A monkey playing piano is just not right. But damn he was good. Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino.
“Play Great Balls of Fire one more time!” someone at the bar shouted.
And the monkey dug in without missing a beat. Even kicking his piano stool out from under him and banging out a few tinkly notes with his monkey feet.
When the monkey was done playing he took his empty fishbowl, and bounced from table to table in search of gratuities. When the fishbowl was full he headed to the bar and signaled the bartender.
Joe, the bartender, didn’t like drunk monkeys, but there’s no law against it, so he served him the usual. Brandy Alexander with a splash of banana liqueur.
“Where’s the umbrella?" said the monkey.
After his fifth drink the monkey started in on his seatmate at the bar. Apparently the monkey didn’t like men in suits.
“Why don’t you loosen your tie, for crissakes!” said the monkey. “You suits are all alike. All business even when there ain’t any. The lot of you makes me sick!”
The suit was taken aback by the talking monkey and was at a loss for words.
“Wazzamatter?” said the monkey. “Never seen a drunken monkey before?”
The suit handed the monkey his card.
The monkey stared at the card. Then he handed it back and laughed.
“Everyone knows monkeys can’t read,” he said. “You some sort of wise guy?”
“Sorry,” said the suit. “I didn’t know. Allow me to introduce myself. Elmer McKenner. I’m a talent agent. I think I could be of some help. You ever been on TV?”
“If you have any thoughts about putting me in a sailor suit or tuxedo, I’ll be all over you like, like--”
“Like stink on a monkey?” interrupted the suit.
The bartender winced upon hearing this and reached for the fisherman’s net he kept behind the bar. Joe tossed the net over the raging monkey and told the suit to scram if he knew what was good for him.
“But I didn’t mean any harm. I just--”
“Just go!’ said the bartender.
When the monkey calmed down, Joe pulled the net off and offered him another drink.
“On the house,” said Joe. “But you’ve really got to learn to control your temper. I’m losing customers.”
“I’m sorry, Joe,” said the monkey. “I’ll try.”
The monkey finished his drink, left Joe a decent tip, took his empty fish bowl from the bar and headed home to bed.
“Night, Joe.” said the monkey.
“Night,” said Joe.
When the monkey arrived back at the zoo, the keeper was standing at the monkey cage and he wasn’t very happy.
“So there you are!” said the keeper. “You’ve had me worried sick. Now back in you go.”
The monkey went in the cage without a peep.
“That’s a good boy,” said the keeper. “Let’s see this doesn’t happen again."
The monkey looked around him. The tire swings. The banana peels and empty nut shells scattered about. And worst of all, the feces splattered back wall and and the mindless antics of his cage mates.
“Come to think of it,” said the monkey, “that sailor suit is looking mighty good.”
With that the monkey gathered his belongings and crawled down his escape hole and out.
“Damn dirty apes,” he whispered to himself.
He then headed back to town with big dreams and an uncertain future.