Always the Bad Guy

My friend introduced me to Sammy the Kap-o-Sino monkey like you would introduce someone to your infant. Since my friend was slightly illiterate with a heavy Brooklyn accent, I knew he was trying to say capuchin, but could not pronounce it correctly. The animal was actually quite tame. It was obviously still just a baby, but it paid close attention to my friend and listened to him as attentively as a child trying to please his mother.

He showed me if you threw a ball to him, Sammy would either catch it or, if he missed, retrieve it and throw it back to you. Impressive, and a trick no dog could ever master. In amazement I watched him patiently sit on a chair as my friend handed him a folded slice of pizza to eat. It was cut for his size like you would cut a child’s. Sammy drank soda out of a cup without spilling a drop. I was wholeheartedly impressed. The only thing the monkey did not do was excuse itself after it burped, but it looked as though it snickered after doing as much.

Several months passed by, and I sadly heard my friend was up to his old ways. I decided to go to his shop to see if this was true. I found him as well as Sammy –now fully grown – drinking homemade wine. The monkey was also eagerly eating the fermented peaches. Both of them were clearly shit-faced.

As sad as it was, I had to chuckle. Until you have seen a drunk having a conversation with an even drunker five-pound monkey, you’re missing something in life. All I could do was buy both of them something to eat, put Sammy back into his cage, and drive my friend home. My friend had obviously slipped off the wagon, which was a shame. I’d had high hopes for his sobriety and that he would succeed in his new life. Obviously his demons got the best of him with the help of his new enabler, Sammy.

Several months later, I spotted him in front of Off Track Betting. Obviously he was now drinking and gambling again. I inquired about Sammy and he bleakly informed me he had not been to work in days. He’d hired a high school kid to open and close his store and was basically going through the motions of running his new business into the ground. Since he was losing his shirt, I easily convinced him to go see Sammy, hoping to at the very least get him away from the old cigar smoking degenerates at OTB. Maybe getting him to his flower shop would respark his interest.