My mom reads voraciously and she retains knowledge like a sponge. She has a philosopher’s mind and is able to converse on any topic with anyone. But from time to time she posits a theory on something which can spur debate. As was the case on the day she announced, without any provocation or context:
“Every day of your life, you see, hear or say the word ‘Monkey'”.
Preposterous! We all said. That’s crazy, woman! This time you’ve jumped the shark! So we joked and ribbed and then inevitably argued about who has to take care of Mom when she loses it altogether (that’s easy, Dorothy). Until we noticed: Every day of your life you see, hear or say the word ‘Monkey’.
Being Piermans, we made a drinking game of it.
Rules of the game: Any time you encounter Monkey, in any of the aforementioned formats, you pledge to drink a bottle of wine. Simple enough? Sounds fun! And to that I say, “Ah, you naïve and tender person, unschooled in the ways of the Monkey Game”.
During a trip in 2012 to south France with Joan and Tom, the game had us up to 9 bottles of Monkey Wine in deficit. It had come to a place where the game was no longer fun and if you were the Seer/Sayer of the Monkey, you were deemed a pariah, unworthy, unloved, and voted off the island. On our last morning I woke up from a fitful night of sleep and grumbled, “I have monkey brain.”
“NOOOOOO! “ Shouted the others, still drunk on Monkey Wine from the night before.
We had to drive to Paris that morning to catch a plane. Passing time we played a song trivia game and several hours in I asked, “Isn’t that a Monkees’ song?” It was. Panic! We don’t have time for more Monkey Wine! We debate–with the intensity and gravity of a Papal Conclave–and finally determine: It didn’t count. Wrong kind of Monkey.
At the airport, we exchange hugs. I’m tired, a little hung over, and on edge because I’ve generally been the one burdening us all with the…well, you know. Tom hugs me then shakes himself like a three year old in dance class and squeals, “Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey!!”
We had only recently amended for the Great Monkey Wine Deficit of 2012 when, Kaboom! We find ourselves in 2016, the Chinese Year of the Monkey.
By the way, can we all please agree that a gargoyle is not a monkey? Just…please?