Thursday, July 9, 2009

Monkey Memories

The other day it seemed nothing was going right. My dishwasher was leaking, my cat was being naughty, my back was hurting, I dropped a dish on the floor of Goodwill, shattering it to bits, a few minutes later I dropped and broke a cup I had just bought at said get the picture.

On a whim, I continued down Airport Way toward the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle and I happened to see an intriguing shop. So I went in...AND IT WAS THE COOLEST SHOP EVER!

It's aptly named Great Stuff and even though it wasn't officially open that day, the owner, Kirk Albert, graciously allowed me to browse around inside (maybe he sensed I desperately needed a big dose of eye candy?) Kirk and crew find really funky, unique objects and either display them as they are or turn them into even funkier, unique-ier items for home decoration.

The very best thing in the store is a funny little rocket-shaped go cart. Kirk said it had the craziest story behind it. He pointed out a thin leather strap that surrounded the tiny driver's cage and said that the car had been designed for MONKEYS to sit in. Yes, gentle readers, you heard me correctly...monkeys. Apparently the car was just pulled by chains on a track, but with a monkey sitting in it, it looked as if the MONKEY WAS DRIVING.

Horribly wrong and yet horribly wonderful at the same time.

When we were kids, we had a pet monkey. My grandparents were pretty low-income and my grandfather used to make a little extra money by fixing up and selling things he got free or very cheaply. One day my grandmother gave him her old sewing machine and he was supposed to come back with money for it. Instead, he returned home a few hours later, having bartered it for a monkey. "I said money, not monkey," she must have thought, but we kids loved it. The little simian was promptly named "Michael-the-monkey".

Michael-the-monkey had a tiny cage inside the house and a bigger one on the back porch. I watched in grossed-out fascination when he caught flies with its bare hands. And I recall him learning how to open the latch of the indoor cage, diving over to my uncle's sandwich and stealing the last slice of bologna in the house. And who could forget the time he got out of his outdoor cage, jumped on the back of the dog (Sleepy-the-beagle) who of course freaked out and run amuk about the yard. Michael-the-monkey then raced up the telephone pole and shrieked with monkey-delight (or so I made up at the time). I do not recall how we caught him and returned him to his cage, but we must have because he later died of natural causes not related to telephone poles.

Anyway, Great Stuff is a great place to check out next time you're in or around Georgetown. In fact, the annual Georgetown Garden Tour is this Sunday, 7/12 and that would be the perfect time.

1 comment:

junkrescuerbeth said...

Your monkey in the family story is a darn good one, especially the Grandma and Grandpa with the money/monkey part! I'll be on the lookout for this nifty sounding shop in Georgetown.

Beth of Salvage Studio