Page 29 

Friday, June 03, 2005

Abishag came forward. A squirrel monkey. A common squirrel monkey.

"I am page 29," said Abishag.

"Good monkey," I said, not looking up from my papers.

I was in my "war" room, where I met with the monkeys, monitored their progress with The Pearl, and counselled them if they succumbed to paralysis from the daunting task. "It's not East of Eden, it's The Pearl," I would tell them over and over again.

"What can I do for you, Abishag?"

"The gods do not love men's plans, and the gods do not love success unless it comes by accident," quoted the monkey.

"Ah yes, page 29."

"The gods will take their revenge on us, sir! If we are successful through our own efforts! The Pearl says it is so! We must stop!"

I slapped the hysterical monkey.

"Calm down! Look at you - are you a man or a monkey?"

"Monkeys, but--"

I interrupted Abishag: "Then you've got nothing to fear."

"But, sir, the gods, via the author, meant the protagonist - that's us, we the monkeys. We are in grave danger - this taking control of the situation - we are not meant to do it; we are meant to type up East of Eden by accident!"

"No, little Abishag, take the bulls by the horns, time and tide wait for no man, you miss 100% of the shots you never take."

"All good things come to he who waits," replied Abishag quietly.

"What do propose, that everyone stops memorizing The Pearl and tries to type up East of Eden? Don't forget that Hamlet already took an infinite number of you an infinite number of time to type."

"Yes," said Abishag. "I have a very bad feeling about this. Something bad will happen if we continue."

Monkeys always fear the unknown. Even sheep are braver and have more imagination. That's why you can lead a sheep willingly to the slaughter: up until the last moment, it refuses to believe in anything less than that you are taking it to the world's biggest salad.

We place monkeys at the top of the intelligence pyramid, just under humans. Crows and dolphins patiently bear this insult, knowing full well that a monkey knows to use a blade of grass to pluck termites from a termite hill only because the extraterrestials told them it can be done. Without the guidance of superior beings, a monkey is pretty useless. Besides, the crows claim they were the ones who taught the monkeys the termite trick in the first place.

"Abishag, don't do anything rash."

"I must put a stop to this. Before anything terrible happens."

Before I could say any more, the squirrel monkey walked out with a defiant air.

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