Attack Monkeys, and Other Pets

Dogs and cats remain the most popular pets in the Western world. Dogs are furry and they love you unconditionally. Violin strings are made out of cat gut. Eventually I would like to get a couple of pet dogs, however in the meantime I fantasize about more exotic household critters.


Yes, I know, they seem huge and dangerous and likely to ruin a perfectly good petting zoo outing. But the carnivorous dinosaurs featured in Jurassic Park are not biologically accurate. Consider the following real dimensions of a Velociraptor:

  • 1.6 feet high
  • 33 pounds
  • 6.8 feet long
  • Feathered

That’s basically an elongated chicken. Probably an angry one– I’m envisioning a rooster on meth. Still, unless you’re Gary Coleman or too lazy to drop-kick a horked off chicken in the jaw, you could manage to knock one in the face and grab yourself a decent Thanksgiving dinner.

I figure I would keep a Velociraptor coop in my backyard, that way I’d have fresh organic raptor eggs every morning. Also, foxes could go fuck themselves. Good luck trying to steal any eggs from my Velociraptor coop, you scheming egg-stealing bastards.


When I used to work at the Oklahoma City Zoo, I sometimes liked to take my sack lunch over to the Galapagos tortoise exhibit to watch the reptiles give a go at cronking. They’re awful at it. It’s like their first time, every time, except with giant cumbersome shells. It sounds like a bunch of trashcans clunking together, plus confused children crying in the background.

Galapagos tortoises live forever (there are still some in Australia which Darwin brought over) and so I thought I might buy one so that I could saddle my kids, grand kids and great-grand kids with an onerous obligation they never agreed to. Like social security.

Unfortunately you can’t buy Galapagos tortoises because they’re endangered, but you can buy the next-biggest thing, which is an Aldabra tortoise. They can live up to seventy years and weigh about five hundred pounds. You can also paint stuff on their backs like Victorian Cameos of your dead relatives or “VOTE ROMNEY” graffiti, and there’s not a damned thing they can do about it because they have stubby legs and they’re illiterate.

Anyway, my plan is to eventually buy an Aldabra tortoise, then get a pot-bellied pig, then teach my pig to ride my tortoise around my backyard. I figure this would be at least as entertaining as spying on my neighbors.

Also, every year in the Fourth of July parade I could have my tortoise-riding-pig follow behind me in my convertible.


Overall I’d prefer to have a pet monkey above anything else. This goes without saying. I’d probably have, I dunno, seven or eight Capuchin monkeys which I would train for specific purposes

There would be a cocktail monkey to make me gin and tonics.

Assuming it had proper citizenship documentation, I would employ a lawnmower monkey to keep my yard pristine.

There would be an attack monkey to dissuade burglars and to keep my wife in line.

So long as physical newspapers still exist, I would teach one of my monkeys to fetch my paper for me every morning. I don’t think you should only read one newspaper, because that limits the scope of your ideas, so I would also train my monkey to steal other people’s newspapers from all over my neighborhood.

Another monkey would be trained to properly recycle the aforementioned newspapers. If I have extra time, I will teach the monkey to make origami and shit.

The volume control on my television remote is busted. So I would train a “volume monkey” to turn the sound up or down to suit my preferences. If the monkey ventured past its basic volume control duties and started jacking around with programming (watching the Discovery Channel, Keeping up with Kardassians, etc.) then I would have my aforementioned attack monkey taser it.

Finally, training my pot-bellied pig to learn to ride my pet Aldabra tortoise strikes me as time consuming. So I would probably train my monkey to do it for me instead. I would accomplish this by providing it with diagrams, then employ a “carrot and stick” reward system using bananas and tasers.

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  • Robert Patrick
    June 1, 2012 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

    You will need to train one monkey to pickup and dispose of the unsavory discharges of said monkeys, turtles and pig. Yuk….BTW….get some Glade!

    • Heaton
      June 3, 2012 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

      That’s a good point. I’ll definitely need a pooper-scooper monkey. Or maybe a lemur. I feel a lemur would be better suited for such a task.

  • June 1, 2012 - 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t like the “face eating” side of monkey pet ownership. Or the feces throwing. But apart from that they seem pretty cool.

    • Heaton
      June 3, 2012 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      The trick is to make soothing ocean noises so that the monkeys don’t rip your face off. As far as feces are concerned, you just train them to throw them at OTHER people.

  • Jim
    June 1, 2012 - 5:21 pm | Permalink

    We need to get you an easier “like” widget. And Jim W., if you don’t like the face eating side of the monkey you can skip the monkey and just do some bath salts.

    • Heaton
      June 3, 2012 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

      That reminds me: I would also like a monkey to take baths with. We could both have toy boats to make fake armada battles with.

  • June 3, 2012 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I have always wanted a pet monkey, but not a flying monkey. Monkeys should not have that much intelligence. Just throw poo at me…that’s all I want.

    • Heaton
      June 4, 2012 - 11:39 am | Permalink

      No no, you want them to throw poo at OTHER people. Or possibly to mix it in with compost in your garden.

      That reminds me: I would also like a gardener monkey.