This is the story of when my husband and a few of his friends were challenged by a lower order of primates, and damn near lost. The lower order of primates in this story are known as the Gibraltar Apes and they have inhabited The Rock since before the Ice Age. Here is the link to Wikipedia that I referenced for the factoids regarding monkey well-being http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibraltar_Apes
This article is full of fascinating information about the apes, monkeys, assholes, whatever you want to call them. A quick back story on the care and management of the apes as I copied & pasted from Wikipedia:
Currently the monkeys are managed by the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society (GONHS), and veterinarian expertise is provided by the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic. The macaques receive a daily supply of fresh water and vegetables, fruit and seeds as supplement to natural food resources. The animals are caught on a regular basis to check their health status. Additionally, body size, weight and several other measurements are taken. Finally, the animals are given a tattoo number and a microchip as a means of identification. All monkeys are photographed and the pictures and individual characteristics are cataloged.
These monkeys are in darn good health, they are feed daily, and have better medical benefits than anything Obama Care promises.
Isn’t this an adorable monkey?
The monkeys have been interacting with humans for so long that they have no fear, or even respect for us. Sometimes the monkeys come into the town and rather than try to shoo them away the residents call the military guard to come and retrieve the monkeys and take them back up to the upper levels of The Rock. In fact, tourists are told to leave the monkeys alone. They are wild animals and like any animal can strike unexpectedly when provoked. In other words, don’t mess with the monkeys.
Based on the following recounting of my husband’s interactions with the monkeys, it would appear that we humans are more akin to our hairy cousins than we might want to fully admit to being.
Here is the “After Action Report” of my husband’s unfortunate experience with the Gibraltar Apes. In his words “It was time to break bad. But I’m still not sure who won”.
It all began innocently enough when the submarine pulled into Gibraltar for several days of liberty. My husband and several of his sailor friends rented a car and after laying in a supply of Snickers and bottled water they headed out for a day trip up the mountain to enjoy the views and see the wildlife that inhabits the peninsula of Gibraltar. What the guys thought was going to be like an episode of Wild Kingdom, in actuality turned out to be more like West Side Story.
They spent several hours hiking and exploring the upper level of The Rock but they didn’t see any of the famed monkeys as they had expected, and hoped. As they approached their rental car they noticed several adolescent, teenage monkeys if you will, sitting on the roof and hood of their car. Obviously they were males because just like their human counterparts, they were all holding their junk and eating Snickers bars. Eating Snickers bars? Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot, monkeys?
Being a bit slow on the uptake, possibly due to too much sun, or too much beer, or who knows what else they had too much of, the guys are wondering where did the monkeys get the Snickers. The fact that they had left Snickers in the car and the windows rolled down didn’t dawn on them for a minute, or three. Once the dim watts started to warm up they realized that the monkeys were in fact eating THEIR Snickers. In an attempt to put a stop to the larceny they yelled very intimidating things like “Get the Hell off of our car, you monkeys!” and they also said “Shoo!” which was also non-effective at getting the monkeys to leave. Because monkeys are hard. Because monkeys do not care.
The superior primates, realizing that their attempt to get the monkeys to leave wasn’t as effective as they had thought that it would be began to create a scene. Making noise, wild gestures and loud crazy talk caused the monkeys to toss the uneaten Snickers on the ground in monkey disgust. Apparently these monkeys were the OG (Original Gangsta) Monkeys of the Primate Kingdom, as they were Stone Cold Killas in their attitudes.
Like any decent gangstas, these bad-to-the-bone monkeys had some fly ass coochie girlfriends who were more than happy to scamper over to the car and retrieve the discarded Snickers. After the females were finished with the leavings of their chollo boyfriends they realized that a price was to be exacted for the candy. Yep, glaring over their shoulders at their human cousins, the monkeys proved their superiority in the areas of food gathering and orgy organizing as they commenced banging their fair companions in true primal, jungle-style love. Because? They could. On the car. Imagine if you will, returning a rental car with monkey love ick on the hood. How does one even do that? Perhaps this should be considered a rhetorical question?
After several grandmotherly looking Italians had finished filming the monkey porn and the results of their monkey nastification, frying on the hot hood of the car, the monkeys left. Just like that. Snickers and a bang, courtesy of the US Navy.
Monkeys – 1. US Navy – 0.
But wait! There is more!
On the second day, after returning the recently violated car to the rental shop, my husband and his friends decided to walk about the town of Gibraltar. Having seen enough of Nature in all of her horny diabetic glory the day before a touristy day of shopping for gifts for wives and girlfriends was in order. Perhaps lunch at the Royal Calpe Pub enjoying a Bass Ale and Shepherd’s Pie, and then a leisurely stroll about the town.
After their delicious lunch they wandered a bit farther out from the main area of ‘downtown’ and they found themselves in an alley that was lower than street level with high walls. This is fairly normal for the mix-and-match ancient architecture of Gibraltar. The road was cobblestone and the high walls, covered in verge, was actually quite picturesque. So here they are wandering slowly down the quiet alley, taking in the sights and smells of the flowering vines when the tranquility of this scene was shattered by the shrill, girl-like screaming from Petty Officer (PO) Chum. My husband turned around and saw PO Chum literally with a monkey on his back! This monkey was a scrawny beast, probably the toadie of one of the bigger gangsta fornicating monkeys from the previous day, reaching around Chum’s face grabbing at his gold mirrored sunglasses. Gold mirrored shades, fit for a pimp, or a monkey, and this particular monkey had decided that he wanted those shades. He was probably in the middle of his gang initiation tests so he could join the troop of bad-ass monkeys that had violated Snickers, girlfriends, and car hoods the day before.
So here is PO Chum, with a live monkey on his back. The monkey is screaming at Chum. Chum is smacking and swatting at the monkey the best that he can all the while the monkey is hanging off of him with one long hairy monkey arm and grabbing at his glasses with the other. After realizing that swatting is not going to get the monkey off his back Chum starts to punch the monkey in the face and chest. This causes the monkey to lose his literal monkey shit and began scratching at Chum’s face and screaming at him. A true Celebrity Death Match if there ever was one. Don’t feel bad for the monkey. Remember his fully comprehensible health care provided by the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic? He’s covered. Plus, he is the gangsta wannabe trying to keep it real by stealing something from the “US Navy shaved apes” that visit the peninsula and return it as proof of his badassery. Sometimes life is ugly when you’re living in a Gangsta Paradise…like Gibraltar.
According to my husband, the eyewitness to all of this inter-species combat, the next thing that he sees is the monkey being flipped up and off of Chum’s back and landing hard on the street and rolling away. Chum is pissed that his face got scratched, and he is ready to enter into a true fight-to-the-death, mano-y-mano if you will, with the monkey.
The monkey, after rolling about 5 feet, gets back up and is equally pissed. The monkey starts screaming at Chum. Chum is unleashing a barrage of expletives at the monkey, who is apparently saying all the same things back, in monkey speak. Both are wildly gesticulating with their arms, the monkey is throwing gang signs. Things are getting quite uncivilized at this point. Inter-species decorum is gone. It’s a total breakdown of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
My husband had had about enough of all the screaming and yelling. Girding his loins and stepping in between Chum and the gang-banger monkey he raised his hands, a palm facing each of the offenders he hollered louder than the two street fighters to “Shut Up”! and “Knock it off!” It dawns on my husband that he is now giving orders to a monkey, who is not listening, neither is Chum. With Chum and the monkey still screaming at each other my husband notices that several many older, bigger monkeys are beginning to line up on the walls taking a real interest in what is happening below. They probably had gang tats but he couldn’t be sure because of their fur. At this point my husband realized that it was probably a good time to leave. So, in all of his Chiefiness he made a command decision and announced that “It is time to leave…NOW. I am not getting my ass kicked by a lower order primate today”. Pointing up towards the increasing number of gang monkeys beginning to surround them, he and his crew started to back away and move down the alley from the direction that they had come. As they were walking away the toadie monkey, maintaining a respectful distance, continued to scream monkey expletives at them. He was a totally bad-ass monkey now that his hairy friends had shown up and the humans were leaving.
They never learned if Bad-Ass toadie monkey made it into the gang. Although Chum did suffer several scratches to his face, he saved his glasses so we will mark this one down as a win for the humans.
Monkeys – 1. US Navy – 1.
Later that night, my husband and his sailor friends spent the evening drinking Scrumpy Jack Hard Cider at the Angry Friar Pub with Her Majesty’s Royal Marines. A fine group of people they are too, according to the US Navy Sailors who didn’t feel the shame of being out-drunk by them. The storytelling was legendary and of course, Chum became known as the Guy Who Yells at Monkeys. It is probably not the moniker he was hoping for but sometimes life is tough when you’re living in a Gangsta Paradise.
Two o’clock in the morning, drunk as they could be my husband and company decide that they need food. They adjourned to the Burger King down the road from the Angry Friar Pub. The dining room was closed but they could get food from the walk-up window. They are sitting on a low wall across the street from the BK, eating their drunk food when they hear a rustling in the bushes behind them. A large, old, greyish, pot-bellied, out of shape monkey emerged from the bushes. Seeing the row of sailors with their bags of BK food Old Sage monkey knew a good thing when it was in front of him. He threw a gnarled old leg up on the wall and proceeded to heave himself up and then sat down on the wall next to my husband.
This old monkey had obviously seen his fair share of humans and based on his physical condition he had made friends with many who had shared their Burger King meals with him. He looked at my husband with his sad old eyes as if to say “Hey, can you hook a brother up?” and then laid one of his leathery paws on my husband’s knee until my husband gave up his uneaten half of a Whopper. Then his fries. And finally his Coke, which Old Sage monkey slurped down as he crushed the cup. He slipped down off the wall and waddled back into the bushes. He was a wise monkey who had learned that better behavior would get you the things that you want. The guys considered this a peace-offering to the troop of monkeys.
Monkeys – 1. US Navy – 1. Peace Offering / Draw -1.
A few days later the sub pulled out with PO Chum still telling the stories of how he had kicked all the gangsta monkey’s asses. According to his telling of the tale it would have been a Monkey Armageddon if he hadn’t been pulled off by the dozens of sailors that had gathered to witness the Great Ape Beat Down.
And so goes another chapter in the story of Submarine Deployments.
Photo disclaimer: All of the pictures used were pulled from a Google Image search. I did not take any of the pictures myself but I did edit them using PicMonkey.