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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.