On Thursday, a local vendor came to pick up his wares.
He travels around the local offices with books, toys, etc. for sale. Some time ago he had brought a toy monkey with stretchy arms that could be used as a sling-shot to sail through the air while making monkey screeching noises. Rowan wanted to purchase said-monkey but the vendor came and picked up the merchandise before he had the opportunity.
Well, on Thursday, the monkey was back. And Rowan had his money at the ready. I was on training in the Hub city and arrived back at the office, unaware of what purchases had transpired in my absence.
After chucking my purse and leather tote on my desk, I could hear Rowan's voice saying "Is she back?" Next thing I remember is a monkey sailing through the air and hitting me in the head.
[fade to moneky screeching sounds...]
I'm chatting to some cubicle mates when I realize there's something going on behind me. It's the monkey, and Rowan is dancing it on the top of my cubcile. I lunge for it. Rowan pulls back holding tightly to the monkey, who's arms are beginning to stretch and is screeching for all he's worth (the monkey, not Rowan). Rowan, not wanting to rip his moneky in two, let's go. Faster than you can say, "Monkey's Uncle" I shoved the monkey up the back of my shirt. Rowan enters my cubicle.
"Where is he?" Rowan asks. Staffers are really hooting at this point.
"I don't know" I say coyely sitting in my chair. "I don't have him."
Rowan begins looking throughout my cubicle for his monkey.
"I don't have him." I say.
"Stand up" he said smiling.
I stand up but since the moneky's arms are under the back of my bra strap, the monkey stays put. And Rowan moves on to look elsewhere assuming I gave it to someone else to hide.
The next day, I put the following note on Rowan's computer screen.
Dear Mr. Monkey’s Around,
Your favorite stuffed toy is currently being held for ransom.
It is partly because being hit in the head with a flying screeching monkey is not fun.
If you follow these instructions, you will be rewarded with more than bananas**; you’ll get your monkey back. Frankly, your monkey is not easy to handle and I look forward to washing my hands.
#1: Sing the phrase “good morning” to every staffer you encounter today (up until 10 o’clock am
#2: Anytime someone says your name, respond with “Eek Eek Eek” in true monkey fashion. Bonus points if you scratch your arm pits.
#3: If you are asked a question, you can only respond with the phrase “This **** is bananas”. Questions from the Ivory Tower are exempt. [this is what we call our head office where the big wigs work]
If you do not follow these instructions, well…Planet of the Apes is recruiting for their next installment. We have ears. Not big ears like your, er…monkey. Yeah, that’s it. Monkey. We’ll be listening.
DO NOT involve the authorities or you’ll be sorry (sorry like Davy Jones when the Monkees recorded “Tapioca Tundra”) but I digress.
Cha. Key. Ta. Banana
PS. My apologies if you couldn’t sleep last night without your bedtime companion.
**Please note bananas are not actually included with the monkey’s return**
My coworker Laura put a banana in Rowan's mailslot with a sticky note attached saying "please help me".
It was completely coincidental that one of the specialists from head office made an appearance. Rowan was telling her someone stole his monkey (apparently not concerned how it looked for a grown man to have a toy monkey) and he stopped at my cubicle. I began talking, saying his name as many times as possible in a sentence to see if he'd do step #2 as part of the ransom demand. But instead, he just blushed. The rest of the office laughed uncontrollably. I'm sure the specialist made a note to herself to test the air quality in our office.
Following lunch, I emailed this picture of the monkey to Rowan (courtesy of the office scanner):
Laura put a milk carton in the middle of the office, with a picture of the monkey on it with the caption "Have you seen this monkey? If you have information call Rowan at [Rowan's phone number]. Reward offered."
Rowan stopped by several times to ask for his monkey back. I informed him, that a couple little "Eek eek" eeks was all it would take and he could have him back. He said, "I don't negotiate with with..." he was lost for words. "Terrorists?" I offered.
To top off the prank, I emailed him a recipe for Monkey Balls, a breakfast dish that I thought sounded yummy and was considering cooking over the holiday weekend.
In the end Rowan got his monkey back. You can imagine the number of references to Rowan's monkey that were used throughout the day. There was more to the prank but it was a "you had to be there" or Lord of the Flies kind of thing. Needless to say, the whole office is super impressed with my pranking abilities. Now I need to keep one eye open at all times. Because I know Rowan is going to try to get me back for this one. But I doubted he'll top this one.