October 12, 2011
I've only seen my father flip out twice in his life.
For those of you who don't know my dad, I can only describe him as the kindest man alive. He never loses his temper, never complains, and is quick to calm one down in moments of crisis. His two nicknames, Cabana Boy or Jimbolina, pretty much sum him up.
The first time I saw my dad flip out was when I was in 7th grade. I wrote a poem about a physically abusive and drunk father titled "When Poppa Comes Home" and then chose it as my favorite piece to display for parent's night. He nearly had a panic attack when my classmates' parents read the poem on the wall, slowly turned to look at him with forced smiles, and noted what a creative writer I was.
The second time he flipped out was in regard to an infestation of squirrels that attacked our birdseed feeder. My dad tried everything to prevent the squirrels from jumping on it, moving it from branch to branch, trying different types, and spraying it with squirrel repellant. When we returned home to see multiple chainsaws duct taped to the feeder, we knew that he had officially lost it. The squirrels had broken him.
I can only now relate to my father's squirrel meltdown. The monkeys in Mombasa have been infiltrating Jared and Ilea's apartment. At first, I thought they were cute and would talk to them from the balcony, cooing "hello youcutelittlemonkeycreature." But when they broke into the apartment when I was home alone, I freaked out. Grabbing a wooden banjo from the shelf, I waved it at one of the monkeys. The monkey would hide behind a corner and then pop its head back out until I waved the banjo again. Three minutes went by until I realized that the monkey thought we were playing peek-a-boo. They weren't afraid of me.
A few days later, one of the male monkeys entered the abode. In an attempt to mark my territory, I beat my chest and yelled at it. Jumping into a tree, the monkey then swooped a branch aside, stuck out his head, and thrust its chest forward. I ran away screaming.
Yesterday, however, they officially broke me. After a long day of errands, writing, and torrential downpour, we returned home to make dinner. As we opened the door, Jared yelled, "OH NO THEY DIDN'T!" Ilea and I glanced around the room in shock. We had been robbed. Food was everywhere. Peanuts were strewn around the room, gnawed tomato peels covered the counters, cupboards were opened, and plastic bags filled with cookies were ripped open. Dirty monkey footprints covered the walls, the oven, the windows, and the tile floor. And the monkey piss was everywhere.
We spent the next hour cloroxing the apartment and grumbling how we didn't have any tomatoes for the chili dinner we were supposed to cook.
I don't really have a moral of the story here. I know I usually like to explore how ordinary moments may hold greater meaning in our lives, but the only the only words that come to mind are: (1) shut windows; (2) buy slingshot; (3) fight the monkey piss.
Posted by Kerry Docherty at 3:56 AM