Sunday, April 20, 2008
Patiala County Prison Blues
I cannot resist a good monkey story. I am drawn to them like a shark to a bucket of chum. Monkeys crack me up, always have. Especially when they blow raspberries or work with an organ grinder. Put a funny hat or glasses on a chimp and I’ll laugh. Have them smoking a cigarette and I’m the floor. How about a monkey washing a cat? I could laugh so hard that a little pee might come out. Monkey washing a cat, good times.
I wish that Ricky Gervais was here to cue up the Monkey News jingle. If he was, he would yell “Oooh, chimpanzee that, Monkey News!”
I preface this story by saying that I haven’t exhausted all my journalistic skills here. Some of this may be apocryphal. But come on, I’m not Dan Rather – wait, bad example – I’m not Walter Cronkite. That’s better. This is Chilled Monkey Brains, my silly, rubbish blog, not The Washington Post.
It’s my understanding that it is illegal to kill a monkey in India. This is in large part out of respect to the monkey god Hanuman. I’m sure that if I was Hindu, Hanuman would be my favorite god. Even more so than that elephant babe with the four arms. Since you cannot exterminate the little buggers, they run rampant. My buddy Joel spent some time in India and he had a book of monkey shagging pictures. They were boning everywhere and causing all kinds of mischief. Not all monkeys are as well behaved as Cheetah in the Tarzan films. There are monkey criminals. Stealing fruit from vendors, attacking tourists, throwing rocks at the kiddies, I think one robbed a bank with an AK-47, some bad monkeys.
Since there is not a monkey death penalty, the naughty apes are being sent to a monkey prison. Really. In Patiala, a city in the state of Punjab, there is a monkey hoosegow. It’s hard to find a lot of details about it, there has been a few random articles, but apparently it does exist. The first inmate was a rascal that was biting shoppers in a local market. There are also stories of monkey gangs terrorizing students, stealing purses, defecating in water sources and taking over elevators. Those monkeys were going … bananas! Thank you! I’ll be here all week! Drive careful! You see what I did there was I took bananas, a fruit monkeys love and used it as an action word to describe … never mind…
There are stories about monkeys being released for good behavior. I can see the little guy sitting in front of the parole board like H.I. McDunnough in Raising Arizona. “Now Bingo, have you learned your lesson? Are you done taking dumps in the temple fountain? Yes? He’s nodding his head I think. Okay, you’re free to go.”
Since I couldn’t find a whole lot of details, not even a picture, I do have some questions.
Who works at the monkey prison? Is there a warden? I would think that guard duty at the simian grey bar hotel would be appropriate punishment for inmates at a regular prison. You don’t get stuck in the hole for inciting a riot, you get sent to the monkey jail. You’d learn your lesson methinks. It would have to be crazy in there. A bunch of delinquent monkeys going nuts day after day. Can’t be a very desirable gig.
If there is only one jail in humongous India, are there prisoner transfers from other parts of the country? Maybe they fly them in once a month. Like a monkey version of Con Air.
What happens to the baby monkeys that are born in the jail? Are they set free? It’s not their fault their parents are convicted fruit thieves.
Are fruits and nuts used as currency like cigarettes in human prisons? It seems likely.
Has there been any escapes? For instance, hypothetically, let’s say there is a banker monkey sent to the pokey for killing his wife. Except he didn’t do it. Let’s call the monkey, oh, I don’t know, Andy. Andy has been incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit. He has been spending time with an orangutan who was busted for murder. Let’s call him, let me see, let me see, uh, Red. That’s it. We’ll call him Red. One day, the warden opens Andy’s cell and he doesn’t waddle out for roll call. The cell is empty. Andy has disappeared like a fart in the wind. The warden brings in Red to question him, even offers him three ripe bananas for information. Nothing. Red won’t talk. In frustration, the warden chucks the bananas at the poster of Dr. Zira in a bikini hanging on the cell wall. The fruit flies through the poster, revealing a tunnel that has been used to escape to freedom.
A short time later, Red is released on parole and he meets up with Andy on the Malabar Coast. There the two former monkey ex-cons go to work restoring an old boat and running a monkey bed and breakfast.
It could happen. Before you read this you didn’t believe there was a monkey prison.