monkeys, nice monkeys, not so nice monkeys, and like Dave said if you have brought some kind of food it is game on. The monkeys at MM have the personality of the faun Pan in Pans Labyrinth (El Laberinto del fauno), they are your best friend until you do not do exactly what they want you to do, which is give them food and your finest drink, and if you cannot provide these things or you run out of these items look out, it is go time. (BTW Dave have you seen Pans Labyrinth? If not you should it is excellent. What about the Clint Eastwood Orangutan movies ‘Any Which Way But Loose’ and the lesser known sequel ‘Any Which Way We Can’? I noticed some of Clint’s latter fodder on you list (Million Dollar Baby/Letters from Iwo Jima) but your are missing his Opus, the early works that allowed him to bring the depth and emotion to those later works…and pay the bills in the lat 70’s early 80’s)

Anyways this meeting I am in is wrapping up. I didn’t even get to what I really wanted to comment on. I will have to come back later, believe me there are plenty more meetings.

Blogger Shanel said...

Even Wren has noticed that nothing is made in the U.S. She looks at the bottom of everything and exclaims "This was made in China TOO!" she gets it and she is only 8years old.


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