Mr. Monkey Is In Charge.


“I want to sleep in the car. If I can’t sleep in the car, I want to go home. Right now. Home!”

These were Everett’s plaintive words within 10 minutes of arriving at our Cooperstown house rental. Hilary and I kept catching eachother’s eyes after making a loop through one or another maze of ornately-decorated rooms. Making sure we were both still “in.” We had come a long way–physically, emotionally and financially–to cross this particular threshold. Short of turning a squeaky doorknob and discovering a recently-murdered person, there would be no turning back.

Every room revealed something intricate, in a lovely but faintly frightening way. The dining room chandelier looked like something out of a Vincent Price classic from my youth. The “House of Wax,” maybe.


The main staircase is straight out of the Munsters’ mansion; I am still surprised the stairs haven’t raised up for a caretaker to toss Eddie’s pet dragon, “Spot” a whole Thanksgiving turkey for dinner; the animal spewing fire.


I’m 35% certain that my family and are are meant to be fattened up and eaten by our unseen host à la the husband pig and wife duck in the children’s book, “Mystery of Eatum Hall.”


But all these terrors are minor compared to Mr. Monkey. I opened a door off the bathroom. It looked like a door that was kept closed for a reason. I fumbled for a light switch, clicked it up, and saw him: Mr. Monkey. His eyes seemed to trail me across the room. Quietly asserting his position in this particular movie. He is clearly in charge, clearly pulling all the strings and deciding what will transpire. I backed away slowly, maintaining eye contact with Mr. Monkey. And I’ve spent the last 2 days trying to forget the encounter. Unsuccessfully. Wish us luck.

Thanks for reading.


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