The Monkey Years.
How many people can say they had a monkey as a pet? Not many these days, that’s for sure. My sister Pat always wanted a chimpanzee, but she knew she could never have one, but her mother-in-law found her the next best thing. She literally ordered this monkey from an ad in a magazine and it came to a pet store and she picked it up. It was a baby and it was wild! Charlie Brown was a squirrel monkey (just like the ones in the Telus commericials).
Now Debbie spent a lot of time out at Pat’s house and one day the monkey got out of the cage and Pat’s husband threatened to get rid of the monkey. Deb called mom and said, “I’m bringing the monkey home with me”. Come to think of it… Deb had quite the way with mom and dad didn’t she???
So Charlie Brown came to live with us in 1966 and he was the source of entertainment for years. Oh yes… and everyone in school loved when it was my turn for 'show and tell'.
You will see in some of the photos that he used to wear diapers. Eventually, he learned how to take them off, but they served a purpose for quite some time. We had a rope strung across the kitchen from end to the other. We kept a piece of papertowel on the floor at the end of one rope and that's where he did his business. His rope provided many hours of entertainment. At bedtime, if mom and dad were not home when it was bedtime, he would sit on his rope and cry out until they returned.
If I was crying, Dad would put Charlie Brown up to my face to lick away my tears. He would dangle from my hair and lick the tears from one cheek to the next. It always made me stop crying. He would play outside and every once in awhile he would swing from tree to tree and end up down the street at the neighbours. When you think about it, we are so lucky a hawk didn't snatch him up!!
I LOVE the picture of the monkey lying in the cast iron pan on the stove. He looks so relaxed and happy. The pilot light from the gas stove always provided him a warm and comfy spot. He would also sit on top of the lamp shade for warmth, and if you ever heard a 'pop' - you knew he peed on the lightbulb. It happens...
Charlie Brown used to sit on the wall phone.... until it rang. It was always so funny, and the funniest part was – he never learned from it. He still sat on it… until it rang.
When I was about 8 years old, we were making kleenix flowers for my brothers wedding. The monkey liked the bride, but the bride was not too keen on the monkey. After awhile, my dad could see how upset she was getting and he kept having to get up and get the monkey off Joan’s shoulder. After awhile my dad lost his patience and started to get a little rougher with the monkey than I liked. And that upset me. I didn’t know what to do – so I did the first thing that came to my mind. I grabbed the kleenix box and hit my dad on the head with it to make him leave the monkey alone. The entire room went silent and you could hear a pin drop; and then the laughter started.
In 1980, the Sarnia Little Theatre was putting on a production and they wanted a monkey for one of the scenes in their upcoming play. Someone had heard of Charlie Brown and they asked if he could be a part of the play. The picture of my dad with the monkey was taken for the newspaper to advertise the play. Unfortunately, Charlie Brown passed away 1 week before his stage debut. It was a very sad day for us. He brought many years of amusement to us all and I miss him and his antics. He was an absolutely adorable pet and one day when Debbie was here, she had commented, “you know… your kids would have had a hay day with that monkey, but sometimes, I swear – this cat is the monkey reincarnated anyway” Deb of course is talking about Sushi, my ever entertaining cat.
Stay tuned for those damn Snoop Sisters... Volume 8