“I am so thankful for my monkeys”
With small dogs out of vogue, ladies have anxiously been searching for replacements to fill their handbags. Lucky for them the perfect new accessory has been found, monkey babies! Unable or unwilling to have children, people are apparently choosing to have monkeys instead. And by “people” I mean “crazies”. TLC, perhaps my favorite channel for quality reality television has been quick to profile this rapidly growing trend. The name alone was enough to guarantee I would be watching. The hour-long special My Monkey Baby showcased three different sets of monkey parents, who take their monkeys very seriously. Serving as surrogate children for these owners, they enjoy all the perks of their spoiled human counterparts; frilly dresses, junk food and coddling. They’re just like human babies, but BETTER because you can’t put your children in a cage when they misbehave, well not without attracting the attention of social services.
Lori and Jim are adamant that their capuchin monkey is their daughter. Although the mother of six children, Lori hasn’t seen any of her human kids in more than five years. Because who needs kids when you have Monkids (yes that is an actual term). Why she isn’t in contact with them is never explained, but I’d wager it has something to do with her being co-dependant…. Co-dependant and INSANE. Lori explained that she adopted Jessica Marie to be “the baby I was gonna have forever. She wasn’t gonna graduate, she wasn’t gonna go to college, she wasn’t gonna get married and she wasn’t gonna leave me.” I don’t think that calling Lori a teensy bit needy is overly dramatic.
Some monkey owners seemed entranced with the idea of having a baby that will never grow up, realistically they’re signing up for twenty to forty years of diapers and tantrums. Is the motivation for acquiring an extremely dependent pet something more complex than simply wanting the cute animal? And what happens when the cute “baby” matures and becomes aggressive? Some monkey owners go to such extreme lengths as to remove their monkey’s teeth when they start biting the hand that feeds them, so to speak. Others simply find that they can’t handle their mature monkeys and seek out sanctuaries or re-sell them to new owners. And yet, every day, people in the U.S. are paying anywhere from $1500-$50,000 for these exotic pets.
“Monkeys have always been part of my dreams,” said Mary Lynn, one of the monkey owners profiled. The proud parent of four monkeys, Mary Lynn adores her youngest, Silly Willy. Unable to have children, Mary Lynn turned to monkeys as an alternative for her love and attention. Like Lori, Mary Lynn’s life revolves around her pet monkeys; Silly Willy sleeps in her bed and even goes with her to run errands. My favorite part of My Monkey Baby showed Mary Lynn, driving with Silly Willy, concerned that he might have eaten some of her medication. Like any worried pet owner she calls her trusty pet psychic, bypassing more conventional channels such as vets and poison control. Who needs medical professionals when you can have someone just read the mind of your pet monkey?
Won’t people ever learn? Has the classic Monkey Shines taught us nothing? PET MONKEYS = BAD! Best-case scenario after buying a monkey, you become a crazy monkey lady (which is ten times worse than a crazy cat lady. Think crazy cat lady on acid) the worst-case scenario, you end up with a pet that snaps one day and seriously hurts someone. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and pay a breeder to rip a two-week-old baby monkey from the arms of it’s mother and pretend that it’s my kid while forcing it to dress up in children’s clothing. I figure a miniature primate is the next best thing to having a kid, and come on, what could go wrong?!