Jack be nimble

If you became a double amputee from a work-related accident, would you go find a baboon and train him how to help you do your job? If you were a South African railroad worker in the late 1800s named Jumper Wide, of course you would. You would find a really smart baboon, convince his owner that you needed him more than he did, you would name the baboon Jack, you would train Jack to fetch keys and work the switches and signal levers, you guys would ride your own personal trolley in to work together, and everything would be great until some fancy lady riding the train saw you guys and got worried that a baboon couldn’t be responsible for the safety of her precious caboose.

And then you and Jack would have to prove that Jack could do the job great, and everybody would cheer, and you wouldn’t get fired and  Jack would get an official employee number and get paid, and everything would be great again.

That’s what you would do if you became a double amputee from a work-related accident and you were a South African railroad worker in the late 1800s named Jumper Wide.

Published in: on October 3, 2017 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Smirkin’ bag

Sometimes I feel like the red orangutan in the bag. Sometimes I feel like the red orangutan not in the bag.

How about you?

Via the brilliant gent who runs Filled With Chocolate Pudding!
Published in: on December 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A card held in reserve

The more you look at this photo, the more you realize it isn’t just some wacky stunt for the tourists.

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This Chinese monkey is revealing his true colors. Which candidate will most destabilize humanity, thus making an easy victory for monkeys in their impending war against humans? The enemy of my enemy is my friend, indeed.

Published in: on November 4, 2016 at 9:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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Island Of Dr. Morose

From various posts on social media and whatnot, it seems that a great deal of my friends are taking tropical jungle island vacations. Even Benny is off someplace chasing/getting chased by monkeys. Well, there may not be any monkeys around me but it’s pretty humid and I just discovered these guys

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a block away from where we go to vote, so I’m okay. Seriously, the telephone pole here

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runs wires up to my street. And actually, if I had waited around long enough I probably would have run into some monkeys because I noticed that these monuments are a designated Pokemon Go pokestop. Monkeys or zombies.

I didn’t stick around though, because 1) that skull on a stick,

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2) I already saw some zombies playing Pokemon at the old zoo the other night that were kind of scary even when I was with a group of friends, and this time I was alone, and 3) the occupant of the house was lurking about, using a leafblower in sort of a menacing manner when he spotted me eyeing the additional moai head in the driveway. I thought it best to scoot before this turned into a Most Dangerous Game or Spawn Of The Subhuman situation.

Quick, someone find the ether

A couple of recent incidents have been making me wonder if the people of Brazil need to better secure their cutlery. First, there was that crab pretending he was in West Side Story – oh wait, two crabs. And now there’s a capuchin monkey in a Paraiba bar with a penchant for rum and butcher knives.

True, the monkey seems more Curious George than King Kong, but I’m not sure I trust him to keep a steady grip on that thing. Can somebody give him a melon baller or a muddler instead?

Etiquette & superstition: interactions with a dying person

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According to a New York Times interview with the artist of the painting above, Jack the black monkey was owned by an 18th century British ambassador to Italy. Jack’s owner noted in correspondence that he (Jack, not the ambassador) enjoyed enemas and grabbing the genitals of young boys. Perhaps it is no surprise that there are no companions at his bedside as he joins the choir invisible.

ETIQUETTE: When you are talking or writing a letter to a dying person, it is important that you try to find out whether the person knows and accepts whether they are dying. If they do not know, insist on using euphemisms or are not willing to accept their impending departure, you need to go along with that. Now is not the time to get into a new argument.

Start working on making your peace with the dying if you need to, let them wrap up their own loose ends, accept gifts they wish to bestow on you. Err on the side of making amends rather than expressing brutal honesty, but don’t say anything or make any promises that you would regret if the person weren’t dying. Sometimes people make amazing recoveries.

If you can’t think of anything to say to a dying person, just hold their hand.

SUPERSTITION: If a dying person’s last words are your name, you’re probably the next on your way to the pearly gates. If a dying person hits or bites you, you have to hit or bite them reciprocally if you don’t want to die yourself. Go ahead and get them back real good; a dying man’s tears are a good headache cure.

Image of “Jack On His Deathbed” by Walton Ford provided by La Petite Claudine on Flickr

Words that end in “-bution”

I saved this photo the other day from somewhere,

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but now I can’t find where I got it from. I’d normally not post something without a proper photo credit, but my thoughts on that are somewhat mitigated by the fact that I seem to remember this coming from somewhere on Facebook where attribution to the original source is rarely found. So, if I got it from an interim source that didn’t provide any attribution to the original source, I’m not sure how guilty I feel about not providing that interim source with credit for reposting or whatever. I’d normally do it, but in this case I can’t. And I can’t resist posting this nice little monkey boy photo.

Anyway. If you’re either the interim source or the original source for this photo, please feel free to let me know so that I may provide you with proper attribution, or we may alternately discuss other forms of retribution.

Published in: on October 22, 2015 at 4:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pharaoh’s tomb

I clearly remember the day Elvis died. I was a little kid playing with my older brother’s friends on our bouncy tree swing in the front yard, and Mike Lowe came over and told us the news. I responded with something to the effect of “I’m happy that old fat man is dead.” By the time I was in high school, I came to the light and finally appreciated him. And now, at this point in my life, I find myself alternately disgusted and heartbroken by him. He seems like the saddest monster America made in the 20th century. Anyway, I found myself in Memphis on this road trip I’m on and really, I found that I couldn’t not go to Elvis’ last home.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I did Graceland right today. All I’ve heard my entire life is how garish and how extreme and how oversized everything is at Graceland, and it didn’t seem that way to me. Maybe I saw this too late – I’m four years older and probably just as fat as Elvis was when he died, bloated and unhappy on a toilet. Maybe I’ve seen too many of his decorating inspirations – for sheer boldness, the Gobbler and Madonna Inn have Graceland beat in a minute. Maybe something happened to me when I came across this place prior to visiting Graceland:

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I don’t know. I came out of Graceland with a very different feeling than “this is a garish place.” Here’s what I noticed at Graceland.

Number one, nobody cared what faces Benny or I made on the tour. Everybody on the tour was saddled with headphones and an iPad yoked around their neck.

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Next, Gladys Presley was a goddamn underappreciated artist. Here is her bathroom:

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Look at the floor tile. Look at the wall tile. Look at that poodle wallpaper. SHE DESIGNED THAT.

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Goddamn. Hats off to you, lady. Moving on.

Blown-glass clowns. I would have these if I could find some. Picture is blurry because I think I was mad I do not have these clowns.

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I guess I’m going to have to sell a billion records to get those clowns. Oh wait, people don’t do that anymore. Maybe I’ll just have to check out some more estate sales.

Okay, now here is this guy:

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Why did they not explain this guy on the tour? I’m only asking because a smaller version of him showed up in the special archives:

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Explain the white monkey, John Stamos on my iPad headphone interactive yoke. Oh, I think I forgot to explain: John Stamos narrates most of the iPad tour. It’s weird. I don’t understand the association because I thought he was all Team Mike Love*, and Mike Love seems like the anti-Elvis to me. I know it wasn’t Mike Love on television when Elvis shot his TV set, but it should have been.

The other person speaking on the iPad headphone interactive tour was Lisa Marie Presley, and I’m not sure if this had been done on purpose, but every quote from her seemed to be a terror memory. This terror eventually seeped into the printed signage. Somebody other than me has to have noticed that, nestled amongst the adorable pink striped Jeeps,

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there was this placard:

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This creepy undercurrent. It was not only in Lisa Marie’s quotes, it was in little corners about the property:

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It’s not the boat motor in the corner, it’s the boat motor in the corner with all the hooks in the ceiling. The boat motor and the hooks in the corner of the building that they also used as a shooting range:

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And then:

elvisfeathersSOMEBODY EXPLAIN THE FEATHERS. I don’t know. Maybe that’s not sinister, but what is it?

There was more, but I just don’t know how to put it all together. I have some sort of theory brewing that involves the Peabody ducks, but it’s really kind of sketchy at the moment. If I had the fortitude and wallet to go back to Graceland tomorrow, I’d try to flesh this out further. As it stands, I think we need to hit the road and forget all of this.

*Mike Love, not Mike Lowe. I know it can be confusing.

 

Stefan, sing for us

If you have never listened to the “Spawn of the Subhuman” episode of the old Dark Fantasy radio show, please do so now. I’m not sure it actually has anything to do with subhumans or spawn of same, but that is beside the point. Don’t give up on this thinking you know what’s going to happen; things take a very sharp turn after that layover in Centella.

Magic chef

I’m not a scientist, but I imagine that if I were a scientist I’d hate science reporting in mainstream news even more than I already do. Take, for instance, this recent study conducted around whether chimpanzees would trade in a piece of raw sweet potato and wait to receive a piece of cooked sweet potato in return rather than eat the raw bit immediately.

This study was intended to test a few hypotheses about human evolution and patience and understanding of how a tool or device can transform something else, I guess. It was hard to tell what exactly the scientists were looking for and what they concluded because in the hands of the NY Times the story, much like the sweet potato bit in the scientists’ shake-and-bake device, transformed into:

  • CHIMPANZEES WOULD COOK IF GIVEN THE CHANCE
  • CHIMPANZEES CAN COOK A MEAN POTATO, RESEARCH SAYS
  • CHIMPANZEES ARE LIKE TEENAGERS COOKING POT PIES IN THE MICROWAVE

After watching the video, I felt like CHIMPANZEES ENJOY A GOOD CUPS-N-BALLS MAGIC TRICK ESPECIALLY WHEN PROVIDED WITH SNACKS would have been just as accurate a headline.

So yes, I’m annoyed with the current state of science reporting. And yes, I have to admit I’m mainly annoyed because I was expecting to see a monkey chef preparing a delicious dish. Thankfully, YouTube provides what the New York Times cannot.

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