Dr Snow and the Monkey

Posted on September 7, 2021


A good friend of Life in the Boomer Lane’s Now Husband retired to Maine a few years ago, to be closer to his family. Recently, he threw out his back, and was on the verge of being bedridden. Now Husband called him a few days ago, to check up on him. He didn’t pick up. Hours later, he texted to say he had been occupied with Dr Snow and the monkey.

Now Husband understandably assumed that Dr Snow and the Monkey was a musical group with which he was unfamiliar. LBL didn’t know who they were either, but she commented that it was a catchy name for a group. Aside from that, LBL didn’t think about it. But unlike her, Now Husband did. He recalled that a capuchin monkey was a recurring character on the popular TV show, Friends. The TV monkey did little more than be an illegal exotic pet and, when mature, a pet who then tried to hump all the characters on the show.

This got Now Husband to switch mental gears from thoughts of the Friends show and humping, to the possibility that his friend’s monkey was, in effect, some kind of home health aide, carrying and fetching doing whatever else was needed. He mentioned this to LBL. LBL had never heard of using monkeys for that purpose, but she did a bit of research and quickly confirmed that monkeys are, indeed, used for that very purpose.

Websites informed her that a monkey helper can assist with tasks such as retrieving dropped or out-of-reach objects, helping with a drink of water, turning book or magazine pages, scratching itches, pushing buttons and switches for remotes, phones, computers, etc., and even repositioning limbs on a wheelchair.

In addition to the helpful tasks the monkey helpers can accomplish with their recipients, there was the benefit of the human-animal bond. Monkeys provide companionship, an even more valuable service for those who are house-bound.

Another website, “Meet the Monkeys” introduced various simians to prospective users of the service. Nicky, Dippy, and Mango were highlighted, along with other capuchins. One can read full descriptions and capabilities of all of them and make an educated choice about who to share one’s life with.

Now fully educated, LBL and Now Husband spent a lot of time imagining their over-6′, 200+ lb friend having his needs met by a six or seven lb monkey. (A word of caution: Those Loyal Readers who are now conjuring up smarmy images of Monkey Love can just stop right in their tracks. Shame on you.)

Several days later, Now Husband checked in with his friend again. “How is the monkey doing?” he asked. “What monkey?” his friend asked back. Now Husband reminded him that, when he had called earlier, his friend said he was with Dr Snow and the monkey.

“Dr Snow is my doctor,” his friend said, “and I was talking to him on the phone. “But I wasn’t with that kind of monkey. I was drinking a glass of Monkey Shoulder. Why? Should I have a monkey?”

Posted in: friendship, humor, illness