‘The Monkey’s Paw’ for a thousand, Alex

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Once upon a time there was a magical truck that traveled from place to place, delivering things villagers needed to live their village lives nicely. The magical truck was driven by a big red bear named Heziciah, but he couldn’t tell anyone his name, because bears can’t talk. The End

OK, since I probably can’t get away with that for today’s post, I’ll tell you a real story about finding a monkey’s paw in the cab of the truck.

He fed it to the dog. I may or may not have fainted.He fed it to the dog. I may or may not have fainted.

Two things you need to know before we go any further. One, there’s a story called “The Monkey’s Paw,” by a guy named W.W. Jacobs, about a monkey paw that grants wishes, but the wishes take a catastrophic toll on the lives of people who use them. I read it when I was about 11 years old and it scared the doo-doo out of me. I haven’t been fond of monkeys since I was a tiny kid and a caged spider monkey jerked a knot in my head when I ran out of potato chips. But that’s another story.

Anyway, the second thing you need to know is, I’m the one who cleans things in our family dynamic. Before anyone gives me any crap about being liberated and not having to cook and clean just because I’m the wife, let me say this: we split duties just fine up in here. I don’t have to change oil, take out trash, pump fuel, fish raccoons out of the walls, kill snakes or carry heavy things and I’m cool with that in return for cleaning stuff. Also, I can do it in about half the time it takes anyone else, and it’s done like I like it.

So when the truck rolls in and I haven’t been in it, I clean it. Because George isn’t a slob by any means, but he is used to having someone pick up behind him and sometimes things miss the trash can that he doesn’t see. Like evil monkey paws.

I found it under my seat. The seat that would be cursed forever with hateful monkey paw germs and juju. I came out of the truck like a rocket when I saw it. I almost touched it. It was horrible.

George was doing whatever it is people do to trucks when they park them after a trip, and minding his own business.

“Where the hell did you get a monkey paw?”

“Mrs. Parker, I’m going to have to say I have no reference for that question. Could you be more specific?”

“There’s a monkey paw under my seat. An evil, shriveled-up monkey paw. For the love of God, don’t make any wishes!”

“I don’t recall picking up any monkey paws, babe.”

“That’s even scarier. Someone planted a monkey paw under my seat. I’m cursed.”

“Baby, I don’t think anyone planted a monkey paw under your seat.”

And of course, he went to save me from the monkey paw (reference above “we split duties just fine up in here”), which turned out to be a piece of gnarled-up beef jerky that had rolled around under the seat long enough to get fuzzy. It was totally scary, and I’d post a picture of it if he hadn’t picked the lint off it and fed it to the dog. Which made me faint, because he didn’t tell me it was a piece of beef jerky with lint on it until after he’d fed it to the dog, and I thought he had cursed our dog to an everlasting monkey paw hell. I’m still not entirely sure he didn’t just lie to me about the beef jerky part, and really did feed our dog a monkey paw, to hide the evidence of me being cursed by someone planting an evil monkey paw under my seat.

Sometimes, things get complicated at our house. But we split duties just fine up in here.

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