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.

Writing

Not So Fast Fiction: Sacrifice for Love, Robotic, Kitchen

{Yet another in a series of small stories based on creative writing prompts. It has been a few weeks since your humble Monkey has posted here on the blog, so it would be something of a stretch to call this one fast fiction. This story has been in the works for a while, and has required several hit and miss attempts just to get it to this somewhat passable form. The important thing is to keep moving forward though, right?}

It was clear to all the other appliances in the kitchen that Blender was madly in love with Toaster.

Microwave Oven saw it, and beeped affectionately whenever Blender got a chance to come out of the cabinet and sit on the counter next to Toaster for a while.

Refrigerator knew it, even though Refrigerator was all cool and calm and collected and claimed not to have any emotions. “I’m too frosty for love,” he’d always say.

Even the Juicer knew and approved, though this was a little strange because the Juicer and the Blender were sometimes rivals when it came to finding work in the kitchen.

Did Toaster love Blender? It was tough to say, because Toaster played it close to the vest. She was a throwback kind of appliance, a wide, two-slot white toaster with big round curves and a bold red lever.

Because of the wiring limitations in the kitchen, she and Blender were rarely plugged in at the same time.

So we never knew how much Toaster could see and respond to Blender’s charming “whir whir whir” mating call.

Sure, the Humans thought that Blender was there to puree their soups, chop their vegetables and blend their smoothies. And he did love those jobs. With all apologies to Dishwasher (who is notoriously sensitive about these things), he was the hardest working appliance in the kitchen.

But we all knew that Blender only had eyes, or ummm….blades, for Toaster.

We thought their love would last forever.

But the end came quickly, and it all started with a sleek gray box that arrived on the kitchen table one day. The Humans had dropped it there after one of their Saturday shopping trips.

Out of all of us, only Microwave could read. As soon as the coast was clear, he let out a questioning beep. “What exactly was a Toaster Oven, anyway?”

We didn’t like the sound of Toaster Oven from the get go. We liked his looks even less.

When the Humans came back into the kitchen and let him out of his box, we were shocked by how black and square and cruel he seemed. Even his dials had the cold gray automatic precision of a German army officer.

It got even worse when the Humans put him on the counter next to Toaster.

In his massive presence, Toaster seemed small and weak and out of fashion. There was hardly any room for her on the counter once the massive rectangular Toaster Oven was in place.

We all had an uneasy sleep that night. And things took a turn for the terrible the next morning.

The Humans came downstairs and went about their morning routine. They used Refrigerator to get their juice and water. They used Coffee Maker to brew their coffee. They turned on Stove and dropped a few sizzling strips of bacon into a frying pan.

Everyone was humming along, content in the knowledge that they were performing their daily routine.

Then the unthinkable happened. The humans went to the breadbox.  They pulled out the bread. They took two slices out of the bag. But instead of doing what they did every morning, dropping the bread into Toaster’s waiting and accommodating slots, they opened the sleek glass door of Toaster Oven and shoved the bread inside.

Microwave gasped. Dishwasher wailed. Coffee Maker perked up. Refrigerator made some offhand comment about the world being cold and unfeeling.

All of us watched in horror as the glass-covered canyon in the center of the Toaster Oven turned from slight orange to bright orange to deep red, then calmly beeped once and shut itself off.

Even though we loved Toaster, we had to admit that this Toaster Oven fella had the goods. The toast had come out in tip-top shape. It was brown all over, crispy without being burned. The whole process had been short, smooth and fast. There was no smoking or burning like when Toaster was on the job, no pressing down the lever twice just to get the bread to toast. It was a one and done.

The male Human placed this perfect toast on his plate, and we watched in horror as he dropped a pat of butter on top and it melted perfectly into the bread. A few quick strokes of the knife and the toast was positively glistening.

The next thing we knew, Toaster was being unplugged. The cruel words from the Humans stung our robotic ears. “Guess we don’t need this thing anymore.”

And with a cruelty that only the Humans seem capable of displaying, they wrapped the cord around Toaster’s white body and tossed her into the trash.

It was no way for a faithful appliance to end her service, and the entire kitchen fell into a stunned silence. Microwave stopped displaying the time. Coffee Maker brooded. Even Refrigerator lost his cool. “Bastards,” he whispered.

Blender was beside himself with worry. From his position in the cabinet next to the stove, he could just make out the trash can through the crack in the door. After her unceremonious dumping, he was inconsolable. All afternoon he paced back and forth on his shelf, muttering to himself.

After dinner, the Humans came back into the kitchen and pulled out a bottle of tequila. Sitting on his darkened shelf in the cabinet, Blender stiffened. He knew what this meant.

It was time for him to perform his duty.

It was time for him to chop and blend the ice so the humans could have delicious drinks.

Blender came out of the cabinet and sat on his usual spot on the counter. He did not even look in Toaster Oven’s direction. We couldn’t blame him.

In went the ice. In went the tequila. In went the margarita mix.

Margaritas were normally the Blender’s favorite drink to make because the Humans were happy when he was working and when they poured out the blended margaritas they clinked glasses and cheered.

The man pressed the button and Blender whirred into action. He might have been a romantic at heart, but he was still a mean, lean, blending machine.

But even though Blender was doing what he loved, we could see the anguish in his every spin. Was it just our imagination, or did the “whir whir whir” sound seem more like “why, why, why?”

The drinks were seconds away from being done when Blender did something that was quite literally shocking.

He stopped his blades and sent a burst of electricity back down his cord and into the outlet, shorting out the fuse and emitting a small puff of smoke from somewhere in his innards.

To this day, we don’t know what he did or how he did it.

The Humans were just as puzzled. One went to the basement and flipped on the breaker, but Blender did nothing. They unplugged Blender and plugged him back in, and Blender did nothing. They fiddled with his switches. They pressed his buttons. But still Blender did nothing.

“That’s too bad,” the female Human said. “Guess this one’s a dud, too.”

“Oh, well. Let’s go out for drinks instead,” the male Human said.

They unplugged Blender, dumped the icy, half-finished chunks of margarita mix into the sink, and tossed him into the trash next to Toaster.

In the brief moment before the Humans clicked off the lights and left the kitchen, we all could have sworn that we saw Blender smile.

Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

10 Minutes of Grumpy Monkey Fiction

(In which your monkey writes something for 10 minutes and then posts it, for no reason other than just to do it)

Jack ran across the room and punched Bert square in the eye, dropping him to the ground with a resounding thud.

“That’s for taking the Lord’s name in vain,” Jack bellowed, his voice hoarse and straining.

Bert rolled over on his stomach and slowly drew himself back up on his knees. He massaged his swollen eye with his fingertips. “Fuck, man. Fuck. You don’t have to punch me. All I said was that we’re never going to get out of this goddamn elevator.”

And like a flash Jack was on him again, wrapping his right arm around Bert’s neck and punching wildly with his left hand. “No. No. No. No. No. We don’t say that here.”

Bert let his knees give out and dropped back to the floor. He wriggled backwards and out of Jack’s grasp. Jack turned back around to face him, but held his ground.

Bert, now panting but no worse for wear, staggered back up on his feet.

Christ, he thought. He smiled faintly at the realization that even his thoughts were blasphemous right now. Of all the fucking nutjobs in the world to be stuck with during a blackout.

It had to be Jack-y Jesus and the punchy bunch.