In a recent article I introduced the concept of monkey helpers in passing. We've surely all heard of these glorious simian servants before -- one appeared in an episode of The Simpsons and the movie Monkey Shines depicted the lighter side of the hijinks a helper monkey can get into. But is a helper monkey all it's cracked up to be? Hey, I just said the name of the website! Heh.
In order to evaluate the awesomeness of a monkey helper, I did the only rational thing -- I acquired a helper monkey. Which is to say I sent an email and was told no, I cannot have a helper monkey because look how not disabled I am. Elitist monkey pimps.
Lucky for me the Internet is awash in anecdotal evidence and complete fiction, from which I can draw conclusions about why you should or should not get a monkey helper. Please ignore the part where you should be a quadriplegic to qualify for one. I mean, realistically, you'll never get one unless you need one, but this is more a beautiful fantasy than anything else. I want a monkey is what I'm saying.
Pro: Awesome Personal Chef
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Service monkeys, as the pros call them, are trained to do some pretty elaborate tasks around the house, including microwaving food. Now, you have your Bobby Flays out in the world, who can take a beet, a steak, a shoe, and some Mrs. Dash and make a gourmet feast. But if you put that head to head against a monkey with a can of Beefaroni and a microwave, and you don't choose the monkey, then you're the most lavish and indulgent human being on Earth, clearly no longer bound by simple pleasures and living a Caligula-like decadent fantasy of excess and depravity than even the modest microwave-operating hands of a tiny monkey cannot hope to manipulate in any way.
A monkey cooking you dinner is like being hugged by Sasquatch or a talking parrot rattling off an entire, unheard standup comedy routine for you every time you come home from work. It's phenomenal in every way. Plus they feed you after they cook it, which is typically the kind of shit only people who have Roman emperor fantasies get to experience, so you're still Caligula! Put that steak down and kick Bobby Flay's ass out. Or invite him over to give the monkey lessons.
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As great as it would be to watch a monkey make you some Hot Pockets, you need to be aware of the nature of monkey. And even though people spend $38,000 and years to train these monkeys, you can take the monkey out of the jungle but you can't take the jungle out of the monkey. And that means butt play. Monkeys are as fascinated with asses as I am, but generally they're more into their own asses than other people's. They have adorable little monkey diapers on, but who do you think puts those diapers on? The monkeys do! I mean, they have to, right?
Arguably all day long those monkeys are playing with their bungholes when they're not busy feeding you snacks and making sure you don't fall down stairs or get sucked into the vacuum. That, in turn, means easily twice as much fecal matter in your Hot Pocket as the factory allows. Plus, what's stopping him from putting those little monkey poo fingers in your mouth every time he feeds you a grape? Not you, you can't even move. All you can do is sputter shit-grape matter onto your own chest while the monkey cocks his head to one side, scoops it up in his poo hand and forces it back into your mouth. Boom, double poo.
Pro: Long-Lasting Friendship
A monkey helper can live for 30 years, so that's quite a ride. Most friendships don't last that long, you'll obviously hate your family well before reaching 30 and even the best dog is barely making it to 20. This monkey will be with you through everything, just like Clyde and Clint in Any Which Way But Loose but before Clyde's trainers beat him mercilessly in a story that's much too depressing to tell right now.. Just imagine being with this guy for the better part of your entire life. By the end you'll be grey hair old gents (or ladies), sipping whiskey and reminiscing about all those sweet, sweet monkey asses of yore.
A monkey helper is probably the most perfect friend that ever was, if you think about it, because who the hell else could ever wash your face and make you all your meals every day forever, not only without complaint but literally without saying a word? Mutes and monkeys, that's who, and the mute would write something snarky on a portable white board after 15 years, you can take that to the bank. Probably something like, "I may not be able to speak, but at least I can feel!" And here's you, all incapable of moving your hands and legs so you can't even say "Eat me" and storm off. You can just make a face like you're not horrified to be here and say something reassuring while you envy all the monkey owners who don't put up with this shit.
Con: Sinister Monkey
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I name dropped the movie Monkey Shines for a reason at the beginning of this article. Science may tell us a poorly received and fairly poorly written George Romero horror movie about an evil Capuchin monkey is not something on which to base one's real life opinions of helper monkeys, but let's be reasonable -- I've read stories about monkeys literally eating people's faces. They were chimps, actually, but if a chimp can eat a face, a Capuchin could at least eat your lips or, God forbid, your junk. And while you or I might think that's impossible, just remember, if the monkey wanted to, it could strip you naked and draw a dick on your dick and you couldn't stop it. You would have so many crudely drawn dick dicks, and the only person who could help you is the damn monkey doing it to you. How's that for irony? Dick irony.
Aside from dick dicks you also need to worry about the monkey giving you medication and maybe just shooting a vein full of air because he's evil like that. And if my rampant and baseless speculation doesn't slake your thirst for monkey shenanigans let it be known real life service monkeys have actually attacked people before, like a macaque named Darla, who showed a two year old boy in a grocery store how to get street with a monkey.
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At this point in the article I'm assuming you love monkeys as much as I do, despite their potential for destruction. Have you ever wondered why you love monkeys? What is it about a monkey that makes it a standout beast? Why is a monkey superior to a camel, which is arguably the worst of all animals? Obviously the answer is thumbs. The simple ability to grasp and manipulate objects makes them phenomenal and endlessly hilarious. Here is a short list of objects that it would be hilarious to see a monkey holding, and which it could hold because it has thumbs:
- An old school NES controller
- A dildo
- Small pants
- Photos of Soren Bowie
Picture any of those, and, boom, I just made your day better.
Also noteworthy and, as far as I know, totally unexplored in the realm of crime fiction is the ability to solve crime with a monkey helper. Imagine you and your monkey faced with a mystery, you, the brains and Monkey, the brawn, his little fingers picking up clues for you to investigate and then dialing the police commissioner for you once you've put it all together and realized it was the Widow Jenkins who killed Old Man Bungwaddle because she was after his land! I guess it's kind of like the show Jake and the Fatman if you ever watched that, only you're the Fatman and you should probably name your monkey Jake.
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"What is light without dark?" a wise man once said in a Tom Cruise movie about unicorns, and it's as true for midgets in costumes as it is for monkey thumbs. For all the awesome things a monkey can manipulate with its hands, it can do a lot of damage. Now, for the most part, you're expecting these monkeys to be well trained, but, come on, I'm pretty well trained and I light the stove on fire once in a while. Even the best monkey is apt to cause a mishap now and then -- you ask for salt, he gives you rat poison. You want a bologna sandwich, he gives you rat poison. You need your face washed, he throws a steak knife dipped in rat poison at the mailman. He's only human. Only he's not. He's subhuman. Little Dickens.
Pro: Totally Helpful
The basic point of a helper monkey is to actually be helpful. The tasks monkeys are trained to perform include opening and closing drawers, the fridge, and so on. They can turn lights and appliances on and off. They can dial phones. They can cook and feed you and clean up afterwards. But shit gets a little more diverse than all of that. A woman in Missouri had a helper monkey to deal with anxiety that would give her hugs when she got upset and would sit in her lap when she drove a car and give her hair a yank if she started to zone out on the highway, which is one part awesome and a solid five parts terrifying for everyone else on the road.
The benefit to a monkey that drives with you is pretty extensive and includes access to carpool lanes, someone to pick cool songs and someone to hold your fries so you don't need that lame ass fry holder I made fun of. Plus look at this picture:
Oh my God is that fantastic. He has a work vest and everything.
Con: Utter Bullshit
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Let's stay with that lady and her anxiety monkey, because it turns out she was kind of full of shit. Or at least the law says she is. Turns out Debby Rose there got into some trouble after Wal Mart, Cracker Barrel and some other businesses refused to let her in with her monkey. She went to court and sued, and the judge dropped the monkey hammer down hard on her by pointing out that at no time has it ever been made clear her monkey is really a helper monkey and she wasn't diagnosed with any condition until after having the monkey. That basically means this lady got a monkey and decided later on it could really help out with some problems and called it a helper monkey, which is kind of like taking morphine recreationally and then hurting yourself and prescribing more because it seems to be working. I think it's like that anyway. Sounds like an OK metaphor. I tried to get a monkey to work on it with me, but the zoos around here suck.
The key point to understand in this case is that, if you want to have a helper monkey, you actually need to have a helper monkey, and that severely limits most of us because I'm happy to keep the use of most of my body parts and have no monkeys, rather than the alternative. Making up illnesses so you can drive around with a monkey when it's been pretty well documented you live your life just fine without a monkey just makes you some kind of monkey whore. No one likes a monkey whore.