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How Monkeyboy Got His Grump June 30, 2003

Posted by worldspectacle in Uncategorized.
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Art Crimes at selenasol.com

Monkeyboy, this site’s webgimp, had finally returned from his holiday to the World’s Armpit. He threw himself onto the sofa, a sulky expression on his face. When she states that he was also scornful, sniping, surly and sarcastic, Miss Monica does not even begin to enumerate his newly apparent and perhaps recently developed shortcomings which start with the letter ‘s’.

– World’s Armpit? She inquired. You said that to your mother’s face?

– Well � err � not exactly.

– Ah. Then you said it behind her back. On your blog. To everyone in the Whole World.

– Hardly. I only had 1,098 hits last month.

– Don’t quibble about your intentions!

There was a long silence.

– I have writer’s block, Monkeyboy sighed in heartfelt self-pity.

The same could not be said for the young men and women living in Miss Monica’s neighborhood. In Monkeyboy’s absence, they had spray-painted the formerly terracotta block wall surrounding her front garden with a story book assemblage of colored names and symbols.

– Words cannot express how much I loathe decorating, Monkeyboy snarled as Miss Monica saddled him with brushes, tarps, and paint. He banged the paint cans against the doorway as he squeezed himself through. I hate it! Hate it! Hate it!

It was ten a.m. in Venice. The fog was evaporating into the sky like a curtain lifting on a sunny comedy. A radiantly bronzed man carrying a yellow surfboard walked past them toward the ocean. His summer wetsuit was stripped down to his waist. Surf or die, read a motto scrolled on the bottom of the board.

The cans clattered to the pavement. Monkeyboy, moving at the speed of a three-toed sloth, flapped open a dusty tarp. It flopped loudly over the cans.

– Here, you. Ten dollars if you paint this for me. He begged two teenaged boys who were bouncing backwards against a neighboring chain link fence.

One boy loudly popped a fluorescent sucker out of his mouth and smiled. His teeth were bright pink.

– All right, then � twenty… thirty..? Damn! Monkeyboy threw the cans into the middle of the walkway and his hands into the air. Oh, God! Will no one save me from this home improvement hell?

A tiny old woman rocking in a porch swing across the way offered Monkeyboy her advice.

Monkeyboy mocked her in a falsetto voice. You’d catch more flies with honey, young man�

– Ya never read Tom Sawyer? She asked, glaring at him.

– Can’t be bothered, right? Monkeyboy said. Without turning to look at her, he pried open a paint can and threw its lid in the bushes. The old woman picked up a cordless phone and punched some numbers. Miss Monica’s phone rang.

– Yes?

– A classic of American literature, and he can’t be bothered. Serves him right, then. A voice quavered in Miss Monica’s ear.

And that, dear reader, is how Monkeyboy came to pass the day in sullen and solitary self-confinement. Perhaps he has finished painting the wall by now. But Miss Monica observes that the wall embraces three sides of the garden, and that each time Monkeyboy turns a corner the boys reach into their backpacks and pull out their own portable painting equipment. So perhaps he is there still.

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