Category Archives: Monkeys

Typecast?

I may be in the minority on this earth for many reasons. One of them, in particular, is that I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie. One other point of minority pride is the fact that I’ve never eaten a Big Mac, but that is fodder for another time. When the latest Harry Potter book and movie were released recently, the first thing I did was yawn. Then I scratched and adjusted myself. Then I held on tight and prepared myself for the non-stop media barrage of all things Harry. I tried to avoid most of it, but then I caught a glimpse of a J.K. Rowling interview and heard that the next Potter book will be her last. The thought that popped into mind was, ‘will she be typecast?’ (or whatever the corresponding term is for novelists)

If so, I’m sure she’ll be just fine. Afterall, Ms. Rowling is a billionaire the last time I checked. I have friends and co-workers who have read her Potter books and marvel at Rowling’s vivid imagery and knack for weaving a great yarn. However, after the wave of media coverage ends with the release of the final Potter tale, will the world forget about J.K. Rowling? Will she even bother to top what she did with Potter and company? Will she quit while she’s ahead and enter a different field in the entertainment industry? Or will she just quit, enjoy her riches, and enter the J.D. Salinger phase of her life?

No Ordinary Monkey

My dad wanted a monkey when he was younger, before he and my mom had kids.  My mom wouldn’t allow it because she heard they can be unruly and messy.  Well, they never saw the monkeys I saw on the news last night.

CBS premiered Love Monkey last night, so it was hardly a coincidence that Boston’s Channel 4 news at 11 pm ran a story about a helper monkey.  Incidentally, I was doing tearing my apartment apart looking for a DVD, so I didn’t get to fully watch the whole hour of Love Monkey.  However, there probably aren’t many people out there who like Judy Greer and Tom Cavanaugh more than I, so I hope the show succeeds.  Anyway, when Channel 4 cut to reporter Scott Wahle with a monkey on his shoulder before going to commercial, I rolled my eyes and groaned.  It’s a major pet peeve of mine how the news shows all these fluff pieces.  BBC news doesn’t do this, so why do the national and local news stations do it here?  You’re telling me you can’t find enough news to fill 22 minutes? 

The three-minute story about these monkeys was heartwarming, hilarious, and inspiring.  A company trains monkeys to assist diabled individuals so they can lead more normal lives at home.  It costs $35,000 to train each monkey and, so far, 100 have been placed with disabled people across the U.S.  First, they showed a monkey with its new owner, a quadriplegic, and this monkey can do everything.  The guy aims a laser pointer at what he wants the monkey to bring him, says “fetch” and other words of encouragement, and that little guy snaps into action.  He can turn on the TV, put your eyeglasses on you, bring you a bottle of water AND put in a straw, and he can even turn on the stereo and put in a CD!

I had never been a fan of monkeys before, but if I ever come into some money, I’m getting one of these trained little guys.  The disabled owner sounded so grateful to not only have someone to help him around the house, but to have a companion.  And according to the experts who train these monkeys, they are extremely loyal and love having human companionship.  The sight that made me almost lose it was when a monkey hopped into the sink and began giving himself a bath.  A clean, sweet-smelling, cute little friend who will sit on your shoulder and watch TV with you – what more do you need?