In the first few months of this blog’s existence, I was pretty much talking to myself. I didn’t mind this, exactly, for I was still experimenting. But I was, I admit, a wee bit lonely.
This post from April 2012, in its tiny way, got things off the ground for me. After it went live, readers started visiting my blog. More importantly, they stuck around to see what I would say next.
Wanna know my secret to building a modest online following? Two words: “Monkey Poo.”
The other day I was hunched over the breakfast table so miserable, tired, and achy that I felt like I was recovering from a hangover. As I had not imbibed anything stronger than orange juice the night before, this all seemed horribly unfair. I could do little more than stare at my waffle, inhale my coffee, and hope that my head would stop throbbing. It was barely 7 a.m. and I had already chalked the day up as a loss.
Ellen and Alex were at the table, too. She was eating a Fluffernutter on a toasted English muffin. He was picking at dry cereal while suspiciously eying the Fluff jar. Alex loves marshmallows, but there’s something about Fluff that he doesn’t quite trust. He won’t go near the stuff.
After a long, silent pause, with each of us absorbed in his and her own private thoughts (My thought being, “I hate everything!”), Alex broke the silence with a question that oozed disgust: “Where does that come from?” he asked, pointing to the Fluff.
The words flew out of my mouth so quickly they surprised my brain.
“Fluff Monkeys,” I said.
“What?” Alex sputtered, eyes wide.
Then he said: “Noooooo. It does not. It does not.”
Then, a millisecond later: “Does it really? Really, daddy? Daddy. Daddy. Does it really?”
“It really does,” I said. “Fluff Monkeys live deep in the jungles of Borneo and explorers go there to look for them.” I wasn’t quite sure where I was going with this, so I sipped my coffee to buy time. It turned out I didn’t really need to do this; before I finished slurping, the rest of the tale came into focus. “When the explorers see a Fluff Monkey, they poke it with a stick to annoy it. Well, as you know, annoyed monkeys throw their poop. And that’s good, because Fluff Monkeys poop Fluff.”
To a six-year-old, there is no better punchline to any joke than “poop.” Alex was in giggle mode.
“So they poop the Fluff and throw it at the explorers. The explorers catch the poop and collect it in wheelbarrows,” I said. “Then the explorers wheel the poop away, put it in jars, and sell it to your mother.”
Ellen feigned the dry heaves. Alex leapt from his chair so he could literally fall on the floor laughing.
We had a few more laughs with the Fluff Monkey idea before we all wheezed a tired sigh and got back to eating. By then I was amazed to discover that my headache was gone.
Behold the healing power of nonsense!
What’s the most sublime bit of nonsense you had ever told another person?