Death to the Monkey King

It has been a number of weeks since the Monkey King has posted on WordPress. There are some good reasons to this. And it falls to me – a talking, computer literate monkey –  to narrate the story.

This is the story of the fall of the Monkey King.

Read it well:

It’s tough to describe the character of my former lord. Some describe him as a tyrant. To others; a simpleton. An Australian disillusioned by the wealth, pretension and grandeur in his country. I don’t believe it. To me, he wasn’t a friend, a kind soul, a saviour.

He was my boss.

So I hated him. Even though he liked me.

“You’re my favourite monkey, Mojo! You’re the pick of the litter,” the Monkey King said over and over (sorry to the monkeys who are reading this, I guess you weren’t that important in the MK’s eyes. He never mentioned you to me at any rate, so you couldn’t have been important).

But I had to tell the fool that all the monkeys in the forest weren’t related, so they couldn’t be in a single litter. Besides, monkeys aren’t puppies. Or cats. They are monkeys. I don’t believe monkeys relate to litters. Unless the monkeys are throwing bananas and rubbish on the ground. As in; “stop littering, you stupid monkeys!”

Some compare the Monkey King (our lord Chewbacca) to looking like Jim Morrison.

Jim Morrison

Nah. That’s not true. Jim Morrison has sex appeal. Not that I was sexually attracted to Morrison. It wouldn’t work out. He’s a human. A guy. And he’s a musician.

Never date a musician.

Oh, and I’m quite sure he’s dead. I read somewhere that he was dead.

The Monkey King had blue eyes. Everyone talked about his blue eyes. They startled a person and you had to avoid staring at him because the intensity of his pupils scared you. It was embarrassing to make eye contact. There was something deeply personal about the transaction. All the Balinese locals spoke about his eyes. They said “the Monkey King has blue eyes. Lovely blue eyes. Beautiful blue eyes. I wish I had blue eyes.” In fact, the vendors in the marketplace bought fake eye contacts as deep blue as fake plastic sapphire. To sell them, the vendors pitched them to potential buyers as “Monkey King eyes.”

“Ay you, want eyes like Monkey King?”

Nobody wanted eyes like the Monkey King, it turned out. Not for 70,000 Rupiah anyway. The eyes were too deep set, they made him seem crazy.

Chris Bitstrip

But it wasn’t his eyes that made him crazy. It was his actions.

Sure, in his blog he blamed the craziness on the monkeys, but we just obeyed his orders. He was insane.

And through his insanity, dis-contention began among the ranks.

-He’d play his trumpet in the early morning, waking us up at 5am to When the Saints Go Marching In.

– He burnt down Rafiki’s treehouse while we were having a onesie party. What an evil thing to do.

Having fun. Ha ha ha ha ha, see?

Having fun. Ha ha ha ha ha, see?

– He refused to marry and produce heirs. He broke the heart of our lovely Scar-face. Toyed with her emotions.


-He endorsed slave labour.

– He kidnapped a drop bear from its native country, and released a white tiger, using them to spread fear among the monkeys (who are terrified by them). He’d say “if you don’t do what you’re told and work 15 hours a day for free, then the drop bear and white tiger will get you!”

-He made us watch Gossip Girl and Neighbours. It was never the good shows. I still haven’t caught up with Game of Thrones.

-And, I’m pretty sure he ate this monkey for breakfast last Sunday

Chelsea Suzanne Photography

Why would you eat such a cute little thing? What a monster!

– And so, you might be tempted to think of the Monkey King as a martyr, a kind man, a nobleman, a hero of sorts, especially when you learn what happened to him.

But actually, he was just a man. A monkey man. As cruel and as deceitful as the rest of us.

I continue soon.

Categories: Humor, literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How I Met a Woman: Ubud Writers Festival

PROBABLY the biggest literary festival in South East Asia celebrates its tenth anniversary from today. The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival will bring many international writers, poets, photographers, artists, journalists, and volunteers into one Balinese district. Exciting.

Ubud Writers Festival

Festival event; taken from the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival website,

So many exhibits and programs to see across Ubud, and if I can get out of the forest I’ll see the The Voices of South East Asia program (11.30am-12.45pm at Left Bank), with interviews with South East Asian writers including Angelo V. Suarez, Bernice Chauly, Michael Vatikiotis, Ju Sarpay and Kris Karmila.

Never heard of them? Me either, though I bet they are brilliant.  I won’t hide my ignorance; because it demonstrates my point. To my western readers (UK, Canada, American, Australian and New Zealand particularly, since you’re my largest readership), when is the last time you’ve read anything written by an author based in Asia. Big continent? Can’t possibly miss it on an Atlas?

One of the best collection of short stories I ever read was from a Singaporean writer. I’m a great admirer of her writing style, voice, and observation of family politics. I won’t name her because I don’t think she’ll be at this festival, I mention her mainly because I think I can learn a lot from overlooked voices from Asia.

So yeah, if I can sneak out of the forest on my own, I’ll go to The Voices of South East Asia program. Or I’ll check out the Liquid Art Photography Exhibit. I doubt I’ll get to go, because there will be an influx of tourists in the forest and all hands are needed on deck to entertain them. It’s one of the  few duties the monkeys are charged with, actually. Keep the tourists coming in during the busy season. Our store Place You Can Buy Your Crap Back will get a lot of business, mwa ha ha.

But I’ve been to the festival before. Two years ago, actually, long before I became a monkey king. I performed in a poetry slam, sneaked into the VIP writers after party at the end of the festival, and went on one date (and only one) with a former French supermodel. So many great memories that I will probably share – instead of critiquing the current programs.

And so in the next post I will begin to tell you how I met a gorgeous woman at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival…

Categories: literature, Ubud Writers Festival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

12 opening lines that monkeys will plagiarize from great books

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single monkey with a banana, surrounded by a group of those without one, is going to get molested.

Moby Dick: Call me a monkey’s uncle.

Harry Potter: Mr and Mrs Wayan, of number four, Jalan Raya Ubud, were proud to say they charged the normal taxi rates, Terima Kasih! They were the last people you’d expect to rip off white tourists, because they just didn’t hold to such nonsense.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:  You don’t know about me until you have read a blog by the name of “Hail to the Monkey King”; but it doesn’t matter if you skip over it. The blog was written by the Monkey King, and he mostly told the truth about exploiting a pack of ravenous monkeys.

1984: It was a humid hot day, even in Singapore, and all 13 monkeys were bashing each other.

The Hobbit: Up a tree there lived an orangutan. Now we’re not talking about the dirty, nasty sort of tree you’d cut down to make furniture from. We’re talking about the sort of tree an orangutan lives in, and that means comfort.

Singapore Zoo

The Great Gatsby: In my younger and more vulnerable years living by the Ubud Monkey Forest fountain, one of my possible fathers gave me some advice I forgot about after he got caught by a zookeeper.

“Whenever you feel like stealing wallets and cameras and passports from seemingly innocent tourists,” he told me, “just remember that one of them might just know some extreme violent martial art you don’t know, such as kickboxing.”

The Old Man and the Sea:  He was an old Capuchin who sometimes meditated alone on the top of an old fig tree, and he had gone eighty-four days now without biting a tourist.

The Holy Bible: In the beginning God created monkeys. Oh, and he created heaven and earth as well. But that’s not important. You just want to hear about the monkeys.

And the earth was pretty boring without monkeys. So the Spirit of God realised something needed to be done about that. And God said, Let there be monkeys! And taadaah! Now there’s monkeys. God’s gift to you.

I bet you’ve never heard this translation before, because the Bible was written by men (regardless of who inspired them).

creation of monkeys

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The Hunger Games: When I wake up, the branch I’m on is bloody freezing. My paw stretches out, seeking the monkey hooker’s warmth, but then I remember I only paid her four coconuts, which means she probably returned to Kuta sometime during the night.

Game of Thrones: The morning had dawned thick and hot, with a humidity that suggested that a storm would break in the afternoon.

The monkeys set forth in their mopeds to drive to the Safari Park, twenty in all, and Jon the albino monkey weaved among them, puffing his cigarette and instead of the rush of nicotine, only feeling excitement.

Twilight: I’d never given much thought as to how I would die – being a 50 foot gorilla living on an undiscovered island suggests a confidence in my immortality. But even if I had, I would never have imagined it like this.

The rat-tat-tat of bullets forces me to close my eyes, and I fumble at the edge of a 1250 feet drop. My beloved screams. It’s a high pitched squeal that somehow transcends the shooting, and I must save her.

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Try your own and post the comment! It’s fun! Some might be quoted in a later post.

Categories: List, literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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