The Daring Pilot Monk, and Adventuresome Roo, Too

We two,
we had no children,
Or dogs or cats
upon to lavish
fond affection,

In later years,
were told ’twas natural,
Our love turned
in a fiberfill direction.

No corncob pipe,
or eyes made out of coal,

But soft brown fur,
and polyester soul.


Monk Sledding, With Friend

Who Could Resist Such Cutosity?

That one was Monk;
His friend, his partner, Roo,
Unlike him in most every way, it seems,

Unlike as well,
all other roos,

For he was as to real roos
as daydreams are to dreams.

Made in Pe-roo,
he had four tiny hooves instead of feet;

It’s llamas more than roos
there that they meet.


Rakish Roo Today, With Style Acorn Beret

A Rakish Roo Today, With Stylish Acorn Beret

Before my thirty-year marriage to the perfect man, my longest previous relationship had been a three-year co-living arrangement with an imperfect man who did NOT hate me

(Simple math: child of abuse stays ten times longer with the man who despises her than the one who does not. 🙂 )

We never discussed “where the relationship was going”, or, I think, ever thought about it. We simply lived together, easily and comfortably.

He and I had very little in common, but he had a big, sexy, furry Teddy Bear chest, and he kissed and made love in a comfortable Teddy Bear way, and he listened to me natter on and on as I do just like your favorite Teddy Bear would patiently do.

Teddy Bear Man

Actual Photograph of the Two of Us (I Was Blonde and Hot Then)

What we DID have in common was a joyful, childlike sense of fun. We enjoyed teasing and surprising each other in small ways–a characteristic I believe that very few men possess, and one which I miss terribly.

He once left a Christmas card for me with a drawing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Pig, implying, for some ridiculous reason, that I was a tad over-indulgent when it came to pecan pie. Hmph!

Here is a birthday note I left once for him:

Happy Birthday Oh Mighty Oink

Happy Birthday Oh Mighty Oink

“From a precious piglet who desires only to kiss your trotters and wallow joyously with you in the sacred squishy element.” (For Pournelle/Niven fans, when I later readFootfall“, you can imagine the kick I got : ) )

I don’t remember how or where Monk and Roo entered our lives, but they became the central focus of our play.

Here they are as I found them once upon first walking in the door after an extended business trip:

Monk and Roo Forging Signature

Monk and Roo Forging My Signature on a Check

Here they are, along with some friends, in their ’32 Ford Roadster (constructed by yours truly):

Monk and Roo in 32 Ford Roadster

Monk Lends a Hand to Roo and Friend

Over time, because of the life we gave to the two of them, our Pinocchio pals became almost real, live boys to the the two of us.

Here is Monk, in his daring persona as the Flying Ace Ape:

Daring Pilot Monk

Daring Pilot Monk

Despite Monk’s name and flying skills, though, Roo always seemed to get up to more monkey business. He was more adventuresome–and more accident-prone. Here he is one Christmas after he took a serious spill and injured one of his flocked papier mache ears. Simultaneously, the poor thing was suffering from a dreadful head cold–what a way to celebrate Christmas!

Pitiful Roo At Christmas

Pitiful Roo At Christmas With Flannel Bathrobe and Bandaged Ears

Here he is exploring the seven seas:

Admiral Roo Prepares For Battle

Admiral Roo Prepares For Battle

And here, he does a different sort of exploring, showing his sensitive side:

Roo and The David

Roo and The David (Had YOU Known They Had That Giant Art Deco Lamp in the Accademia Gallery in Florence?)

Monk, with his more conservative bent, plodded along solidly, much as my then-boyfriend, an auditor and aspiring CPA. Monk even subscribed to his own accounting magazine:

Breaking the Primate Barrier

Breaking the Primate Barrier

It had articles of interest only to those fascinated by laundry lists and legume tallies:

Breaking the Primate Barrier Articles

The “Anonymous” Author of “Flying Ace Apes” Later Received a Monk-Sized Check At Our Address

My relationship with the Teddy Bear ended rather suddenly one December day. I was standing on the hood of his Pontiac Firebird, my backside facing its windshield, feet spread, body bent in two, whacking away between my knees at the ice on that windshield with the scraper.

I straightened up, slid off, crunched my way indoors, and announced “I’ve had it. I’m moving to southern California. You may come or you may stay.”

He decided to stay.

I phoned a headhunter (recruiter) that same morning, and two hours later had eight interviews lined up in Los Angeles for a two-day slot the following week (I was a computer programmer: easy employment).

Custody would have to be decided for Monk and Roo. I think this picture shows what they meant to both of us:

Monk, Roo, and the BF Share a Moment

The Boys Share a Moment

I was desperate to have Monk. At the same time, I knew that my heart was not hurting. His was. My emotional investment had long departed for reasons I may blog about someday.

I let the Teddy Bear keep Monk.

Roo travelled with me on my interview journey. Here he is enjoying his first Los Angeles Fatburger:

Roo On His First Fatburger

Roo On His First Fatburger

I moved to L.A. thirty-odd years ago, and Roo has shared my various homes ever since–sometimes out, sometimes packed away.

You would think, me being a big girl and all, that I would have long ago put away all memories of Monk. But he was so cute! There was something so friendly about his little, big-eyed face surrounded by its snow-monkey ruff. Plus, I put quite a bit of effort into sewing his little Ohio State letter jacket!

But I guess, what I truly miss is the playfulness and spirit of cameraderie that came from tiny toys, invested with personality by we toy-appreciative giants.

When I look at the old photos now, I do feel partly guilty: That as an ugly American, I spent money on toys for me when children had no toys and in fact, no food.

But I honestly feel more strongly great happiness and gratefulness for the pleasure these little bits of nothing brought me then, and still bring me now when I look at the photos.

How could anyone look at these next two pictures and not feel that they represent the spirit of Christmas joy?:

Monk and Roo At Christmas

Monk and Roo At Christmas

Monk and Roo and Christmas Gifts

“What Did He Bring Us?”

Merry Christmas, Everyone!
Monk and Roo's Train Set

Guess What They Got?

Monk and Roo and Train Silhouette 2

The funniest note the Teddy Bear ever left me that was purportedly from Monk and/or Roo read:

To : Monk
From: Roo

Call me. You know where. Call when you can talk.
It took me a good ten seconds to get it. I laughed at least that long. I still laugh. “Call when you can talk.” Ha ha ha!!

Leave a comment


  1. Paul

     /  2014/12/25

    That is so touching OB, I can feel the little guystravelling and experiencing the joys of life. Well told an d a magical Christmas story. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    As an aside, I have a new guest post over at C0rdelia’s Mom I would be honored if you could drop by for a read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That really surprised me, Paul–that you found it touching. Of course, I”m extremely pleased! I hadn’t known it would evoke anything like that for anyone other than me.

      I hope my non-posting lag is now broken for a while–that WOULD be a nice Christmas gift : )

      Your kitten tale was sad, but I was still glad I read it, because your stories are always worth reading. You are patient with your reader, making no assumptions. Thank you for that!

      Merry Christmas back to you! And now, to sleep. I think and write slowly, and was up all night doing the post…yawn…


  2. It is touching, Babe. Very. I love this bittersweet story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Maggie. I’m afraid I’m detecting the possibility that an undercurrent of sadness, or sometimes anger, unknown to me, runs through my every interaction.

      Eh! Not gonna lose sleep over it–nothin’ I can do! LOL 🙂


  3. Oops. My manners: Merry Christmas to you, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your imagination is a marvel.

    All of these stories from your past, nestled and preserved and ripe for the picking.

    I love that these stories exist after reading your blog so long. You are a treasure trove of rich stories and awesome, and I believe I speak for all your readers when I say thank you.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    For sharing your fascinating world with the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Joey,

      I’ll just pretend we both don’t know why you gave me such a wonderful Christmas gift of a comment, and say thank you very much.

      –She Who Sucks Least


  5. Such a bittersweet tale, or tail, as it were. Glad that you popped back up on my radar – I really enjoy reading your posts. Hope your holidays went well and that you have much to look forward to in the year ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for giving me one of my favorite gifts this year, Michelle. And re: those good wishes, from your lips to God’s ear. Merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy, fortunate New Year!


  6. Your imagination betrays you, you should have been a screenwriter. Glad to know that the kids survived the split, although I would say Roo got the better end of the deal going to California. Based on your writing, I would say the child in you is alive and well, and that writing brings out the best in you, lucky for us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will take that as the compliment I believe you intended, even as my interior monologue simultaneously interprets your words in the worst possible light:

      “should have been”–“So, I’m a husk. No productive years or careers are possible.
      “writing brings out the best in you”–She’s aware I’m a bitter sh#theel who is able to rise above my true nature only with carefully pre-chosen words.

      Jeez, it ain’t easy bein’ me. But online, it’s fun. Thank you for reals!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Two wrongs don’t make a write. Your crafty brain is still all right. Careers may come and careers may go, but only you can determine where to row.


  8. You crack me up!!! ROFL


  9. Why ruin a good thing? 😉 Nothing kills genius faster than marriage. it will just have to go unrequited <3.

    Liked by 1 person


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