Monday, March 26, 2007

Monkey Speak

My son spent several minutes yesterday getting in touch with
his wild side. He was pressed up
against a glass partition, face to face with a chimpanzee, grunting and
screaming in a primal way. The
chimpanzee responded by casually slapping the glass where my son’s face was
every once in a while. This sent my son
and his friends into hysterics. It was
very entertaining to watch.

We were attending a birthday party at the zoo and it
included a private tour for the party guests.  We stood in the chimpanzee exhibit for
several minutes, letting the kids interact with the creatures. After a couple minutes of monkey-speak, a crowd of kids gathered and
there was a mini-chorus of unpleasant grunts and screams and squeals of
laughter when the chimpanzee finally did respond in his nonchalant way. My son’s monkey dialogue was very
unpleasant but I did not want to stop it. I heard the Spirit of Steve Irwin whispering in my ear, “Let him talk to the
monkeys. It may be his calling in life. Jane Goodall needs a successor.” So I did. I listened to the voice of the Crocodile Hunter and let my son commune
with the chimp. This process was made a
little challenging by the presence of our cute tour guide, Ian, who I was
crushing on a little bit. He clearly
enjoyed children and encouraged any type of interaction between them and the
animals but he also clearly thought my son was a superfreak. I considered squelching my son’s monkey
tirade to make a favorable impression on Ian and then I snapped back to
reality. I remembered that I was
happily married and that Ian was probably 10 years younger than me and not
interested in a slightly overweight married woman with two children who drives
a minivan. My son grunted like a
primate. I laughed and snapped a
picture of him, the future successor of Jane Goodall with an uncanny ability
to talk to the monkeys.


  1. Don't kid yourself, know Ian only had eyes for me anyway!!

  2. I was with you all the way until you said you snapped the Trumster's picture, I know I haven't seen him or a while, but the picture looks as if he's not taking after my side of the family quite as much as I expected.

  3. P-lease Jacquelyn. Ian was mine for the taking :)

  4. Come on Papa Dale! That's a face only a Hale could love (or produce).