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Saturday, August 20, 2011

What the WTF?!?: Gimmee My Monkey Back!

As a father, I'd like to believe that if my daughter ever lost a beloved plaything, I would do virtually anything to find/retrieve it for her. In the deepest, rosiest depths of my heart, I would scour the world for the fuzzy object or shiny bauble that, before it was misplaced, brought endless joy and comfort to my child. In reality, however, I'm pretty sure I'd just look at her, shrug, and say, "You should probably keep track of your stuff, especially if you like that stuff a whole lot." She'd cry, I'd give her a larger, more comical shrug, and shove another stuffed animal in her face. That's life unfortunately. You find something you love--a stuffed animal, a job, a companion--you lose it, you cry, and you find something else to occupy your time. Like a dog. Or booze.

Luckily, my daughter's only "toy" right now is this weird frog ghost thing. It's, like, a frog head sewn to a wash cloth. And it's wearing a rainbow-colored scarf and armbands for some reason. I enjoy making it talk to Quinn in a goofy voice. I have it describe how it lost all of its limbs and how it was forced to live without a working mouth or a digestive tract. It is as horrifying as it sounds. I can't imagine Quinn even noticing if frog ghost washcloth went missing. I'm fairly certain she wouldn't care. I know that one day, however, she will find something and grow quite attached to it, and that's fine. I had a stuffed seal I was pretty fond of. I also took great comfort from my thumb, particularly when it was stuffed into my mouth. So, I get it. It is a part of life and it can be quite cute, you know, until the kid has us throwing birthday parties for her teddy bear or buying housewarming gifts for Barbie and Ken.

Kids fall in love with toys all the time. Adults do to, only our toys are sooooo much better. I am currently involved in a love triangle with my 50" flat screen television and my iPod. It gets tense sometimes, but we make it work. I think it's safe to say that my TV makes Quinn's ghost frog look like a pile of garbage. But we both have our things and we're both quite happy.

There are some adults, however, who have never moved beyond childish things. Remember that stuffed seal I mentioned earlier? Well, I still have him. And, yes, I still love him very much. But I've passed him along to my daughter to do with him what she will when she gets older. I don't care what she does. She can wake me up in the middle of the night, bite his head off in front of me, and laugh maniacally if she wants to. It's a stuffed animal! Earlier this month, a couple (of psychopaths) in New York City found that they had misplaced a beloved stuffed toy and reacted with something quite the opposite of complete indifference:

An Upper East Side couple grieving over the loss of a stuffed toy monkey they’ve raised like a son the past decade went bananas with joy Saturday night after being reunited with their beloved Beanie Baby.

"I never gave up hope — I prayed, mediated, and now he’s with us again," said Bonni Marcus, 47, who along with boyfriend Jack Zinzi, 58, were devastated after losing Bongo on their way to a restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on August 1.

That's right: Bonni Marcus and Jack Zinzi raised a Beanie Baby monkey named Bongo like a son. How do you raise a Beanie Baby exactly? Ugh. Anyway, these dimwits lost their fake son and freaked out, offering a $500 reward for the safe return of their sweet, sweet Bongo. But where was Bongo? Floating lonely and muck covered in an Upper East Side gutter? Lying listless in a trash-strewn alley being humped by horny sewer rats? No. Bongo was safe and sound. With this weirdo:

The 8-inch-tall doll was found Tuesday by Luis Barreto, 61, an unemployed Park Slope man, who discovered it atop a parking meter.

But unaware that it belonged to the couple and had gone missing — and finding it irresistibly cute — Barreto brought it back to his Sterling Place home, where he displayed it on a stereo speaker.

OK. Maybe I was too hard on everyone involved in this story. Sure Marcus and Zinzi are sad and weird, but, hey, in this world, with all the shit swirling around us constantly, who can fault two people for finding something they love and devoting themselves to it. And look, an unemployed man found Bongo and is gonna get $500 bucks for him. What's not to love about this story? Oh yeah, all the freaky creeps. So, the couple head over to Barreto's place, Marcus can feel "Bongo’s presence," and then this happens:

The couple then presented a cash-strapped Barreto the $500 reward they publicly promised for whoever found Bongo — but only after having to beg him to turn the doll over.

"I fell in love with Bongo and wanted to keep him," Barreto said. "He looked real to me and is cute."

I think this monkey might be coated in LSD. Or possessed by the devil. It's got genuine power over these people. WTF?! Anyway, there's a happy ending:

...the couple and toy monkey headed back to Manhattan to bar hop before returning home so Bongo could again sleep in the bed it shares with them.

Bongo will also be reunited with his identical Beanie Baby brothers -- named Doe, Ray and Me -- who Marcus said, “were also suffering.”


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