A Big Ball of Monkeys

(No, not that kind of ball, silly.)

Dunbar was annoyed. None of the other monkeys ever seemed to be able to remember his name. They kept calling him “guy” or “dude” or “man”. There was always that awkward silence shortly after he met another monkey for the second or fourth or seventeenth time when their eyes glazed over slightly and Dunbar could tell that they were trying and failing to place his face and trying and failing to recall his name. There was a brief period of time where he tried wearing a name tag, but the sticker and stickum kept getting caught in his fur in an unpleasant way. Oh, and don’t even get him started on the dating scene! Whenever he was down at the banana bar, the female monkeys just seemed to look right on by. If he left for a bit to pee, when he came back, it was like they’d completely forgotten him. Bummer! Well, one day Dunbar heard about this ball happening at the most happening club in all of Monkeytown. Dunbar didn’t get an invite (of course) but he decided to go anyway. He put on his best monkey duds (a white Nehru jacket with ivory buttons–donated by his friend, Harold, an elephant who NEVER forgot), slicked his hair back with some banana oil, and swung off to the ball. He showed up early. In fact, he was the first monkey there! Other monkeys started trickling in and, to Dunbar’s amazement, all the monkeys remembered his name (after reintroducing himself, that is) and chatted and laughed. Dunbar rolled out his sweet new dance moves (the Snake Charmer, the Grey Greasy Limpopo River, and the Greased Monkey) to much hilarity. Dunbar was thrilled. Soon the dance really got hopping. Dunbar was in the middle of getting down with some female monkey (whose name he couldn’t quite recall) when he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was the fire marshal, who scowled, and dragged him off the dance floor. “What?” Dunbar couldn’t hear himself say over the rockin’ tunes. The fire marshal grunted and pointed at the sign above the door: MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY NOT TO EXCEED 150 MONKEYS. The door slammed behind Dunbar. “Aw phooey,” he said.

The Well is Dry and All the Dogs are Crying

(Well, there’s that one piebald mutt over there who’s laughing.)

Gregor knew that someone was writing about him. He knew that his every move was being typed out on some vast machine hidden inside an even larger network of machines connected all over the world. No matter what, he couldn’t discern _how_ this was happening. He supposed that surveillance equipment had simply gotten to subtle and refined to detect. It’s not that Gregor could come up with any good reason why someone would by typing up his every move. He supposed there was a dossier about three boxes thick by now with all his comings and goings, his bags of (itemized) groceries from the grocery store, the route his each particular stroll happened to take as he meandered through his neighborhood, and etc, etc, etc. Some days he would try to do things that were especially hard to write up in text form, or so he imagined, like making odd, nonverbal shrieking sounds that (he hoped) would defy typing up in onomatopoeiac fashion. Sometimes he would talk quickly and only while others were talking to make transcribing his dialogue tedious and uncomfortable. Or sometimes he would speak in sentences that he imagined might be difficult to punctuate, by adding odd pauses and emphasizing words in all the wrong places. Yes, Gregor’s most cherished joy was imagining driving his watchers to distraction as they typed furiously away on their devices.