Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Monkey Gull & the Palace Pot Boy

This is the pot boy.

First, I have one thing to say: I am not illiterate. That is a scurrilous—catch the lingo, eh?—rumor begun by my enemies in the kitchen, namely the Lower Pot Scrubber and the Middle-management drone, the Disposer of Leftovers.

M. is still hanging out in the garden, waiting for her birthday to end. She has been annoyed all week, and she’s evidently still annoyed now that the great day has arrived. Age without wisdom is a drag, she has been heard to say, cold cabbage leaves draped over her head and raindrops splashing her nose.

If she waits for wisdom to arrive, she’s going to be huddled in a snow bank before long.

What I say is, at least she's not the Jackass of the Week.

Anyway, it’s my turn.

I paid a visit to the monkey—cuddly little beast—on Vanderworld and decided to write about a family gull: a monkey gull. There’s a lot of gulling going on around here. After all, this is a family where the eldest son tried to make his adorable fellow pre-schoolers walk the plank during an impromptu performance of Peter Pan, set on the tiptop level of the multi-story wooden play tower. He made a fierce little Hook. That led to a parent-teacher conference on the subject of little people who cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy. Rather a laugh—with M. involved.

But the favorite gull is always the gull of the un-gullible. (Not literate. Pooh! Everybody knows that the Pot Boy is always Royalty in disguise.)

This one involves M. and her husband, turning left somewhere on the Outer Banks.

Husband: “Something’s been hit… It looks like—it looks like a green monkey!”

M: “Oh, they’re an awful nuisance. Been that way for years around here. You wouldn't believe the trouble they cause--”

H (astonished, but admittedly Not From These Parts): Monkeys?

M: Green monkeys. You know how the beach in North Carolina and Maryland just gets overrun with those little Spanish ponies? And so they have pony round-ups and auctions?

H admits the truth of what she says.

M: It’s the same thing with the green monkeys. It’s like the parakeets in Louisiana—people go outside to clean the cage and pretty soon there are flocks of parakeets everywhere. My mother all on her own was responsible for a small flock. And she’s a birder.

And pretty soon M. has the H. believing that packs of wild green monkeys roam the beaches, wreaking havoc on the local ecosystem, causing Committees and headaches for hapless park rangers, plucking the mating plumage from egrets (squee-awk!), tormenting and sometimes riding the wild ponies…

Relentless, the gull goes on for years.

--the Pot Boy, who told one lie in the post above

3 comments:

  1. My, but the Chamber Pot Boy is ultra-literate! Green monkeys on the Outer Banks? Reminds me of the wild Quaker parrots (also Monk parakeets, Myiopsitta monachus)of the Central Gulf Coast of Florida. Worse than tourists they were, but at least tourist wouldn't soil your shirt from above.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr. Simpson,

    I am not the Chamber Pot Boy. I am the Pot Boy and belong to the kitchen. I am, of course, royalty in rags, and, as such, rather well educated. (Little Latin, Less Greek, all that sort of thing.)

    M. had a pretty festive birthday despite herself and will be back anon. (She has, by the by, some kind of awful story about seagulls on the Ocracoke ferry, involving her mother's new Nikon, that would please you...)

    Anon. And meanwhile, the mice frolic.

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.