All day long I have been hearing Bob Dylan’s voice from the Travelling Wilburys singing, “. .
“To an undercover cop who had a sister named jan
For reasons unexplained she loved the monkey man”
Now let me try to explain.
Breakfast with Elvis
Bob and I were having breakfast at the Protea Hotel right at the entrance gate to Kruger national park. The gate itself reminds me of Jurrasic Park – because once you pass through it, you are the minority. We are in animal territory and Bob and Carson seem more like “Kibbles and Bits” once you enter the park.
Back to breakfast. So from where I am sitting I am watching one of the staff at the hotel positioned on the outside deck standing very alert yet sublte. The entire breakfast time he did not move but was holding something in his hands.
Curiosity has taught me a lot and occasionally gotten me into trouble. So I approached him and found out his name was Elvis. I also saw that what was in his hand was a homemade sling shot with 18 inches bands of red surgical tubing coming back to the leather patch for holding the round stones he had in a pouch.
“What are you doing?” I asked politely.
Elvis replied, “Watching for monkeys.” He then showed me how he fits the stones into the sling shot.
“So you are the Monkey Man here at the hotel?”
“Yes, yes . . the Monkey Man” he laughed with his beautiful white teeth showing from ear to ear. “The Monkey Man” he repeated with laughter.
“I haven’t seen any monkey’s this morning.”
“No,” Elvis said seriously, “it is because I am here. No monkeys today,”
Now Bob and I have seen these masked robbers on the property, but I still got the giggles as I thought about a hotel that has a monkey man on staff.
The leadership developer in me then started imagining the interview process for the job. I was now laughing out loud at just the prospect. Bob kept asking, “What are you laughing about?”
“The monkey man interview process.”
I was barely able to get that out without crying I was laughing so hard. My friend smiled with me, and my bizarre, warped sense of humour.
Inside my head I picture the manager of the hotel coming out of his office with papers in his hand calling out, “Elvis?”
Elvis stands and walks towards the manager with his slingshot in his hand. Shakes hands with the manager and then enters his office.
Elvis has no papers with him and is dressed in a very casual manner as the manager asks him to sit down.
“So Mr. Elvis, you are here to apply for the Monkey Man position?”
“Yes sir,” he says shyly.
“Let me ask you a few questions, Do you like monkeys?”
“Do you like eating Monkey glands?”
“What do you think is the most effective way for our hotel to get rid of monkeys?”
“Wouldn’t that smell and bother our guests?”
“Yes but it would get rid of the monkeys.”
“Would you be opposed to using a..” the manager gets up and closes the office door and looks into Elvis’ eyes, “. . a more lethal method?”
Elvis smiled, and holds up his slingshot.
“You any good with that?”
Elvis stares at him and with pride and repeats, “I never miss.”
“Even in a crowded dining room with dozens of guest in it?”
“I never miss” Elvis said more seriously.
The manager then stands up and walks towards Elvis, extends his hand saying, “You’re hired. You are hotel’s monkey man. Can you start tomorrow?”
Well I am going to sleep tonight still smiling about the Monkey Man. Hope to say goodbye to Elvis before we leave tomorrow.