Rhesus Monkeys for Sale

 

People feeding monkeys is exactly what started it.  I am talking about New Delhi, India and the gigantic monkey problem it is experiencing.  The city has trapped over 13,000 of them since 2007, and still the problem persists if not gets worse.  Even the Indian Supreme Court is being petitioned to address this issue.  This is very serious monkey business.

Rikel Kilter was an opportunistic sort of bloke.  He acted as an agent for many companies trading internationally, but he was small potatoes.  He landed in New Delhi due to a problem with his flight to Singapore, and ended up staying a good long time.  Rikel Kilter found a market for those mischievous monkeys in America, United States of.  He only needed one year.

It took Rikel only a month or so to capture a monkey and train it to do cute tricks on cue.  Of course, he caught all this on video.  Next, he spray painted various parts of that monkey, and repeated the video process repeatedly.  It truly looked like different monkeys.  Then Rikel taught the monkey more difficult tasks such as taking out a garbage bag and raking leaves.  He repeated this process until that monkey died of paint poisoning probably, and started with another.  Three monkeys later he was ready.  After editing all the video into neat info-mercials, he sent it off to a company in Atlanta who got it one late night TV shows and movies.  Rikel had blown his life savings on this plan.

He got ten orders the first week but had not monkey one in his inventory.  He hired some street urchins to capture the needed inventory, and paid them pennies.  Next, he drugged those monkeys with a time-release sedative and tucked them into an adult diaper, and then wrapped them in burlap bags and tossed them into a wooden crate full of straw.   The bill of laden said: ostrich eggs.  UPS shipped them overnight, and of course the customer paid for this.  Rikel charged five hundred dollars per monkey.

Most of the time the monkeys would arrive DOA and the buyers would call Rikel to complain.  He’d tell them to ship that monkey right back to him and he would refund their money or send them another monkey.   Other buyers complained of being attacked by their monkey who refused to do chores and Rikel told them the same thing: send it back.  Runaway monkeys were non-refundable owner beware deals.  Most of the monkeys that did survive the trip did in fact runaway.  That is what caused the problem.

When the first Indian monkey fatality was reported Rikel had shipped a little over two hundred to the greater Atlanta metropolitan area.  That first monkey was run over by a police cruiser after being chased into traffic by a large black woman wielding a heavy leather purse.  The woman was hit as well, and died at the scene.  It was one of those “crazy” stories that gets picked up by the networks and makes everyone feel guilty about laughing.  It was gone like the breeze.

About a week later a second incident occurred.  It was reported that a citizen was shot and killed by another citizen who was trying to “bring down” a peeping tom monkey identified by several reliable witnesses.   The victim was a widower with no family so not much was made of it.  Jokes were made about a monkey peeping in windows.

The next day, however, a citizen reported that his pet monkey had shot him and escaped with the gun.  The police were suspicious as alcohol was involved and the victim had a long arrest record.  He was taken to the hospital and arrested in his bed.  No one would believe the guy until the monkey in question supposedly showed up at a youth soccer game and fired a round at a parent who tried to retrieve her stolen picnic basket.  No one gave chase and the parent was treated and released.

Rikel threw a party the day he shipped his 500th monkey.  With shipping, sur charges, taxes, destination charges, licenses and whatever else he could conjure up for the bill, he barely had to charge people for the monkey itself.  Lots of people threatened to ship them back, but they never did.  Besides, he always gave them the wrong address anyway.  What the Hell did he care?  According to his calculations if he could just ship another 500 monkeys before the end of the year he could retire and live on a beach.

Seven hundred and fifty monkeys later, Rikel could not believe his good fortune.  He had orders for another thousand all paid in full.  It was only a matter of time before the authorities caught up with him.  So, he did the right thing and split.  Rikel Kilter vanished into thin air.  When the authorities did arrive at his vast monkey market complex they found nothing but banana peels and monkey poop.

But this story is not about Rikel Kilter.  This story is a mosaic of the stories of the idiot suckers who purchased monkeys from Rikel Kilter and is the result of tireless research and travel.  Had I not heard some of these stories with my own ears, I would not have believed any of them.  Then my publisher crapped out on the project when I could never locate Rikel Kilter and here I am stuck with vanity publishing on the fucking Internet.  Oh well.

First story.   George Cromwell, a retired Naval Aviator bought one of Rikel’s monkeys to entertain his grandchildren during visits.  It arrived near death and George spent more than a few thousand dollars with vets bringing the monkey back to good health.   The vet warned George to be careful.  He said Rhesus monkeys can be aggressive, but George was undaunted.  He was sure he could handle one little old monkey.  George was wrong.  George collected swords and edged weapons for a hobby, and really never considered locking up his display. One day George noticed the monkey smelled particularly foul and attempted to give it a bath, but ran the water much too hot and when he put his little “BoBo” into the tub it freaked right the fuck out.  One thing led to another, according to George, and BoBo got a hold of a Civil War Officer’s sword and George had to fight him off with a fire place shovel.  The Police came and shot little BoBo fourteen times.  But, the strangest thing is that George ordered another monkey from Rikel.  Maybe I will tell that story later.

Felix Henook, a high school teacher, bought his monkey because he thought it would be a great classroom pet.  However, the second he let it out of the crate it leaped out, scooped up his Yorkshire terrier and ran head-on into the door wall glass.  Felix’ wife fainted and his daughter threw up.  Felix reacted quickly and inserted the semi-conscious monkey back into the crate, and called the Police.  Before the Police could arrive the monkey came to and busted his way out of the crate again and began tearing up everything he could touch.  Felix threw open the door wall and tried to steer the monkey out of the house and this worked perfectly until the monkey grabbed his leg and bit his ankle.  Felix screamed like a little girl and the monkey scampered deeper into the neighborhood through the bushes bordering his backyard.  That really doesn’t seem to be much of a story until you know that Felix refused treatment and subsequently contracted rabbis and died a horrible death.  I found this out after the interview.

Tyrone Putman shot and killed three monkeys holed up in an alley behind his mama’s crib.  She complained they were keeping her awake and knocking over her trash cans and just generally bothering her.  Tyrone showed up with his Glock and no more monkeys.   However, he was arrested for carrying and concealing a firearm, discharging that firearm in a residential area, possession of a controlled substance (Crack) and some law having to do with killing animals.  This story also doesn’t appear to be much, but just hang on.  This one catches on further down the road.

Theotis Clapper bought a monkey for his wife for their anniversary.  They lived in a trailer park and he drove the loudest, most wretched pick-up truck in the lot.  His wife weighed more than a pallet of Budweiser, and he got the monkey for to fetch her stuff.  This couple was so clever they even somehow got Social Services to pay all the costs.   Fat Mary had the best idea of all.  She had a bowl of hot buttered popcorn ready for her monkey just as the crate was opened.  They were immediate friends and that friendship lasted all the way up until that popcorn was gone and that monkey expected Fat Mary to get him some more.  The communication breakdown was bad.  Fat Mary couldn’t figure out why the monkey was not getting her more popcorn.  Finally the monkey pushed at her with both paws, and right on her generous breasts.  Fat Mary was incense and she slapped the living shit out of that monkey’s jabbering mouth with her flabby hand all stained with barbeque sauce.   Then Theotis tried kicking the monkey but missed and hit the coffee table sending shards of dirty glass showering into the air.  That was when Fat Mary realized that monkey had peed on her but before she could grab him he was off and into the kitchen.  Fat Mary ordered Theotis to get that monkey and wring its neck.  Theotis was half-way drunk at the time and could only manage to fall face first into the refrigerator and pass out.  Fat Mary couldn’t reach the phone, Theotis was out like a light, and the damn monkey was eating all her favorite snack foods.  She tried to summon the energy to rise up and chase that monkey down, but it just wasn’t there.  As it turns out Fat Mary was forced to live for three days alone in that trailer with that monkey.  Theotis had more than passed out, he had stroked out.  It was sheer misery for Fat Mary.  There was no one to bring her food and that monkey was teasing her incessantly with bits of food.  The monkey fled the scene the moment the neighbor opened the trailer door.  He hasn’t been heard from since.   Or maybe he has, I don’t know.  There are a damn lot of monkey tales out there.  I bribed Fat Mary with a box of Twinkies to get her embarrassing story.

An unclaimed escaped monkey stole a woman’s purse downtown and climbed the flagpole at City Hall.  The Police and the Fire Department and the Humane Society and PETA all got involved and it was a clusterfuck from the start.  The monkey was flinging poop on the assembled crowd and the cops were getting irate.  Just as the fireman on the hydraulic ladder reaches this little bastard, he jumps away and literally splatters on the concrete below.  It was a 100 foot fall.   The woman’s purse is covered with monkey guts and so are some cops and fireman and they had to call in the damn ambulance guys to clean the mess up and then call in the hazmat crew.

But the grocery stores, that is where the real magic happened.  Them monkeys went plum fucking nuts in grocery stores.  That is where most of them are captured or killed, too.  You had to grab them before they could get into the ceiling because once they were in those rafters the game was over.  Stupid monkeys would run into the huge air mover units with the five bladed fans run by a million volts.  That would usually at least cause a fire and definitely another hazmat situation.  The smart monkeys would eat a little something, and then get up high and fling poop at the pursuers.  Eventually, though, they seemed to always find the alcohol and then they are much easier to catch.   Tasers are great weapons against monkeys, but you have to be close.

The first monkey arrest was made in a grocery store by Patrolman Bob Benny who was a ten year veteran but with more than a spotty record.  He showed me the picture of him holding the monkey that was hogtied with plastic wire binders and had a rag jammed in its mouth.  He told me they used up all their Tasers chasing the little bastard and finally had to throw a handful of salt into its eyes.  Bob said salt works good.  They are not allowed to use pepper spray.  Bob said they cornered the little bastard in the dairy cooler where they keep the grated cheese.  For some reason that detail was important to Bob and so I included it.  He also said handcuffs would not work and pointed to a scar above his eye to prove it.   Bob was expecting a medal for valor.

William B. Farber got his monkey by mistake.  His neighbor, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, had ordered it but given the wrong delivery address.  He called Mildred who couldn’t remember ordering anything, but suggested he open it.  So, William did.  His particular monkey was wide awake and in a complete state of terror when hit with the bright light from the living room picture window.  The monkey shot from the crate and latched onto William’s balls and didn’t stop running until it hit the door wall in the Kitchen.  I guess there are not many door walls in India because this was a common occurrence.  Anyway, William collapsed in a heap on the floor and his medic alarm bracelet went off and the ambulance came and the monkey escaped out the open door—still holding William’s nuts.  Unfortunately for the monkey he ran dead into traffic and was run over by a Ford Escape, but William’s nuts survived and were actually re-attached by surgeons at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where William had been flown just for this operation.  That is in the Journal of America Medicine.

And back to the grocery store where a monkey, smoking a cigar, snatched money from the cash drawer of a bewildered cashier.  The Police called it strong arm robbery and actually issued an APB on the image printed from the security tapes.  They even called him Mad Dog Monkey.    I guess they were keeping a sense of humor about things.

But then the monkey popped up from the backseat of a mini-van on a mother on her way to a different grocery store and that is when a sense of humor ceased to exist.  The mother panicked and drove head-on into another mini-van, this one full of Glee Club Members and the fiery explosion that followed killed everyone—except the monkey, who was captured and taken to Police headquarters for questioning or something.   Some reporter referred to this monkey as Casper, and that name stuck.  I always thought that was cruel.

Clyde Beezer Junior told me he loved his monkey and it was perfect from day one.  He never tried to bathe it and fed it lots of fruits and nuts and gave it the complete run of his climate controlled garage.  Clyde claimed he trained Geeves to do all kinds of things like juggling and gymnastics and such.  Clyde was mad because someone stole his monkey named Geeves, and he wanted that monkey back pronto.  He asked me to help him find his monkey and I said I would but never did.  I guess lonely people are the best monkey market targets.  Clyde had a tattoo of Geeves on his shoulder.  He had hung out hundreds of fliers and posted a hundred dollar reward and I was there when some idiot brought a monkey to his door that obviously wasn’t Geeves and had a broken leg.   Clyde called the Police and the guy run off before they arrived.

Sasha is a fourteen year old girl who ordered her monkey with her mother’s credit card and without such permission.  When the monkey arrived Sasha hid it in the basement and fed it well.  Then, for reasons only understood by the mind of a fourteen year old girl, she decided to give that monkey a make-over and that is when things went horribly wrong.  Sasha had been to the dog groomers with her mother.  She knew they used stands to keep the dog steady and she figured applying this logic to a monkey was a no brainer.  She should not have fastened that monkey to the water heater, however, especially using silk scarves.  At first the monkey loved all the attention and was compliant for the rouge, lipstick and brushing stage, but the hot water heater kicked on during the eye brow plucking stage and that is what caused Sasha to require plastic surgery later.  I interviewed Sasha’s mother, and she said apparently the monkey was badly burned and only struck out at Sasha to survive, which didn’t work out either.  The ambulance guys ran off with Sasha and left the monkey smoldering in a heap on the basement floor.  I was lucky.  Oprah called a few seconds after my interview and not a few seconds before.  In the end, though, it didn’t do me much good.

Mickey Grainier shot a monkey in the dumpster behind his transmission shop.  He told the cops he thought it was a rabid raccoon.  One of Mickey’s rounds missed the monkey completely and hit Carol Buttlemat square in the face as she tended to her flowers on the other side of the vanity fence.  Mickey is serving life in prison now.

Mertle Deveroux trapped her monkey in her basement and threw bug bombs down the stairs in an attempt to kill it.   She threw fifteen aerosol cans down there and only succeeded in poisoning herself to death.  The air conditioner was on and pushed the poison throughout her house.  The monkey escaped through a broken basement window and his whereabouts are unknown.  Mertle was found by her husband when he returned from a fishing trip in Canada.  He didn’t even know she had ordered a monkey.

UPS finally caught on when three monkeys escaped from their loading dock at the airport and wreaked havoc on runway operations for several hours.  It was reported that two other monkey crates were in transit at the time and that, instead of being nailed or stapled secure, these crapes were merely taped and that the monkeys had found a way to chew through that tape.  That is when the big investigation started which of course led to absolutely nothing.  Rikel Kilter had flown the coop by then.   The airport monkeys were shot and killed by snipers from the local SWAT team.  They had one stuffed and it sits today in their headquarters.   I interviewed the shooter who was absolutely distraught over having to shoot an innocent primate.  He said, and I quote, “Shooting bad guys is easier.”

Tyrone Putman was released after a couple weeks.  The judge sympathized with Tyrone’s mama and had had monkey problems of his own.  Tyrone immediately purchased another pistol as gang leaders are always strapped.  He started a new gang and called it NMM.  No more monkeys.  They patrolled the streets with shotguns and shot squirrels, pigeons, sparrows and even an occasional monkey.  From what I can gather, the hood was a receptive monkey market, as well.  Tyrone was becoming legend in the hood.  No more monkeys.

Sara Bratlay was beset when a monkey jumped into her bath tub out of nowhere.  She stood up too fast and slipped and knocked herself unconscious.  Unfortunately, he head was under water, too.  The monkey made off with her panties and a tube of lip gloss.  I interviewed the building super who had found the body after a week—still immerged in that bath water.  “She smelled something terrible.  We knew right off who done it.  That monkey left poop and fingerprints everywhere.  I’m gonna have to get that entire apartment re-done.”  He kept winking at me as he told his story.  It made me feel more than slightly creepy.  Somehow he knew a heck of a lot about what went on in that girl’s apartment.

David Brisbain trained his monkey to drive his riding mower, prune his fruit trees and pick his fruit.  They called him Mike because he looked like that fellow on American Pickers.  Mike never gave them any trouble and David and his wife were quite upset when the police came to confiscate him.  David was a lawyer by trade and actually managed to sue and get Mike back—and in less than a week.  However, something happened to Mike when he was in custody and David could tell right away.  Mike was a changed monkey.  These are David’s own words:  “I don’t know what happened.  One minute we were eating a vegetarian dinner and making small talk, and the next minute Mike stabbed Betty in the face with his fork, over and over again.  I didn’t know what to do so I threw the bowl of hot vegetable stew onto Mike and he screamed and wailed like some kind of wild animal, just like Betty was doing.  I threw a dishrag at Betty and scooped Mike up in my arms and took him to the sink and sprayed cold water on him, but that only made it worse.  He ripped off my eye glasses and punched me in the throat but somehow his foot slipped into the garbage disposal and in my panicked state, I hit the button.”

David stopped for a second here and wept.  I almost got up and left, but then he gathered himself and continued.

“Betty ran off to the bathroom but she couldn’t see because of all the blood and she ran into the wall and knocked herself out.  I couldn’t see without my glasses and my throat was swelling up making it hard for me to breathe.  I remember grabbing the phone and trying to dial 9-1-1, but that is the last of it.  I woke up in the hospital a few days later.  I didn’t see Mike again until the wake.”

But David did sue the city for taking away his pet monkey and turning it into a raving lunatic, and he actually won over a million dollars which almost covered the reconstructive surgeries for he and his wife.  Mike died as a result of his wounds.  David sprung for a very expensive funeral.  All is well that ends well, I guess.

Cecil the Clown got a monkey to use in his act.  He already had a couple dogs and a raccoon.  He had trained them to do all kinds of tricks and just figured a monkey would be no different at all.  Indeed, Cecil’s assumptions proved correct.  The animals and the monkey got along swimmingly and the monkey learned tricks at a rate he would never have guessed.  He named his monkey, Kong, because he thought people would get a kick out of that.   Well, Kong became legend.

Cecil got a gig to do a rich kid’s birthday party where there would be pony rides and a merry-go-round and nearly fifty kids and their parents.  All went well.  Kong did back flips, clapped his hands, rode the scooter and bowed on cue.  The crowd went wild for Kong, and after the show he was swamped with people wanting to get their picture taken with him.  Kong gladly obliged.  He also “cutely” stole drinks from some of the adults who laughed it off and bid the butler to bring another.  Little did they know Kong had been famous for this back in India, and now his memories were returning but not as fast as his level of intoxication.  Explaining what happened from all the accounts I was able to secure is probably impossible, so take this next part with a grain of salt.  It is at least close to accurate.

Apparently, Kong took special interest in a diamond necklace worn by the birthday boy’s mother who leaned in close to Kong for the picture.  Kong snatched the necklace with a flick of his wrist, scampered onto the buffet table and from there leaped onto the back of one of the ponies—and headed down the driveway at full gallop.  Reportedly, this necklace is worth over a million dollars and probably was not insured for monkey theft, and you would not believe the fleet of human beings they marshaled to find Kong and retrieve that necklace in nearly no time at all.  Kong rode that pony down the path of least resistance which took him on a zigzagging route and in circles and many places a car could not go.  The pony was found at Fiske and Peachtree where it was hit by an ice truck, but no monkey was found or identified.  I actually talked to the ice truck driver.  He said the pony jumped out from between two parked cars and he didn’t have a chance.  His exact words:  “It’s a good thing I hit it like I did cause it died fast.”

Meanwhile, at 600 Peachtree Street where sits the Bank of America building—all 1,040 feet of it—Kong the monkey had just found the roof.  He still had the necklace, and had collected a smart phone along the way—Cecil had taught him about cell phones apparently.  I didn’t even bother to try to find out how he got there because when he got there the story got interesting enough.  He’d climbed up as high as you could go and was making threats over the cell phone that of course no one understood.  It was far too windy for tranquillizer guns and nobody was stupid enough to try to climb up after that monkey.  It was a real Mexican stand-off.

The helicopters for the TV stations got there and got this all on tape, and scared Kong enough where he dropped the cell phone.  Those idiots actually tried to throw him another one, but Kong refused to try and catch it.  Then, they had the pilot climb above the tower—all with the FAA screaming not to—and dropped a fifty foot coax cable to Kong.  It took a second, but Kong did reach out and he did grab that coax cable and he did climb up it like a monkey and was in the cabin of that TV News helicopter lickety-split—but this was not a good thing.  The pilot was expert and got the helicopter over the Indian River before crashing awkwardly in the water.  A lot of screaming and yelling was recorded, and none of that indicated that anyone other than Kong was responsible for the crash.  His body was never recovered, and the FAA put the whole thing down to pilot error.

That is the highlight of all the monkey stories.  Every story ends sometime.  The monkey story died a slow death.  The necklace never showed up, but the cops claimed it would be easy to sell off the individual diamonds and melt the gold.   It took a few months until every single monkey could be accounted for, except one.  That’s right, Kong was never apprehended, nor found, nor sighted and after a while people have forgotten all about him.  Most people think he drowned in the river and was carried away by the current and maybe got eaten by a big fish or a gator or something.  Other’s think he was a government experiment gone haywire and that Kong is still alive tucked away in some mountain top fortress out west.  Still others think Kong was part of an international gang of jewel thieves and called for Cecil the Clown’s arrest—which did happen but led to nothing but a ruined career for Cecil.

Maybe I cannot submit the whereabouts of one Rikel Kilter, but I do know the exact whereabouts of one Kong the monkey.   He brings me coconuts as I write these stories, and rolls Doobies and keeps the beer cold.  He’s the coolest monkey on Earth.