Renting a Monkey

Part of me wanted to tell Carrie it was a bad idea to pretend we were in Shanghai for the weekend. But Carrie is a girl who spent summers in The Hamptons watching party themes unfold in odd and profligate ways. My protests would have been the qualms of public school folk.

Setting up our patio like a Chinese courtyard seemed harmless to Carrie. “We’ll boil noodles and string paper lanterns,” she said. “And let’s rent a monkey. You can do that, you know. Ruby told me she rented a toy monkey from some guy in Brooklyn. You just leave a $500 deposit. She had 24 hours with the toy monkey and said it was a blast. And since it’s a toy monkey, it won’t hurt if it bites you.”

Carrie wore a polka dot Qipao and fed Harold the monkey undercooked noodles. She also fitted Harold with a dress, from which his little dong alternately peeked and hid. I don’t know where Carrie found the dress, and I didn’t ask. It seemed to make her happy.

Harold was nonplussed, which meant he’d probably been subjected to worse, like maybe a miniature sombrero, clown suit or bear costume. Monkeys can put up with a lot of shit until, one day, they simply lose it and claw off someone’s left ear.

And for a couple weeks, no one wants to rent toy monkeys from the guy in Brooklyn.


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