Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monkey Business

This goes to prove that I am not the only crazy one in our house.

Last week, Martha*, a good friend of mine whom I work with celebrated her 40th birthday. Given that it was her 40th we wanted to do something special, something unique, something memorable for her, since usually she is the mastermind when celebrating everyone else’s birthdays. My boss, Martha’s boss, and myself thought a singing telegram would be perfect. Something you should know about Martha is that she embarrasses VERY VERY easily. She turns a disturbing shade of reddish purple AND if you get her laughing hard enough she may stop breathing. It’s kind of awesome. Anyway, Martha and the people in our area have a joke about monkeys. Don’t ask anyone to tell you exactly what it is because I don’t think anyone could. All I know is that one day many months ago Martha’s email out of office said “I’ll be out of the office, OBEY THE MONKEY” and from that point on monkeys starting appearing on desks everywhere and Martha started getting quite a collection of monkey memorabilia. In light of Martha’s Monkey Madness, we thought a singing monkey telegram would be the perfect way to wish her a happy 40th birthday. Turns out though that our city does not have this type of service at our disposal. Imagine that?!? Not to fear though we are a resourceful bunch and decided to create our own singing monkey telegram so we called 1-800-GI-JOE. GI Joe and Martha are also friends and he was MORE than willing to dress up in a monkey suit to come in and embarrass the heck out of Martha on her birthday. He had only one condition…that we make him a sign that said “I’m Bananas for Martha.” A reasonable demand that we easily met.
GI Joe EMBRACED his role as the singing monkey telegram by rehearsing his monkey mannerisms and knuckle walk. He even went so far on the morning of to go to the floral department at the local grocery store and hand them some kabob skewers, a bunch of bananas and tell them he needed a banana bouquet. Can you imagine? Oh how I wish I could’ve been there for that. Once they got over the initial shock of his request, they created a gorgeous banana bouquet featuring a gorilla sized rose. It was one of a kind for sure.
Because we wanted it to be a complete and total surprise I had this conversation with our building security prior to his arrival:
Me: “Umm there’s a guy in a monkey suit going to come here in awhile and I want to go ahead and get him signed in.”
Security (incredulously): “Ok a guy in a monkey suit?
Me: “Yes he’s a singing telegram for someone’s birthday. Can I go ahead and sign him in so I don’t have to come up and do it when he gets here? This is a very covert op.”
Security: “Ok, yes we can do that. And you said he’ll be in an actual monkey suit?”
Me: “Yes, a monkey suit, a monkey costume, he’ll look like a monkey. Oh and can I leave this up here for you to give him? He needs to wear it when he comes in.” (handing over the “I’m Bananas for Martha sign”)
Security: “Ummm ok yes we can make sure he gets this. Sign here and we’ll walk him back.”
Me: “Thank you. Just to warn you he’ll probably walk on his knuckles like a monkey.”
And scene.
Bet that looked lovely in their log books.

Martha had no idea what hit her when she was innocently sitting in a chair in someone’s office discussing something of utmost importance, when all of the sudden around the corner appeared a 6 foot tall monkey meandering towards her..on his knuckles. The look on her face was PRICELESS. The monkey handed her the bouquet, and then started looking through her hair for bugs, you know like monkeys do. By this time, Martha’s face was that endearing shade of purplish red and her face just kept getting deeper and deeper red the more the monkey danced, picked at her hair, sat on her lap, and mimicked your typical primate behavior. Martha kept looking at the crowd gathered round for the show accusing certain ones of their involvement. Most were too vuhklempt to neither admit or deny their involvement. The “show” went on for a good while until the monkey started to sing “Happy Birthday” in his best offkey, out of tune. Michael Scott from the Office voice. And in that instant Martha recognized the voice and I thought we were going to lose her. The monkey did finally take off his mask and revealed his true identity as GI Joe. I think Martha is still working thru the forgiveness process.
Looking for bugs
But on the bright side, we can now add Monkey Impersonator to GI Joe’s long list of credentials right up there with Goat Wrestler, Straight Drag Queen (ask my bro-in-law Terry), and Indian storyteller.

He's very very shy obviously. He never cooperates this well when not wearing a monkey suit and I try to take his picture.

But let's face it, there's no business like monkey business!

*Name has been changed as Martha would not sign the release form allowing me to name her in my blog OR show her face in these pictures.


  1. This is HILARIOUS!! I may need to borrow your husband myself sometime...does he do out of town gigs??

  2. What a great surprise for "Martha"! I didn't realize she turned 40. I'm sure there's revenge in order though Princess!

  3. YESSS! This is great. I wish I could have come back to work for one day only. I love Martha*! And I'm beginning to love GI Joe more and more. That one is always full of surprises!

  4. The first I heard of the whole "Monkey Mania" is when we named teams for our Citi Olympics last year. That is the first I heard of the monkey-mania and that team wore bananas around their necks as you know. And hear I sit and can't remember what my team was called, but it sure was fun. What a fun day at the office you must have had and I can see "MARTHA'S" purple face. GI Joe is a good sport!!!