goto Appendx main menu Living a Slow Death...
Darell W. Fields
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In any case, two things were obvious: the signifyin' monkey had surveyed the skies while the porch monkey, presently, measured the porch. Theseus could at any moment step beyond the porch, beyond the academy, but had chosen to stay in his place. To assuage the nagging reality that he was responsible for his own fate, he reasoned that his great ancestor had finally been thrown off the buzzard only to land on the porch. No one, not even the porch monkey, could blame the buzzard for wanting to jettison his cargo. After all, a monkey on one's back, for whatever reason, is quite a burden, and according to legend, it was the original signifyin' monkey that had "convinced" the buzzard to allow the monkey to get on his back in the first place. So who could you blame:  the first monkey to be trusted or the last buzzard to listen? Indeed, the signifyin' monkey was a double-talkin' monkey, versed in the art of getting his point across (or getting what he wanted) by casting out lyrics or "sayings" that allowed the listener to hear what he wanted to hear while allowing the monkey to say what needed to be said. Such played-out contradictions cannot be allowed to exist for long. There must have been a breaking point, a point at which the animal kingdom "got wind" of the original monkey's shenanigans with the buzzard. They must have collectively refused to strike up any more "harmless" conversations—conversations that were essential in initiating the art of double-talking. Theseus concluded that the gig had played out, and as a result, his ancestors were relegated to porches all over the territory. What made the academy porch different from all of the others was that conversations with monkeys could occur, but somebody had imposed a rule that double-talking was strictly forbidden. In other words, there was freedom of speech as long as the speech wasn't doubled. 

Regardless of any of these speculations, the porch was still the porch and the monkey was the still the monkey. Theseus wondered, even if he were allowed to do so, if he could conjure up the double-talking gifts of his ancestor to resolve the questions in his own mind (as small as it was), and cause the particular animals of this particular kingdom to do some double takes. He had been doing some research on the history of this craft in the archive of the academy and had come across something called Animal Farm. Although he liked a substantial part of the story, he had been disappointed by the ending—everyone knew that pigs, with their status in the com Appendx 2 page break 9 | 10munity, would never have stooped so low as to "dine" with humans. This ending struck him as pure propaganda. It was obvious that the writer, who was human, was trying to compensate for his own inadequacies. 

Rather than rummage through the garbage of the archive, Theseus decided that if he were to regain his natural gift as a double-talker, he would be better served if he looked elsewhere. Unfortunately, "elsewhere" meant only the porch, and Theseus thought he already knew its every nook and cranny. The only thing significant on the porch, other than the various dates and inscriptions, was himself, and this information was too obvious and of no use to page

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