Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Regular Irregularities Of Monkeys

The monkeys are back!  They visit periodically, wreaking havoc all around the house (fortunately the house itself has been monkey proofed and they cannot enter.  This, of course doesn't prevent them from persistently attempting to do so!)

They clamber onto the clothes line, swing from the telephone wires, sit on the terrace and throw plants and stones down below.  They chatter, fight, play, mess up and more...

As a result, our phone line goes dead.  This is a periodic event, so we put in the usual complaint.  The phone repair man comes promptly; he too knows that this is a one minute job (though he refuses to tell me how to do it).  He climbs onto the terrace where the wires hang in a series of loops, picks out the phone line, probably does a cut and paste job and trundles down to my house.  Rings the bell and I open the door.

"Is your phone working?"

The question is always the same and I know he has fixed it but hasn't told me yet.  So, I am not supposed to know.  My answer, also, is the usual -"No".

"What is the problem?"

"The monkeys had come."

He looks impassively at me.  There is no need for explanations and I know what his next statement will be.

"Try it now."

I walk over to the telephone.

"One minute, madam," the repair man says.  "I will dial your number."

He does so and, raucously, the phone begins to ring.  It is the most joyous sound I have heard even though it wakes up my baby.

Through the corridor of air between my house and doorstep, the phone man and I look at each other.  I lift the receiver.

"Hello," I whisper.  There is no need for muted tones because the baby is now wide awake and surveying the situation with interest.

"Is it working, madam?", the repair man's voice rings through the phone and also directly through the corridor of air, in my ear.

"Yes.  Yes", I reply, to both sets of voices.  We look at each other.  He stares impassively once more.

"Thank you," I say into the receiver.


I wait for him to say "Over and out," or some such thing, but he promptly disconnects and leaves.  He knows as well as I do that he will visit again, when the monkeys reappear.  Until then, all is well.

The baby senses that all the action is over.  He begins to howl.

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