Sunday, September 12, 2010

To the Airport Baggage Handler I Accused of Stealing My Flash Drive

Sorry, dude, my mistake.

The Monkey of Shame.1
I found my flash drive just the other day, a good month and a half after I thought you’d stolen it out of my suitcase. I feel really bad about the false accusation I made, and am ashamed that I broadcast it so widely around the internet—the kind of damage I could have done to your reputation among Bowling in the Dark’s three or four current and potential future readers is inexcusable.

I am still trying to figure out, of course, why you broke into my suitcase to hide the memory card in my shoe. You must have known I hardly ever wear those shoes, but, regardless, your motivations for hiding my flash drive and making me look like an idiot are neither here nor there, given that nothing was actually lost and no permanent damage was done. To me, anyway, and that’s the important part.

Anyway, my apologies also for stealing your identity in a totally awesome but petty fit of revenge. I hope the credit-card payment for that three-hundred-dollar hooker—or the bills for the three hundred one-dollar hookers—didn’t get you into too much trouble with your wife or your girlfriend.

They’re both lovely people, by the way.

I’d offer to return the Ferrari that I bought with your kids’ college funds, but I’m afraid it’s run into some problems.2 I’d be more than happy, though, to send you a baggie filled with what’s left of it. The speedometer needle and about two-thirds of the oil dipstick are in really good shape.

I took this picture right before the really big accident.

I was also able to soak up a good couple quarts’ worth of oil and antifreeze with an old gym towel that had been in the trunk; it’s now in a mop bucket in my basement. Let me know where you live and I’ll have it sent right back to you in a very nice sponge. I want to make this right.

Most Sincerely,

Some Guy

1. We’re well aware, incidentally, that the Monkey of Shame is in fact an ape. But monkey is an intrinsically funny word, and ape is not (much like underpants is naturally far funnier than the more prosaic underwear). So get as technical and annoying as you want; the Monkey of Shame will remain the Monkey of Shame.
2. “Problem” being, of course, an old-fashioned word meaning “fire hydrant.”


  1. Monkeys have tails; apes do not (excepting, of course, in Devo's wonderful "Gates of Steel," where an ape is said to regard his tail). It sounds like you're very familiar with the distinction, but my pedantic nature compells me to set this down.
    Monkey of shame just sounds better anyway.

  2. The real shame, as far as I'm concerned, is that I couldn't do a better job of working the word "underpants" into the discussion.

  3. I take issue with the idea that "ape" is not an "intrinsically funny word." Point to something in the room (best option: floor underpants), and then say, very quickly in a 'bad dog' voice, "ape ape ape ape ape." You laughed a little, right? See, it's funny!

    Not as funny as "monkey," I'll grant you, but it IS funny. Perhaps its only funny in the right context (such as you pointing to some random object and taunting it with the word), but funny is funny.

  4. I'm laughing while trying to figure out why I'm lecturing my floor underpants in the first place.