" Always The Bad Guy ". By: Guy Zappulla Many years ago, I had a very large and diverse group of friends: A few jocks, more than a few burn outs, your standard garden variety baby gangsters, and a few which today in all likelihood would be called " eccentric " to say the least. One close friend in particular decided to stop dealing in things that " fell off the truck ", stop drinking, drugging,gambling and instead go to church. I thought it was a bit much to attempt all at once, like compounding if one tried to stop smoking AND go on a diet at the Sam time. In doing as much you could feasibly have a legitimate insanity defense if you committed any type of violent crime. In short though he truly had enough of living the way he presently was and just wanted to lead a much more productive life than he had ever led. I actually was one of the few who commended him for wanting to do as much, as for the most part each and every one of us was on our own personal kind of crash and burn mission of our own making. But for whatever reason he had in his head, he decided to but a florist, not knowing how to even water a plant. I truly thought this was a horrendous idea. Nevertheless it was his life, and moreso his not-so-hard-earned cash, so a florist he bought. He purchased it fully stocked, and added all the floral bells and whistle's he could think of, and to be honest started actually doing quite well as my dear friend worked diligently at it day and night till he learned the business and become popular in certain circles. One day I decide to visit and the second I walked into the place I heard what sounded like a monkey on television, sure enough seconds later I am greeted by my dear friend with a live infant monkey sitting on his shoulder. . " And we're off "! I instantly knew this was not a good idea, as for starters monkeys climb. trees, and since there were no trees the 100 or so hanging baskets would suffice nicely. Also, for those of you that have never seen one up close, monkeys, even small ones such as this possess fangs any canine would be jealous of. As you would introduce someone to your new infant he introduced me to Sammy the " Kap-o-Sino " monkey. Now since my friend was slightly illiterate with a heavy Brooklyn accent I knew he was trying to say " Capuchin " but could not pronounce it correctly. I then saw first hand the animal was actually quite tame. Obviously still just a baby, but it paid close attention to my friend and listened to him as attentively as a child trying to please his mother. He then showed me if you threw a ball to him, Sammy would either catch it, or if he missed, retrieve it and throw it back to you. Impressive and a trick no dog could ever master. Then in amazement I watched him patiently sit on a chair as my friend handed him a folded slice of pizza to eat, cut for his size as though you would cut a child's. Drinking soda out of a cup without spilling a drop. I was wholeheartedly impressed as the only thing it did not do was excuse itself after it burped, but t looked as though it snickered after doing as much. Several months passed by, and I sadly heard my friend was up to his old ways. I decided to go to his shop to hopefully see this was not true , only to find him, as well as " Sammy " the now fully grown version, drinking homemade wine. The monkey was also eagerly eating the fermented peaches. Both of them were clearly shitfaced. As sad as it was I had to chuckle, as until you have seen a drunk having a conversation with a far more drunken 5 pound monkey, you're missing something in life. At any rate I could only buy both of them something to eat, put " Sammy " back into his cage, and drive my friend home. My friend obviously slipped off the wagon, which was a shame as I had high hopes in his sobriety and that he would succeed in his new life, but obviously his demons got the best of him. Especially now with the help of his new enabler "Sammy ". Flash forward several months late and I spotted him in front of OTB and obviously now he was drinking AND gambling again. Making small talk I inquired as to how " Sammy " was when he bleakly informed me he had not been to work in days. He hired a high school kid to open and close his store and was pretty much just going through the motions of running his new business into the ground. Since he war losing his shirt I easily convinced him to go see " Sammy " hoping to at the very least get him away from the old cigar smoking degenerates at OTB and get him to his florist where maybe it would re-spark his interest. The place was a mess, there was trash everywhere you looked, and the kids transformed a once lush florist, into there own personal social club. From the looks of it " Sammy " was also very stoned from someone blowing Pot smoke in his face, and in all likelihood inebriated as there was an empty Jack Daniels bottle laying at the bottom of his cage. So along with my friend it was apparently obvious now the monkey also had both a drug as well as a serious problem with alcohol. As so many of us have witnessed, or gone through personally, these diseases are progressive and being in a constant incoherent state proved it struck again, and this was just the monkey. Thankfully it couldn't read the racing form or he could have been addicted to the big three. Now I could just picture someone taking him to a meeting. The following day I wanted to check up on both of them and went to the florist. Before I could even walk through the door. I clearly heard the high school girl screaming at the top of he lungs. I didn't take two steps into the place when I saw "Sammy " furiously humping a paper towel on the counter next to the register. He was doing what I could only imagine as some type of mating ritual, raising his eye brows in rapid succession like on the Marx brothers. Now I already knew these animals have the tendency to be vicious, but I never actually saw a monkey on the nature channel dry humping anything in a threatening manner while staring at anyone. I guess only the drunk urban ones did this. She ran out the door past me, and now the little " Trilogy of Terror " creature is eyeballing me. I calmly and slowly walked to the back of the place as he followed me from overhead, jumping from one hanging plant to the other. When I reached the back of the place I found my friend stupified in his office with no chance of waking up. At that very instant I started getting the Creeps from something. Turning slowly the monkey was only feet away from me standing eye level to me on a file cabinet. That little bastard was in stealth mode as I had no idea he was there till I saw him, I saw a bag of chips sitting on the desk and figured maybe he was just looking for food as god knows when the last time anyone thought to feed the poor thing. Or maybe he finished with the paper towel and along with the weed just wanted a snack before napping. I reached over my very drunken friend for the bag of chips, and in an instant "Sammy" was biting right through my index finger. For a split second I tried talking to it figuring it would release it's grip. But I realizing quickly it was trying to eat my finger as a kid would a chicken Mc nugget. So as you would grab a baseball, I wrapped my outstretched hand around it and threw the little bastard as hard as I could. The 5 pound creature hit a wall and bounced head first into a refrigerator where he slid to a stop. Sammy being drunk, drugged and feeling no pain, quickly proceeded to shake it off and in an instant flew at me now biting through my pants into my leg !! In an act of sheer desperation I reached for a pistol my friend kept in his desk drawer, knocking him off his chair in the process. As I proceeded to run with a now furious monkey attached firmly to my leg I fired my first shot. I was trying desperately to run, unattach the drunken simian from my leg, and not shoot myself in the foot during the process which needless to say, was no east feat. Hearing the shot must have startled him as he reluctlanty released it's grip, but as I tried to quickly exit the premises I can only assume since I had shot at it and very well missed I now really pissed him off. I guess at this point I can honestly say I was running for my life. Sammy in close tow directly above me jumping from hanging basket to basket as I started indiscriminately shooting at him in an attempt to kill it as I cowardly ran for my life. In the few short feet to the door I managed to miss my target miserably but escaped without getting bit again. This must have been a sight to see standing there bleeding, holding a gun in my and while Sammy tried hs set to push the door open to finish off. Obviously worrying someone heard the hots I turned to the curb and threw the pistol in the sewer just as my friend stumbled out f the door. Sammy was now as calm as he could be, sitting on his drunken shoulder. My friend belligerent though demanding to know why I stole his gun, and just shot up his florist. Without uttering a single word, I just departed to drive myself to the hospital where I heeded several stitches. The attending emergency room doctor asked how I got cut in both areas, and I reluctantly told him I got attacked by a monkey. The doctor proceeded to ask several questions , his last was if I was drinking. I shot him a look letting him know if I still had a gun in my possession he was getting it. That night several of my friends came to my house to inquire why I shot the place up. They let me know the extent of the damages were as follows: (2) Blown away wandering Jew hanging baskets, (1) Potted yucca tree, (1) Bullet ridden cash register, (6) Holes into the ceiling right through the now leaking roof, and for my final shot, a water sprouting fire sprinkler spitting out what looked like old black goo. Since the masses assumed the only explanation could be that I must have been using drugs as I did this I was asked to pay a grand total in damages close to $5,000. Also since I was using drugs which could negatively influence my friend staying sober, him and I would call it a day no longer speaking nor socializing. The moral of the story is... Well there really is no moral to it, but if you ever try to help a friend in need, never try to shoot a drunken monkey.... " Zap Tales "