Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Going Bananas

Magnet # 417:  Miniature Monkey

Material:  Plastic

Purchased By:  Gina

It's time to celebrate some of the cutest primates around, because this is Monkey Day!  This is another relatively new observance and was begun back in 2000 when comic book creators Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin introduced it to the masses.  Apparently, for a practical joke, Sorrow scribbled "Monkey Day" on one of his friend's calendars and they ended up celebrating for the heck of it.  Some hold that they chose to hold it during the Holiday season to provide an evolution-based antidote to all of the religious offerings.  But I don't see why that should stop followers of certain religions from joining in on the fun today.  The first celebration was held mostly around Michigan, where the pair hail from.  That year, participants included Lansing residents and students from Michigan State University who came together and partied wearing simian-themed costumes, jumped around, and made all sorts of noises that might be appropriate for a jungle.  They've continued to hold Monkey Day every year since, and are hoping that it will one day match the success of other unusual observations such as International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Sounds like a pretty lofty goal to me, but they might be able to pull it off.  They've also upped the ante in subsequent years, introducing activities like a Monkey Day Web Comic Marathon, auctions of monkey-themed art to benefit simian charities, and speed knitting sock monkey doll competitions.  And in 2005, Peter Jackson's King Kong remake was released on Monkey Day.  I swear, I think I even remember a television commercial for the film that mentioned the connection.  Detroit's Biddle Gallery joined in the fun in 2008, holding a Monkey Day art sale that included a free banana with every purchase.  And who knows what fun new activities will be added in this year!

Just because this celebration is called Monkey Day, that doesn't mean that apes, prosimians, and other primates will be left out in the cold.  If it's simian, it's in.  That means there are over 300 species that can be included in the festivities.  And if I had to pick a favorite, I'd be tempted to go with the Pygmy Marmoset, the smallest true monkey and one of the world's tiniest primates.  These little cuties don't get much bigger than six inches, and can actually wrap around your finger - how adorable!  And there's also the Mouse Lemur, which is officially the world's smallest primate.  They run between just over two inches to just under five.  Heck, they're not much bigger than this magnet.  I don't think I've ever seen either of these adorable simians in person, but I'd like to.  And it would be really neat to have one curl around my finger.  If you haven't figured out which monkey is your favorite, this is a perfect occasion to choose one.  You might also donate to a monkey charity, give a monkey-themed gift to a friend or send them an e-card with one on it, or even throw your own simian bash.  You could also watch a film that centers around primates - Bedtime for Bonzo, Congo, Dunstan Checks In, Every Which Way But Loose, and the animated Curious George all come to mind.  And if you want more information on this celebration, swing on over to http://www.monkeyday.com/.  Whatever you do, this is a great opportunity to just have fun monkeying around, so don't let this chance to go ape pass you by!

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