Thursday, July 30, 2009

I don’t think you can do that in Ohio….the monkey per redneck ratio is too small

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.


Anonymous said...

So, do you have enough "Things I've Seen Thursdays" for a book yet? I think the world should get to ride along with you and see these amazing things. Either you're a magnet for these great sightings or I don't pay nearly enough attention while I'm out and about.

Karen from Mentor said...

I think funny things are all around us all the time.

So, it could be a little of both.

Life is like a circus everyday and it's free!

So maybe by having that attitude I see more than my fair share of clowns....


ChezHui said...

:)))) smiling thinking about the monkey. Wowza, what a mental image you gave me this morning. When I'm stuck in traffic from now on I'm going to imagine a monkey on my shoulder stroking my hair. Like the Bare Naked Ladies "If you had a million dollars" - have you ever wanted a Monkey? Well now I do!

Lauren C said...

I'm smiling too, just thinking about having a monkey on my shoulder.
but then I thought, what if all those crazy yahoos had monkeys too? you know what would happen in their cars...
they'd have a monkey in the back going WOO WOO!

Karen from Mentor said...

OH MY GOSH Lauren. too funny.
I will explain for those of you who haven't spent years in the passenger and back seat of my various cars.

We had a bit...whenever we saw someone do something stupid in traffic we would come up with reasons as to why they may have been distracted. These reasons got more and more elaborate as time went on....

(I'm laughing here a lot...give me a minute)

So one day, we each, Lauren, Rachel and I were adding things to the list of what the lady driving in front of us was doing.

We noticed her because she was putting on mascara WHILE driving, we then added shaving her legs, smoking and talking on her cell phone while eating a plate of spaghetti all topped off with having a monkey in the back seat jumping up and down going WOO WOO.....

(you may have had to be there...but oh my gosh...)

Karen from Mentor said...

I've always wanted both a monkey and a million dollars.....

Love the Bare Naked Ladies..

And prewrapped sausages.


judy said...

I heard a story on "This American Life." A guy was driving with his monkey (or maybe it was a gorilla). They had an act - the guy and his monkey/ape. They performed at events. So they were driving, and all the sudden they drove up and over the curb, over the sidewalk and into a house. When the cops came, they found the driver had alcohol on his breath. But the driver said it shouldn't matter because the monkey was driving.

Rachel said...


Karen from Mentor said...

Judy, my favorite gorilla joke is the one where a gorilla is competive golfing on a bet. He comes to the first tee and has an INCREDIBLE drive right onto the green...after all the wagerers see him drive they assume he's a wonderful golfer and don't even bother to play a round of golf because he will obviously beat them, so they pay up and walk away...after they are all gone the caddy asks the gorilla's manager, "So how does he putt?"
The answer: "Just like he drives"

heh heh two gorilla driving jokes....

such comedy...and it's FREE FOLKS!

Not quite Rachel...trunk monkeys are scary.

Country Girl said...

I suppose if more people drove around with monkeys on their shoulders, I'd probably have less road rage.

Karen from Mentor said...

AND you could arm the monkey with bananas when you are running in the marathon this fall, and he could trip up the other runners with the peels.... win/win

Rachel said...

Trunk monkeys aren't scary! Only to the people who are trying to steal your car! Or kiss your daughter! Or abduct you! All people who deserve to be scared of the monkey!

Milli Thornton said...

I just read this after watching a video of jazz greats and sharing a bottle of wine from Ontario with my husband. This was the perfect cap to a special night! I laughed and smiled and *loved* the writing.

Great to know you live not far from me (I'm in Youngstown). Yep, the drivers in Ohio are definitely challenged and we all need one of those monkeys with the double personality ;~D

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey Milli,
Glad you enjoyed it. I see you have joined my minions. Welcome aboard!
Karen :0)