Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Son, The Monkey Boy

I have expressed my periodic doubts about my son, Thing 2, in this space before. That's what fathers do. We worry about our sons repeating the mistakes we made in our own lives.

Meanwhile, us Dads worry about our daughters driving us broke and then needing to live off greasy, dollar bills earned twirling around a shiny brass pole while being leered at by sleaze like A-Rod. Fatherhood should come with better warning labels.

As I was saying, I had just settled in for a few chapters of Jane Leavy's excellent book about Sandy Koufax (I have fondness for biographies and Jewish lefthanders who can bring the heat) when My Love crawled in under the sheets. Seems she had just completed a heart-to-heart with our 6-year-old wonder boy … about his career path.

This is a good sign, I thought. He knew to bring this up with his PowerPoint-wieldin', six-figure-earnin', HR-executive goddess Mom rather than his slovenly, semi-employed Dad -- a man whose bank deposits are so small and infrequent that Quicken Home & Business edition won't even pretend to go through the motions of trying to find and download them anymore.

"He said to me: 'Mom, I want an exciting job ... like working with monkeys."

"Having spent my working life mostly in newsrooms, PR shops and corporate headquarters, I think he's on to something, hon."

"Me, too," My Love said. "But he's worried about one thing. The monkeys might jump on his head."


"So he said he'll need to wear red or blue clothes. Definitely not green or brown."

monkey"Uh, why not green or brown?"

Here, My Love broke into the classic Thing 2 whine of disbelief: "'Because, Moooom! The monkeys might think I'm a tree.'"

Good reasoning again (see photos). At barely over 6 years of age, Thing 2 stands at an impressive 53 inches high (that's 4-foot-5 for the math impaired among you). Only one kid was taller than him in his kindergarten class. That was only on days when she wore her hair up.

"And what if the monkeys end up tap dancing on his noggin?" I asked.

"Then he would prefer a job swimming with sharks."

(Fill in your favorite lawyer joke here. My response to her was just, "Well, it's always good to have fall-back plans.")

My Love continued. "I said to him that I guess we did a good job sending him to the camp at the nature center this summer because he's learning all about animals. His response was, 'But Moooom! I don't get paid at camp!'"

"He wants to get paid to go to camp? He's spending waaaay too much time listening to his sister again."

"So I told him he didn't get paid because he wasn't working …"

"Just like his Dad …"

"… and he wouldn't get paid until he got a real job, and for that he needed to go to school, learn to read and learn math. Then it was all, 'MOOOOOOM! I know math,' and he made me test him with a bunch of addition questions. He's pretty good, too."

This conversation made me realize one thing. I need to worry less about the boy and more about my own lack of paid employment.

Hmm, monkeys are kinda cool.

But before you start tripping over yourselves to give Thing 2 some comment love, ponder this: My next full post will be titled: "My Son, The Budding Racist."

Finally, monkeys love applause. Go to, register and give me a smiley face. I dare ya.


  1. i think i was at least 8 before i had a monkey on my back...

  2. I am impressed your son wants to work with monkeys and get paid for doing it.

    My daughter wants to be a starving artist.

  3. BHJ's Lucy is in a monkey suit today. Tell Thing 2 to watch out!

  4. At least he doesn't want to drive an ice-cream truck when he grows up.
    My kids really know how to reach for the stars. Hehe.

  5. I'd recommend elephants over monkeys. They're very unlikely to stand on your head. And if they did, you wouldn't know about it for long.....

    The Broken man

  6. And herein lies my problem with gainful employment. One - While I have a healthy respect for monkeys, and mention them far too often in writing and in conversation, I fear them throwing feces on me. I also fear them ganging up on me and ripping me to shreds for nourishment (or play, I couldn't tell the difference) because hello? Did you see Planet Earth?! Monkeys can ben BAD ASS!

    My second problem with gainful employment is my general lack of math skills. I was an editor who could barely count column inches. I still do basic math on my fingers. If monkeys eat my fingers, I'd be screwed.

  7. I have a job working with monkeys and it's called a pre-school teacher. Trust me, the pay isn't any good!
    Funny post . I think it deserves a smiley!!

  8. Monkeys are cool but they stink. Does he know that?

  9. Glad to hear I am not the only one wth a monkey boy. Mine actually told me with his 4 years of wisdom that he has to know how to climb a tree like one. I dont remember them getting stuck in them was my comebak.

  10. I tried to give you a smiley, but the post won't show up on humor-blogs.

  11. Oh how funny! The things kids come up with always crack me up! Like the brown or green thing- I would have never thought of that, and yet it makes PERFECT sense!

  12. Well either way, if he wears bright red or blue, he's less likely to get eaten by a shark, but I think I'd push toward least at first.
    I had high aspirations at that age too. I wanted to be a soda jerk.

  13. Great post! Thing 2 is quite the little monkey. Tell him to see what he can do to get paid at camp. If he pulls that off. Maybe you've got yourself a conman.

  14. First time here, dig the site photo. Thanks fer the comment, I'm thrilled to have anyone like my blog for any reason, any at all. May I steal Thing 1 and Thing 2 from you and Dr. S? (jokes). I do keep finding things I want to steal from you clever people out there.

  15. My mom had a monkey. He would throw ejaculate on her. On a daily basis.

    I left you something else on my blog. =) Still not a check with many zeroes though.

  16. I was so boring. I just wanted to be a dentist. Who wants to be a dentist when your 7 years old?

    Is the monkey position still open?

  17. I cannot wait until my kiddo is old enough for conversations like this.

  18. I love that video. Funny stuff.

    Of everything you talked about, it was the whole "Mooooom" thing that got me. I hear that soooo many times in a single day I don't even know how to react now that I "heard" it here too. I'm very confused at this moment. I think I need to go lay down.

    Oh, and be happy he wants to be a monkey keeper(is that it?). When I was his age I told my parents that I wanted to be a nude dancer.
    I blame it on the 80's.

  19. Greg - That, my new friend, was a lead-off triple of a comment.

    Denise - Why doesn't anyone want to be a filthy-rich artist? I'd be up for that.

    MAW - We need to see what kind of dowery is being offered first.

    Brower - No shame in being the Mr. Softie guy. Who doesn't love him ... OK, us cash-starbed parents, but we don't count for anything anyway. Welcome aboard.

    Broken - They also don't fling their poop. Thank God. Welcome and grab a chair. We'll be here a while.

    FADKOG - The fact this all makes sense frightens and attracts me all at once.

    MomJeans - And the rookie drives in Greg from third with a double! Look at it this way, there is a very special room for pre-school teachers in heaven. It has a wet bar and a hot tub. And I'm thinking this Humor-Blogs thing is rigged. The guy who runs it is always in the top 3. Hmmm ... Thanks for trying.

    Renee - I'll make him smell his sister's feet. That is a close approximation. Believe me.

    Maryo - You can't start learning those life skills early enough. Thanks for coming by. I'm here all week, so grab some peanuts.

    Cassie - This astounded me to, especially after I Googled "funny monkey" and those photos of the guys in brown and green shirts came up on the first two pages. Thing 2 is a stickler for details.

    Zip - I forgot the soda part myself. Thanks for joining us. Cuppa tea?

    Tent - His teachers are convinced he'll be a lawyer b/c his loves to argue his case using things you said three weeks ago.

    Rhoro - I'm happy to rent them out for long weekends. Thanks for coming by. Like Keith Richards, I love new blood.

    Wendy - We are definitely going to need more details on the sperm throwing. Just because ...

    Alice - You have good company. Don't you remember Hermie the elf on "Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer"?

    Sarah - Watch what you wish for, friend ...

    HMC - Nude dancer, huh? I see you in a whole new light now.

  20. Just to be clear, i don't actually want to kidnap your children, i just want to steal the names "thing one and thing two" for referring to mine. (4 and 16 months):)

  21. I think it's wonderful that he wants to work with monkeys. If he can't work with the real ones, tell him to become a kindergarten teacher.

  22. My son's been doing Zoo Patrol at the Beardsley Zoo this week. Been doing it every summer for the last 5 years - it's a hike but it's worth it for the monkey lovers amongst us.

  23. I always thought that A-Rod hung out at the gay clubs.

  24. What can I say? She was hot back in da day. Even the monkey thought so.


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