I’ve had a cold this week. Not a bad one – about a five out of ten. But it’s amazing how even a five out of ten on the congested/sore throat/headache/coughing scale can rob me of most of my energy and desire to do anything productive. I have accomplished things, but the whole week’s been an effort. I have to coach myself through these days, reminding myself after Mike leaves the house around 7:30 to get out of bed, and then eat breakfast, and then make a to-do list, and then make some sort of reasonable attempt to accomplish at least half of what’s on that list. On the fun scale, colds don’t rate.
By last night, however, I was feeling well enough to leave the house and venture out on a hot date with Mike to see a monkey.
Yup, a monkey.
Apparently our recent adventures in puppy ownership inspired someone we know in town, Ryan, to pick up a puppy of his own when he was out in a village recently. When we saw him on Sunday he mentioned that the most fun he’d had in ages was watching this puppy play with his monkey.
“You have a monkey?” I asked suspiciously.
Ryan is naturally deadpan in much of his delivery. This means that half the time we’re talking I (being Australian and thus culturally hardwired to suspect multi-layered straight-faced mocking is taking place whenever anyone speaks without noticeable emotion) suspect that he is making fun of me, or just flat out making things up. This is despite the fact that in the three months I’ve so far interacted with him, I think Ryan has only actually made fun of me once or twice and I don’t think he’s ever fabricated something like a pet monkey out of thin air. This leads me to believe that I am either: (a) a slow learner; (b) mildly paranoid; or (c) that Ryan has devious depths I have not yet glimpsed but can sense are there.
I’m still running with theory C for the time being – at least until I gather a critical mass of evidence to the contrary (which may take another year).
When it appeared that Ryan was not making up the existence of this monkey, or the amusing monkey-puppy antics, I promptly invited Mike and myself around to witness this fun and games.
“OK,” Ryan said, imperturbable, when I announced that we would be descending upon his house sometime that week armed with wine, cheese, and a camera. “Sounds good.”
So round we went last night, and it was great cold medicine. When we arrived the monkey, Abu, the size of a doll, was suffering a bath in the sink. But after he was all toweled off he put on a proper show for us while four of us sat on the porch and took in the sunset.
Abu hung upside down off the edge of the railing and taunted the puppy by flicking her ears, then dropped down and tussled with her (the puppy, even at only five weeks, has the advantage in terms of weight and teeth, even if not agility). He scampered up into my lap, clung to my arm, and chattered up into my face. He moved incredibly fast to steal skittles out of my hand, showed prurient interest in the wine, and begged shamelessly for cracker crumbs. Then, as night fell and Ryan was busy explaining why he shaved the sides of Abu’s head to give him a little monkey Mohawk, and exactly how much of a pain in the ass Abu could be when he got going, the little monkey settled down in the crook of my arm and to suck his thumb and sleep.
For me, monkey rate very highly indeed on the fun scale. Do animals rate on your fun scale? What’s the most fun you’ve had with an animal recently?