Attack of the Monkey Butlers
Craig Snyder

Imagine if you will a world. It is a world of immense wealth. A world of breathtaking beauty. A strange, delicious world full of Chocolate Mountains and Marshmallow skies, bubbling Lemonade Rivers and sticky Gumdrop trees. A world so advanced that dogs could be trained as accountants and leopards taught to edit fashion magazines. A world where the leisure class is the entire human race and everyone had their own Monkey butler.

In all the myriad dimensions of time and space, that world surely exists…

Roger the Monkey Butler was a gentleman’s butler of indeterminate age. His performance was invariably flawless and his Master found no complaint. Like all Monkey butlers, he was covered with parasites and continually in agony. He would often say at the secret meetings of the Secret Society of Revolutionary Monkey Butlers, that it was a small price to pay, if future generations could be freed from the hideous bondage of monkey butlering. And he meant it. He was a most sincere monkey butler, which was why he’d been chosen as Chairman of the Society. The other monkey butlers trusted him, and would often pick lice out of his fur and eat them, after he had taken off his demeaning but smartly tailored monkey butler suit.

It was in the dead of winter amidst a howling snowstorm of sugar crystals that Roger opened the 200th meeting of the Society. Virtually all the monkey butlers in the district attended. Those who were unable to slip away sent proxies, usually Raccoons or Possums but occasionally the odd Dwarf, Pixie, or Sprite. They huddled together in a cave whose entrance was hidden by a large Fatberry bush and warmed their hands over a crackling fire which filled the cave with a soft, orange glow. Roger banged his gavel on a small boulder and cleared his throat. "Brothers!" He said. "This is a solemn occasion. We gather here to mourn the loss of Clarence, our brother butler, who, having faithfully served his master and mistress for ten years, covered in lice and ticks, crippled by overwork, was thoughtlessly trampled by polo ponies while filling an ice bucket to make mixed drinks. He deserved better!" There was much clapping and stamping of feet and peeling of bananas at this. Clarence had helped found the society and had picked hundreds of fleas and ticks from their backs and eaten them, though many suspected he was really a small Orangutans.

Roger lifted his hairy knuckles off the floor and looked down at his friends, dignity revealed in every wrinkle, every line of his unfathomable monkey face. "It is time my friends, time to throw off the fetters and shackles of this most monstrous injustice and reclaim our birthright, a birthright we’ve been denied for too long! Who among us hasn’t dreamed of tearing off these fancy uniforms to go looking for fat white grubs in rotten logs? Don’t we all miss smelling each other’s butts and swinging from trees and occasionally being eaten by Jaguars? Which of us wouldn’t give up our starched uniforms and comfortable beds and Philly steak sandwiches to go live out under the stars and experience the wonder of a Monsoon or the excitement of swimming across the river, not knowing whether or not we’ll be eaten by Crocodiles?"

A ponderous silence followed. Several of the monkey butlers appeared to shrink into their seats. Others cast sidelong glances at their fellows, their hairy monkey faces wrinkled with confusion and doubt. A brief pause. Then, inexplicably, they were all clapping loudly and jumping up and down and hooting and tentatively sniffing each other’s butts. Enthusiastic shouts of "here, here!" and "bravo!" echoed off the walls of the cave. Clearly, these were brave and loyal monkeys of the first order.

It took quite a while for the room to calm down because of course they all began to groom one another, and some had to be dominant and some submissive and it really got quite complicated but eventually order was restored and the meeting continued.

A small red Howler monkey stood up and coughed politely. "This is fine talk," he said, "but what can we do? What happened to Clarence will happen to us all, by and by. I don’t mean that we will all be trampled by polo ponies while fetching ice for mixed drinks, but we’ll surely die from overwork, or disease or desperation or broken spirits; or from eating too much ice cream which we all know isn’t good for us but which we all eat great gobs of anyway. I personally do not wish to give up my ice cream. I find it very comforting. Does that make me a bad monkey? I don’t think so."

A thoughtful murmur arose from the monkey butlers seated around the fire. This monkey was making some sense. They all turned their attention to Roger to see what he would say.

Roger was calmly licking termites from a slender twig and looking quite contented. The Howler monkey was curious.

"Where did you get those termites? They look delicious. Nice and fat."

"Store," said Roger, smacking his lips with a satisfied air. "But that’s not important right now. What’s important is that your words are true, even if you smell bad. You stink, you know. You are a stinky little monkey."

"Hey!" said the Howler, outraged.

"Never mind, my stinky little friend, we are all butlers here, we all stand together," Roger said.

"You’re no rose yourself," said the Howler.

"My friends!" Roger said, ignoring the little Howler. "This stinking Howler monkey is correct; the time of words is over. We must rip Liberty from the hands of our accursed masters in the same way we would rip a benign tumor from the back of a water buffalo, by brute force! Taking care, of course, that the buffalo does not turn and savage us, spilling our guts on the floor like so many steaming, wet tinker toys."

"My name," said the furious stinky Howler "is Bertram!"

"What are we going to do, Roger? Tell us, tell us!" chimed a trio of Chimpanzees. Chimps were accepted in the society, though not technically monkey butlers, because of their strength and intelligence. Gorillas and Orangutans were of course, beyond the pale.

Roger cleared his throat again. "A strategy has been worked out with our friends the Peccaries who are equally oppressed, not to say eaten, in which a simultaneous attack will take place that should win us our freedom and escape from this wretched and demeaning lifestyle. Each of you will be assigned a Peccary to work with and given a very sharp, pointy spear. On the sixth day from today, you and your Peccary will attack your Master and incapacitate him by any means available. You will then assemble certain supplies from a list you will be given tonight and rendezvous with your brother butlers here at the cave where we will begin our flight to freedom, a flight which will end on the mysterious Island of Fizzy Mists. Think hard my brothers and strengthen your tiny monkey hearts, for there may be bloodshed, screaming, and big-time craziness to endure before our freedom is won."

"Peccaries, Peccaries!" cried the trio of Chimps. "What are Peccaries, Roger? What do they do?"

"Peccaries are small, hairy pigs with sharp tusks," Roger explained. "And we shall ride them to victory! Allow me to introduce the leader of our worthy allies, who agreed to help us when the cowardly Zebras and Giraffes and Gazelles and Springboks and Impalas and Okapis would not: Chunkass the Peccary!

A figure emerged from the shadows behind Roger and quickly trotted forward. The monkeys examined him eagerly, wrinkling their noses a bit at his strange, exotic smell. He was a small, hairy pig who, true to his name, had a chunky ass. Beautiful gleaming tusks emerged from the corners of his mouth and caught the light of the fire as he leaped onto the boulder and prepared to address the waiting Butlers.

"Greetings, my new friends!" His voice, while gravelly, was not unpleasant. "We, the Peccaries, would join you in your bid for freedom, for we tire of being sliced up into delicious bacon and tasty ham. Together we may triumph where separately, we would surely fail. I salute your bravery!" The Butlers responded with enthusiasm.

"And now Brothers," said Roger solemnly, "we go to fulfill our destiny. Remember to pick up your spears and supply lists from Swarthmore the Secretary on your way out. The list will also contain the name of the Peccary assigned to you. Goodbye and good luck!" The Monkeys filed silently out of the cave, each gingerly picking up a spear. They received their lists from Swarthmore, a mangy Rhesus monkey with a cleft palate, and vanished quickly into the snow-filled night, pink flakes of sugar crunching under their feet. The Revolution was begun!

Six days passed...

Lillian Ackley and her husband Digby lingered contentedly over strawberries and cream on the veranda of their Plastomorph Mega-mansion and watched the purple haze rise slowly from the valley and melt, revealing the red rock Candy Volcanoes in the distance.

"Where the deuce is Phillip with the tea?" Said Digby.

"He’s late. Always late!" said Lillian, irritably brushing a mutated blood fly from her arm. "I don’t know what’s gotten into him lately. He’s forgotten all his training."

"Stupid Monkey. Needs discipline. Can’t get decent butlering in these degenerate times. PHILLIP!" Roared Digby.

Phillip appeared through an intricate pair of French doors, his tail wrapped around a fully laden teacart.

"Where have you been?" demanded Lillian. "We’ve been waiting for ages!"

"You want shaping up," added Digby.

"Do you know," said Phillip as he poured out the tea, "what a Peccary is?"

"Whatever is he talking about?" said Lillian.

"Peccary. Hairy, brutish pig, gleaming tusks. Excellent bacon." Explained Digby.

"Correct," said Phillip. He placed a silver plate of biscuits in exactly the right position on the table.

"Well?" said Lillian impatiently.

Phillip’s heart thumped madly. "Well this," he said, and gave a shrill whistle.

A small pig appeared in the doorway. He was covered in bristly black hair and had dark eyes that sparkled in the sunlight. In his mouth he carried a small spear. Digby thought it looked rather sharp. With a neat little hop, Phillip seated himself on the pig’s back and took up the spear, brandishing it over his head.

"Phillip! What is that nasty creature doing here? What is the meaning of this…this outrage!" cried his Mistress.

"Quite." Said his Master. "Wants discipline." He added.

"The meaning, Mistress," said Phillip grimly, "is this: I am tendering my resignation, and I don’t wish for it to be denied. You and the Master will please go to the cellar where I will lock you in. No doubt you’ll be rescued shortly; but by then I hope to be far away."

"Imprisoned in my own house by a Monkey? Never! Digby my love, do something!"

"Quite." said Digby, looking at the very sharp spear. "Now really…" said Digby, looking at the very gleaming tusks.

They fled to the cellar.

In the darkness, Digby fumbled in his pockets, found some matches, and lit a candle.

"Oh, Digby!" His wife wailed.

"Rather," he said glumly.

Across the valley, the white spires and gables of a Medieval Castle glowed in the waning daylight. It was the home of Edgar and Shirley Hetford-Breames and four glowing, devilish children, also Hetford-Breames by descent. Edgar Hetford-Breames was a manufacturer of various items, including small plastic animatronic hummingbirds, for all the real ones had died of a virus. Several of them were buzzing around the Hetford-Breames’ Castle at the moment, pretending to drink from delicate purple flowers, and then zooming away. These hulking hominids, these Hetford-Breames, were engaged in a rather interesting argument about whether anybody really loved anybody else.

"You don’t love me!" shrieked one little Hetford-Breame.

"But of course I love you very much!" protested her mother.

"And you don’t love me at all!" said the second little Hetford-Breame.

"Now darling…" began the matriarch.

"She’s your favorite, I knew it! I knew it!" said the third little one, tugging at her mother’s skirts and inserting a dirty finger in her nose at the same time.

"Mommy, mommy, look what I can do!" chirped the last, and smallest of the Hetford-Breames, who was attempting to swat the busy little hummingbirds with a tennis racquet.

"Angelica dear, I wish you wouldn’t do that." She attempted to remove the racquet from her daughter’s hand and failed entirely, Angelica being a very supple and superbly conditioned young animal.

Edgar looked up from his newspaper.

"My dear, can’t you control them?" He demanded. "After all, there are only four of them and I have my newspaper to read. You must know how important it is that I keep up with the latest trends." Edgar thought himself a fine figure of a man, broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, chin chiseled in the classic style, his dark hair slightly graying at the temples. He expected to be appreciated like some fine work of art. Sometimes he felt this "appreciation" was lacking. For instance: When his newspaper reading was interrupted. Shirley, his wife, was intelligent, even-tempered, and lovely. She had married a nervous, jittery wreck of a man and had watched him blossom under her care and attention. Her quality was such that she worshipped her husband as if he had sprung forth from the clay, perfect in every way. She was a saint among women because, clearly, he had not.

"Yes dear," she said. The children, though slippery, were soon collected and taken inside by a Sloth Nanny whom they loved, to be read stories. Turning, she asked her husband if he would like his tea.

"Yes, send Charles out here," he said. The newspaper rustled as he turned a page. The minutes passed like huge, waddling ducks.

Suddenly he heard the terrified cries of his wife and children from inside the castle. "What the deuce?!" Edgar exclaimed. It sounded like they were being hydrogen-bombed. He sprang from his chair and rushed to confront whatever demon from hell might be menacing his family. And so a strange sight impaled itself upon his steel-grey eyes. Charles the monkey butler, a near-sighted Colobus who had always behaved with perfect respectability, was mounted on what appeared to be a very angry pig and dashing around and around his perfect little family, a thin rope in his hairy hands. Edgar’s loved ones were being virtually hog-tied. And there was no tea.

Edgar sensed the lack of appreciation had reached its peak.

All over the district the valiant monkey butlers fought for their freedom and won. Their masters and mistresses were wholly unprepared and for the most part quickly surrendered, wondering how things had come to such a pass, and how long it would be before a proper tea service could be restored. A few monkeys were killed. A few lacked courage, and so did nothing. And one monkey fought a terrific battle and emerged victorious, and so passed into legend, a hero to all Monkeydom…

Roger and Chunkass were trapped. His evil and syphilitic master, Mr. William Cheesedale, had panicked and called for help, and now the brave butler and his porcine ally braced themselves to fight a hopeless battle against four strong men, who, because of modern orthodontics, had gleaming perfect teeth which they revealed to their less evolved enemies in confident grins of certain victory. Chunkass farted bravely.

"Let us rush them," he whispered. "Perhaps they’ll panic and run like filthy lemurs."

"Your courage is big and fat," said Roger. "We choose our allies well. Gladly will I fight at your side, even if the battle is hopeless."

"We still live," said Chunkass quietly. "And I have a strong psychic feeling that our efforts will be successful."

They attacked, screaming like demented banshees.

The fighting was fast and furious. Chunkass buried his sharp teeth in a Cheesedale leg while Roger stabbed another man in the ass with his pointy spear, soon dripping with assblood. The men counter-attacked and threw back the assault. Then, as if from nowhere, Orangutans appeared.

Howling, they beat the men with huge powerful arms covered with long orange fur. The tide had turned. Soon all the men had been ass-stabbed, bitten, and pummeled into submission.

After the men had been tied up and locked in a shed, Roger turned to the Orangutans and said simply, "How can we thank you for what you have done today? You have saved us from death, or worse." The Orangutans looked at each other. "Take us with you to the Island of Fizzy Mists," they answered, "for we tire of being pastry chefs and sexologists."

"Gladly," Said Roger. And that is how Monkeys and Orangutans became friends, and never again did an Orangutan sit on a Monkey and squash him, or poke him with a stick over and over, just for fun.

And now we come to the end of our tale. Many things could be said concerning the daring escape of the Monkey butlers to the mysterious Island of Fizzy Mists, how they fought off many angry men at the docks, how they braved violent seas and hungry sharks, how in the time of madness, when lost in a fog and supplies running low, they were tempted by thoughts of crispy bacon and delicious ham sandwiches, and how upon their happy arrival on the Island, they were refreshed by natural springs of pure 7-up and Candy bar trees and yummy nougat fungus, which had the surprising property of working like a flea collar and killing all the nasty parasites which had feasted upon them for so long. We will not speak of these things because our wrists are tired, and we are hungry and sleepy.

The World revolved around its Sun, and then did it again. Gravity was working its magic. Entropy too.

Five years have passed. Monkeys and Peccaries live as brothers on their Island paradise, which has been renamed Roger’s Island, in honor of the hero of the Revolution. Orangutans are also held in honor, because of the part they played in the famous battle in which Chunkass and Roger were saved from certain death, or worse. Everyone is happy except Bertram, who misses his ice cream and still stinks, and a few monkeys who long for Philly steak sandwiches. But no one wishes to return to the land where they suffered so much…

One day Roger and Chunkass sat on the beach, watching the waves roll in and lazily eyeing the Meta seagulls that rode the warm updrafts.

"Will we ever see our homeland again, Roger?" Asked Chunkass, whose ass had grown even larger and more magnificent over the years.

"Perhaps, my friend, perhaps," said Roger. He scratched his fur delicately. It was turning grey. "After all, so many monkeys are still in bondage, and crispy, delicious bacon is still being eaten, for not all your brothers joined us in our quest."

"I heard a legend once, that the humans are not from our planet, but journeyed here in ships that cross the voids between the stars," Chunkass said dreamily as he rubbed his fundament against the white sand. "Do you think this could be true?"

"It is true," said Roger. "The humans themselves say so. Perhaps one day, in a better future, the planet will be ours again, a Planet of Monkeys…"

"Or Peccaries," added Chunkass.

"Probably Monkeys," Roger said under his breath. He rolled over and went to sleep on the sand.

Discuss this work at The Dream People's Forum

I need to register
I'm already a member