That picture over there is of my son Terry Wayne when he was going through a phase in his teen years, and it’s a testimony of what a mama has to deal with sometimes. Any woman who has known the pleasure of having a young one spring pink and wet from her loins knows that a book on how to raise them right does not pop out with it. You bring them into the world but you cannot govern their actions.
Take a good long look at that picture, now, because it’s real symbolic. That means there’s a deeper meaning to it than the one that hits you in the face right off the bat, and since I've learned that there are those of you who aren’t as sharp as I am, I’m going to spell it out for you real clear.
And take a minute to gaze into those beady eyes and make note of what all you see there, and if you find something let me know it.
If you're one of my countless admirers all over the world, you know in my last write-up I got worked up over some funny monkey business. It was about this monkey in a zoo in Sweden who had worked up a mad about getting stared at all the livelong day, day in and day out, until finally at last he studied over what to do and ended up hatching a plan to store up a pile of rocks which he then proceeded to sling at the zoo visitors the next day.
The scientists watching him declared it proof that monkeys make plans, something which those of us with common sense--but no big funding to support our notions--have known ere long.
That story tickled me to death, and I got word from the world over that countless others of us who walk upright, and sometimes take excess pride in the fact, understood that monkey too.
And I learned that people all across the globe have their own words for how that monkey felt. I learned that there are some thousand different ways of saying "pis*ed off,” and that each of those ways has its own special charms.
And that story spooked me too, because I felt like I understood that monkey and his mad with a depth that was all but unnatural, what with my being brought up a Baptist.
But I read that story over and over because I felt like I'd been inside the mind of that monkey and had felt with him the pure pleasure of release when the first rock left his grubby little hand and soared in an arc and crashed like a meteor into the crowd of gawkers.
I felt like I had slipped into that monkey just as my son Terry Wayne had slipped inside that big ape suit the better to impersonate Bigfoot for a documentary movie he and some of his bowling pals made back when they were teenagers for a show called "The Truth is Out There" on the public access TV channel.
That film, with its footage of Bigfoot lurching through the woods, and even crossing a paved road, had everybody hopping until it was proved a fake and the scandal got written up in newspapers nationwide.
(That picture up there is of my son IN HIS BIGFOOT SUIT, which fact I forgot to mention until just now.)
And I was hopping mad when I found out about his part in that uproar, which I did by watching the show on TV myself, before I knew my own son was involved in it.
When the camera zoomed in on the big footprint which was alleged to be leftover from Bigfoot stepping in the mud, I recognized it as Terry Wayne’s own foot, which is oversized and with the big toe shaped just like a lightbulb, like his daddy’s.
When I cornered Terry Wayne, he denied that was his foot, but I looked him straight in the eye and pinpointed the lie. “I’d know that foot if I found it on the moon!” I told him, at which point he hung his head in shame.
“Son, you have gone and violated one of the Ten Commandents: You have borne false witness. You have spent your allowance money on a Bigfoot suit. You have pretended to be something you are not, and furthermore, you have deceived countless millions and have given them false hope.”
But he denied that he had pretended to be something he was not, which sent me into a spasm of worry, for there is on his daddy’s side of the family a strain of insanity, as one of Terry Wayne’s own cousins went away from a summer working at Disney World convinced he really was Donald Duck, and was known to wear his Donald Duck suit even years later while making presentations in the boardroom of the big finance company where he was top dog.
“Honey, you are not Bigfoot, and I hope you know that,” I told him.
“Yes, Mama, but—"
“You are my firstborn son. All I want from you is for you to do your best, to be who you are. I do not expect you to aspire to any greater heights than that."
“But Mama,” he kept on, “what I’m trying to say is, when I slipped inside that suit, it's like I BECAME Bigfoot! When I was running around the woods and peeping at people from behind the bushes, I WAS Bigfoot! It was like his mind was my mind, his big foot, my big foot!"
Well, that tickled me what he said, because Terry Wayne was a little devil of a liar in those days, but when I stared into his eyes, I picked up amongst the twinkles of deception a little fleck of something that looked like honesty, and then I got worried he’d gone and lost his mind, and would end up like his cousin Donald Duck in the boardroom.
But now, as the wheels of the years have turned a number of times, I understand what he was talking about.
And that is simply that the saying “we are more alike than we are different,” does not apply only to people of different nations and religions and races.
Looks like we’ve got kinfolk some of us don’t own up to having, which fact tickles me, and with that, I leave you with this little movie of monkeys flossing their teeth and teaching their little ones to do the same: Monkeys flossing teeth.
And for those of you who are woefully behind, here's my original write-up about the monkey business, "Science Proves Monkeys Plan Ahead."
And here's one about monkey police, for all you Law and Order fans.
And for all you Doubting Thomases out there, who still don't see how much monkey is like man and man like monkey, here's where some scientists did a study that shows monkey men will pay to see female monkey behinds. That, y'all, should leave no doubt.
I thank you kindly for stopping by, and whichever one of you brought in my clothes off the line, I just love and praise you for it. Take a look at my Precious Memories Album! Just click and go:
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[All posts: Copyright 2008/2009 by Trixie Goforth and Sherry Austin, that girl who helps me out and wrote that book about my life called The Days Between the Years. Go on and push the envelope! (That little one down there with the arrow on it.) Forward my words of wisdom all over the globe. But all other rights (and writes) reserved.]