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.


Tristan Robin said...

I think they're a dead ringer for the wicked witch of the west's flying monkey sidekick.

Frankly, they need to be made into some fabulous piece of art for your brothers - of course, they'd have to trade it off to the other every other birthday.

Julie said...

Very fun photos. I like the photos of the twins. great portrait of them. I am glad you enjoyed the Chihuly Saffron Tower on my site. I am going to be posting more Chihuly as everybody seems to love it.

Maia C said...

"A cross between Curious George and Chucky the evil doll" is a great description of them.

If your brothers come to visit you, expect to find the Charlie Monkeys in a closet.

When I was very, very young, my mother had a small figurine of a crocodile. We children dubbed it Crockie and loved to play with it. Like the Charlie Monkeys, Crockie was responsible for all the misdeeds in the house. One day my aunt nearly fell down the stairs when she stepped on a toy someone had left on a step. When she demanded to know who'd left it there, we all blamed Crockie. "No, he didn't!" she told us sternly. I just saw him and asked him, and he said he had nothing to do with it." We were all astonished that Crockie would talk to a grownup.

Julia said...

They actually live on B's dresser. Watching him sleep. Because your brother laughs in the face of creepiness, apparently.

--Your niece