Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

Grumpiest Monkey Fiction: The Orange Julius Caesar Assassination Plot (Part 1)

A juice stand in the middle of a suburban mall might seem like a funny place to plan an assassination, but goddamn if the place didn’t have smoothies to die for.

Plus, talking about the dirty business of planting pipe bombs and cutting brake lines over a couple of frosty orange sherbet blasts makes the whole thing seem more like a backyard game of tag than high stakes political intrigue.

But we both knew that Carl was serious. Deadly serious.

Carl leaned in close. There was a gleam in his eye and a smattering of sherbet on his lips. When he spoke, his breath was cool and tinged with citrus.

“Look,” he said. “There’s just no other way around it. The presidency is too important to leave to a vote. There’s just too much at stake.”

I took a long suck out of my straw and coughed when the shake hit the sweet spot at the back of my throat. Unable to speak, I waved at him to continue.

“I’d love to sit here and tell you that I trust the people,'” he hissed. “That they’ll see through Dave’s–uh…my opponent’s–campaign of bullshit and misinformation. But we can’t take that chance. Not after what happened four years ago. And not with what’s at stake at the national level.”

“So what do we do?” I finally croaked.

Carl took a sideways glance at the hapless adolescent boy manning the smoothie stand.

The boy was barely able to stand under the weight of his own teen awkwardness, let alone worry about what we were up to.

“We’ve got to get rid of Dave,” he said.

“But…murder?” I shrugged. “There’s got to be a better way. Blackmail? Sabotage? Can’t we plant some drugs in his car, or sign him up for a man-boy love association or something?”

Carl slammed his fist on the table, sending smooth ripples across the surface of my smoothie.

I glared at him.

Rubbing somebody out was one thing, but messing with another man’s frozen drink was going a step too far.

(To be continued…)

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

Grumpiest Monkey Fiction: The Grocery Store Checkout Line Conundrum

The snow was falling in droves now, and the lines at the supermarket continued to grow.

Gerald grunted impatiently, cradling his meager collection of groceries (one can wet dog food, one roll paper towels, one box of cereal).

He looked with increasing dismay at the size and complexity of the food orders in the grocery carts in front of him.

Each one had a bigger and more complex mix of groceries. Small items, large items, multi-packs, bags of fresh fruit and vegetables whose produce codes would have to be painstakingly entered into the register by hand. Was this going to be a small snowstorm or the apocalypse?

To make things worse, the girl at the register seemed to be moving like a turtle with a terminal morphine habit.

Michelangelo didn’t spend as much time on the Sistine Chapel as she did on every order.

Gerald rubbed his chin. He had shaved before he left for the store, but now he could feel the fuzz slowly creeping back into place on his face.

Had it been that long?

He felt a sharp stab of panic in his chest. For a moment, he became convinced that standing in this grocery line would constitute the entire second act of the two-part play that was his life. Everything up until this point — Birth-Childhood-School-College-Job — had been the first act.

Intermission had been spent winding his ways through the clusterfucked aisles of the Whole Foods trying to grab a roll of paper towels without getting swallowed up the teeming masses of snow-crazed ex-Hippies.

And now, in a bitter twist that was sure to upset the audience, Act 2 of the play would entirely take place in the world’s longest grocery checkout line.

Gerald had two choices. He could sit here and accept his fate and turn the play into a existential drama a la “Waiting for Godot.”

Or he could get a little crazy.

Music, Uncategorized

Four Bands Worth Mentioning Today

  1. Mumford and Sons — They get better with every listen. How can you sit still or feel nothing when listening to them? If you can sit still, you’re either dead, a stone wall or a ficus tree.
  2.  The Vaccines — What Else Would You Expect? is the name of their debut album, but honestly your Monkey did not expect anything when he decided to give these guys a try. Great, catchy garage pop. They’re like the Ramones without all the punk rock icon baggage, or early Weezer (in spirit if not exact musical sound).
  3. Salem — This Monkey loves him some synth-heavy witchhaus music. Mix layered vocals with layered synths and slow the whole thing down to a morphine blur, and you’ve got something.
  4.  The Beastie Boys — Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is a good album and is worth your consideration! It’s great to have them back. The world needs the Beastie Boys alive and kicking and making great music.

Here’s a vaccination of the Vaccines for your musical pleasure.

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized

Long Day’s Journey into Naught

It was a long drive home for your Monkey tonight.

But thanks to the post-holiday lull, there was hardly any traffic on the roads.

Much, much better than before the 4th, when the roads were jamming up every second.

Back to the apartment to gather more stuff for the move. A hot and sweaty room with cigarette smoke curling in from underneath.

Have pretty much done all the “neat and clean” packing that can be done. Now it’s going to be a lot of throwing random shit into random bags and hoping that it will somehow fit together again on the other side.

Some thirsty plants got some much needed water, but a plant plan is needed for rescuing those guys from the sweltering studio heat.

The Brita has remained dry for days, and there is a tub of pineapples from Whole Foods slowly decomposing in the fridge. Soon it will be pineapple moosh.

How quickly an apartment goes from a functional (if less than ideal) home to a pile of inconvenient stuff that has to be removed.

Also, how quickly dust bunnies are formed when one is lax about floor upkeep.

While sweeping up tonight, your Monkey was reminded of hollow vows that he made when moving into the place.

That the floors would always be clean.

That dust would never be an issue.

That crime would not have free rein to flourish outside his back window.

Turned out these were the foolish boasts. Delusions of grandeur. The gleeful gigglings of a mad man.

And all of them for naught.

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Work, Writing

Beating the Heat

The sun scorched down today as your humble Monkey once again resumed pulling boxes out of his apartment and trying to get the move done. The sweat pooled down the front of his monkey chest, and covered his monkey brow.

“Hey,” the girl from the donut shop yelled up at him. “Where’s the puppy dog?”

Your Monkey could only smile and shrug.

“Too hot for her in the car today?” she asked.


Wow. What a deft conversationalist your Monkey is. Words tremble beneath his powerful tongue.

A three-day holiday weekend is a good time to move from the perspective that there is not the usual amount of work-a-day traffic, but all that time off isn’t neccessarily a good thing.

Your erstwhile Monkey is climbing the walls at home already. The dogs are looking at him and expecting something, but what to do with dogs when it’s hot enough to beat the band out there? Dragging them through the streets doesn’t seem fair.

Sweating and working on the world’s longest and most pointless freelance copyediting project seems to be the order of the day.

While others will spend their fourth lazing by the pool, your Monkey will be locked in a darked room, wrestling with CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS who would make a mockery of English with their tripled adjectives “he saw a massive, huge and very big rock” and their wanton disregard for the past, present and future tenses.


Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

And so the solo year ends

What is there to say about a year spent alone in a small apartment surrounded by grime, occassional crime, and a massage parlor that provides a good time?

The move-out process has begun.

From this point on, there will be no more listening to the jackasses smoking and cracking beers in the back, no more late nights of babies crying in the August heat, no more wanting to scream “put the f–king kid to bed already”, no more fighting and door slamming, no more damn-near domestic assaults.

No more shady f–ks trying to borrow money from your humble Monkey.

For now it is back to a dull sea of suburban tranquility.

On the negative side, your monkey and his dog have lost their walking routes along the Mystic River. 

The early morning jaunts in the snow are now a distant memory. Their evening walks through long swaths of suburban blocks are no more. Their lonely peekings through the windows of houses that contain families and lights and lives have ceased.

There will be no more climbing through snowbanks and stumbling across frozen intersections. Trying to avoid the salty patches that sting the paws. Looking at the giant snowman with the tree branch arms. Running through the bobsled track next to the river.

Looking out the window and watching the snow fall and fall and wondering how we’re going to get the car out of the increasingly tight parking spaces in back. Going slightly (completely) mad from cabin fever. No more nights where booze and sedatives are your only friends.

All these things are over now.

But for better or for worse?