Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Gods Love Monkeys

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," your premiere distraction from meaningful productivity! I'm your host, Anne, the Really Really Really Bad Mom.

Some of you will remember my frequent posts about the Monkey Man. If so, please skip the introductory material and scroll to the new stuff!

1. Three years ago, my daughter The Heir was walking home from school. A weird guy on a bike passed her. He was wearing clown pants and a jester hat. He had a monkey puppet. The puppet greeted The Heir by saying, "Hi, there. ooo ooo ooo AAAH AAH AAH!

Thus began our family's association with The Monkey Man. From such modest and anonymous origins an adventure has spun in which me and my daughters:
* compiled urban legends about The Monkey Man
* excitedly reported sightings of The Monkey Man
* speculated on this singular being
* helped The Monkey Man find his lost monkey
* began sharing emails with the Monkey Man
* discovered that he grew up in the house behind ours
* got on his mailing list for the poetry group he runs (monthly get-togethers in the Murder Capital of America).

Please stop at this point and speculate on what this information would do to Dr. Laura's blood pressure.

Better have your nitroglycerine tablets handy, Dr. Laura.

Last night The Heir and I sallied forth in my beat-up Ford and drove the six miles to the Murder Capital. We didn't have any trouble finding the little pizza parlor where The Monkey Man holds his poetry group.

The pizza parlor was absolutely packed with poets! Big poets, little poets, black poets, white poets, and Very Colorful Poets (that would be The Monkey Man. He wore a rainbow striped dashiki and his jester hat). Of course The monkey puppet was there. He sat at the table with The Heir and me.

It was haiku night. The Monkey Man began by reading haiku from Basho (not sure of the spelling on that one). Then no less than 20 other people stood up and read, some of it famous haiku, some of it poems they'd done themselves. The Heir stood up and read her poems. All present (save Heir) shared Saki, plum wine, pizza, and Easter candy.

What a lively evening! The Heir and I had a great time!

The Monkey Man signs his poems as he says them. (Sign language)

The method of paying for the pizza is so casual that if you were hungry you could eat for free.

Now this last part is true too. When the Heir and I left the gathering, there was a drug bust going down across the street. Six police cars. A teenager being led away in cuffs.

(Would someone please give Dr. Laura smelling salts?)

On the way home The Heir and I were commenting on what a wonderful experience the poetry get-together had been, and also on what else we saw. And being an adult, I understood that we hadn't been in the safest neighborhood in the county. But hey. The Heir saw a drug bust right in her school classroom, so there you are.

We here at "The Gods Are Bored" don't spout much pithy philosophy. But here's the aphorism I coined to cover last night's event:

It's better to take some risks and live
Than to take no risks and live longer.



Athana said...

"It's better to take some risks and live
Than to take no risks and live longer."

I love this! Ever applied for a job as aphorism writer? You'd have employment in the blink of an eye, in my opinion.

Anne Johnson said...

I just based it on an old saying:

Better to have a goat to judge
Than no goat at all.