a very lucky monkey indeed

Johnny the monkey boy was walking through the park.  He was on his way back from Sergeant Steel convenience store.

He had gone to Sergeant Steel Convenience Store to buy a package of gum.

It was a beautiful day.  The sun was warm and there wasn't too much smog in the air.  Johnny was happy to be walking through the park.  He was also happy to be chewing new gum.  Yummy.

Johnny decided it might be nice to sit down in the park for a while and not head straight home.  "Perhaps," he thought to himself, "I could find a bench to sit at and I could scratch my scratch and win ticket."  The monkey boy had bought the scratch and win ticket on a whim when he was at Sergeant Steel Convenience Store.  Seeing the rows of tickets displayed under the scratched glass counter had filled him with a sense of big big possibilities.  And because the monkey boy had been feeling carefree and so glad at the beautiful day, he'd asked the Sergeant Steel Convenience Store employee if he could have one ticket please.  The idea of now being able to sit down in the sun and relax and scratch his scratch and win ticket made Johnny happy.  So the monkey boy walked around some more and looked for an empty park bench where he could sit.

It was a sunny Saturday so the park was very full.  There were families picnicking on the green grass.  Young couples were walking their dogs.  Young boys and girls with strangely coloured hair and tattered clothes were riding skateboards down the pathways.  And some people who looked like they were homeless (or maybe very very poor) were sprawled out on the grass here and there, enjoying the early afternoon sun.  There were also a group of boys playing baseball on an open area of grass.  And over by another area of open grass there were some monks playing a game that involved a weird stick.

Many of the benches in the park already had people sitting and relaxing in them.  After a while though Johnny the monkey boy found a place to sit down over by where the monks were playing their strange game.  Johnny sat down in the empty space on the bench.  He was sitting next to a tired-looking monk who was a bit out of breath.  Maybe the monk had been playing the strange game.

Johnny smiled. He was happy to be off of his feet.  He was also glad to finally have a chance to scratch his scratch and win ticket.  Because he was feeling so pleasant, Johnny kind of wanted to say hello to the tired monk.  At the same time however, the monkey boy didn't like to talk to people he didn't know.

The monk didn't know that Johnny didn't like to talk to strangers though, so he said "Hello."  Then he said, "It is difficult to play physical games when there is smog."  The monk was breathing hard and not looking at Johnny.  His eyes were following the movements of his fellow monks out on the field.

"Oh," the monkey boy replied.  The two of them sat there for a while not saying anything.  Then, because he was curious, Johnny asked the monk "What is the name of that game that the monks are playing right now?"

"The name of the game that my brethren monks are playing right now is 'cricket.'  Cricket is one of the best games ever invented."  The monk gave the monkey boy a serious look.  "You should try to play cricket some time.  It is a fine, fine game."

"Ok," Johnny said.  He thought to himself though that he didn't want at all to play the strange game with the strange name.

"What is your name?" the monk asked.

"My name is Johnny," Johnny said.

"It is fine to meet you," the monk said.  Then he coughed.  Then he said, "my name is Monk B."

That is an odd name, the monkey boy thought.  Monk B must have noticed Johnny looking puzzled because he then said, "Us monks are given names from A to Z.  And I am monk 'B.'"

"Oh!" Johnny said.  The monkey boy noticed that there was a big 'B' embroidered on one side of the monk's robes.  On the other side of the robes there were some more letters done in fancy letters that were hard to read.

"Well," Monk B said as he looked over at the field, "the other monks are going.  I have to leave."

"Oh," Johnny said.  "Goodbye."

"Goodbye," Monk B said.  Then he went to join the monks who were walking off the field and collecting by a small fleet of golf carts over by the edge of the park.

"It was nice to meet Monk B," Johnny thought.  "But now I have a chance to scratch my scratch and win ticket!"  He pulled the ticket out of his back pocket and held it in his hands.  He smiled down at it.  As he looked at it he was thinking that it would be very nice to be rich.  "Perhaps the ticket will make me rich," Johnny thought.  The monkey boy was getting very excited.  Soon he could take it no more, and he scratched off one of the grey squares with his fingernail.  Under the grey stuff Johnny scratched away was a picture of a mushroom cloud.  "Ooh," Johnny thought.  He was impressed.

Johnny scratched off the second grey square.  "Oh my god," the monkey boy said.  Under the grey filmish stuff was another mushroom cloud.  He stared down at the one remaining grey square.  His heart was pumping like an accordion might in the hands of someone who is criminally insane and also drunk.

After a couple moments, Johnny gulped and scratched off the grey stuff over the last grey square.  Another mushroom cloud image was revealed.  "Holy shit," the monkey boy said.

He stared at the ticket.  A pink frisbee sailed right by the monkey boy's head.  A dog barked somewhere.  "Wow," Johnny said.  An old woman wearing dirty skier's clothes pushed a grocery cart past the monkey boy.  Johnny was still staring with big eyes at the ticket.  After a while he built up enough nerve to turn the ticket over to see what he had won.  There were different graphics on the back of the ticket to explain what the different prizes were.  Beside the three mushroom cloud graphics there was printed "$7,243.22"

Johnny felt faint.  He clutched the ticket tightly in his hands.  He felt like he was going to throw up for a moment or two.  He didn't throw up though.

The monkey boy sat there.  He looked at all the people around him.  He thought it was weird that something big like someone becoming rich rich rich could happen so quietly and no one knew a thing around him.  They were just going on with their days.  "Wow," Johnny said.  He wondered what he was going to do with all that cash.  "Maybe I could buy a used Toyota," the monkey boy thought.  "Or maybe I could eat at some very fancy restaurants."  Then, out of the blue, he remembered all of those angry letters and phone calls he'd been getting from Hyena Bank's Collection Services.  He also remembered the fact that he owed them exactly $7,243.22.  "What a weird coincidence," Johnny thought.  "Maybe I'll pay the bank what I owe them," he said.  He thought that would be a good idea because paying back one's debts is a good thing to do.  He also thought it was a good idea because the last letter from them just said, "If you would like to continue to have use of your legs you will pay us everything you owe us by April 24th."  Johnny liked being able to use his legs.

Johnny stood up.  "I am going to go to Sergeant Steel Convenience Store to collect the money I won," he thought.  "Then I will go to the closest Hyena Banks branch and give them the money I owe them."  Johnny started to walk towards the park exit.

Then, as he was walking he heard someone shout "Monk E!" through a machine that makes voices very loud.  "Monk E!" he heard again.  He was startled.  Johnny mistook the words "Monk E" to be "monkey."  He stopped walking and turned around to see if someone was calling him.  Way behind him at the corner of the park were two golf carts full of monks.  The golf carts were zipping along very quickly.  One of the monks was shouting out "Monk E" through a bullhorn.  "What is going on?" Johnny wondered.

The monks noticed that Johnny had stopped in his tracks.  The two golf carts zipped up to Johnny and stopped.  Then all of the monks in the golf carts got out and surrounded Johnny.

"We saw you stop in your tracks, Monk E," the biggest monk said.  The big monk had a look on his face like he was disgusted.  He snarled at Johnny, "It'll take more than a bad haircut for you to disguise yourself, Monk E.  Did you really think you'd be able to escape your monastic calling, you stupid monk?"

"I think you may be mistaking me for someone else," Johnny said.

"Don't insult my intelligence, you ridiculous monk!  I'll have you cleaning the order's shit house for a month if you continue to try to defy me!" the big monk said.

Johnny noticed that Monk B was among all of the monks around him.  "Good!" he thought.  "I'll just get Monk B to explain!"  So Johnny said to Monk B, "Please tell him about us meeting before.  Remember?"  Monk B just looked at him like he was a bug.  "Tell him about how we were talking a while ago about - about - about that crocket game!"

"Huh?" Monk B said.  "We were talking about cooking?"  Johnny didn't know, of course, that Monk B had a piano fall on his head as a wee child.  As a result, the monk's memory was not too good at all.

"Tell him!" the monkey boy said, feeling a little bit worried.  Monk B just looked at him blankly though.

"That's enough out of you!" the big monk shouted.  Then he yelled out, "Get him boys!"  And then all the monks pounced on Johnny at once.  A couple of them were kicking him.  Then one of the monks pulled a big, big burlap sack over the monkey boy's head.  Then a couple monks whacked at the side of the sack with those funny sticks they played their game with, as if they were trying to get the dust out of the bag.  "Shit, fuck, ouch," Johnny said.  He was very confused.  Then the monks hauled the sack with Johnny in it in behind one of the golf carts.  Then they tossed the sack into the back.  As the sack landed, Johnny's head hit the cart's side with his head.  "Erp," the monkey boy said and everything started feeling really fuzzy to him.

As the monks got back into their carts, a sudden breeze came up.  The breeze picked up the lucky ticket that Johnny had dropped when all the monks jumped on him.  The ticket blew up, up, up into the smoggy Summerland air.  It went higher and higher til no one could have seen it up there if they were even looking for it.  And way far below, the monks drove away in their golf carts.

Johnny passed out from the pain.  When he was passed out he didn't dream of anything.  Not of a lottery ticket blowing through the Summerland skies.  Not of the many surprises in his day.  Not of anything at all.

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