Stay Away From The Monkey!

Being Irish-American in rural America is like being a tadpole in a rainbow aquarium; I fit in somewhere, but I’m aware that I am about as normal to the average American as Ted Nugent is to the average Mongolian Yak herder. I feel more at home in an ethnic restaurant, where no one really understands half of the words on the menu, because I feel an ethnic kinship…a place where we are “not like all the others.” Some might even call me “special,” although I have always been able to communicate my intentions. The same cannot be said for those who designed the ever-popular and increasingly ubiquitous Chinese zodiak calendar that serves as a placemat for the most evangelistic people group in the world- those who start and run Chinese restaurants…

When a new Chinese restaurant came to the small town where my father and mother live, I persuaded them that we should partake of a fine dinner at this new non-buffet business. You must understand that this was no easy feat, since my mother and father have never fully assimilated the world of Chinese cuisine. Once inside, my father wrinkled his brows and tried to understand the menu board, and my mother struggled to remember what was what. To my mother and father, Moo Goo Gai Pan is still a befuddling dish, “white sauce” still sounds like alfredo, and the difference between Crab Rangoon and wonton is that “one looks like a German pot pie.”

But to be fair to them, they understand most of what is going on behind the counter, though they have a near zero comprehension of rapid-fire Mandarian. I understand some, being just dangerous enough to know certain Chinese words and phrases, particularly the one for “bad meat.” After they ordered, my parents made several comments one might make after experiencing Class V Rapids in a kayak, not after ordering from a menu board. I began to wonder if eating at Super Wok was such a good idea…

So, as we sat waiting for our colorfully described dishes, we pondered the meanings of the assorted Chinese zodiak animals and their accompanying years. I discovered that my father is a horse, which means he spends long hours pulling things around…or which means the rat is supposed to stay away from him. This was a revelation to us, and suddenly, after all those years of suspense, I understood just what Jimmy Cagney meant when he said “you dirty rat.”

But the next animal- zodiak- left me confused. For below my mother’s advice, a strange and distorted series of statements confounded us. After a rude description of my mother’s impeccable character, the zodiak had the nerve to claim that my mother is incompatable with horses…and this, surely, from a man who never spoke to a horse- or my father. Furthermore, this compendium of wisdom instructed my mother to “stay away from the monkey.” Obviously, the writer has never met my mother- she has never been an animal lover, except when cows, hogs, or chickens are listed on the menu.

For me, this is not so. I am an animal lover. I have a stomach made of a foreign alloy, since I have- on occasion- ingested iguana, unpronounceable peppers, and middle eastern food resembling what the dog ate last night. I have unwittingly ate cat on  a skewer rolled in Bisquick, and once had a lion steak…and yes, it never moved. But, one thing…one thing you will never see me eat…I will always stay away from the monkey…


About thelostkerryman

Thelostkerryman is an author, and entrepreneur- this side of Tir Na N'Og- living in the forests of a consistently confused country. Here in this hill country, hurling doesn't usually involve a hurley, store-made soda bread resembles an inedible Irish megalith, and Kerrygold is only found hidden like a luck penny in the belly of Kroger. His blogs are an account of his adventures, thoughts, eclectic -and eccentric- ramblings, random or insightful poetry, humor and non-humor, pictures (photos), video, essays, fiction, poetic fiction, nonfiction, drama, and writing he has not classified in the description above. All of his posts from,,, and are copywrited according to international copywrite law.
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4 Responses to Stay Away From The Monkey!

  1. Andrew says:

    A stomach made of a foreign alloy huh? That’s way better than a T-1000 stomach.

  2. Pingback: Hilariously Funny: 2013 | thelostkerryman

  3. gimpet says:

    You ate lion? And cat? What did they taste like? I am mildly horrified but fascinated at the same time. I once ate baby squid whole, does that count me adventurous?

  4. Reblogged this on thelostkerryman and commented:

    An oldie but a goodie…

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