Red Monkey - Starting Year Four
May 16, 2008
Here's my blog anniversary post for your enjoyment ... Jodi asked a year ago, why the red monkey ... here's the answer. Oh ... and the red monkey graphic? That's not the red monkey that I talk about here ... that's a vector graphic I drew for this blog ... based on one of my other passions: Fisher Price Little People. So now you know.

I love antique stores and junk stores. I have this thing for toys, particularly old toys. I'm fascinated by everything from the packaging and advertising to the toys themselves. The problem is a lot of those so-called antique stores - at least the ones that also sell old toys - are really antique store and collectibles store combos. So I'll see a booth full of Nascar stuff next to one with clothes from the 20s and 30s. Not a big deal, really, it's usually all interesting stuff - if it wasn't for the crazy prices some of the collectibles folks tend to charge.

Anyhow, this is about 1999 or 2000 and I'm walking through a pretty cool antique store when I round the corner to the biggest flippin' display of Ty Beanie Babies I've ever seen. And despite their frenzied, must-have popularity, some of these little guys are really cute and clever. I already had a handful of the things, ones I thought were really cool or cute. I have the otter, the Ireland bear and a few others. (Why haven't they made a dolphin yet??) I also have the first monkey they made, cuz I've always really liked monkeys.

So, in this display case they have this really cool new Beanie Baby I haven't seen yet, a little red monkey with a cute tan face and a little fluff of hair on top of his head. I have to have him. DId I mention that some of these collectible places think they can charge 4-5 times the retail prices on a toy that's just come out? Not a toy that's been out and then discontinued, excuse me, "retired." A toy that is currently being mass produced but just barely started hitting the shelves - those toys are worth the retail price. Not "scalper" prices.

So this scalper booth wants $20 or $25 for a $5 stuffed animal. I stomped past, growling and grousing about opportunistic scalpers and this kind of artificial supply and demand being among the worst of human impulses. I do not "have to have" something like a little stuffed animal so badly that I will pay 5x its actual worth. I would pay $1 or $2 more to have it now - I can be that shallow and that careless about my spending money from time to time. But this, this is not capitalism - it's stupidity. Stupidity on the part of the seller and on the part of anyone who gives in and buys the overpriced goods.

Yeah, my friends are tired of that rant, too.

So, later that night, my friends and I are sitting in the living room watching a movie. It's a pseudo-SF movie called Strange Days. It's an awesome movie set just a touch in the future when people don't just watch reality tv, they experience it through virtual programs on the computer.

Well, I'd seen the movie before and it was fast becoming one of my favorites, but I was a little restless and bored that night. So everyone's really really into the movie, the tension's building and I'm kinda looking around the room. I see my little beanie-baby monkey on the bookshelf.

"I really want that red monkey," I say aloud.

The whole room turns to stare at me in shock. "What?"

The movie had to be paused and rewound a bit. Evidently it was a really intense point in the flick.

"What?" I ask, all wounded innocence and surprised at their reaction.

"Where did that come from?" they reply.

"I was just looking around the room and saw my little monkey and that reminded me of the beanie baby we saw in that store today - " there's much eye-rolling at this pronouncement "-and I just realized that I really want that little monkey."

"We're in this intense part of the movie and you're talking about a stuffed monkey?"

Somehow, my explanation did not help my case at all. "I've seen the movie before" I point out helpfully.

"I repeat, we're in this tense and intense part of the movie and you are thinking about a toy monkey?" The room is staring at me now. Finally someone grabs the remote and flips the movie back to play, muttering, "You are so ADD."

You've maybe seen the t-shirt that says "They say I have ADD, but I don't think ...Hey look! A chicken!" Well, my chicken is a red monkey.

Interestingly enough, a year or so later I was diagnosed as ADHD.

Now, I have a McD's teenie beanie version atop my monitor at work and the regular-sized one in the home office.

So, that's the story of the red monkey.

And now you know lots of important tidbits about me.

So now you know.

Posted by Red Monkey at May 16, 2008 7:48 AM | People Say I Have ADHD, But I Think - Hey Look, A Chicken | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Nola said:

Glad to know! Love the graphic one that you did for this site!

May 16, 2008 10:52 PM


timethief said:

Ahhh ... so now we know the story of your red monkey connectedness and an interesting story it is too.

It is said that those with the monkey as a totem see dark and light in all things; they weigh all avenues and see things from all angles and possible outcomes.

There's a famous Buddhist tale that that teaches wisdom, compassion, understanding and kindness. In the tale the wise and sacrificing King of Monkeys teaches a human King the importance of selflessness and loyalty and the pitfalls of greed and anger.

It is also said that those who have the monkey as a totem animal are characterized by being agile of mind and body, gracious and possessed of excellent communication skills.

These are qualities that I see in you.

May 17, 2008 11:15 PM


Red said:

I always enjoy the story of how red monkey came to be. You tell it so well. :)
Happy anniversary!

May 18, 2008 11:12 AM


Maria said:

I always wondered, and now I know! Yay!!

May 18, 2008 5:34 PM

My husband has undiagnosed ADD or ADHD, and we can never watch a movie without him walking around, making noise, or going outside every 15 minutes for a smoke. (Lucky for him, he married a spec ed teacher, who can tolerate him!) For Christmas, I bought him a black t-shirt with white letters that spell out ADHD in the same font as the ACDC logo. He absolutely loved it!

May 18, 2008 8:45 PM


timethief said:

Yay! Thank you so much for lightening up the background behind your posts. I can now read without struggling.

May 19, 2008 9:46 PM
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