I have a certain kind of monkey in mind, a cat-sized little fella who can sit on my shoulder. I would have the monkey wear different outfits at different times – a little police monkey outfit, a tuxedo, denim overalls with big, silly sunglasses.
And I would give my monkey a human-sounding name like Wade or Mitch or The Amazing Maxwell. When I called him that last one, I’d have him wear a floral print shirt and a turban and an eyepatch. And I’d cringe and make a face when you asked about the eyepatch – holy Christmas don’t ask him about the eyepatch!
Monkeys are jittery. It’s hard enough keeping him on my shoulder – just use your head before you start firing off questions, you know?
There would be three main aspects to the training of the monkey. First, he would have impeccable table manners, except for the fact that he’d have to sit on my knee. Everyone would be amazed at what a polite little monkey I had. He would even know which one was the shrimp fork and I’d kind of keep my eye on him, so that I used the right one, too.
Second, he would be house-trained and uninterested in excrement of any kind. He would never throw his own (or any) feces at anyone unless I gave him the secret command, you know like if one of those guys selling magazines subscriptions came to the door or someone started dropping racial slurs at the mall.
And third, he would always agree with me and would never agree with anyone else. That would be mandatory – the last thing I need hanging around is an Opinionated Argument Monkey (O.A.M.) There are enough of those hanging around already.
So the whole time I’m talking to you about anything, the monkey would be on my shoulder, looking at you and nodding his head, sometimes giving me an encouraging pat on the back, sometimes winking at you if you made eye contact for too long. Everything that I said would seem to him like a wise and prudent idea, and you’d know all about it.
And then right when you started to respond, he would scowl and shake his head no matter what you were saying, and he would continue doing so for as long as you continued speaking. If you started to raise your voice, he would screech at you and give you the bird.
Imagine how often such a monkey would come in handy. For example, have you ever ordered a double Filet-O-Fish sandwich and had the kid behind the counter tell you that they don’t have doubles, only singles? Like saying they’re out of medium fries, but not large or small fries – just quit screwing around and get me the fries man, come on.
It’s pretty rare these days. I do not often have to engage in a debate on the subject anymore, but I am not the sort of man who will stand there and pretend that makes sense – you’re making me a double Filet-O-Fish whether there’s a big sign up about them or not.
I don’t get angry or anything, but go and get your manager and I’m sure you will find that it is okay to put an extra Fish Square on my sandwich if I’m willing to pay for it.
The conversation would be a lot shorter, though, if Mitch were sitting on my shoulder, shaking his head. I’ll bet you could get out of a traffic ticket that way, too.
You might be thinking that it isn’t very healthy, eating double Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. You want to watch that kind of talk – that’s exactly the kind of bullshit Mitch or Wade or Whatever I Decide To Call Him doesn’t like to hear. See how you’ve got him all upset?
Now some people would insist that monkey sidekicks in general are cruel, so to be safe, I would make sure that The Amazing Maxwell had his own room and a Wifi connection, so he could Skype his old monkey pals back in Egypt. I’m pretty sure that’s where monkeys come from, because of the date-eating monkey from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
And he would have his own bathroom with a rack of National Geographics next to the toilet – that’s the best time to think.
I would make sure that old Charlie Patterson got plenty of time to unwind – lots of bananas, Animal Planet, a typewriter. I’ll bet there’s a way to sign him up for conjugal visits to the monkey cage at the zoo – a man is only a guy, you know, even if he’s a monkey.
You might be thinking, this sounds a lot like Bobo’s Hostile Imaginary Monkey, but no – my monkey is going to be real, and really laid back. Like a smooth-talking guitar monkey, he’ll put you right at ease, don’t even worry about it.
Bobo’s monkey will knock you out with a cinderblock and then steal your identity, go online and buy himself a little battery-operated Barbie Jeep to ride around in or something.
Totally different monkey I’m talking about here – I can hardly wait.