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The Pet Monkey Advertisement
In the late ’50s, no 10-year-old boy collected more comic books than Ronny Chimp. In fact, when he bought a comic book with his pocket money, Ronnie had little interest in comic stories. All he wanted was to find the ad section, where there were a lot of ads selling gimmicky tricks and tricks. Ronnie has pretty much all of them and jokes with his friends at school. But in the latest issue, Ronnie’s interest is piqued when he discovers a new ad for a small pet monkey:
The “Darling Squirrel Monkey” is a “cute pet and companion. Almost human with warm eyes, your family will love it. These little monkeys will grow to about 12 inches tall. Eat the same food as you and even love lollipops : Easy care and training. Guaranteed instant delivery. Only $18.95. Mail check or money order arrive: animal farm. Unit K26, Box 1042, Miami Beach 39, FL. “
Ronnie ran to tell his mom and showed her the ad.
“Oh, stop listening to those cheesy sweet words,” his mother warns.
“But Mom, it can’t be a joke, it could be a pet!”
Ronnie looked sad, then lowered his head, walked slowly back to his room, and slammed the door behind him. A few minutes later, she knocked lightly on the door and opened his door quietly. Ronnie pouted on the bed. She sat down beside him: “Okay, when your dad gets off work at night, let’s ask him.”
Ronnie straightened up and ran around his room. “Wait. Ronny! Don’t be so happy now. Your father can say ‘no.'”
When his father came home a few hours later, Ronnie ran up to him and showed him the ad. “Can I have a monkey?” As Ronnie anxiously awaits the verdict, his father checks out the ad.
“What on earth would you do to a little monkey? . . . a dog or a cat?”
“I want a monkey! Please, Dad…please??”
“I have to think about it. If you still want this monkey after ten days, I will consider buying it for you, but please think it over carefully.”
Determined he still wanted it 10 days later, Ronny ran around the house and then went back to his room where he finally collapsed and fell asleep. At school the next day, he told his friends that he was going to raise a monkey. They all laughed at him because they saw the same ad but thought it was a hoax. The others remembered all the pranks Ronnie bought from comic book ads and bet he’d get the little monkey.
Regardless, Ronny counted down the days until his dad agreed to write a check for $18.95.
“Are you sure this is what you want, kid?”
“Okay, send me the ad and I’ll send a check to it. But I want you to promise to take care of it yourself!”
“I will, Dad! I will.”
Ronnie’s dad mailed the order. A week passed, then two weeks. Six months passed and Ronnie started to worry. Years passed and there were still no monkeys. Ronnie just forgot what he could have had. Meanwhile, Ronnie’s life moves on. He went to high school, graduated from college, got married and had kids. “Ronnie” became “Ronald”. His family lives in a nursing home, while he lives with his family in the same house he grew up in.
One Saturday in 1982, Ronny was playing catch with his 12-year-old son Tyler when a UPS truck pulled up in front of his old house. The UPS driver walked up to Ronny and said, “I have an item for Ronny Chimp.”
“That’s me, but for years nobody called me ‘Ronnie.’ People called me ‘Ronald.'” The driver told him he had a special courier from NASA.
NASA? Why NASA?
The driver looks at the back of his seat and makes a faint sound like “Eeeekk!..Eeeek!” from the box.
He inspected the box and saw a rather large puncture.
“Some kind of animal. Did you order an animal?”
He heard voices coming from the box. Ronald rushed to open the box, and he tore it open in no time. Below is a cage in which a small squirrel monkey is kept.
Ronald’s mouth was wide open, and a trace of surprise flashed in his eyes—”Squirrel Monkey???” When he saw the advertisement of Squirrel Monkey, his thoughts suddenly returned to his childhood.
“In the 1950’s, when I was 10 years old, I sent someone to find this monkey!!…what the hell is going on?!” The animal started jumping up and down and screaming louder and louder. Then, his family came out to see what the noise was. Ronald looked at the cage and saw an envelope taped to the outside of the cage. He tore it off and began to read a letter:
from the National Space Administration
to all who may be concerned,
If you’ve received this squirrel monkey that we at NASA affectionately call “Miss Baker,” it’s because you’ve likely purchased one of these monkeys in the past. I’m sorry you didn’t receive your animal, but right now, we offer you Miss Baker and 25 other squirrel monkeys were purchased at a pet store in Miami, Florida and brought to the Naval Air Medical School in Pensacola . She is old and needs a new home. She started working for us in 1959 as our first monkey in space. We sent her into space for 16 minutes and successfully returned in perfect health. No physical or mental abnormalities were found in her. Not only is she a monkey with a long history, but she has also developed keen knowledge and abilities. I have attached a picture of her from when she was with us at NASA.
We will miss her and hope you take good care of her!
JL Flights, Director of Astrophysics, NASA
The body of the animal is mostly brown. It has two black eyes, a small nose and a black mouth on a pink face. She stands about a foot tall and weighs about a pound and a half. Ronald smiled at “Miss Baker”, but he and his whole family seemed a little taken aback. Ronald’s youngest daughter, Tina, was afraid to take her out, but Miss Baker immediately jumped out of the cage, threw herself on Tina and hugged her. Immediately afterwards, she quickly threw herself on the ground, and at the same time let out a chirping sound. Apparently, Tina is the monkey’s favorite family member, probably because Tina is young and she can relate to her. Just weeks later, the family recognized Miss Baker as part of the family.
Ronald recalls his own childhood, when he wanted a squirrel monkey as a pet but never received it. Somehow, it seemed like a miracle that a rare animal his father had paid for long ago had finally arrived at his home. It was worth the long wait to see the little monkey playing with his daughter and making her happy.
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