Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Never Trust a Monkey

Former Dell Baptist Boarding School Main Building in Delway, NC and site of Delway Trading Company from 1946-1965. The tree in silhouette is roughly where Jack the Monkey's tree was located.

My dad had an uncle named Fonsal who lived in Raleigh. When he visited Carolina Beach, he would always stop in to visit with the family on his way back home to Raleigh and he would buy a case of eggs (12 dozen) to take back to the city with him. I guess the eggs in Delway were freshly laid by local chickens and were better than the ones you could get in Raleigh in the late 1940s. At any rate, he also took the time, while visiting, to pick on the monkey, Jack, that my Uncle Charles had bought and had chained to a tree outside the store.

Jack was no circus monkey. Apparently, he had been made spiteful and angry by all the locals who taunted him when they came to trade at the store. Some people I knew reported "jerking his chain", in both a literal and figurative sense. As Jack would fall off a high branch of the oak tree in which he sat, they would laugh and stomp and bend over at the waist from shortness of breath. At first, Jack, having had the breath knocked from him, would just sit in a heap and then would stare at his tormentors, but he was taking notes. The next time those people entered the yard of the store, Jack would be waiting in stealth for them to come within range and then he would fly from the oak tree onto their heads or arms and bite the living mercy out of them. In a more modern time, that monkey would have been a series of semi-erect walking lawsuits.

As Uncle Fonsal was one of those who took pleasure in tormenting Jack, he often parked his car right under the old oak before entering the building to talk with my Dad. On one particular trip, he had completed his visit and had loaded a case of eggs into his brand new car. He had made a huge spectacle of showing my dad his new car, and then had taken a seat behind the wheel, talking with my Dad while tempting Jack with a piece of apple that he had carved off with his pocketknife. When Jack would come near and extend his tiny little hairy fingers, Fonsal would pop the apple into his own mouth and then laugh boisterously at the expression on Jack’s face. Daddy tried to warn Uncle Fonsal, he said, but Fonsal kept right on with his bait and switch game.

After about the fourth time that Fonsal drew Jack near, he was busy holding his head back to pop the apple into his mouth when Jack leapt into the car, chain dragging behind him, and climbed into the back seat where the 144 fresh eggs were sitting in a box. Jack ripped open the box, and began slinging the eggs right and left inside the brand new, shiny car with its previously immaculate interior. Uncle Fonsal was pelted with eggs and eventually had to make a full retreat under the onslaught of shells, yolks and egg-whites that were being thrown at him. Daddy apparently answered Fonsal’s curses with "I told you not to pick on that monkey", which was not the response Uncle Fonsal was quite ready to hear. When he left, his shirt colored with the yolks of eggs, Fonsal was still in a huff.

As a friend of mine recently stated, "Never trust a monkey!"--especially not one with a grudge and access to a case of eggs.



Anonymous allan said...

Can't say I blame him

7/12/2005 05:31:00 PM  
Blogger Vickie said...

Yeah, I would have done the same thing. But, then, many people also make the comment that you can't trust a woman either.

7/12/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

FOr future reference, Jack's true name was Jojo, according to my mom.
Sorry for any investment in the name "Jack the Monkey" that you may have developed.

7/12/2005 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

oh see, now that's just wrong, jojo the monkey doesn't have the same ring, it ruins the story for me.

haha hope you're having fun with the trip and plans thereof! Great entry here, you have a knack for making me giggle.

7/12/2005 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...


7/13/2005 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

Yes! Fonsal....you know, short for Alfonsal. I couldn't possibly make that up now could I?

7/13/2005 07:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Elki said...

I hear ya Vickie.
And don't you just love poetic justice...hehe

7/14/2005 05:15:00 PM  
Anonymous ron's brother bob said...

I think it was Fonsel. Check that, Ron. I have never heard this story before, although I do know that Jojo was tormented relentlessly by people. Poor thing....

7/21/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

I'll check when I get home, bro....hope all is well. I will be checking email so write if you have news.

7/22/2005 06:00:00 AM  
Anonymous allan said...

Yeah, Jack the Monkey is better.

7/22/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jody Kuchar said...

Somehow maybe it would have been more interesting if instead of saying "yanking the monekys chain", you said Jacking Off.
I loved this story. And Bless Fonsals' heart.

12/03/2006 06:23:00 PM  

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