Don’t F*ck with Monkeys

Warning: Profane language

If there is one travel lesson you can learn from me, let it be this: Don’t fuck with monkeys! Simple and straight to the point. Don’t. Fuck. With. Monkeys! My brother has never learned this lesson…but then again, his dream in life was to grow up to be a Fishy Big One. Translation: an Orca whale. His plan to get there: Eat lots of fish food. He was five, cut him some slack. But either way, my brother has always thought he was an amateur Steve Irwin in training. His camera just one click shy of bringing him into communion with Mother Nature.

Oh, Michael.

Don’t fuck with monkeys!

I get it. They’re cute. They remind you of Curious George and you imagine yourself the imperialist in the yellow hat ready to snatch one home. They’re relatively small and covered in hair like your pet dog. But they can eat your face off if they want to and there’s nothing stopping them from trying.

I’ve been around a monkey or two in my time. There were the cute capuchins of Friends fame (#marcelthemonkey) in the mangroves of Costa Rica that looked like little old men waiting to give you a biscuit.


Then there was the vervet monkeys of the Serengeti that snatched bananas and any other stray food from our lunches when we climbed from the vans for a snack while on safari.

© Michael Goode

There were the “pet”Bonnet Macaques we fed scraps to outside the tea plantation in Coonoor.

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There was even the fearsome gaze of monkeys that lurked around villages in Rajasthan, slowly ambling alongside us as if daring us to cross some imaginary line where they would be allowed to attack. All these experiences have taught me one thing. Say it with me:

I’m watching you.

Don’t fuck with monkeys!

My brother hadn’t learned it yet. We were in Sri Lanka visiting another holy sight, one of many on our two day drive through the Golden Triangle. We did not know that we were going to have a welcoming party. Over a hundred grey langur monkeys dotted the entrance to the holy stupa in Anuradhapura and scattered themselves like land mines along the path. There was no going around them and no avoiding them. The best thing we could do was tiptoe around them and let them do their thing, maybe taking a photo or two. The plan worked. We made it to the stupa, looked around, saw some prayer flags, contemplated whether or not the Buddha actually sat under this tree or not and headed out again. The plan back was the same. Avoid the monkeys as best you can and make for the car.

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Or this was the plan at least, until my brother forgot the number one rule. Say it again:

Don’t fuck with monkeys!

He might look cute here… ©Michael Goode
But think again. He’s ready to bite your motherfucking face off.  ©Michael Goode

My brother crept up to a pair of adolescents to get a few shots of the two interacting. As he got closer he realized one was holding onto a long stick. What did my brother think in this moment? If you said, “Don’t fuck with monkeys!” you would be wrong. If you said this to yourself in the same situation, you would be right, as long as you turned around and walked away. He did neither. My brother thought that the monkey might be brandishing the stick in a gesture of friendship, like an olive branch, and he slowly reached out towards it like E.T. pointing that shiny finger home. The monkey wasn’t having it.

You want a picture of me touching my friend’s balls? Who do you think you are? Come back here! I was talking to you! COME BACK HERE! ©Michael Goode

The monkey jumped up on his hind legs, whipping that stick around like a lance and took off after my brother. I had already cleared a good distance between myself and the monkey as I remembered the number one rule and our original plan of action so I didn’t realize what was happening until I heard a loud yelp behind me, turned around and saw my brother running off down the path Roadrunner-style, only instead of a coyote he had a small monkey with a stick in his hand on his heels.

Luckily for my brother, after a quick 40 yard dash, the monkey got tired, or realized he wasn’t worth the trouble and sauntered off back to his clan of teenage monkey hoodlums, leaving my brother catching his breath and clutching his heart.

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At night, I imagine them lighting barrel fires and having initiation ceremonies. “Let’s see who can toss this trash can the farthest.”

“Did you see that? That monkey attacked me.” Was it an attack or did my brother just forget the number one rule? Don’t fuck with monkeys!

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Cats are okay Michael, stick to petting cats.

Let’s give a big thanks to Michael for his share of the monkey photos and for being a good sport.


Our book suggestion this week: Curious George of course.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hihihi funny 🙂 Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

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