One of my oldest memories involves a trip to the old Riverdale Zoo in Toronto. The whole family had gone to Mass. My mom, dad, sister Pauline and me, along with my grandparents Ernie and Bernie, went to the zoo on a lovely summer morning. My grandfather bought a bag of peanuts. Back in those days, guys used to sell them from funky-smelling heated carts that also carried popcorn and candy apples. Anyone who visited the Royal Ontario Museum before about 1985 would remember these guys.
My grandfather carried the peanuts around the zoo. When he got to the monkey cage -- animals were kept in big Dumbo Circus-style cages in the Good Old Days -- my grandfather held a peanut toward one of the monkeys. Out came the little soft monkey hands to grab the peanut. Ernie pulled the peanut back. The monkey started screaming and jumping around. My grandfather thought this was funny as hell. When the monkey calmed down a bit, my grandfather offered the peanut again. The monkey reached for it. Ernie pulled it back. The monkey flipped out.
The monkey eventually calmed down. When he did, my grandfather offered the peanut again. The monkey reached for it. My grandfather pulled the peanut back.
The monkey grabbed a big handful of monkey shit and, with the speed and precision of Cal Ripken whipped it all over my grandfather.
Not quite sure why I'm recalling this today.