30 July 2011

The apartment of the apes

I've got a monkey on my back. Life was smooth until a monkey wrench was thrown into the works. Was someone monkeying with me? There surely was some monkey business afoot.

The thing is that we live a little bit out of the city limits. How little depends on who you ask. There're a lot of wide open spaces, orchards and plantations nearby. The air's clean and fresh, there's birdsong, traffic is seen, but seldom heard. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?

Then there're the neighbours. I really don't mind when someone drops in. There's nothing like having someone dropping in unannounced, and hanging out over snacks and drinks. I have no issues with visitors walking in through the front door.

It's when they force the latch on the kitchen window that it ceases to be cool. It's when they open my kitchen cupboards that it's uncool. It's when they tear open packets from my pantry that it's simply not done. It's when they rip open a packet of oil and throw it on the kitchen floor that it ceases to be funny. Tearing up bags of flour, lentils, cereal and dry fruits and throwing it on the oil already coating the kitchen flour is bad mannered. Opening the casseroles that contain that nights dinner, sampling it and then emptying what's left on the floor is really bad form. Throwing eggs around is an extremely irritating faux pas. Helping oneself to raw potatoes and onions and spitting it around is deplorable.

I called security, and they chased out these uninvited visitors with sticks and noisy firecrackers.

That's when I decided to tear and throw away cards I'd been carrying for years.... From SPCA and PETA. When visitors tend to be quadrupeds with a tail and decidedly simian tendencies, they can cause all the havoc mentioned above. In less than 5 minutes.

And for some bizarre reason, they attacked thrice in one week. One big attack last week, and two quick lightning strikes in a fifteen minute period just two days ago. Stranger still, mine was the only apartment in this block that was raided this last week. The other half thinks that it's because they like what I cook. Somehow that doesn't make me feel better. I'd personally blame it on a faulty window latch. It takes an hour to make dinner, half an hour to clean up after that, five minutes for a raid and then over two hours to clean up after that. I can definitely think of better ways to spend my afternoons.

Much as I regret that I've taken over part of the natural habitat of my simian neighbours, I draw the line at these raids. I dislike the idea of using air guns against creatures hunting for food when their habitat has been encroached by us. But these critters can be extremely belligerent and aggressive. Chasing 5 really huge monkeys out of the kitchen through a small gap in the kitchen window (I don't want them elsewhere in the apartment), and letting off firecrackers in the kitchen to dissuade them from extending their social call is quite scary. My younger daughter refuses to set foot into the kitchen. She's scared that she might encounter a big monkey there.

All this monkey business is getting to me.

I also think that sitting on the sill of the kitchen window at half past five in the morning and snarling at the hostess, because the latch is firmly in place and denies one unimpeded access, displays an appalling lack of decorum.

That's when flipping the above mentioned simian the bird is justified and not the least bit juvenile.

Movie review: Cowboys and Aliens

I pulled a disappearing act for a long time. And, like the terminator, "I'm back"

Last night, a wonderful friend asked the kids over for a sleepover. The other half and I decided to go out for dinner and a movie. The dinner was fabulous. The movie....

Ah, well... the movie... I thought it had Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig wearing something that looked like Ben10's whatchamacallit, and aliens, and some good old fashioned gunslinging, all this from the trailer I watched last week.

I thought Daniel Craig was starring, so at least there'd be some eye candy.

But what went wrong?

Let me start logically. There are innumerable questions that need answering.

Why did we choose this particular movie to watch?
Because this was the only movie that we hadn't watched, and was playing at a cinema that wasn't too far away.

But why?
Inexplicable lack of judgement. I blame the monkeys. But that's another long story.

What was the movie all about?
Aliens attack the old wild west. The triumph of old fashioned six shooters, shotguns, primitive arrows and spears over advanced technology and weapons.

Why were there aliens in the wild west? What could they probably want?
Oh, that's easy. Gold. They wanted gold.

Gold, what on earth for? Where were they planning to spend it?
Hmmm... Aliens.. I wonder. Do you remember watching "Men in Black?" I bet the aliens were planning a shopping spree at the duty free shops at MiB HQ.

Well, with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, surely there was some eye candy??
None at all. They're OLD!!!! Well, one IS old, the other LOOKS old!

But it's a Steven Spielberg production!
See, Mr. Spielberg saw the word Alien in the title. Then he saw the fairly high billing given to Mr. Ford. I assume that at this point, he put 2 and 2 together. The last time we had Ford and Aliens in a box office rocking equation we got Star Wars.

Sorry Mr. Spielberg, this time you didn't call it right.

My suggestion, give it a wide berth. If you really want to watch it, wait for it to hit the idiot box. Don't waste money on tickets.

The movie left me shaken. Not stirred. The only way one could possibly appreciate this stinker is after a three martini lunch. Make that a three martini lunch preceded by a three martini starter and followed by a three martini dessert.

I may also give the next Bond movie a miss.