Friday, April 3, 2009
The Charlie Monkeys
I might have mentioned before, my two youngest brothers, B and G, are twins. When they were young, someone - I don't remember who - gave them twin plush animal toys.
They were monkeys, with red plush bodies and molded plastic faces. Their expressions were sly, and their eyes, with disconcertingly glamorous painted eyelashes and blue eyeshadow, had a sidelong glance. Their mouths curled in an impudent smirk, and their brows arched mockingly.
My brothers called them Charlie Monkey. That is, they were both named Charlie Monkey, and together they were known as The Charlie Monkeys.
They were diabolical creatures. In our house, if something naughty happened, it was the fault of The Charlie Monkeys. If something was found broken, The Charlie Monkeys were responsible. It was The Charlie Monkeys who used my hi-fi record player for a carousel, not B and G. It was The Charlie Monkeys who missed the toilet seat and peed on the floor. It was The Charlie Monkeys who spilled the Grape Nehi on the rug, ate the candy that was hidden in the drawer, and broke Mom's flower pot on the patio. B and G were often punished for things they insisted were the work of The Charlie Monkeys.
On our visit back to Mom's house, B and G and I rediscovered The Charlie Monkeys. They were hidden in a closet together. We all experienced a frisson of uneasiness when we saw them.
As a joke, we put The Charlie Monkeys on display on Mom's mantle. Here the grownup B and G uneasily contemplate them. We took them down before the realtor came over to tour the house.
How could a pair of simple toys inspire such a weird feeling? What kind of toy designer created them, anyway?
You can see that one Charlie has experienced some kind of facial trauma, which makes him even creepier - his ear has been split off and he appears to have had his throat cut. It hasn't changed his sly yet jolly expression.
[The Man I Love] said when he saw my photos that they look like a cross between Curious George and Chucky the evil doll.
We spent the weekend goading each other, tucking them into places where they were guaranteed to disturb the finder. On the day my brothers drove north, B found them zipped into his overnight bag.
He took them home with him. I expect they'll end up in a closet somewhere. Our family accepts responsibility for them. We certainly can't allow The Charlie Monkeys to be fall into the hands of someone unsuspecting and innocent.