Diapers and monkeys

March 21, 2012 

We bought some doggie diapers for the dogs -- had to really. It wasn’t so bad in the winter, but when the warm weather kicked in, the house smelled like the monkey cages at the zoo, before we became more benevolent and caged them on the outside.

I remember the monkey house at Chilhowee Park in Knoxville, Tenn. You could find it by following your nose and listening to the screams of families as wads of waste were being flung at them from behind the bars. When you stepped inside you fought for position along the nearest wall and somewhere behind unsuspecting folks who were making their first trip to primate land. I can still hear one well-meaning father, obviously on his first trip, telling his 6-year-old, “Get up close Amanda, you’re going to love this experience.” I often wonder if she ended up in a sanitarium, veterinary school, or at home raising her own little monkeys.

Once inside there was no turning back. The monkeys knew where the entrance and exit were and stationed themselves for maximum coverage. Working in teams of two, with the grandparent monkeys watching from above, the ones considered “teenagers” or young adult monkeys, searching for the meaning of life, had you sandwiched inside the bowels of the monkey house.

When the panic started, the humans would forget which way was out and it looked like Custer’s Last Stand as a hailstorm of excrement, monkey epithets (they blamed everyone on the outside) rained down from the cage. It was a slipslide experience rivaled only by the rides at Disney World.

Well, what could we expect, most of these monkeys didn’t have attorneys and therefore were not well represented. They spent their “productive” years behind bars, which made them angry. The monkeys always won and the humans always felt guilty that they had been driven to such levels of “inhumanity,” which is interesting when you think about it.

In the end, it was as much fun watching the humans play dodgeball as it was watching the monkeys playing poop and hurl. Of course zoos are much better now, but one has to wonder, if they had the chance, would they do it all again? But I digress.

Yes, the maltese are in diapers. Hannah’s has flowers around the top for the feminine touch and Hercules (my daughter named them both in a moment of total consciousness) is more macho with the wrap-around towel look. I’ve noticed a definite change in his demeanor about the house since he began wearing them. Sort of struts about now with a look that says, “My diaper is better than yours.”

We had no idea what was going on before the diapers until we began washing six a day in an effort to keep up with the demand. We were naive enough to believe they had their “spots” when actually her spot was anywhere. His spot was hers and everywhere else. But in a time when nothing appears to be worth as much as it was, I must say, these two have increased in value.

Do they bark? Yes. Do they snap at small children? She does. Are they well trained? Of course not, the training ended with me. Would I trade them for anything? Make an offer. Seriously, if you could train your wife to meet you at the door wearing nothing but a towel and a smile everyday, wouldn’t you put up with a little barking?

Sonny Harmon is an educator at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.

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