Monkeyshines: horror, prank, and long-winded

An angled shot of a monkey tree in front of a buttercream colored house with rust trim and a concrete porch with pots on alternating steps. The area is surrounded by a variety of evergreen trees and other bare trees and leafy bushes and grass.

I have a thing about horror movies: I hate them; don’t really like being scared; and especially hate jump scares.

Do. 👏🏼 Not. 👏🏼 Like. 👏🏼 Them. 👏🏼

When I was a kid, my dad, brother, and I used to play a hide and jump out from “nowhere” game. We used to prank each other all the time. I’m pretty sure I got a taste of what heart failure felt like as a child resulting from that game and probably developed an allergy to jump-scares because of it.

One evening, my dad jumped around a corner, roaring with his arms up in the air and hands curved like claws. He scared me so badly that I cried like nobody’s tomorrow–the kind of hysterical crying that turns into heaving breaths (I was still pretty little). The game forever ended that night. My dad felt awful about the whole thing and said, no more.

My brother and father enjoyed that game, too. However, it ended with everyone feeling bad. Me for crying hysterically. My dad for being the “bad” guy. My brother for me ruining his fun.

At any rate back to monkeyshines (and jump-scares–that story was related). There was a horror movie in the 80’s called Monkeyshines. It featured one of these clanging monkeys.

My Fabulous Fools: NO. Just no. 😱⛔️

So. Scary. I had to add this image after I had written the entire post because I can’t stand to look at it.

Our friend group was gearing up to watch it unbeknownst to me. I left as soon as I found out. I could not have left any faster. While I may be a slow study at times, I learned the hard way. I was not so smart when they started up People Under the Stairs which I did manage to sit through…corny, but jump scares–another story altogether.

However, the night they started watching Children of the Corn is when I truly learned my lesson.

Y’all. I tried to sit through it and finally had to leave. Now, I’m scarred for life about corn fields–and I love me some corn! When I visited family and friends in Iowa and a couple of other midwestern states, the cornfields were so dangerously close to the gas stations that I was a little beside myself. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Yes, that bad. When Chia was in grade school, I kind of had to force myself to do the kids’ pumpkin patch corn maze because I was the “adult” (among others) and chaperoning a field trip. 😬

Total side story, but I did go willingly go back into the corn maze when one of the so-called “trouble-maker” boys in another group decided to go solo into the maze after everyone came out. I really am that one who “leaves no man behind.”

Stay together, people is one of my many mottos. Safety in numbers and all that. And don’t get me started about the zombies that my former art students loved so. 🧟😨

But I digress. This is about Monkey Shines (as well as monkeyshines). The next day, because my curiosity always gets the better of me, I asked them how the movie was. I can’t remember their answer. What I remember is that the answer to this question: what was it about? It was met with a blow-by-blow telling of this stupid movie. 😳

Now, y’all know I get long-winded. I’m sympathetic toward that tendency. Sometimes, my pic is the example of that definition…however, this went on, and on, and on. And if I’m saying this, trust me, this answer was LONG.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to tap out. And I usually can wait that sort of thing out, friends.

Ever since that one retelling of that movie, the whole group called any long-winded story a “monkeyshines.” Chief and I have done this for over 30 years now.


Anyway, the other day History Facts sent an email about the world’s shortest film–wait for it–Monkeyshines, by Thomas Edison in 1888.

😳 Yeah.

This movie has nothing to do with a monkey, either. Monkeyshines has a legitimate definition that does not coincide with our coopted definition:

(N) a frivolous or mischievous prank.

Here we thought we were being funny with the whole monkeyshines thing and it was already a word. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Although I do feel like my friends trying to trick me into watching a horror movie is a kind of monkeyshines all on its own. Apparently my screaming and jumping makes for good fodder–ask my friends and some of my former students. 🫠

Anyone out there like horror films or are you an avoidant like me?

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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