I was sitting in traffic waiting for the cars ahead of me to figure out how to merge one after the other into one lane because of construction.
The first five vehicles or so had apparently never seen this done before and were not doing a good job of allowing the harried road crew worker to direct them safely into one lane.
It was hot out. It was the end of the day. Tempers were frayed.
Some of the drivers seemed to need a refresher course in the Golden Rule.
Although interestingly enough, the folks who seemed most likely to need a refresher course in do unto others had a really good grip on how to use their horn.
And one of the horn blowing motorists reminded us all of how much fun it is to make interesting hand gestures at another motorist and that it's okay to follow up the hand gesture by shouting something rude to a construction worker who's just trying to do her job.
As I said, it was hot out and tempers were frayed.
Luckily there was no gunplay.
As I was sitting there smiling, patiently waiting my turn, because a) I'm polite and b) I was sober and c) I love a good piece of street theatre, a red van with California plates came abreast of my car.
Traffic had crawled to a standstill while the knuckleheads sorted whose turn it was out, so the red van and I were face to face for about two minutes.
The driver of the van was an older woman. She had long gray hair topped with a blue knit hat.
The knit hat peaked my interest since she was wearing it in 80 degree weather, so I watched her for a minute.
She sat waiting for a break in traffic so she could turn into the entrance to a couple of chain hotels and a restaurant.
She was holding the wheel in the ten and two position and I could see both of her hands.
About three seconds after I looked at her movement by her chin caught my attention.
To my surprise and delight, on her shoulder was a small monkey.
The monkey was just calmly sitting there on her shoulder running its fingers through her hair in long smooth strokes.
While she sat there waiting to turn, it stroked her hair over and over in a soothing way.
I don't know if the monkey was soothing her or itself, but it made my day.
It was such a cute monkey.
I wondered if when they checked into the hotel if the lady would have to pay for a double occupancy room, or if she'd just leave out the part about traveling with a monkey.
[like those ladies with purse dogs on airplanes]
In my mind's eye I could just see the tiny monkey tucked up into a double bed with the covers up to his neck with only his tiny sweet monkey face sticking out.
I sat there and smiled harder.
The lady saw me and gave me a big smile in return.
I didn't notice any change in the monkey's expression.
I have never before seen someone traveling with a monkey.
I started thinking that maybe everybody should have a monkey to travel with who would sit on their shoulder and soothe them.
Then I started thinking that maybe every construction worker who had to deal with yahoos at rush hour could have a shoulder monkey too.
The best part of that idea would be if the monkey was both a soothing monkey and also an attack monkey.
That way if someone was rude to you while you were on the job, the monkey could launch itself at the rude person and grab them by the nostrils and head butt them.
But you probably can't do that in Ohio.
With all the construction?
We'd need an awful lot of monkeys.