Thursday, September 29, 2011

This barrel of monkeys is not as fun as promised

To whom it may concern,
I am writing to express dissatisfaction with my recent purchase of your product, “A Barrel of Monkeys.” A barrel of monkeys has long set the bar for fun, and after speaking with your representative over the phone, I was assured that my expectations for comical antics would be more than met. Since it was a special occasion, I decided to splurge and purchased your deluxe package: a 55-gallon barrel packed to the brim with live monkeys.

Eight days later, the package arrived just in time for my tropical-themed housewarming party.  Upon opening the barrel, however, I discovered several defects.  First, the monkeys were in sub-par physical condition.  Their hair was matted, and several of them had had their eyes gouged out by the other monkeys. Their unveiling really put a damper on the festivities. I had just started an impressive conga line, but once my guests saw the monkeys, the room fell silent as everyone stopped to gasp at the “poor wretched creatures.” And this was before I had even gotten to the monkeys at the bottom of the barrel, which at that point were no more than clumps of bloody fur.

In addition to the cosmetic issues, the behavior of the monkeys that were still alive was also quite disruptive.  The good-natured pandemonium I was expecting from the product was anything but. They didn’t mimic human mannerisms, perform acrobatics, or even attempt to play the cymbals I had provided. In fact, one of the monkeys threw several of them quite maliciously towards my guests. The sharp edges of the discs proved almost deadly when thrown with such force.  It was clear that being trapped inside a barrel for a week had not made these monkeys jovial.  It had made them angry.

After the near beheadings, the party quickly deteriorated into a state of violent chaos. The next few hours were a bloody blur of biting, scratching, and ghastly shrieking. In the middle of the bloodbath there was, however, a brief charming moment when the monkeys’ focus turned to the banana piñata I had hung in the foyer. Dazed with hunger, they all raced towards it with delight, and clumsily tried to unpeel it.  Silly monkeys. It wasn’t even a real banana! Of course when they discovered this deception they became even more violent, descending in a rage upon the nearest victim, my coworker Herbert, who feebly tried to defend himself with a pair of decorative fireplace tongs. Herbert is still in the hospital. His injuries have almost healed, but psychologically he has a much longer road ahead. A road paved with simian night terrors and chronic zoophobia.

Eventually, animal control and the fire department had to be called in to get the situation under control. I’ve spent hours scraping caked feces off of my walls and carpeting, and believe me, rabies shots for my entire party did not come cheap. But I suppose the outcome could have been worse. My doctors told me that if the panicked monkeys hadn’t scratched at the sides of the barrel during transport, their claws would have been much sharper and the damage to my corneas would have been permanent. Also only two people died.

Nevertheless, I feel that the “fun” promised by your product was a false claim, and I expect a full refund. I have enclosed the original receipt along with the barrel and most of the monkeys (a few of them are still trapped in my ductwork). Additionally, I feel I am entitled to a discount for a live housecat, as the one I owned previously was dismantled and eaten by your defective product.