Wednesday, June 8, 2011


This week’s challenge was a word list. The words were banana, iguana, elbow, flaming and pogo stick. Nutty? Absolutely! That’s the point. We were supposed to write a story using the words and make it wacky, absurd, and bizarre. Bizarre is right up my alley… Please enjoy.


“I’m telling you, Bobby, this could be the one. If we get that key back for Boss, we could end up getting the higher paying gigs, instead of always being sent out to do the grunt work. Boss told me he knew all along that Jerome hadn‘t lost the key to that storage locker where that heist dough had been stashed. He was going to keep it for himself, as if Boss wouldn‘t find out.

Anyway, Jerome had been spotted at the Exotic Animals exhibit at the downtown zoo, and Boss‘ guys picked him up in the parking lot. Apparently, just before he slipped and fell off the roof of that 24-story high-rise on the East side, he confessed that the key hadn‘t actually been lost, but that he had tossed it in the gorilla habitat. All we have to do is go in there and get it.”

My brother wasn’t too keen on the details of our latest job, but this was his chance to show off his stuff. He spent hours on end in front of the TV set watching wildlife and safari shows and considered himself an expert on matters of the animal kingdom.

“Billy, how do we even know the key is in there?” Bobby’s hands started shaking and I could smell the fear coming off him.

“Bobby, it’s alright. I went by there and I saw it. Jerome put the key on a green cord and when he threw it in there, it landed on a branch in front of a big rock. Breaking in those habitats is like taking candy from a baby. Who’s going to steal a gorilla anyway? It will be easy as pie for us to get in and out in no time. We’ll go around midnight. The zoo’s closed and the guard’s sleeping it off in the office. Nothing will go wrong.”

We got to the exhibit a bit after twelve. Bobby had brought his tote bag like he always did. He liked to bring items he believed would be helpful when we were on a job. They always ended up being needless clutter, but it made him feel like he was part of the planning, so I figured, what’s the harm.

I explained that the quickest way to the gorilla’s place was through the iguana habitat. I picked the lock and as I started in, Bobby jabbed me with an elbow.

“Wait a sec,” he gasped, and pulled something out of his bag. He pulled it to its full length and locked it in place.

“What’s that?” I asked him.

“It’s a pogo stick,” he said.

“What?” Sometimes I really wondered about out blood line.

“A pogo stick,” he confirmed. “I found it in the hallway of our building. That little girl who lives upstairs must have left it there.”

“Okay, it’s a pogo stick,” I continued. “But why do you have it?”

“Well,” he explained, “I saw on one of my shows that iguanas have been known to eat small children. I figure if I bounce through, he won’t be able to grab my feet. You’ll have to run though, Billy, because I only have one of these.”

“Two things, Bobby,” I took a deep breath. “Number one, you’re not a small child. Number two, WHAT?”

I could see tears glistening in both his eyes, so I told him to go ahead and bounce through and not to worry about me. I’d make it somehow.

I closed the back gate and asked Bobby if he planned on bouncing back out as well, which he confirmed he did. I reminded him that I had walked slowly through and the iguana hadn’t moved a muscle. It’s dark, Bobby said, and he probably hadn’t seen me, but why risk it. Oh yeah. When we get home, I’m checking out that ancestor site on the web…

The gorilla was sitting in the corner. His eyes looked flaming red in the habitat’s dim light and Bobby was worried. Apparently, red eyes on a gorilla is not a good thing. But when he reached into his trusty tote and pulled out a banana, I knew we were done for.

“They like bananas,” he informed me. “Eating them makes them calm. I‘d better hurry though. I did only bring the one.”

Perhaps I should have thought this one through a bit longer…

“Bobby, my boy, why don’t you go in there, toss the big guy the snack, and grab the key. I don’t think we both need to go in there.”

Bobby knows I despise anything ‘monkey‘. Those creepy little fuckers with their creepy little hands…

“Billy, I’ll do it by myself. Hold my pogo stick. Bouncing makes them go wild.”

Maybe I’ll just let that ancestor site be. What was it ma used to say? Ignorance is bliss…

Bobby made it to the tree, but the cord was caught on the branch. Our gorilla friend got up and started making his way to where my brother was to see what was up.

“Bobby,” I tried not to be too loud. “Pull that off and toss it to me. Hurry. Our furry friend in there is getting curious.”

He got it loose and tossed it to me just as the big ape reached him. When my brother screamed, it sounded remarkably like the little 2 year old girl in our building on that day she’d seen her first rat.

“Bobby?” I hollered. “I’m going to take off and get this key to Boss. Your screams woke the guard--I can see him coming. The worst they’ll get you on is trespass. I’ll see you back at the flat.”

I could still hear Bobby screaming when I got back to my car. I hope that guard gets there soon. The last thing I saw was the gorilla gently stroking Bobby’s hair. Evidently, he had enjoyed the banana…


  1. I love this one Joyce. A surreal combination of elements that make up a great story.

  2. Well done, Joyce, for weaving in all the required words and creating an entertaining little tale.

    I wonder, just how 'gently' will that gorilla stroke Bobby's hair? :-o

  3. Great stuff - I hope the gorilla phoned him afterwards

  4. LOL!!!!

    Sounds like love. Well done!

  5. Someone got to play second banana to a gorilla!
    Good one Joyce, I like the caper aspect to this one.

  6. Oh dear, poor Bobby! Unsolicited gorilla love and a back-stabbing brother. Not the best day for the poor fellow.

    Great story! Wonderfully wacky and lots of fun to read!

  7. Joyce - Your sense of humor really adds a layer to your stories, that little something extra that really makes them shine.

    "“What?” Sometimes I really wondered about out blood line." LOL! I love how you weave this throughout the story... Billy's questioning the "kinship" of the two... "yes, Billy... sometimes the lifeguard isn't on duty at the gene pool, and a "Bobby" climbs out..." Haha!

    Very well written... as always, your stories are pure joy to read, Joyce!

  8. I knew this was going to get good after the third paragraph, and I was not disappointed. Hilarious and I know I'll never get the image of that guy and his gorilla... Great work!

    And thanks, Joyce, for the comments you made on my story. Always appreciated!