Hey Destructoid! i took a little sabbatical and I've finally got to know my new housemates better and I'm completely moved in. Since It's been a while, and it's a Sunday, this is a longer story than usual. Here's a time that I once got something I wanted more than anything else in the world that week. Enjoy!
I am a creature of want. I often have very, very strong impulses that make me very susceptible to stupid ideas. As some of you have read my previous stories, you know that I often get caught up in the moment and I don’t always plan things through. However, there are times when I want something so bad, that I become the physical embodiment of Stealth. However, even though I have had many wins in my life, sometimes they are so unexpected that I have no end game. This is the story of a time where I became obsessed with getting what I wanted and stopped at nothing to achieve it.
My high school had many field trips. Even though it was a tiny one (500 students), there was ample opportunity to get out and experience something new. This was a benefit that I abused to no end. In my last year of high school, being on Students Council, I was able to get into pretty much any field trip I wanted. This week, one teacher was organizing a day trip to the Toronto Zoo. I had been there twice before and I immediately jumped at the offer. I walked into the geography office and sign up on the sheet.
It’s funny how fate works out. Just as I had signed, I looked up and saw a brochure for the Toronto Zoo tacked to the bulletin board. I saw something that I wanted immediately.
The feeling of WANT hit me so hard, my arms shot out and gripped either side of the board. My eyes went wide with energy. THAT MONKEY IS SO FUCKING COOL! It was then when I had an idea.
I would steal one of these monkeys on the field trip.
I set to the plan to steal this monkey immediately. Heading to the computer lab, I went on Wikipedia and researched my prey. They monkey in question was none other than the Cebus Capucinus, better known as the White-headed Capuchin monkey. Known for its ability to be taught basic commands and has thus been used for paraplegics, the blind and several other disabled individuals. I longed to enjoy the fruits of this monkey’s labours. I had to have this furry, monkey servant.
Preliminary research gave me the location of the monkey and it’s proximity to the nearest available exits. I then checked online for photos of the cage and the barriers that I would encounter. As it turned out the fence was constructed of glass panes and that the entire enclosure was sealed. Also, a three foot high concrete barrier was about a meter away from the glass with grass growing between it and the enclosure. So I was faced with two prospects. Get a rock and smash the glass, or dig down in hope that the enclosure didn’t extend too far down. Failure was not an option for me.
The monkey would be mine.
As the day of the trip grew closer, I grew more and more adamant that I would capture this primate and that we would live like kings. My friends grew tired of my ranting about my monkey plot and had started to avoid me. The night before the trip was one of very little sleep.
We left early in the morning, around seven, but I was already awake and alert. I was the first to board the bus, sprinting to the back and claiming my seat at the rear. My friends groggily filed on as I berated them for their slow pace. There was no time for monkeying around, only for monkey business.
The ride took a couple hours, the wait only building my anticipation. It was all I could think about. I had already printed a layout of the zoo and had estimated times from the monkey cage to the nearest exit. It would take me three minutes to get to the exit at an inconspicuous pace, three minutes to follow the throng out of the turnstiles, one minute to get to the bus and, as long as I took the monkey within 10 minutes of us leaving, 7-12 minutes for the bus to leave the zoo. I looked into my backpack to check the tools that I had brought for the task at hand. As bait, I had a bag of trail mix, a banana, and fruit salad. For concealment of the ape, I had brought a large sweater. Alongside of this, I had a hatchet, a small trowel and screwdriver. And just for shits and giggles, I brought a monkey wrench. I exhaled deeply as I zipped up my back pack and looked out the window, surveying the countryside.
As we got closer to our destination, my fervor grew and I began to see monkeys everywhere, on advertising billboards, children’s shirts and most likely, my own jaded mind. Adrenaline started to flow through my veins as I saw the Toronto zoo sign. As I had predicted, the bus parked in the tourist/large group section and parked a mere 30 meters from the entrance. It was all going according to plan.
Our group disembarked from the bus and entered the zoo. The zoo was crowded. Children ran amok in the mob of people, moving to and from exhibits crowds and shops. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and there was a cool breeze that swept down into the horde of tourists. Excellent, I thought, there should be no problem mixing into the crowd. Now all I needed to do was to wait until it was close for us to leave. I decided to do some recon. I headed for the White-headed Capuchin’s lair.
I took a roundabout approach to my target, looking at all the animals that the zoo had to offer. My inner child began to exert itself, I smiled at the sight of snakes, grinned at the gorillas and heckled the hyenas. I even stopped to observe my childhood fear, the Mountain Lion. As I expected, there was only one, further cementing my believe in one all-powerful omnipotent Mountain Lion. I guess he just felt like making an appearance. Checking my watch, I was surprised that I had already wasted two hours. I had to stop the monkeying around. Even though I thought this pun, I still had a bad taste in my mouth. I hurried over to the monkey enclosures.
I crested the hill toward the place of my heist and stood underneath the sign. There before me was the greatest sight I have ever seen. Dozens of apes, squandering their day. Some lazily drooped off trees, other were energetic, spurred on by their human audience. It was then when I saw them, the White-headed Capuchin monkeys. I almost shat myself in excitement.
The rest of the day was spent shadowing the fence line. I checked and then double checked all the variables. My exit was open, the enclosure was just as I had planned for and the crowd was starting to dwindle, leaving me with a chance to liberate my ape comrade from the confines of its cage. Finally, with 40 minutes to go, I sauntered over to the cement banister, looked over my shoulder to see if I was alone, and hopped over, squatting down to view the fence.
I was in luck. Apparently, a section of the glass had been broken and the entire length was replaced with temporary metal lattice fencing. Along the bottom, the earth was loose due to the installation. Frantically, often checking over the banister to see if anyone was coming, I searched along the entire stretch to find my in. After 15 minutes, I couldn’t find anything of the sort and was just about to give up hope. I sat back on my legs, exhaled deeply and looked into the eyes of my prize.
It was then when on of the monkey’s came to investigate what I was up to.
The entire time, the whole group of them had been watching me. It must have been fascinating to them to see a human moving in a way similar to their own. As I was searching, I had been hunched down on all fours moving animatedly, my hands scuffing the dirt. The lone Capuchin that walked over to me was now standing on its hind legs. To an observer, the juxtaposition must have been one of the most ironic and funniest things to witness, the role reversal of all role reversals. It cocked it’s head to one side. I reached into my bag.
“Here you go little guy,” I lamented, “you might as well have it now seeming how there’s no way to get you out.”
I pulled out the banana I had brought with me and forced it through the fencing. Gingerly, the Capuchin grasped it with both hands and retreated into his domain.
Immediately, I learned the true meaning of what “going ape-shit” means.
Like a surging torrent, the other 14 Capuchin monkeys descended upon their kin. Shrieks rang out, tails whipped about and shit began to arc through the air. I fell back with surprise, witnessing the chaos that had erupted with the entrance of the banana. My little friend was robbed of his banana, and thrown out of the fray. Getting up, he looked over to the rest and saw his treat being ravaged with savagery. He looked back at me and scampered back to his previous resting place. I felt his pain. With renewed vigor, I began a final search to break my ape friend free.
It took seconds.
As I surveyed the fence line again, I noticed that on the right-hand side of the cage, there was a small hole dug out on the monkey side of the fence. Eyes wide, I leapt over to the corner and took a closer look. Something had been digging there!
Frantically, I unzipped my backpack, grabbed the trowel and dug down two feet pausing every few seconds to check for any witnesses. To my disbelief, five minutes later I had broken through. I checked my watch.
I had nine minutes left until I had to be on the bus.
Turning my attention back to the capuchin, I tried to beckon him over with more food. He looked at it hungrily, but then noticed the watchful eyes of his tribe. He looked back and screeched softly. I shook the bag of trail mix to no avail.
Seven minutes left.
I suddenly had an idea. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out a Toonie and held it to reflect the sunlight toward the monkey. Immediately, he started over. Slowly, he approached the hole. With each step he took, my heart raced a bit faster. In what seemed to be an eternity, he was at the outside of the hole. Holding the Toonie, I bent over and tucked my arm into the hole, under the fence, and offered the shiny coin to the Capuchin. He went head first into the hole and I felt his leathery hand on my own fingers. Breathless, I pulled my arm back through, the monkey following with it. My arm emerged, monkey in tow, and I lead him right into my arms.
I had just accomplished the impossible. Grand Theft Monkey.
I sat there flabbergasted. I had actually done it! I had the monkey and he was all mine.
I checked my watch. Four minutes. I put on the sweater, handed the trail mix to the monkey, and tucked him under my hoodie.
If it were possible to add a soundtrack to the next few minutes of my life, it would probably go a little like this.
With some jazz flute pounding in my head and throwing caution into the wind, I bolted toward the exit. The Primate Section had been completely emptied which helped me shave off precious seconds, but the entire visiting mob was now trying to leave through the main exit. My footsteps matched pace to the beat, I ran into the crowd, dodging, weaving and evading them all. It was if I had been infused with the monkey’s agility. With great speed and grace, I had made it through the Americas Section and was on the path leading to the Australasia Pavilion. I groaned with the sight that greeted me. The path was swarming with tourists. I paused momentarily to catch my breath. It was here that disaster struck.
My Capuchin friend popped his head up out of my sweater and screeched, as if perturbed by the holdup. This caught the attention of everyone in the crowd. Including the Toronto Zoo security. As they looked over to the sound, we met eyes. I stood still for only a second longer and then proceeded to run full tilt into the crowd. The guards followed suit.
What had started as an epic foolproof plan was now dissolving into a shit storm. I ran as fast as I could through the crowd, pushing and shoving as I went. I didn’t dare look back. I finally caught a break, however. I had crested the head of the mob and there was nothing but a few scattered tourists between me and the exit. I laughed and started running again to the exit, the monkey content in my sweater with the trail mix.
But with any good heist, there is always one last obstacle before the great escape.
As I closed the gap between myself and the exit, five security guards burst out from booths along the turnstiles and where looking through the crowd for the thief. I quickly stopped and hid behind on of the vending booths. Out of breath, I unzipped my hoodie, hoisted the Capuchin out and set him on the bench beside me. He was still stuffing his face with trail mix.
“Well, little buddy,” I said, “we were so close to starting our new glorious life together, but I think it’s over.”
The following experience has changed my life forever. In an astounding moment of connection between man and ape, the Capuchin looked at me, scurried over to the edge of the booth to look at the guards and came back to me, face to face. Holding the trail mix in its paws, it looked down at the bounty I had given it and looked back up at me. It then swallowed the rest of the trail mix and leapt out into the forum just as they had arrived. I peeked from behind the booth to see what was about to transpire.
The Capuchin had run to one of the sign posts and climbed up to the top. After looking around for a brief moment, it then reared up and screeched loudly. Heads snapped to the sound and silence dropped over the crowd.
I then witnessed the greatest thing in the world.
The Capuchin squatted down, shat into its hand, threw it then flung itself into the crowd.
The resulting chaos was glorious. Another school field trip was just leaving the grounds at the Capuchin released its anal fury unto the crowd and had thrown itself into the middle of this group. However, this group consisted of primary school students all shrieked and began to flee to the exits, terrified of this feral monkey. As with any mob, this sense of panic spread like wild fire and the whole throng surged toward the exits, screaming the entire way.
The Capuchin had just given me my escape. Not wanting to waste a moment, I bolted into the carnage and hurried to the exit. Within seconds I had made it through the turnstiles and was out. I flung myself toward my bus and was relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one who was late. As I ran up to the bus, my teacher was watching the scene unfold and asked me what the hell happened.
“No clue,” I wheezed, “I just heard screaming and was pushed toward the exit.”
She beckoned me to board and I started back to my seat. My friends all laughed as I walked back, not knowing how close I was, but were quick to judge my failure. I sat down beside my friend Scott. He berated me slightly, but moved onto a new topic just as quickly.
“Hey Luke, do you still have that bag of trail mix?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
I sat with my head hung in silence, but that silence was quickly interrupted.
“Hey!” Someone yelled. “Is that a monkey with a bag of trail mix on the entrance sign?”
The bus wobbled with the sudden movement to the windows. Gasps echoed out and my friends all looked to me in disbelief.
It was all I could do but to sit back and grin.
“When it comes to what I want, I don’t monkey around.”
I ducked down laughing as hands flew out to slap me in the back of the head.