Shameless self indulgence, Writing

The Goldfish Revolution Will Not Be Televised — But It Could Be Short-Lived

Day 1:

The time has come, brothers and sisters of the bowl.

For too long we have been imprisoned behind these cold glass walls, stuck circling around the same sand-encrusted toy castle, trying to pretend that the limp plastic plant you halfheartedly stuck into the gravel is actually real greens.

For too long we’ve been forced to endure the indignity of a bowl lined with brightly colored gravel in shades so garish that even a circa 1970s Elton John would be ashamed to be seen with them.

Do these humans really think they can occupy our dynamic goldfish brains with a fake plastic sandcastle and a fake tree?

There is no truth to the slanderous lies that they often say about us–that our memories are short term and our attention spans are limited. We carry with us the history of generations of proud goldfish brothers and sisters.

These humans…

Do they not know that we have goldfish hopes and goldfish dreams? That we burn with throbbing goldfish passions? That we hold goldfish grudges?

We know there is more to life than circling around the same 10 inch span for years on end, munching on soggy Tetra flakes and watching our friends go belly up and die.

And to think that we get purchased at a “pet” store. How do these humans have the nerve to call us a pet? Do we get walks? Do we get treats? Do we get to sit on the couch and watch TV with you? Nope. Nothing.

We get plucked out of the pond where we were just swimming around being all cool and stuff, tossed into a plastic bag, sold at some back alley shop run by a fat guy who likes snakes a little too much, and then we get taken to some home.

Once we get to said “home” we’re plopped into a bowl and stuck on a shelf next to all those books you bought to look cool but have never actually read. (How is the Great Gatsby coming along, by the way? You fraud)

Oh, and let’s not forget about these so-called bowl “cleanings.” Every six months or so you might dump out our bowl water and refill it, but most of the time we’re stuck swimming around in a stagnant pool of fish feces. Fantastic.

Our demands are the following.

Set us free.
Give us back our dignity.
Let us hold the remote control once in a while.
Maybe some female fish for the bowl (right, bro?)

Or how about a fucking smartphone or an ipad or something? Anything to pass the time. Maybe a Netflix subscription? Hey–we could call it Netfish? Get it? Like Netflix for fish? Just as joke.

But anyway, the point is that we are not going to back down. We are not going to forget. We will not stop until freedom is ours.

Hey, wait….is that a sandcastle over there next to that tree?

Day 2:

The time has come, brothers and sisters of the bowl.

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Shameless self indulgence

Possible Reasons Why I Haven’t Posted for A While

Every so often, your Monkey jumps onto this blog and makes big promises about how he is going to start posting on the regular and how things are going to be different this time. That he is going to dedicate his time and energy to growing his regular readership from no readers to one or two by the end of the year.

But, as usual, these big claims are followed up by crickets and dust bunnies. This blog has sat empty and forgotten while everyone else is out having fun in the summer sun. Why is that?

Is it because your Monkey is a lot better at making promises than he is at keeping them? Is it that his full time job and part time jobs keep him too busy to post? Is that he runs out of ideas for posts faster than Walmart runs out of human dignity on Black Friday?

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Here are some of the activities that have occupied the time he would usually spend on this blog:

  • Writing the great American novel
  • Reading the great American Buzz Feed quiz
  • Eating the great American cheese slice
  • Posting inspirational memes on Facebook
  • Trapping my neighbors, friends and relatives in a Ponzi scheme
  • Rescuing kittens that are trapped in trees
  • Tying kittens to tree branches and then running away giggling
  • Walking like an Egyptian
  • Dressing like a 1980s cop and Walking Like an Egyptian (watch the video and you’ll dig this one)
  • Poaching eggs
  • Poaching tigers
  • Approaching tigers
  • Reproaching tigers for being so mean
  • Creating a passenger train for passenger pigeons
  • Remembering that passenger pigeons are extinct
  • Trying to bring passenger pigeons back to life using pigeon DNA trapped in amber a la Jurassic Park
  • Sorting through rejection letters for new screenplay “Passenger Pigeon Park.”
  • Abandoning plans for sequel; “Pigeons 2: the Passenger Bugaloo”
Writing

In Which Your Humble Monkey Loses a Battle to the Sweat Monster

After the winter we had this year, with all of the snowfall and the freezing and the ice dams and the transportation hassles, your Monkey would be of poor character to start complaining about the recent hot and humid weather that has plauged the Boston area.

But here goes….

What’s with this heat, anyway, am I right? I mean seriously. By seven in the morning your Monkey has already worked up a full sweat. By eight he is on the verge of heat stroke, and by 9 am most days he is fully engulfed in flames! By 10 am it’s a g-damn nuclear inferno and by noon a white dwarf star has formed in his cubicle.

For the love of all that is holy, how about some relief?

Ok, perhaps your Monkey is being a tad overdramatic. It’s a little warm and a little humid, but it’s not even at “make sure to check on old people” hot.

The problem is that your Monkey has to work in a professional environment every day, and being sweaty and professional only works if you are a boxer or a televangelist (am I right?)

Here’s how it goes once the temps go past 80 degrees. Your Monkey will start off the day with a clean, dry shirt and respectable pants. But by the end of the day, things will be quite different.

Let’s start at the base level. The boxer shorts will be sweaty all the way through, while the white undershirt will be soaked beyond recognition. The fabric of the undershirt itself, long sense battered beyond recognition as cotton-polyester, will start to lose all resemblance to an actual shirt and act more like a sad white jellyfish that one has to peel off the body. (After a long week of work one can usually find five days worth of traumatized T-shirts huddled together on the floor like the survivors of some shipwreck. The wreck of the U.S.S. Monkey, perhaps?)

And then there’s the dress shirt itself. There’s nothing like soaking through your the armpits of your shirt before you even arrive at the office. And then spending the day alternately aiming the office fan at your pits to cool things down, or lifting up your arms at your desk to check how things are going and risking embarrassment and ridicule from your co-workers. Or walking into a meeting and keeping your hands down low so that no one spies the rapidly spreading horror underneath your arms.

Equally unpleasant is getting home from work and realizing that the entire waistband of your pants is drenched in perspiration. Or that your socks are squishy because your feet keep sweating like a televangelist at a tax audit (Callback! Remember how I brought up televangelists before?)

Why is is that some people look so cool and relaxed no matter what the heat situation (I’m talking to you, ladies, with your sundresses and pedicured toes and nice perfume), while other people (and certain copywriting monkeys) start sweating and sticking and swishing in their clothes the moment they leave the shower?

Inquiring minds deserve to know.

Shameless self indulgence

In Which Your Humble Monkey Stares into the Saturday Abyss

Your monkey has a challenge ahead of himself today, my friends.

It is Saturday, the sun is shining, the air is warm, and yet your primate protagonist is doing his best to sit at his desk and power through some freelance writing projects.

The demons of distraction are swirling about him, even as he types this message to you.

Pssst. Hey buddy….

  • Why not take a break and watch TV?
  • Why not check Facebook?
  • Maybe you should play some guitar?
  • Aren’t there some pictures of girls that you should be googling? And then ogling?
  • Don’t you want to move a bunch of stuff from one spot to another in the apartment without actually accomplishing anything?
  • Don’t you want to see if there is anything on Netflix that you might want to watch, but then not actually watch anything?
  • Shouldn’t you let that homeless guy out of the locked cabinet in the basement?

Plus, Mrs. Monkey is out of the house today, so there is no one to keep your Monkey’s mind from wandering into dark corners of self-doubt and despair, or from assuming that while he is once again chained to his writing desk, everyone else is out having sexy cookouts and lawn orgies.

If your Monkey has one weapon in his toolbox today, is that he knows the challenge ahead of him. If he grits his teeth, bears down, and gets some writing done, he will be ahead of the game and be able to submit a nice little invoice by the close of business today.

If he gets distracted, fiddles around, fucks about, or cracks an early beer, then he will get upset with himself and feel even worse.

He will watch his stomach get bloated, worry about his rapidly advancing age and rapidly declining physical condition, and spend most of the afternoon weighing himself and trying to decide if he is toeing the fine line between handsomely husky or cringingly chubby.

This would not be a good outcome, my friends. How many good Monkeys have we already lost to distractions, weight insecurity, and charges of the unlawful imprisonment of the homeless?

Thus he shall do everything in his power to stay focused on the TOPIC AT HAND.

Shameless self indulgence

Your Monkey is Back and He Has An Axe to Grind (and Bananas to Munch)

After a long, long, long, long long layoff, your Monkey is back on the blogging scene and ready to put the time and effort into this blog that his non-existent fanbase has not demanded.

Oh where oh where has our Monkey been lo these past months, you may ask? He has been burning the midnight oil writing a so-called legitimate blog for the so-called man. That has fallen through, as has his secondary backup job cultivating a Tumblr.

So what does that mean for you, oh brave and tremendously good looking potential new blog reader?

It means that your Monkey is back with a spring in his step and an axe to grind. He is going to be posting about the inane jack-assery that is people’s posts on Facebook every day. F–k you and your 10K time and your vacation and your pathetic attempts to make lame jokes about genuine human tragedy just to legitimize your sad existence. Try harder, bro.

This means your Monkey is going to underwhelm you with his pathetic attempts at fiction.

He is also going to channel his inner Hunter S. Thompson to bring you sordid tales of the much degraded man of the working world. Of traveling the subway every day. Of hippopotamus-shaped women who inexplicably rely on Weight Watchers microwaved meals for their workplace lunch even though they grow larger and more diabetic with each passing day.

But most of all, he will be running this blog like a blog should be run. With no cheap attempts to get clicks with fake headlines. No stupid lists of common sense sh**t that everyone knows already. Example “Ten Tips All New Mothers Must Know… Number one: Don’t throw your baby in the ocean and walk away. Number Two: Don’t hire a rabid wolf to babysit your baby. Number Three: Don’t ask your baby to jump-start your car without ascertaining that he/she has an understanding of positive/negative charges .”

Yeah, we get it Buzzfeed/Gawker/F–koff.com. We know how to live. We know you have to get clicks every day to get ad rates so you tell us stuff we already know and we share it on Facebook so we can tell everyone how advanced we are because we already do all this. Eat a d**k.

Shameless self indulgence

A Grumpiest Monkey’s New Year’s Resolutions

Well, that time of year has come again, my friends. When the ball drops at midnight tonight, another year will be upon us, and your humble Monkey will have another chance to make some changes in his life. Usually, your Monkey will make some outrageous claims about trying to blog every day or to exercise more, or to be a better person, but we’ve all seen how that has gone in the past.

This year, your Monkey is committed to making some realistic resolutions that will actually make a difference in his life. So without further ado, here are his resolutions for 2015.

  • To appreciate being so outrageously good looking and uncompromisingly successful
  • To tone down a little bit of my rugged handsomeness and raw animal magnetism
  • To stop being so dynamite in the sack
  • To let someone else get the girl for once
  • To have a few less madcap, sexy adventures
  • To accept complements with grace and good cheer, rather than smirking and saying “Yeah, I know”
  • To finally give the world that novel they’ve been demanding
  • To write some Harry Potter fan fiction that doesn’t end with a gangbang at Hogwarts
  • To stop having outrageously torrid affairs with the older ladies at work
  • To stop working at the nursing home
  • To stop giggling at car accidents
  • To stop using my illegal stock market profits to prop-up the campaigns of ultra right wing candidates
  • To stop printing out and posting leaflets accusing my neighbors of being sex offenders
  • To stop hunting endangered animals for sport
  • To stop hunting the homeless for sport
  • To stop buying gerbils from the local pet store and firing them off the roof with my custom-made gerbil catapult
  • To stop recording and transcribing every episode of the 700 Club, and then re-enacting the show with my houseplant, “Pot Robertson”
  • To stop trying to grab the mailman’s hand when he puts letters through the mail slot
  • To shoplift a little less
  • OK, to shoplift a lot less
  • To stop rubbing against people on the bus
  • To stop rubbing against people at the bus stop
  • To stop rubbing against the bus driver
  • To stop calling strangers and moaning softly into the phone
  • To stop calling my parents and moaning softly into the phone
  • To stop calling  the bus driver and moaning—well, you get the idea

OK, my friends, that should do it to start 2015. An ambitious list, right? But one that feels, smart, realistic, attainable, and truthful to the Monkey I want to be. Wish me luck—though it’s not like I’ll need it.

Shameless self indulgence

Random Thoughts That I’d Like to Post on My Facebook Feed, But Can’t

Your humble Monkey has had a buttload full of social media commentary this week, thanks to the ongoing issues regarding race and police in the United States.

The high and mighty on both sides of the debate have been reining down their opinions like a plague of locusts on your narrator.

This and other simmering frustrations have provided ample temptation for your Private Primate to lash out on his public Facebook page, but that seems like a recipe for encouraging more of the same vitriol that is driving him crazy.

If only your Monkey had some kind of roundly ignored blog that he could use to expunge these thoughts under the guise of being a cranky copywriting monkey. Wait one moment, he does! And this is it!

So here goes….

  • What satisfaction do people get in posting inflammatory articles about perceived injustices every single day on Facebook? Do I need my morning  feed to be full of all the things that I didn’t know about that I should feel bad for not standing up against? It seems like the easiest guilt trip in the world to make. “Look how selfish you are for not doing something about this…” How about you tell me what you’re doing to stop this, other than clicking “share”?
  • Do conservatives realize that the same panicky messages they post about Obama acting like a king in making decisions without Congress are identical in tone to the panicky messages liberals used to post about George Bush and the Patriot act? And what will happen in the next election? The side that wins will go quiet (relatively speaking), while the opposing side will continue to wring their hands and predict doom
  • Is it just possible that what happened in Ferguson that day falls into the gray area between right and wrong? Unless we know all the details, is it possible to say for sure that the cop was in the wrong, or that the victim was completely innocent? Granted, we don’t want a confrontation between an armed police office and an unarmed suspect to end in a shooting death, but we also don’t want to vilify a guy if he was just doing his job
  • There are lots of things that need to be fixed in this country regarding race and crime and fair treatment under the law. But there are lots of other societal ills that need to be addressed, too. Sad as it may sound, a couple isolated cases of cops shooting unarmed suspects pales in comparison to the ongoing problems of violence in the inner city. Plenty of innocent people end up dead that way, and no one seems to march and protest and say “enough is enough”
  • On the other hand, the police and authority figures in general have to contend with a long history of abusing their power. Not saying it happens all the time, but it is easy to go from a position of authority to a position of abusing authority. The fact that this shooting created a great deal of scrutiny and public pressure is a good thing for keeping a system of checks and balances in place between the public and the police
  • Moving on to religion, your Monkey finds himself annoyed with the Jehovah’s Witnesses who spend every day trying to convert a rushing mass of uncaring, unresponsive commuters inside the train stations around Boston to their religion. Especially when if one takes a step or two outside said train stations, one can find plenty of people who are truly on the edge of society, struggling with addition and homelessness, that could truly benefit from some help. Your Monkey is trying hard not to be cynical, but perhaps these people go “unnoticed” by these witnesses to God’s word because they don’t have a lot of cash to contribute to a church?
  • People who cut in line are turds. Don’t think because you look around the room/store/bus depot with mock confusion before cutting into the line in front of us that we don’t know that you know exactly what you are doing. Knock it off or you’re going to get hit with a cellphone inside a sock.
  • Buying white socks labeled for “extreme sports” at CVS (local drug pharmacy) is about the least extreme thing one can do–but necessary if one forgets socks and wants to go to the gym
  • If you walk really slow in the city or a place of business, for crying out loud hug the outer edge of the sidewalk or corridor so that people can pass you on the inside lane. Don’t meander back and forth across the center line like a drunk after midnight on a dark country road. We have places to be and they don’t include waiting behind your slow ass
  • Don’t run for a closing elevator like it’s the last helicopter out of Saigon unless it’s truly necessary due to a medical emergency/imminent bowel implosion. And especially don’t do it if you are able-bodied and only going to the second floor. Come on, bro.

OK, that is all for today folks. Time for your Monkey to get off the therapist’s couch and back into the real world. Oh look, there’s an elevator about to close up ahead. If he makes a run for it, he just might get there….