(Both of our companions are thinking about Meg Ryan and are laughing loudly as we come to the end of another chapter in their JOURNEY to rescue all of humanity.)
CHAPTER 3 THERE ARE MONKEYS DOWN BELOW
Though some might describe the space as somewhat cramped, it was, nonetheless, big enough for a very, very long table made of well-polished, mahogany and oak. Running down the center of this table — end-to-end — sat 10 convention-size, evenly-spaced, lead-crystall punch-bowls. A small mountain of the finest, perfectly-ripened, Ecuadorian bananas filled each bowl . Viewed from above, these banana-laden circular objects looked like yellow air-strip landing lights (for that’s precisely what Craignito and Subucon thought they were, drawing closer, as they made their rapid, free-fall descent). You see, some 15-20 minutes had passed – for that’s how long it seemed – since our courageous duo had taken their leap of faith that fell just short enough to really test that faith. It had resulted in what was turning out to be the longest ride of their lives – a ride down the rabbit hole.
Just prior to making what would turn out to be a remarkably soft landing, each of the aforementioned bowls underwent another miraculous, perceptual transformation. You see, sprinkled about the huge banana bowls were numerous much smaller bowls – each of these, also, filled to the top — with unshelled peanuts, walnuts, hazel nuts, pecans, and the monkey’s favorite, Macadamia nuts – and it was these bowls that, when viewed from afar, appeared to be planets orbiting through the heavens around 10 yellow suns. Indeed, each landing light had grown to take on a sun-like appearance that, when accompanied by the planetary entourage just noted, turned it into a solar system very similar to our own.
Upon touch down, the free-fall over, this celestial illusion vanished, replaced by the uncharacteristically serene faces of one hundred monkeys — no more and none less — seated and quiet and respectful, all 100, counting the chair at the head of the table reserved for our visitor’s host, AKA Mr. 100, who sat there now, along with his (or her – who can tell when it’s a hairy monkey under scrutiny) newly-arrived guests, Craignito, kitty-corner left, and Subucon, kitty-corner right.
Mr. 100: (leaning back casually in “his” custom-built rattan, an ear-to-ear, Cheshire smile, quite unexpected as it beamed brightly amidst his otherwise ape-like, primitive features – as were the glint of two metal teeth – one silver, one gold — flashing — as they occasionally did in the natural light being funneled down from way, way above — when speaking mostly – for this monkey had a fondness for that — advertising that this was no ordinary monkey – advertising that this monkey was, indeed, one of a kind – unique in every monkey way)
“And to what do I owe the honor and the pleasure of this wonderful surprise visit, Craignito and Subucon?”
Subucon: (not sharing Craignito’s surprise in being addressed by his first name, Subucon answers in reply)“I was thinking it only fitting to make our first stop in our holey descent, your luxurious domicile, Mr. 100, sir.”
Mr. 100: (knowing full well, without asking, that there was more to this “why” than just to say “Hi” that brought these two visitors from above – from the land of illusions. You see, word travels fast, especially under-ground; besides, there was really only one reason that anyone ever came here; besides – and this was a reason most significant — Mr. 100 knew, because he just knew. Nevertheless, Mr. 100 didn’t want to seem overly presumptuous and, so, played along) “Oh, why is that, Con, my man?”
Subucon: “Craignito here, has never heard the story; so, I thought it might be good if he heard it from the horse’s…excuse me, monkey’s mouth, so to speak.
Mr. 100: “Short version, or long?”
Subucon: “Short, but, please, include everything you, alone, are privy. You know — all the stuff that cannot be found in the current literature.”
Subucon: (Thinking Craignito could use some back-round info to help him make more of the monkey’s message, Sub turns to the Craiger and continues) “In the 1980’s, when the mass-produced novella, The 100th Monkey first appeared, the threat of nuclear holocaust, including the fear associated with it, was in the back of every ones’ mind. The reason Ken Keyes wrote this book was to help reduce the threat imposed by the possibility of nuclear war by decreasing all the negative thinking – fear mostly – being generated by this issue. In other words, if enough people thought strongly enough about such a war, that war would surely happen. To this day, there is ongoing debate regarding how much of Ken’s book is factual vs. how much is pure fiction. Are you ready now to hear what our friend has to say? ”
Craignito: (Having gone beyond the shock of hearing his first coming out of the mouth of a total stranger, Craignito was now dealing with the bigger question: how a monkey, or any animal for that matter, could be conversing in the King’s English – and so proficiently, too – that he barely managed to nod his head to indicate) “Go ahead.”
Mr. 100: “I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I was sitting in the sand playing with my friends – Tree Jumper, Poop Shoot, Banana Hands… and, at the same time, watching my mom pick up one of the sweet potatoes that the kind scientists, who also lived on Koshima Island the same as we did, made a habit of leaving on the beach for us to eat. As mom was just about to take a big “sandy” bite, I yelled out: ‘Mom! Mom! Stop!’ Without saying another word, I rushed over, grabbed her potato, washed the sand off in the sea water nearby, then handed it back. When she bit into it something magical happened. I’m not sure if it was because some of my friends’ moms had seen what I had done, or what, but from that day forward, none of us monkeys – young, old, or in between – would ever bite into a sweet potato again — without washing the sand off first.”
Mr. 100: “Yep. And when I say ‘none,’ I mean none, because from what all the reports indicate, as soon as my mom’s teeth sunk in, all the monkeys that were the same species as me, my mom, and my friends, ‘Japanese macaques,’ started washing their taters, too — including those living on islands far away.”
Craignito: “That’s amazing!”
Mr. 100: “Yep. And what’s even more amazing is what happened next.
Craignito: “What could be more amazing than that?”
Mr. 100: “The scientists told Watson, Watson told Ken Keyes, and Ken Keyes told the world…or, at least, enough of it that the nuclear holocaust that would have occurred had he remained silent, didn’t. We monkeys proved that thought energy connects us all, and if enough of that energy is composed of the same thought, the conditions being thought about will occur. We, actually, I knew this immediately. It was intuitively obvious.”
Craignito: “Wow! It doesn’t seem that obvious to me, 100. How can you be so sure?”
Mr. 100: “Instinct. Ever notice whenever there is some impending natural disaster — volcanoes, especially — all the animals begin to suddenly high-tail it out of there — way before there is any apparent warning? That’s instinct. Part of what Mother Nature provides her less mentally endowed creatures to help insure survival of the species. As you probably know some insects — aphids, for instance – in times of dire emergency, are even able to sprout wings and fly. If we have been given that kind of metamorphosis-like ability by Mother Nature, do you think she would forget to provide the same level of instinctual knowing when having to live alongside her most unpredictable creature creation, human beings? Hell, no! As it turns out, there were a couple of deranged dingbats in power at the time, each of whom had access to the button, and would have zapped us all, long ago.”
Craignito: “Wow! That’s incredible! Your instinct told you all of that?”
Mr. 100: “Well, not exactly. I do like to consider all the evidence – the factual basis of things – to help confirm what my instincts are telling me. For instance, the number 100 isn’t exactly how many of us there were when ‘The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon’ occurred that fine sunny day. Heck! There weren’t 100 monkeys living on Koshima at the time…and, as you now know, it wasn’t me, but my mom, who was the real ‘Hundredth Monkey.’ Those are the facts. It wasn’t the 100 designation that made this number special, obviously, since it had to be something smaller; or, perhaps, something larger. No reason why our special configuration was significant. It was special because it was the number needed to go beyond the ‘tipping point’. Paper won’t burn until it reaches a temperature of 451 degrees Fahrenheit – then it burns by itself spontaneously. As for my mom, she wanted me to get the credit. My mom, God rest her soul, was like most moms when it comes to that sort of thing…plus, this way, she didn’t need to explain. Any monkey parent who learns, instead of teaches, his or her kids something major, doesn’t go over too well in the monkey realm. In fact, I don’t recall that ever happening before. If the truth had leaked out, to this day, my mom would still be laughed at and talked about in every monkey bar no matter where it might be.
Mr. 100: “And, I’ve got to tell you, there were a few of your kind – primarily those with lots of money and power, who had built specially equipped bunkers hidden deep underground that were none too happy about the peaceful turn of events.”
Mr. 100: “They even hired some goon reporter, who did his best to discredit Watson. Take a look at this.” (100 pulls out an old, wrinkled article and hands it to Craignito. It was taken from something called ‘The Skeptical Inquirer.’ One paragraph, in particular, caught his eye, since 100 had obviously gone out of his way to high-light and underline the parts he found particularly offensive): ‘When the “hundredth” monkey learned to wash potatoes, suddenly and spontaneously and mysteriously monkeys on other islands, with no physical contact with the potato-washing cult, started washing potatoes! Was this monkey telepathy at work or just monkey business on Watson’s part?’ The article then shifts to focus on the person that many consider to be a Saint, because of his many glorious contributions to the enlightened thinking characterizing the New Age movement, Ken Keyes, Jr.: ‘From Keyes, one gets the image of spontaneous mass orgies of spud-dunking.”
Craignito: “Fascinating, 100. ‘potato-washing cult’ — when it comes to bashing, you just gotta know the media will turn to their signature ‘c-word’, sooner or later. And ‘spud-dunking.’ Isn’t there a franchise called ‘Spud Dunkers’ that specializes in potato doughnuts?”
Mr. 100: “Sure is, and guess what?”
Mr. 100: “I’m not sure if the entrepreneurs that created ‘Spud Dunkers’ read this particular article, or not, but they sure as hell turned it around in our favor, if they did…and their favor, too, of course. They’ve become quite successful, haven’t they? As it turns out, potato doughnuts, especially those made from sweet potatoes, are much healthier than those made from wheat. ‘It’s the ‘slam dunk’ providing the Spud Dunker edge.’ Surely you’ve heard that? The overall health of entire police departments is improving significantly by simply substituting the spud for the dud…or is it ‘crud?’ In fact, there’s one ‘Spud’ that opened up out Vancouver way that will occasionally draw in Mounties from as far away as the next Province over.”
Craignito: “Fascinating, 100!”
Mr. 100: “Just saw a recent ad. ‘Bad guys got you down? Join our spud-dunking cult, and together we’ll throw the bastards out of town!’
Mr. 100: “So, in bringing this short story to a close: with disaster having been averted, and people slowly waking up to realize that it was the banksters and the politicians – the so-called ruling class – who were really the parasitical, life-sucking scourge of humanity, these leeches, being the vindictive lot they are, having failed miserably with those they love to feed on the most, decided to focus their wrath on us. First, they tried stirring the pot with all those silly Planet of the Apes films. Then, once we knew they were headed our way, and out to hunt us down, one-by-one, we had no other option than to form an alliance with Peter and go underground.”
Mr. 100: “Peter Rabbit. Surely, you’ve heard of him?”
Craignito: “Yeah, but…”
Subucon: “Hey, Craigo, what say we not take undue advantage of Mr. 100’s fine hospitality any longer and over-stay our welcome. Just in case you haven’t noticed, Craigisti, there’s a lot of hungry monkeys beginning to fidget, and, I swear, the majority of them have their eyes glued to the top your head. With that crew-cut of yours, you know, it really could pass for a giant sweet potato of sorts.”
Mr. 100: “Don’t be ridiculous, Subucon, they are just interested in what your buddy has to say. You’re both more than welcome to join us for our Sunday feast…and stay the night.”
Subucon: “As much as we do appreciate the offer, my friend, we really must be going. The green goblins and yellow hornets we popped into our gullets are gearing up and getting ready to kick in, and we definitely want to be where we need to be before that happens…and from the way Craignitos hair is standing up on end at attention right now, I’d say that could already be happening.”
Having said their goodbyes, both members of our stalwart crew looked back in unison; just in time to see both of 100’s hairy upper extremities being raised skyward. When they came down with a resounding thud on the table top, total pandemonium broke loose. Apparently, these monkeys loved to play “banana grab.” Two, three, and sometimes four monkeys all grabbing the same banana at the same time, just to see who could hold on the longest. Well, monkeys never let go of their bananas. White globs of banana squirting everywhere, except inside the monkeys’ gastro-intestinal tracks, where it should be going. What a mess!
Craignito: “Sub, how much of what 100 told us was actually true? I thought it all was, until he got to the ‘Peter Rabbit’ part.”
Subucon: “What do you mean? You don’t believe in Peter Rabbit, Mr. Skeptical Inquirer?”
Craignito: (Not knowing how serious Sub was, Craignito just stood there looking perplexed. Actually, he, along with the Sub, might have appeared to be standing, but now Subucon’s long locks flowing upward in the breeze of apparent wind was a dead give-a-way that they had resumed their downward journey, and had already reached terminal velocity. Although the Craigster was mightily relieved that his “sweet potato” head was still in one piece and now at a safe ‘far-from-dinner’ distance, he couldn’t help but wonder what was the point of it all?) “Sub…”
Subucon: (noticing the demeanor of his friends face, Sub knew he must speak up now – before the goblins laughing in one ear, and the hornets buzzing in the other got too loud – to put Craignito’s mind at ease). “Remember, Craignito, the Peter Rabbit part was all for us. 100 only told you exactly what you needed to hear. The point was never how much truth was in his story, but how much truth his story was about. Consider Peter to be what was needed to separate and thus make more obvious what was most important for us to hear. Call it intuition, call it monkey telepathy, call it logical scientific investigation, call it the Hundredth Monkey’s business to use his — or is it her — unique gift to peer into the future. It will make more sense soon. I promise.”
With that, Subucon lifted his gaze upward. Craignito followed his lead. Both of them could have sworn they were able to see the crescent-shaped moon, or was it 100’s knowing grin, fading into the distance. It must have reminded them of something, because they both got an instant craving for Campfire Girl chocolate mint cookies.