Repost: Fluffernonsense

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.” 

You’re welcome.


Some monkeys try to type Hamlet, others make this.

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?

62 Replies to “Repost: Fluffernonsense”

  1. When my sweet daughter was really little, I explained to her that Santa brought her the small presents in her stocking and that the big presents came from people. In her stocking, Santa included mini-Santa chocolates from Godiva chocolates. One year, when she was 5 or 6, I found a crumpled foil wrapper from the Godiva Santa and replaced it with a new Godiva Santa. Later in the day, I spotted my child finding the chocolate and looking puzzled. I stayed away and she soon came to me. “Mama,” she said, “I just found this Santa chocolate on the dresser.” “That’s nice, darling.” I said, continuing to do whatever I was doing. “But I ate it and there was only a wrapper there before!” she insisted. “Oh, no, sweetheart,” I said, “You must have just thought you ate it.” Well, she tried it again, and again a new chocolate appeared! And so the myth of the Chocolate Fairy was born. When I ran out of Santa chocolates, I trotted back to Godiva’s and got Valentine’s Day hearts, then Easter egg chocolates, and so carried on the charade for YEARS, with appropriate seasonal little chocolates, until Godiva stopped making the little chocolate Santas. We both tacitly agreed not to burst the Chocolate Fairy bubble and had fun with it as long as we could. Which was many YEARS! To this day (and she’s 27 years old now!) Santa brings her small gifts in her stocking and the big gifts come from people. No more chocolates, though! xoxoM

    1. Oh, that is a lovely story.

      But a bottomless stocking of chocolate? Dang! Think of the perpetual sugar high! I wouldn’t have dared do such a thing with my little guy. I woulda had to scrape him off the ceiling with a putty knife.

    1. Oh, geeze. Careful with the Nutella talk,my friend. I’m pretty sure that a few of my followers pray to the Nutella gods every night.

      In other words, they’re a little off their hazelnut. So, please, Michelle, for your own safety, don’t dis Nutella!

  2. With stories like that, you’d fit right in at our dinner table. Try as I might, having two teen sons and a husband who joins in means dinner conversations always end up in scatological humor. 🙂

  3. I’ve read this just at the right time. I’ve got the flu and a pounding headache. Bring on the silliness!

  4. I’m sure his teacher really enjoyed your morning story…I don’t know any six year old boy able to resist telling their friends a poo story…especially one their dad told them.

    1. This story never found an audience beyond the breakfast table. I came up with the Fluff Money tale at a time when Alex was rather shy in school.

      That shyness was just a phase, however. My boy has since discovered a love for classroom performance that gets me in trouble all the tiiiiime (as the “My Versatility Responsibility 2.0” post makes abundantly clear).

  5. There is something so cool about the need to flop on the floor with laughter. While I know he’s going to have to grow out of this (floor flopping with laughter gets scary at a certain age) the physicality of children’s joy is beautiful… I’ll miss this. Sigh.

  6. I’ve careful about telling nonsense to the kiddos over the years, mine and those the school district assigns to me. Apparently I tell nonsense with a very straight face with a SERIOUS tone. This backfired badly one time with the oldest son. I told him I was so very sorry but I could not buy him his ride ticket at the amusement park since I had spent so much that day making sure his birthday was wonderful. Yes, he believed me and as I stepped away from the ticket window and turned–no son behind me. Panic ensued until I looked over and there he stood with his own ticket in hand. “Well, you said I had to pay for myself.” Being that he was 23 at the time made me realize the power of MOM WORD still resonated. Oops! Oh, no monkeys or hazel nuts were consulted in the writing of this reply.

      1. My family seems to believe their staid mother would never deceive them. This is a scary responsibility which I tend to distill with moments of mirth.
        Poker? Probably not, I can’t keep my straights from flushing at inappropriate times.

      1. Well . . .

        My older daughter lost her first tooth during a school trip to a pumpkin farm, and then literally lost it amid the pumpkins.

        I told her the Tooth Fairy paid double for lost teeth, which helped soothe the hysteria.

        But then she lost her second tooth—and lost it. And was paid double.

        And then the third tooth went missing. The Tooth Fairy paid up, but also left a tiny printed note in purple inked script font saying that this was the last time—and that my daughter also needed to brush more, because the TF wasn’t paying for dirty teeth, either.

        I later convinced both kids that I had to call the Tooth Fairy Service to report that teeth were available for pick up, because there were a lot of kids in the world and this made it easier on the fairies (I left a message on my work voice mail once).

        This meant that I was always told when a tooth was ready for pillow placement and it also came in handy when they asked why other kids were given a lot more for their teeth: “They must have the premium service—your dad and I only sprang for the basic subscription. We could upgrade, but then we’d probably have to drop our cable TV service.”

      2. Well done! I love how you handled Tooth Fairly payment inequities. Really, we as a society should get our act together and establish a universally recognized, across-the-board tooth payment policy. (And kids only get half their fee for lost teeth).

      3. No kidding. And while we’re at it, the Rich Kids Santa needs to tone it down, too—he’s making the rest of the Santas look bad.

  7. Ha ha. This is a scream.
    Hmm. I remember one of my grand girls had the toots and I remarked she was blowing bubbles and would soon fly away. “No, I won’t. Will I?” She then proceeded to wave behind her to catch them and looked disappointed but laughed and laughed as did her younger sister.

  8. HAHAHAHA!!! I have recently realized that the song from Frozen “Let It Go” has a fart reference. It puts it in a whole new light. 🙂 I also had a conversation with a 50-some year old man (on a ride to Harrisburg for a class field trip) about how nincompoop is funny because it has ‘poop’ in it. And that ‘fart’, ‘burp’, ‘belch’, etc. are always funny, no matter what age you are. 😉

    1. “Let it Go” has a fart reference? How did I miss that?

      I too, love the word “nincompoop.” But I love it not because of the “poop” contained within, but because it is just a wonderfully nutty old-timey word. I feel the same way about about “poppycock.”

      Nobody says such colorful words anymore, and what a shame that is!

  9. No one here has yet commented on your brilliance explaining the path to writing success: poop, laughter, telling stories, and never being afraid of acting foolish.
    In the past I have turned my nose up at marshmallow fluff. From now on, I shall turn my EYES up, ever for the lookout of the Fluff Monkey.

    1. You are so very sweet! (How many times have I told you this? Well, it’s TRUE.)

      And, yes, my friend, you are wise to keep a sharp eye out for the Fluff Monkey.

      Also beware of the Nutella Llama.

  10. Priceless Mike, I just LOVED it, and that stuff fluff sure looks mighty suspicious, so much so, we’ve not let it into our country as far as I know!:-) Do you think there are grants to go study these fluff pooping, poop throwing creatures? I quite fancy a trip to Borneo…and I second that earlier comment that requests an illustration, to which you said…maaaaybe. There are stories from my own family I could share, but they make me cringe! My family loves to tease me and wind me up, me being the oh so serious and oh so sensible one. Then again, there was that time when my Mum and Aunt decided to celebrate winning a game by doing a spontaneous rain/fertility dance around the living room stamping and whooping, and I laughed till I could barely breathe and that made everyone else laugh even more and so, yeah I guess it went on for a while, and I definitely needed to get on the floor for that one…Hugs, H xxx

  11. Love the nonsense. I wrote my nonsense story in my idea journal. 🙂 Thanks for the prompt!

  12. This gives a whole new dimension to the idea of s’mores. Who flung them in the first place? Love your sillies. Keep with them, and thanks for brightening my day.

  13. Well, I have no silly parent stories as I have no kids. But, I have a silly adult story. When in my twenties, I was a photographer at a downtown photo studio. We also processed film. One day a gentleman came in, either from an well-known accounting firm or a lawyer–so not a stupid man. But he was verrry naive.

    He began handing me a roll of film to process (yes, it was a long time ago) and he dropped it. When I was finally handed the film I looked at it like I was inspecting it. He asked if everything was okay. I said, “I hope so. You just dropped the film and now the numbers will be all jumbled around. I hope they (film processor) can get them back in the right order.”

    He looked worried and asked if there was anything I could do. He was deadly serious. Not being able to remain serious, I laughed. He was one of my best customers after that day. But he was cautious about believing odd things I said. I was twenty-something, so much of what I said was odd..

      1. I still prefer film, too. I like going into a darkroom to process it or then to manipulate it for a great, unexpected photograph. Those labs, or even at home, processing has become non-existent. I miss it.

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