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Squid #73
(published Early, 2002)
Ask The Giant Squid: Monkey vs. Sea Horse
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Who would you rather be stuck on a deserted island with, a monkey or a sea horse?



It now strikes me oddly, that I have never before reflected upon this matter, nor even a matter related.

Upon the one tentacle, the sea horses, although somewhat taciturn in general, are possessed of a certain gruff charm that few can refuse. I recall fondly many while spent a-near the splendid reefs on the Australian Shelf, deeply engaged in the spare and earnest talk of sea horses, discussing the many important issues of their day: the costs of building supplies, the pragmatic needs and limitations implied by a given structural problem, the hell of steel sub-structure and the heaven of quickly-setting concrete. Ah, I do miss them sincerely. In but a few grunts and nods, a sea horse says much more than many given a full two-hour bloke of Primed Time Network Television. "State of the Union" indeed. Perhaps his speech writers are great, perhaps they are pitiful, but they most certainly are not sea horses.

Yet upon the other tentacle— my might left hunter, who in private moments I have dubbed "The Reproachful"— I must confess a great and abiding curiosity, viz a viz monkeys. Despite the frequency with which I use "monkey" as a diminutive towards you and your dirt-scuttling, surface-dwelling, textile-weaving and electricity-harnessing kind, I, for a great while, had no real idea what a "monkey" was. I simply knew that it was a primate, of sorts, and smaller than the average human— as such, it seemed like a perfectly suited pejorative (much as, were one to wish to have their colon pulled out from their posterior and introduced to their anterior, one might call a Giant Squid "cuttlefish" or— I shudder at the thought— "octopus.")

Finally, it came to pass that Sang confronted me:

"Must Venerable and Honored Squid, I must inquire: do you know what a monkey is?"

"Yeah," Rob chimed in, "I mean, last week you told me to monkey out the kennels, and get the monkimost pups up to the kitchen, or you'd monkey me good. I mean, shit, Lord Architeuthis, that didn't making any fucking sense at all"

"Certainly! I most certainly know what is a monkey! I know the exact depth of the Mariana Trench! I know the most popular shades of toga worn throughout the Golden Age of Atlantis! I know the first and last name of the Man Within Your Moon! I know exactly what monkeys are! Be gone, monkey-monkeys, or I shall most surely . . ."

But they were no longer listening. Sang looked at his watch, then at the monitors across the lab. Rob merely gazed floorward, slowly shaking his head. Even with their monochromatic hides, I could tell: they felt pity for me.

And they were right to. I knew not what a monkey was.

In the interest of rectifying such error, early this past Winter (when the weather was quixotically warm and vernal), upon a midnight clear, forcibly entered the Great and Splendiferous Detroit Public Zoological Display. There, from the relative comfort of my arachnoidal iron environmental suit, I behold the Glorious Joy that is Monkey Island, crouching low over the center of the central micro-lake of the Display. From such a distance, even with my tremendous eyes, I could see little, so I endevoured to wade out to the island. Oh, blessed I was in this serendipitous pique of curiosity! For there, on Monkey Island, I found dirt-crawler Utopia! The inhabitants of Monkey Island— MONKEYS!— were like and unto men, in their roughly bipedal stance and propensity of public displays both hetero- and homo-sexual. Like men, yes, but absent the ample cares and woes which men feel the necessity to drag here to there, wherever they may pass. These monkeys were cordial and kind. The welcomed me to their abode, and crawled about my articulated land-form, charmingly curious about my many working and crevices. Several attempted to share tree-fruits with me, and several more made an effort to remove various freeloading pests and vermin from my suit's joints. All in all, thought your world I have met beasts. It is only on Monkey Island that I have known men.

Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, as well as several severe design limitations inherent in my environmental suit— this sudden Michigan frigidity has played hell with the lubrications on its many gimbled manipulators— I have been unable to revisit Monkey Island and continue to observe that garrulous and care-to-free lot. I wonder, as I watch the closed circuit monitor where-in a gaze poor Rob desperately fighting against a hearty Southerly gale in a farcical attempt to clear frozen waters from the frontmost viewing portal of his decrepit Mercury Grand Marquis, are the monkeys of beautiful Monkey Island sufficiently warm in this time of wind and waterlock? Perhaps I shall draft a letter to the personnel of Detroit Public Zoological Display, demanding confirmation that the monkeys will be given appropriate building supplies and fire to make their way through the harsh winter.

Ah, the more I wonder upon this, the more it vexes. I urge you, Gentle and Human Readers, please send all of your spare warm garmentry to:

The Monkeys of Monkey Island
c/o Human Custodians
8450 West Ten Mile Rd,
P.O. Box 39, Royal Oak, MI

But all this is trajectory, after a manner. Cindy, I am greatly a-feared that, in reply, I must pose a question of mine own: In what way might I be trapped on a dessert island? Have I been locked within a tank, of diamond chip and adamantine, transparent ceramic and titanium, which affords me a breathtaking (were I able to debase myself to taking the loose oxygen franc into my sacred cephalopodic corpus) beach front view, tantalizingly close to my briny homeland? Am I bound by chains? Have my long axial nerves been snipped, rendering my paralyzed but for my perfect and all-appraising eye?

No, I fear that this question is moot, for there is only one way in which I would ever be "trapped" upon an island uninhabited: In the few moments before my colossal weight, neither buoyed by Mother Ocean nor supported with a fashionable infrastructure of calcified waste materiel, crushed my own precious internal organs and brilliant brain, I do believe that I would most enjoy the company of a monkey.

I Remain,
The Giant Squid

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