When monkeys throw poop.

It was a beautiful day yesterday, and the last day of my sabbatical. Jan and I decided to go to the Houston Zoo and then have lunch together. The weather was cool enough as long as you didn’t get in the direct sun for too long. Houston has really made some great upgrades to their exhibits, and most of the animals were fun to watch and talk to. Most.

Jan and I were making our way through the new Africa section of the zoo when we came upon the chimpanzee area. As we got there we heard hoots and hollers and saw some of the primates running off in different directions. Then things calmed down. Jan began to whistle and talk to one of the chimps who was off in the corner but near the front. My advice? Maybe don’t do that.

The chimp came ambling out of his hiding place and moved to the front edge of the ravine between us and him (I assume it’s a him based on his next move). He then took both hands together and swung them back, like someone taking a “granny” shot in basketball. As he swung his arms forward, there it was, monkey poop flying through the air. Jan, and a couple of moms, moved quickly enough to avoid getting hit. He threw it a good 30 feet or so. We all kind of laughed – as we moved on our way to the next exhibit!

Obviously that chimp was not having as good a day as we were, or we interrupted and disturbed a good day, not sure which. But, once we moved on, the whole thing became humorous (and it became instantly known to me as fodder for my next blog). We were sorry for his bad day, but there was no reason it had to ruin ours.

So, have you ever had someone do that to you? Not literally do what the monkey did, but maybe a person you encountered was having a bad day and decided to throw some of it at you.
Ever find someone in a bad mood who seems to react quite angrily to your attempt to talk and be nice?
Ever encounter a rude person in the store or on the road?
Ever have someone get mad at you for what seems to be nothing at all?

Yeah. I have. I know you have. Sometimes it makes me mad in return. Sometimes it puts a real damper on what could have been a really nice day. But, it doesn’t have to. There’s no reason I can’t laugh it off and move on just like we did at the monkey exhibit. If we do that, we’re much less likely to throw our bad day at someone else. If you run into someone like that, just do what Jan and I did, duck and move on.

Not my run of the mill musing, but that’s what happens when I go on sabbatical for a month.

Holy high-five to you,
Mike

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3 responses to “When monkeys throw poop.

  1. To be more descriptive, that chimpanzee came out from behind a rock outcropping, looked at us (after I whistled at it), went back behind the rock, then came back out with the poop ready for throwing. It was a most deliberate and thought-out act. Definitely a “I’m having a bad day, don’t mess with me” move.
    With his granny throw, we (and others) had plenty of time to move out of the way.
    However, on the drive home a driver cut me off on the Hwy 59 to I-45 South exchange. I honked (longer than I should have), but he just kept on cutting into my lane. After that, he hit his brakes to show his displeasure at my displeasure. No harm, no foul. We made it home safely, but I threw a little monkey poop with my longer than necessary honking. I wasn’t having a bad day, but I threw some poop just the same. A lesson to be learned, perhaps?
    I’m not called by God to be right, I’m called to be a follower and to show grace. Yep, that’s my lesson.

  2. When I was a first year youth pastor the senior pastor told me that some days people bring you their poop and ask you to hold it for them. He said it was a bad idea to hold other people’s poos. He suggested I help them let go of it, but I steer clear of touching it myself. Otherwise nobody will be helped and we’ll both end up stinking. Sage advice from a godly man!

    I guess when people get mad enough they don’t just try to hand you their poop, they throw it at you. Better get quick reflexes!! Thanks for your thoughts.

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