MONKEYSHINES – David Gianatasio

I’d been having the problem for as long as I could remember. Whenever I went out in public, folks would ignore me. Or worse. They’d roll their eyes, turn the other way, or point and laugh, making rude comments.

And this wasn’t just true for strangers. When I ran into people I knew, I’d smile, wave, and call their names. But they’d keep right on walking. Or running. Or peddling bikes. They’d speed up and vanish from sight.

One day, I had an epiphany: Maybe the monkey suit was to blame?


It’s shaggy with a huge, multi-colored snout — a mandrill, I think. After being drenched in that get-up by a mob of obnoxious pre-teens with a seemingly endless supply of water balloons, I decided it was time for a change.

I scrapped the simian garb, but my lot didn’t improve. In fact, the situation got worse.

At the park, I ran into Wendy from accounts payable. We’d worked together for about three months, she in her cubicle, poring over rows of figures, me emptying wastebaskets and sweeping up.

“Hey, Wendy!”

She walked faster.

“Wendy! It’s Dave! From work!” On she charged, hands balled into tight red fists.

Finally, she rounded a corner and disappeared. The street swam with frowns. It happened time and again. Plus catcalls, hisses, boos, jeers and raspberries.

Could it be the angel costume? I rocked a bone-white cherub-face with red-apple-cheeks, a coat-hanger halo, flowing white robes (a bed sheet) and wings made of papier-mâché.

Everyone likes angels, right?

*Massive, world-weary sigh…*

After enduring much derision, I’ve gone the monkey route again. I love monkeys!

I’ve improved the suit by adding a multi-hued butt-piece and arm extensions so I can knuckle-scrape like a boss.

From now on, I’ll wear the mask that fits best. Just like everyone else.