Monkeys Throw Poop
It occurs to me, after writing the post Ten Rules About Men that All Women Should Know By the Time We’re Thirty – see handy link provided here — https://gooseberrybush.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/ten-rules-about-men-that-all-women-should-know-by-the-time-we’re-thirty/, a post that was very popular, at least, for this blog, that some people may think I’m a man basher. The fact is that I’m not a man basher, at all. I love men. I think men are pretty great.
My dad is a man. He’s totally awesome. I have lots of friends that are men. I have a brother. Men rock. I’m totally glad I’m not a lesbian. I even prefer working with men and, with few exceptions, working for men. The worst bosses I ever had were both women.
Men can change tires faster than we can. I love that about them. They offer a different perspective in conversation. The good ones open doors and let you walk first and are polite. They will look out for your safety, escort you to class, carry your books, pick up the check, entertain you, make you laugh. A good family man who loves his wife and faithfully comes home to his family is a beautiful thing, and lots of men do this. It’s enough to make me misty eyed. As icing on the cake, an adequate and considerate man beats a vibrator any day.
My point with that blog post is that there are just some general guidelines that we ought to know, like a basic owner’s manual, if you will. The sad thing is that I think a lot of women, like me, know that these rules apply 99% of the time. We do learn this by the time we’re thirty.
The problem is that we don’t like the truth. We prefer the fantasy. We like to convince ourselves that (whatever the rule; pick your favorite) THIS MAN is different. He is the one and only exception to the rule. Yes, it’s true that most men are like that, but THIS MAN is NOT LIKE THAT.
So, when this guy who’s NOT LIKE THAT finally does demonstrate that he is, in fact, JUST LIKE THAT, we still like to rant and rave and cry about how our feelings were hurt and that’s just not fair. At some point, you have to grow up and face the facts. Men are men.
Blaming men for being men is kind of like keeping a pet monkey and then getting all bent out of shape when he throws poop on you. Monkeys throw poop. That’s one of the things that they do. To be sure, we find this unpleasant and even rude or hostile. But you have to know that when you get a monkey, you run the very real risk that it will throw shit at you.
So, if you are not the kind who can laugh about it and then go wash off the shit and shampoo your hair, maybe you shouldn’t get a pet monkey. It’s just that simple.
About a year and a half ago, a story about a pet chimp made international headlines. A woman named Sandra Herold and her husband had adopted a chimpanzee that they named Travis. Travis was something of a local celebrity. He was a two hundred pound, fourteen-year-old adult male chimpanzee. The Herolds adopted him when he was only three days old. He was well socialized, and he even had a fairly successful acting career. People marveled.
Despite the fact that Sandra Herold was repeatedly warned that keeping an adult male chimpanzee as a pet was a bad idea, due to their propensity for aggression, she didn’t make appropriate arrangements for Travis. It was too late, though. She was long since emotionally bonded to the animal, and her only child and her husband had both died. Travis was her world.
One day, Travis was particularly agitated. He was recovering from a bout with Lyme disease. Sandra gave him a Xanax to try to relax him. Travis stole her car keys and was about to leave in the car. Sandra called her friend, Charla Nash, to help her try to subdue him and lure him back into the house. Travis knew Charla Nash, as she was a close family friend. That day Charla pulled up in an unfamiliar car with a new hairstyle and a fuzzy red Elmo doll in her hand, meant to distract Travis.
For some unknown reason, Travis ran for Charla’s vehicle and began to attack Charla. He blinded the woman, bit off both of her hands and bit off her face and ate it. Sandra Herold ran into her house and dialed 911 and grabbed a butcher knife and a shovel. She stabbed Travis repeatedly with the butcher knife and hit him with the shovel. When the police arrived on the scene, Travis rushed at one of them in his vehicle, and the officer was forced to shoot him in self-defense. Travis ran away and died, in his own room, in the house he shared with Sandra, of blood loss from his wounds.
It’s an epic tragedy, to be sure. Ms. Herold was, no doubt, devastated, to put it mildly. And poor Charla Nash will never be the same. The “person” in this story that I have the most sympathy for, though, is Travis. Poor Travis was just a chimpanzee who was kept as a pet when he shouldn’t have been. His best friend in the world tried to kill him with a butcher knife in his last moments on this earth, all because he was just doing what chimpanzees do.