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I’m A Monkey At A Zoo Lights Exhibit, Am I Not Enough For You?

And I’m not loving how much this has raised my electric bill, either.

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on

Please take a seat on one of our uncomfortable wooden benches here, we need to have a chat. You know, I was really excited to see you today. I was really, really looking forward to our visit. I enjoy pretending to sleep and do nothing for the 15 minutes you stand in front of my exhibit, and then start to go bonkers as soon as you begin to walk away. That’s always been really fun for me. But tonight, when you came into my home, at this time of night, when I wasn’t decent and ready for visitors…and then I find out, you’re not even here to see ME…but THEM? Those zoo lights? Curious George wouldn’t hang those in his home, and he’s considered a freak in my community!

Let me ask frankly: am I not enough for you? I’m a full-fledged, living breathing species. I swing from branches. I beat on my chest. I eat bananas, just like you do, but it’s funner and cute when I do it. I’m a fucking blast, God dammit. YOU should be paying YOUR money to see ME. Why are you not flashing your technology blocks at me, instead of something you have at home…a literal lamp. I’m sorry, did I miss the memo that the lightbulb is the new hot topic of 2021, huh Sir Isaac Newton? Fucking nerd. You’re oohing and aahing at blinking lights, and I’m over here going ooh-ooh ah-ah to try and make sure you get your money’s worth, and — and — and all for what?

And now that I’m thinking about it, these past few weeks have been a nightmare with you people coming. The zoo closes at 6, dumbo! And I’m not talking about the elephant! Why are you still here after dark? If I don’t get a full 12 hours of beauty rest, how am I supposed to be my congenial and charismatic self behind a glass? I can’t. These lights are no night light you keep on in the hallway so you don’t trip on your balls on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. These are full-ass, I’m-gonna-call-the-cops-on-my neighbors lights. I don’t come over to your house and turn all your lights on when you’re sleeping and rack up your electric bill. Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know. Believe me, I would have noticed that when I was swinging on them, so I guess prancing around nude in front of strangers will have to do to make a living. So if I do end up calling the cops, just remember, I’m the monkey in the middle, I’m just the messenger!

You think I’m an idiot don’t you? Guess what humans, you and I have the same DNA and almost the same size brain. I’m not like my cousins, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. I know evil when I see one and that’s you pal. You’re only here because your girlfriend saw a better looking couple she follows on Instagram post a photo from here. $20 a person later, you’re in my habitat. Look at you now, standing pathetically with flashing lights on your face alone as your girlfriend runs around asking for strangers to take photos of you. You really look like you’re in the Christmas spirit. Want to know how I get laid here? Picking bugs out of women’s hair and it works like a charm. I save $20 and I don’t have to see some string lights. Maybe you should try it if you stick around with your influencer girlfriend.

Little known fact at the place you’re at, it is actually a zoo. Yep, 10 months out of the year, this place is filled with third graders vomiting all over the place on school field trips. No lights, just vomit baby. Call me old fashioned, but zoos used to be a place where people can pay $40 a person to watch me have sex and struggle to explain what’s happening to their kids. But now these poor non-profit zoos have no choice but to put lights all over my home and they’re even making me hold the ladder! Wait, wait, wait–hold on, don’t go. I know you took your 100 pictures already, but there’s more to the zoo! Look at me! Eeee eeee ooooo ahhh ahh! What about that? Anything? Man, that usually works. Okay, do you want me to throw my shit or even maul a child? I’ll do anything, just stay!

I don’t know what to say. It feels like these lights are blinding. Blinding bored boyfriends to the injustice that faces my home. And you know what? My godfather Harambe didn’t die for this.

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Emily Kapp & Daniel Stillman

Emily Kapp & Daniel Stillman


Emily Kapp and Daniel Stillman are both Chicago-based humor writers. You can contact them at