21 July 2009

Monkey fears

Have you ever had an irrational fear? I am afraid of monkeys. I can't even stand a monkey sock doll or stuffed animal. People think it's so funny to give me birthday cards with monkeys on them; they don't know I'm seriously afflicted with monkey fear. I don't think that this fear was irrational when it first developed. I blame it on my parents.

Part of the reason I don't like monkeys is because they look so much like people, and I find their little hands and their gestures and facial expressions to be a creepy mirror of human behavior. For example, this is me at my doctor appointment last Friday. Don't you hate it when they make you undress and put on one of those silly gowns?

And I particularly hate it when monkeys wear clothes. That is really too much. Then they look like little messed up humans, and that is also creepy. Remember that Lancelot Link show where monkeys chewing gum acted out the parts, and they dubbed in the dialogue? Oh, I could not stand to watch that. Lancelot looked exactly like George Burns.

Once when my son was about three years old, I left him with my mama and went over to my friend Nancy's house to see her newborn baby. He had been delivered prematurely, and he was this little bitty squinched up kid about the size of a Thumbelina doll. When I came back home, Mama said, "Was he cute?" I said, "No, he looked like a little monkey." The next time Nancy came over to visit, she was carrying little John wrapped up in a blanket. Jaybird tip-toed up to her and whispered, "Can I see your little monkey?"

Once I was in the mall, passing outside the toy store. A battery-operated monkey about a foot and a half tall came dancing out of the store and made a beeline for me. He was toddling along with his little hands raised up at the sides of his head like a baby. In fact, he was wearing a pair of white baby shoes and carrying a half-peeled banana. Before I even had time to think, I just kicked that monkey right back into the store. "Well, that wasn't very nice," the clerk told me. At least they didn't make me buy it.

Look at this little hand. It reminds me of my Dad's hands when he got old. See what I'm saying? Monkeys are just too human.

Now this one is almost cute, and I don't find him all that scary. You guessed it. It's because he looks like a monkey, not a kid.

Now, this is why I blame my parents for my monkey fear. When I was four years old they got me all excited about staying up past bedtime and watching a special movie. Mama popped popcorn and we all sat down to watch The Wizard of Oz. When I saw those evil flying monkeys, I went completely out of my skin. They tried talking me down. Then they tried threatening me. All the time they were bent over at the waist, holding their sides and laughing until tears flowed from their eyes. It served them right that Mama had to poke a broom under my bed and check in the closet and out the windows every night after that before I'd go to sleep.

Here's the kind of mama I am: I did the same thing to my son. We were snuggled up together on the couch watching the movie when the dreaded monkeys came on. I shivered and said, "See? I told you they were really scary!" Jaybird patted me on the cheeks and said, "It's okay, Mommy. They're only little people dressed up like monkeys."

Also, monkeys are biters. There's nothing you can do about it. They're wild animals. It's not their fault that people want to treat them like babies.

For some reason, just in the past few years I've been getting over my fear of monkeys. But I'm still not planning to go to any continent where they run around unfettered. My brother's girlfriend Julia went to India, and she came back with a million stories about the trouble monkeys can get you into. There they run around in packs like juvenile delinquents.

I've recently met a monkey girl I like. She paints wicked little animals that smoke cigarettes and act like humans, but they're so cute that I can't get mad at them. You can visit the Patti Monkey blog and see her little demons here.

Do you have any irrational fears, or am I the only one holding on to my little childhood traumas?


eva said...

Ha ha! My friend is scared of clowns. Everyone thinks it is well funny and keep showing her clown stuff, without understanding just HOW scared she really gets.

I don't think I'm scared of much. Having to do complicated math and being out of beer? Ah, it doesn't count, and it's not even an irrational fear, it's completely rational ;)

Leslie Hanna said...

I, too, made the mistake of sitting with my childs to watch the Wizard of Oz. I'd forgotten how scary it could be for little kids.

I shall never send you a monkey card. Promise.

As for me? Not irrationally afraid of much. Creeped out, maybe, my nothing that gives me nightmares.

Lydia said...

I'm laughing so hard right now!!!! I'm TERRIFIED of monkeys!! I was screaming inside with every picture before Patricia's!!!

But I'm LMAO at you kicking that monkey - that is going to make me giggle all day long, dang it!!!

I can't even breathe when I see pictures of them. I'm so scared. And I love all creatures great and small. Almost.

WV - Unglenot.

I saw an unglenot monkey once on NatGeo and I peed myself.

gary guetzlaff said...

It's about time someone exploded that "more fun than a barrel of monkeys" myth! Monkeys are wrong!! You have put into words something i've been thinking all my life. "What's with the monkeys?", people ask me. And those OZ monkeys - that's what started it for me, too. I've hated monkeys all my life. There are enough people who look like monkeys in this world, and those I will teach myself to tolerate, but the monkeys themselves? NO REASON! I'd kick 'em all back in the store!

Beth said...

I laughed out loud. Thank you!

powdergirl said...

I like how you say "it's not their fault that people want to treat them like babies",
Very true, people should let wild animals be wild animals.
Some of those monkey's sure are cute though!

DeadpanAlley said...

I love monkeys for all the reasons you hate them. Creepily human, opposable thumbs, the biting business... Eye of the beholder and all that, I guess... :p


DeadpanAlley said...

oh, i forgot to mention i am scared of insect eggs.

that is all...

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I love all these monkeys! Too cute. When my son was born (prematurely 2lbs, 5oz.), we said he looked like a squirrel monkey. LOL.

The Green Stone Woman said...

If it's any comfort. I'm scared of small enclosed spaces and my sister is very scared of worms. I also have an irrational fear of heights even when it's on TV.

Pixie said...

my boss has a fear of buttons. If she buys clothes with buttons, she cannot look at the item of clothing, it has to be in a shopping bag inside another bag. she takes it to a friend who removes the buttons and adds velcro or whatever it needs to replace the buttons. She also said that if a button falls off her husbands shirt ans say, lands in the floor, he must cover the offending button with a large piece of paper while she leaves the room. He must then bag up the shirt in several layers of bags and throw it away outside in the big garbage bin. He must then keep the spot where the button fell to on the floor covered with paper. In the mean time, she must go calm down and try not to be sick.

How is THAT for irrational?

Patti B said...

Thank you so much for including me as an OK monkey. I'm glad you got past my name, because you are a new and treasured friend. Fears are so strange and unexplainable and yet SOOO real. I have lots. unfortunately.

sallymandy said...

How funny. They are just like little people. I find monkeys fascinating, but I can see how you find them freaky, as well!