I have a quick monkey story. Kiddo loves to hear it.
Monkeys, well, they like me. I don’t know why. I shower and shave, so they can’t think I’m their mother, but that’s kinda how they act. Anyway, back in the old days, a/k/a The Eighties, I was heading home from work on a hot summer day in the West Village. There was a Mr Softee Ice Cream truck that was begging me to stop, and so I did. I had an ice cream cone and was now very happily walking toward the subway station.
But just before the entrance, a man was hustling for some money. He was saying something about working as security for a lab at a university, and how he couldn’t tolerate what he’d seen being done to animals. So I reached into my pocket for some change for him when I stepped up toward the hat/box/money container/whatever it was, and found myself looking straight into the eyes of a small monkey. In a diaper. I was hunched over, frozen in time, staring into the most incredibly innocent yet wicked and very intelligent eyes. It then occured to me that this dude had rescued a young specimen from a terrible fate. That’s when he grabbed me.
This little freakazoid grabbed my arm and climbed up so fast I couldn’t believe it. What flashed through my mind? Is he going to bite my face? Is he going to rip my hair out? I didn’t know, so like the girl I was, and still am, I closed my eyes in terror.
When I opened them, he was sitting on my arm with one of his arms around my neck. His other arm was extended, and his little monkey hand was on mine. I thought, my God! This is amazing! And then of course he tilted my hand, tilted his head, looked into my eyes, and ate my ice cream cone.
I couldn’t help it. I started laughing. The fear was gone entirely. He was the cutest thing ever, but I really didn’t know if ice cream was going to hurt him, so I asked the guy. He apologized and offered to buy me another ice cream cone and I told him he was an idiot if he really thought that’s what I wanted. We didn’t know if the ice cream would end up giving him the runs, but he was deliriously happy, and there wasn’t all that much since he’d accidentally pushed most of it to the ground, so he got the treat. When he was finished, he gave me an icy cold monkey kiss on the face which was followed with a smile. And in the end, I got the best treat of all!