No Phone Calls

-So the Monkey, he lives in a cage right? It’s like the size of a very small jail cell. He has a bed. He sleeps there. Locked up. They feed him. Sometimes they let him out. He hangs out in the common area with another monkey named Dan. He tried to bang a monkey named Shirley a while back, but that didn’t work out. Shirley hangs out across the yard now. The Subject Monkey mostly hangs out with Dan during recess.

-What are you talking about Mr. Meardon?

-See class, we’re the monkey. You understand? That’s the metaphor. And all the time we spend freaking out about things, like where we’re gonna go to college or who we’re gonna marry-that’s the monkey, as he exits in his cell and walks across the common. Our journey through life is the monkey’s walk across the yard. The college we want to attend is in the common as well as the person we want to be with. Nobody outside the grounds is available to us. Our personalities are manifested in the yard and by our interactions with objects and creatures in the yard. It’s simple, it’s all really simple.

-I’m going to go to Notre Dame, and that’s not in a prison yard!

-I’m saying this world is the monkey enclosure, you understand? We have limits. Yeah yeah yeah, more than the monkey, but we live in a confined space we call Earth-Earth, right now-and that’s it.

-The planet is sooooooo big, Mr. Meardon. And isn’t China bigger than The US?

-Yeah Suzie, but you’re still missing the point.

-I think you’re crazy Mr. Meardon.

-Okay, Jimmy, do me a favor okay? Head on over to China and after lunch give us a phone call and tell us just how big it is, alright?

-I can’t do that! How would I get there so fast? You’re mental.

-Alright, well, why don’t you get a plane ticket and fly there. Give us a call when you have a chance.

-My parents wouldn’t let me miss school. Plus we’re not exactly loaded…Mr Meardon, you’re being stupid!

-That’s my point, Jimmy. Everyone has limitations, you understand? So our world is bigger than some sort of monkey prison yard, so what? What I’m saying is, we live in one gigantic cage, one gigantic yard. Enclosure, if you prefer. And we’re just doing our thing, being monkeys. Giving birth, living, eating, dying, hanging out with Dan. Sometimes we hang out by ourselves. It doesn’t make much of a difference. Just like all the other creatures on the planet…let me ask you something, you think a monkey ever asks himself how he’s feeling?

-A monkey can’t do that Mr. Meardon.

-My point is, nature doesn’t care how we’re “feeling.” So we feel “down” because we don’t have the job we wanted, or the mate we wanted. Nature doesn’t care. We’re like the monkeys we observe. Maybe what’s going on is interesting, but ain’t nobody crying for us, you understand what I’m saying?

-Ain’t ain’t a word, Teacher.

-Who’s “not crying about us” Meardy?


-Now he’s talking about aliens. He’s gonna go to the office again.

-No, I’m serious class. Raise your hand if you believe in aliens…c’mon put em’ up…Jimmy? That’s it? Whatever. You don’t have to believe in aliens to follow me. Okay, Suppose an alien came here to Earth. A bunch of aliens -and what we need to understand class- is were not talking about cheap sci-fi aliens from the 60’s.

-Like from Star Trek?

-Exactly. We’re not talking about a man who puts on an ornate rubber mask. We’re not talking about a 6-foot tall humanoid with two arms and a pair of legs, with an inside-out ass on his forehead. We’re talking about ALIENS. This shit is from another galaxy, you follow? We have no idea what these things look like. They can look like doors for instance. They can look like a fuckin’ cellar door. DOORS. That float around- not vertically but horizontally. They have what looks like a Goldfish swimming around in one of those cliche little fish bowls on the upper left side of the door. That’s what it looks like, but it isn’t a fish. We just have no other way to describe it, you understand? It’s really hard to fathom just what a creature from another galaxy looks like.

-He’s gonna get phone calls.


-Fine. Bring it on. 555-2307. I really don’t care. Anyway, in addition to looking like a sideways door and having a goldfish constantly swimming around their person, the aliens smell sooooooo ghastly. Oh man, you have no idea. They smell-

-Like Poop!

-Yeah, now you’re getting it. They smell like piss and vinegar and vomit and diarrhea, and the real kicker is -what you need to understand class- is they LOVE the way they smell. A male alien gets a whiff of a female and exclaims to his pals: “Damn, did you get a whiff of Shirley!!! She smells RIPE!!!


-My point is class- we spend all this time worrying out about everything, right? We ask ourselves how we’re feeling and we freak out about getting this or that job or we freak out when we’re just trying to get out of bed in the morning.

-And??? …He’s totally lost it.

-Shut up. So these aliens come, right? Let’s say they’re from that planet we just found-

-The one that the scientists say is like Earth?

-Yeah. Here’s my point: They arrive, and they see the ocean and the mountains. The dolphins and the sharks. The trees and the lakes. The monkeys and the humans. You think the aliens would think we’re special- any more special than the rest of it? You think they’d think we’re cool? They flew 2000 light years. We went to the moon a couple of times. The moon is lame kids. You fuckin think for one second that the aliens would think we’re fuckin cooler than the monkeys and the whales and the volcanoes? You think they’d care how we’re “feeling” whilst not giving a hoot about all the other stuff?

-Why all the F-bombs Mr. Meardon?

-Twice in the same sentence Meardy!

-It’s his style. It’s just his style.

-Whats with all the questions children? What are you saying, it’s my style? I don’t always swear. Let me do the talking okay? Anyway, you don’t have to believe in aliens to follow me. The aliens are also a metaphor. You know what the alien represents?

-The Union.

-Jimmy, why don’t you go for a walk? The aliens don’t represent a union. They’re everything. Everything in the universe that isn’t us- the sun, the moon, the planets that may or may not have intelligent life. All the galaxies & constellations. Aliens are even a metaphor for things here on Earth. The trees and the bushes, the vines and the bugs. All that other shit doesn’t care about us. They don’t give a hoot. They’re just living and dying. On one planet or another. This cage or that prison cell, you understand? It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. But we spend all this time fretting.

-If none of that matters, why are you getting so heated? Why are you swearing?

-Yeah, now we don’t have enough time to finish Die Hard cuz Mr. Meardon decided it was time to get all personal and serious.

-…I don’t know…well, I don’t know. I do care. I guess that’s the problem. I care a lot and sometimes I think I care too much. I know it doesn’t seem like it cuz I’m a 30-yr-old substitute teacher who just plays Lethal Weapon while your teacher is out… I don’t really brush my hair… I’m a slob…

-Do you have a point today Mr. Meardon?

-His point is he cares!

-And he’s having a bad hair day! Awwwwwww, it’s okay Mr. Meardon!

-Is he gonna cry? ARE YOU GONNA CRY MR. MEARDON?

-Don’t cry Mr. Meardon, we love you. We won’t tell our parents about the swearing. No phone calls. Right everyone? No phone calls.

-Thanks Jimbo…no phone calls…anyone know where the remote is?


Author: Aaron

Aaron lives in Texas right now.

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