A Brief History of Monkey

by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on

Some few readers here will be at least somewhat familiar with our dear friend, Monkey. Most will not. It is my duty– not pleasure– to relate to you the very long and arduous tale of said Monkey and how I, with several others, became entangled in so much (too much) of his… business. What is written about Monkey is only from our observations of him and what he tells us, and, since he is a pathological liar, one should take any account of him with a grain of salt. Actually, a whole shaker of it.

Today’s writing of Monkey will simply be a compendium of his history from his birth to now. Most of it comes from his mouth as I have only been in contact with him since 2011, so again, one must doubt his history. However, his ability to recall the same stories from memory again and again seem to imply that he, at least, honestly believes whatever is in his fluffy brain.

I will begin at his birth and include as many details as we have come to know, and I may publish his current adventures under the title “The Monkey Chronicles”.

Simian Aeberswyth Schylling, his name before he became Monkey, was born probably in September somewhere between 1860 and 1880 (he’s forgotten) to two parents whose names he’s also forgotten, but he does remember that there were two. He grew up in the town of Hartford, Connecticut, and we do know that he attended Hartford Public High School in the later 1800s. While there, he played the flute in the school marching band and fell in love with a girl we simply know as Samantha, who was supposedly a whiz at the tuba.

Things get a little hazy for Simian for the next few decades; we’re pretty certain that he was never married and never had any children, but we are not certain whether he attended college or if he ever held any occupation until around the 1920s. It’s apparent that he never married or got very far with Samantha because his obsession with her up until about a year ago was, for the lack of a better word, obtuse.  We have deduced that he was involved in a terrible chemical accident, which leads us to believe he may have worked in the infamous Pfizer chemical plant in Brooklyn, New York, not extremely far from his home.

Simian emerges as Monkey in the early 20th century, and by the 1920s we find Monkey on a steamboat bound for Japan, working his way across the pond in the engine room of the boat, shoveling coal into the monstrous boilers. Due to his small stature (we’re unsure if he immediately shrank to his 20 inches after the chemical accident or if he shrunk over time, but we do know he was small enough at this point), other workers in the boiler room began to pick on him. Throughout the journey, Monkey learned kickboxing and, to quote him, “kicked their faces off and threw them into the fire, thereafter shoveling coal on top of their bodies to burn them more quickly and hide the evidence”. Upon arriving in Japan, Monkey made quite a lot of money in a kickboxing ring. Monkey said that there was a group of Chinese immigrants who were his dearest fans who, every time he kicked someone’s face off, threw mounds of money onto the ring, which mounds made up most of his fortune. His fortune made after the bulk of the decade was over, Monkey climbed aboard a rather overgrown seahorse and rode it back to the United States.

After returning from Japan, Monkey learned another skill and became a horse jockey in the 1930s, racing horses throughout the east coast, mainly. At the end of his racing career, he was caught in a terrible racing accident when a giant spider (about 4.5 feet or 1.5 meters in diameter) scared his horse, causing the horse to buck him off and land in the way of the other racers who were beyond the point of slowing down. A Jamaican native happened to be standing nearby, perhaps as a paramedic as it’s unlikely that there were immediately a crowd of people surrounding him, and, thinking that Monkey was dead, said, “Die man, mine!” He wanted the dead man. Perhaps he was a cannibalistic scavenger, or perhaps, going along with the paramedic idea, he was eager to study the entrails of a human who had been chemically altered into a monkey, or perhaps he was drunk. Whatever the case, these were the last words that filtered through the concussive cloud around Monkey’s brain before he slipped out of consciousness, and all he could think about through restless, concussed dreams and even after he awoke was that he needed to find the largest diamond to give to Samantha and that he was going to go into the diamond mines to get it.

On Monkey’s way to find the greatest and most illustrious mines in Africa, he was caught up in the whirlwind of the Great War, now known as World War II. Really oblivious as to who was who, Monkey joined the ranks of some army, though he didn’t know which. According to the slight details that he gave us (being in southern Eurasia at the time of his enlistment and how he said his comrades didn’t seem to have vocal chords but rather spoke by passing air very roughly through their throats, making a quite angry manner of speech), we are quite certain he sported a Swastika. He may have joined the Allied forces after the war ended, however, and had done some damage control in Germany or other European countries, as he mentioned he was still using an automatic gun several years after the war had ended. His ignorance as to who he was fighting and what he was fighting for likely saved his life.

His dream of finding the world’s greatest diamond was starting to finally become a reality when he was at last able to make his way down to black Africa in the mid-1950s and into a mine that sounds very similar to the one portrayed in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Monkey hammered away in the dim incandescent glow deep in the bowels of the earth for some years until one day it literally fell upon him: as he picked away at a wall, still burning with his love for Samantha, the stone wall he was picking at crumbled on top of him, and the world’s largest diamond rolled, sparkling, to land upon his protruding head. As he excitedly tried to remove himself from the rubble, someone swooped down the tunnel and made off with his diamond, Monkey shouting explicitives at the thief as he struggled to free himself. Monkey originally told us that the person who had stolen the diamond was a certain Elder Varner, a zone leader of ours in the Arizona Tempe Mission. We highly doubted this as this was at least 65 years ago and Elder Varner appeared to hardly be 21. Also, there was a picture of him hanging on a pillar in our living room, so it was more likely that Monkey couldn’t place who it was and blamed the first person he could think of as he was telling us the story.

As we asked him about the description of the person, however, he changed his story by telling us that there were two people and that they were wearing skirts. He thereafter described Sister Barnes and Sister Wiscombe, two other missionaries serving near us. We also doubted that quite a bit as they weren’t more than 23 years of age and also not very inclined to steal anyone’s diamonds, let alone be caught dead in the deep crevices of a mine in the middle of Africa.

Once Monkey removed himself from the rubble, he swore revenge on the thief who took the diamond meant for Samantha, and he has never been the same since.

To take out his anger, Monkey was one of the first to enlist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Despite the downplays of the myth-busters and rumor-breakers saying that Mister Rogers did not serve as a sniper in Vietnam, Monkey verifies that he did, in fact, serve as a sniper, and that Monkey ran into him on many occasions as the said Rogers took down people from 1500 yards while Monkey burned down buildings with blowtorches. They weren’t necessarily on a first-name basis, but he says “Fred the Killer”, as they called him in the ranks, pushed him into a cart of mashed potatoes and chicken once. Monkey thinks it was a compliment– that Mister Rogers wanted to share some food with him– but we’re fairly certain that Fred had a different motive.

The war over, Monkey, like so many other Vietnam Veterans, slunk back into the United States, nearly forgotten. So forgotten, in fact, that he forgot the rest of the country and started working at a chemical testing plant in the 1970s; he was one of the animals that the company tested on. We even found some rare footage from the security cameras of the testing plant: imagine a very large cafeteria-like room with a table full of monkeys. They each have their own chemicals to test by ingestion, submersion, injection, or other means. Men in white lab coats with clipboards pace the aisles, stopping every once in a while to scribble down a note or observe a tester more carefully. We see our star Monkey sitting in the middle of the screen, looking up from his work as he lifts a beaker full of liquid to consume almost excitedly, it seems. Suddenly a tyrannosaurus rex stomps into view, leans over and snaps its jaws on the nearest lab-coat-wearing clipboard-holding scientist, and tromps away, chewing. Since the other monkeys are focusing on their duties and the other scientists are busily reviewing notes or scribbling them on their clipboards, Monkey is the only one who notices. He looks to the left a moment, looks to the right for a few moments longer, and then drops his gaze back to his beaker. Sighing happily, he brings it back to his mouth and downs it like whiskey in a shotglass. Then the clip goes to static.

When PETA secretly burned down the chemical testing plant that he eventually called home, Monkey found himself alone and dejected. Monkey didn’t know it was PETA at the time, of course, so he wandered the country for nearly all of the 80s, homeless, drinking what chemicals he could steal or trade for in the black market.

But then he figured it out. His beloved chemical testing facility didn’t just burn down by accident; it was arson, and it was done by the hands of PETA, as much as they denied it. Monkey, a newfound enemy to focus his sadness and bitterness toward, invested quite a bit of his fortune from his kickboxing days into tracking down which PETA members were directly responsible for his factory’s demise and burned down all of their houses, usually with them inside. This consumed him until about 1997 when he found that all of his enemies were gone and that he was alone again, so Monkey went off in search of new adventures.

In 1998, Monkey used a highly advanced micro device to travel through time and space to a land known commonly as Middle Earth. While there, he found his way into a volcano and was basking in the warmth for a while until a rowdy couple of hobbitses disturbed his peace. He said they kept arguing dramatically over about throwing a ring into the fire. Suddenly a slimy little creature emerged out of nowhere, conked one of the hobbits on the head, and then bit off the other’s finger. This was too much for Monkey as this was supposed to be a vacation from violence, so he snuck up behind the fingerless hobbit and the creature, who were now pushing one another around, and pushed them into the depths of the active volcano. His duty done, he dusted his hands off and took up his stretched-out position back on his cozy ledge.

His peace was not meant to be, however, because suddenly his volcano exploded, and he was shot back through time and space to his life here on Earth in 1998. He is now in the process of suing the Tolkien family for not including him in the history now known as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King or sending him royalties for his vital role in the account. We’re unsure of how Tolkien documented what history he did from Middle Earth, but Monkey is certain that Tolkien violated some of his patents.

A new wave of excitement was hitting the world at large, and Monkey couldn’t help but be a part of it. Even though he had never used a computer before, by 2008 Monkey had become the world’s most formidable hacker. Breezing by the FBI and CIA’s  security, and also the security of a couple of other entities whose three-letter acronyms aren’t even known by the people who work for and are subsequently assassinated by them, he downloaded and still has to this day a copy of every digitized file in all of their histories (Monkey assures me that UFOs were just a pet project of Abraham Lincoln’s and that President Obama  actually wants nothing more than to be called Emperor Obama publicly just once).  As a side project, Monkey hacked into every bank account in the world and had access to all digitized funds (and I’m not sure, but he hinted that he somehow had a way to access even physical funds across the world, such as the hundred dollars stashed under Aunt Marge’s bed), though, when we learned of this, we forced him to delete all of the information and make it impossible for him to get it back.


In late 2008, Monkey also started his own gang in Chandler, Arizona, notorious for tagging things like fences, garbage cans, curbs, and small children. One of his gang tried to spray-paint a passing train and was never heard from again but was seen in several places at once down the track. When Monkey began to change his ways, he decided to go into hiding as his gang would surely slit his throat or curb-stomp his face, so he sold himself to Target as if he were a stuffed sock monkey (which it is still unclear as to whether or not he is). I happened to be in need of a sock monkey at the time, and I happened to be the one who purchased him that fateful day in early 2011. My life has never been the same since.

After a few months of mostly silence, Monkey began to trust us and therefore to speak, and we eventually couldn’t get him to shut up. He began wandering around our apartment in Arizona looking for chemicals to drink. He told us about all of these wiley tales and more, and he made many friends and a few enemies. While with us, his adventures included accepting “banana juice” from our drunken neighbors, sneaking Comcast under a false name using our credit cards, being killed in a tragic door-slamming accident and finding out in heaven that his Samantha has a mustache and then being resuscitated and living to tell the terrible tale, falling in love via telephone with a monkey he had never seen before, killing Curious George (who was trying to steal the girl for himself), begging us to baptize him into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, researching some very deep doctrine concerning doves and “the facsimiles” from said church, finding himself in all sorts of precarious situations (in chandeliers, skylights, windowpanes, backpacks, &tc.), and so on and so forth. These adventures in detail will likely be published, again, under The Monkey Chronicles on this blog.

Until then, adieu.