A wonderful family member gave me a book for my birthday. It wasn't my birthday. I tried telling her but thankfully the book arrived in the mail anyway. It's the story of a chimp adopted by a childless couple. The narrative bounces from focusing on humans to ape and back again, chapter to chapter, until it's hard to tell who is who.
I'm an ape. I know, because I don't think I am one.
If a chimpanzee does not need another to acquire food, he will not bother trying to get along with anyone. And if he wants the help of someone, he will always choose the one he has found success with in the past.
As a little monkey with a drum I am in the thick winter of what I call Festival Rejection Letter Season. As you may know, these letters are group emails from the festival organisers explaining how they received too many applications, how the standard was high and how artists have been selected based on a combination of merit, their fee and what they may be able to contribute to the festival.
So, I get the Thanks But No Thanks unless, of course, I know someone at the festival or have played it before.
Wherever they are, apes invent culture and their culture is strengthened through the exclusion of others.
Ever been there? Geez...
There are leopards in the memory of every ape, leopards never seen. Some look like dragons and some look like drains.
Maybe I'm a leopard.
It is an ape instinct to look down on other apes.
I feel like throwing poop at a bunch of monkeys today.
Back when I drove with P plates I worked a few extra shifts at the pizza store to be able to afford to see my favourite band play in my home town.
If I didn't do any deliveries, I got paid twenty bucks a night. I'm fairly certain the ticket cost thirty bucks, so the ticket was of similar value to a couple of my Monday evenings spent staring at the drinks fridge. So I did the time, bought the ticket, stood front row centre, made eye contact with the singer, had a life changing experience, blu-tacked the ticket stub to my wall and so forth.
This band is set to visit my home town for the first time since that time, way back when the internet lived inside a squawky modem next to beige 486s, and tickets start at two hundred dollars.
Two bloody hundred bloody dollars.
It's such a boring, tired story that I'm annoyed with myself for becoming a character in the plot - that of the jilted ex-fan who prefers the band's older stuff. I used to be the guy who wore the t-shirt before K-Mart stocked their CDs in bulk, and after that I was the guy living a life shaped by that front row experience.
But whether those tickets are thirty dollars or two hundred dollars, there are only a few spots right up the front.
And you only need to be there once.
Old Reg is a Modern Serf too, but with a difference: He has no delusions of upward mobility.
Reg does not want to be a Modern Freeman.
He rents his house, even when he could have paid for the place three times over by now, because he likes having a landlord to fix the taps for him. He likes having a landlord. For Reg, the so-called rental trap has been a pretty cosy place to live for half a century.
He is a Modern Serf with a difference because he does not strive for more and, unusually for most Modern Serfs, the grass is actually greener on his side of the fence. Greener, less weedy and with perfect edges. Reg's lawn is where it's at. Just ask him. He doesn't want a bigger house with a bigger lawn. He doesn't even want to be the owner of his lawn.
He wants for nothing. But sad songs in a sunny doorway really make him smile.
Now, click Like and hurry along.