Monkeys have invaded my flat. They seem to be breeding. What started of as one innocent sapien has now turned into at least three. They each with their own traits and degrees of general untidiness and are wrecking havoc in my house at an alarming rate.
The monkeys aren’t actually real before any readers start reaching for the RSPCA and the vegan police to report me for animal cruelty and keeping animals I shouldn’t be. They’re just figments of my boyfriend’s over active imagination. I’m not actually sure what’s worse, living with real monkeys, which would admittedly be quite cute, albeit in weird Michael Jackson-esque way, or with these fictional ones, who have ‘inhabited’ my home now for nearly three years.
For those of you not in the long term relationships, couples in relationships tend to come up with cute, coupley things and ‘in’ jokes that only they know and understand. These triggers tend to cause couples to involuntarily burst into hysterics of laughter at the merest mention of ordinary words, or to coo quietly in the corner over. For those of you in a relationship, pretend all you like but you know exactly what I’m talking about. They are the sorts of jokes, phrases and pet names you’d die a cringeworthy death from if they were ever made public, so hey, I thought I’d share some of mine with you.
The monkeys started off life as a scapegoat. I’m not sure what actual specific breed of primate it belonged to, just a generic monkeys I suppose, the kind that get drawn in comic style rather than belonging to a proper scientific classification. If something was messy it was the monkey’s fault. If the bed wasn’t made or the living room untidy it would undoubtedly be the monkey’s fault, or so my boyfriend would emphatically tell me; not his. If something was where it shouldn’t be, broken or had all been eaten when I looked hopefully in the fridge the finger of blame would solemnly be pointed to the monkey. All manner of things would get blamed on the monkey, I’m surprised it didn’t develop a complex and swing off to somewhere else.
I could never quite seem able to track down the monkey when I was at home, when I pushed my boyfriend to give more information as to the whereabouts of said monkey he said that it was living in our redundant, junk filled, en-suite bathroom which we never used. I never went in this room as it was always freezing cold and pilled high with useless stuff that we haven’t got round to taking to the charity shop or recycling centre. In all honestly that would probably have made a happy little den for a small monkey, or as it turned out a proper little monkey clan.
I probably should never have gone along with it, but it seemed so innocent at the time. What harm could there be in joining the pretense that our inability to keep the flat clean wasn’t really our fault but an animal’s. It never failed to send me into fits of giggles, being told ridiculous stories of how he’d spent all morning doing the hovering, only for the monkeys to reverse his valiant efforts, dropping banana skins, orange peelings and peach stones everywhere. Once it became clear this was a sure-fire way to appease my nagging, he knew he was onto a winner. Besides, who could refuse a puppy-dog-eyed boyfriend, adamant that the unwashed dishes in the sink were most definitely not his fault. Apparently that’s what they do best when his back’s turned, like naughty schoolchildren or the Tasmanian devil. As the story progressed more monkeys started cropping up and we soon had at least three regulars in the flat. I’m not sure if more were invented to keep the other one company or if he felt we couldn’t feasibly pin all the mess on just one monkey as that wouldn’t be fair.
My mistake was playing along. We found ourselves discussing the antics of the monkey’s over dinner. Even I would sometimes draw on the monkeys to explain away why my magazines were strewn across the sofa, or all the lemon and ginger cake got eaten. It has now become accepted that if when one of us is quizzed as to how a heap of washing up came to be in the sink that the monkeys did it. Apparently they like to use our kitchen and living room as their playroom when we are out.
Not that I’ve actually ever been one for tidiness – just ask my mum. I remember being mortified as a kid, when I’d spent an entire morning getting my bedroom ready for a friend who was coming over, only to be asked if my mum didn’t mind my room being like this. As a teenager mum wasn’t allowed in. I think that was more for the reason that I was afraid she’d stand on something and break it the room was such a sty. I’ve got better since then though, or at least I tell myself that. I’ve also found that living with the males of the species makes me more prone to bursts of cleaning frenzies.
I did have to check that my boyfriend didn’t actually really believe in the monkeys. I think this must have been round about when we started giving them names and defining their personalities. Apparently Tom’s the leader, Tony’s the most audacious, and naughty of the bunch, and Anthony is a bit of a misery guts., but I reasoned that there should at least me one female, to keep them in line.
Now I just need to explain the chocolate monster that moved in recently….