The Early Years: Everyone Loves Monkeys. Apparently.

So this week I peeled a few layers off the top of the giant cache of my old elementary school work that my folks discovered and sent out to me a few years ago, in which I found this early, analog example of collecting “Likes”:

It took me a second to figure out what this was, but basically, it’s a bar graph representing the results of a poll of the class to see which was everyone’s favorite animal. I would have thought the bear would’ve ranked higher because, you know, Teddy Bears, but no; the monkey absolutely destroyed the other animals in the competition, getting more than twice as many votes as the runner-up, the elephant, while the bear and the tiger were together in the basement. Maybe if this poll had been taken after Calvin & Hobbes had appeared, the tiger would’ve done a little better … Anyway, I guess that explains why “monkey” keeps showing up on lists of the most commonly used password*. And you don’t see The Barenaked Ladies offering to buy you a bear or a tiger or an elephant** if they had a million dollars.***

If I had a million dollars (If I had a million dollars)
Well I’d buy you a monkey
Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?
If I had a million dollars I’d buy your love

The Barenaked Ladies, “If I Had $1,000,000”

Now as to why I selected the bear as my favorite animal on that list, that’s an easy one. First, the list didn’t have “Dog” on it; and second, my primary stuffed animal when I was a kid was a bear. His name was Bear. And when he got worn out from my carrying him around all the time, my grandmother and/or my aunt made a little suit for him, which he is still wearing now.

Now, the perceptive reader will note that there is also a monkey in this picture. This is, in fact, a flying monkey, with rubber bands for legs and little finger grips for hands, and which is intended to be fired, slingshot-style, across a room. This monkey is not officially one of the “guys”, as my stuffed animals were collectively known back in the day, being, in fact, part of a set of flying monkeys that was distributed at my office some years ago, back when we still had an office. The perceptive reader will also note that, as a result of an unfortunate aerial mishap and general shoddy construction, the flying monkey is missing one of his finger-grip hands, and that said hand has been replaced by a printout of a chainsaw. Those who are familiar with a certain film series of the late 1980s/early 1990s will no doubt look at that and say …

Hail to the king, baby.

* Pro tip: “Monkey” is not a good password. Do not use it.
** Although they do offer to buy you a llama or an emu.
*** The Barenaked Ladies do, in fact, have a million dollars, but they still haven’t bought me a house, or John Merrick’s remains, or even an emu.

5 thoughts on “The Early Years: Everyone Loves Monkeys. Apparently.

  1. I’m a little disappointed I’ve never had ‘monkey’ in any password combination. Reverse psychology tells me I should try it because now nobody else will use it…

    I do love monkeys. A flying monkey is a sub-category, but I suppose that would have made for a more complex bar chart. I wonder monkey popularity is subconsciously because of our closer ancestral relations to the monkey fam?

    Liked by 1 person

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