Wired Monkeys

Last Wednesday, we had finally reached the dregs of the pantry and fridge. No, wait, not accurate. We actually had reached the dregs a few days prior, and the kids were getting desperate for things like milk and bread. So spoiled, am I right? Anyway, Wednesday evening at 5pm, I jumped in the van with my youngest, and headed towards Trader Joes. Thinking ahead, I stuck my id and my ATM card in my back pocket, and stuck my keys in my hoodie pocket to keep my hands free from purses, since it was also pouring rain.

We dashed from the car to the store, folded up our umbrellas, filled the cart, checked out, covered the resulting two carts of bagged groceries (seriously, this always happens, and I’m mystified) with our umbrellas and dashed back out to the car. Where I couldn’t find my keys in my pocket, or my pants. Or tangled in an umbrella. As the skies opened up even more, I ran back and forth in the lot, looking for my keys. Nothing. I went back into the store, my youngest and I pushing our loaded carts back through the exit, and we tore them apart, searching bags and developing puddles under our drenched feet. Nothing. 20 minutes of frantically looking, and nothing. Finally, I looked over to the customer service desk, and saw them watching me. I marched over and asked if anyone had turned in keys. They said “oh, like an hour ago. Are these yours?”

They were mine. I narrowly avoided scaling the customer service booth wall and kicking in the teeth of the dude in the Hawaiian shirt who had been calmly watching me search the aisles and unpack $300 worth of groceries and harass multiple cashiers about my missing keys. I’m a bigger person than that (and I’m also a bigger person, literally, than that dude and he would do well to remember that the next time he watches a customer struggling with two carts of wet groceries) so I just left in a huff. I must have dropped them in the lot on my way into the store.

Anyway, despite the fact that my kitchen is actually jammed with food, we took the kids out to eat last night. We ended up at my favorite Thai restaurant – Jhanthong Banbua. The kids were making me nuts all day yesterday. Could be hormonal, could just be that my kids are annoying, but I was all dire threats and low-pitched growls before we even crossed the threshold. You would think with kids in their teens, I would no longer have to say “AND NO ONE IS GOING TO LAY DOWN AT THE RESTAURANT” but you know, sometimes, you just have to cover your bases to get the behavior you expect.

So, we ordered our dinners, and we were all quietly conversing about our upcoming vacation and other benign topics, when my son leaned in towards the center of the table and said:

“Scientists took two monkeys and wired them together and then drugged one of the monkeys and the non-drugged monkey could control the drugged monkey.”

Well. My daughters and I lost our collective minds laughing. My oldest immediately mimed punching herself in the forehead repeatedly, because of course the first thing you can do with mind control is make the other person hit themselves. “Why are you hitting yourself, monkey? Stop hitting your face, monkey!” she gasped between giggles. My youngest was positively fizzing with joy over this conversational turn.

My son, tried to continue the tale.

“No, you guys, they taped a crayon to the drugged monkey’s paw, and the other monkey was able to make the drugged monkey draw a perfect circle like 94% of the time!”

We were all howling at this point, except my husband, who had been checking The Twitter for Comments About Sports People or something. He looked startled, and we tried to catch him up on what was happening, what with the drugged monkey and the non-drugged monkey and the crayon and the punching in the face and all.

My oldest got into the act.

“Scientists once grafted the head of a living monkey onto the body of a dead monkey and it was paralyzed but it would roll its eyes and talk sometimes.”

Seriously, it is clear I need to pay better attention to what my kids are reading/studying/watching on YouTube because OMG. The other day my son was watching a graphic dissection of a Giant Anteater. We also need to work on our dinner conversation topics because ew?

Anyway, it turns out the live monkey head and the dead monkey body only lived a few days, and the live monkey body and dead monkey head (the other half of the experiment) also died quickly, and WHY ARE WE EXPERIMENTING ON MONKEYS? So messed up. I said as much, after making a few jokes about what the live monkey head said when it was attached to the dead monkey body. I imagine it was pretty ticked off.

We settled down for a few minutes, reflecting on the injustices and cruelty of animal testing, but then we quickly started speculating about what would happen if we drugged one family member, taped a crayon into their unwilling fist and wired them to another. Ticked off monkey noises and lots of hitting oneself in the face, no doubt, followed by insulting, simplistic drawing rendered in crayon.


  1. I would love to sit at the next table over from your family when y’all go out to eat.

Speak Your Mind