Many Happy Returns

Entry by: Emindee

15th April 2016
Once upon a time, there was a little girl. Beloved youngest child of a professional couple, barely tolerated annoying little sister of a long-suffering boy. The children were not spoiled, by any means, but neither did they want for anything. The doting couple always endeavoured to deliver to each child the one item of their dreams for Christmas and birthday gifts. The one single item that would at that time, make the child’s world complete.

This particular little girl loved monkeys. Not just liked them, she loved them. She adored everything about them. She had toy monkeys, she read books about monkeys, she watched television programmes about monkeys, she talked endlessly about monkeys. She was a veritable joy to be around, for those with any interest in monkeys.

One Saturday morning in the February of 1981, the girl was watching Multi-Coloured Swap Shop when she saw the most amazing thing ever. So amazing that she stopped talking completely for a whole five minutes; a feat that was never repeated. She stared at the screen, mouth hanging open, tears of joy brimming in her eyes. The object of her sudden and overwhelming desire was on the screen, and appeared to be staying there for the episode. Not Noel Edmonds. To the right of Noel Edmonds was the most beautiful cuddly toy the girl had laid eyes upon in her six years on the planet. It wasn’t just a monkey, no, no, no. It was TWO monkeys. Two monkeys sewn together in a permanent loving embrace. Cuddling monkeys.

Of course the little girl dragged her parents straight over so that they too could bask in the majesty of the cuddling monkeys, a pleading look in her tearful little eyes. Fortunately with her seventh birthday a matter of weeks away, it took only a small amount of badgering for her parents to agree to find cuddling monkeys for her. Unfortunately this was in the days before internet shopping. The monkeys were proving elusive. No Google, no swiping through Amazon Prime options, not even a lazy #AskTwitter to assist.

The parents trudged around shop after shop, looking for the one gift that would make their little monkey obsessed princess truly happy. Monkeys could be found in any toy shop. Monkeys of all shapes, sizes and colours. No twin cuddling monkeys though, and they knew that individual monkeys would not be good enough. They had to be cuddling, like the monkeys Noel had such little interest in when he was sitting next to them.

The couple cast the net further afield, calling friends and family from around the country and begging them to check local toy shops in the vague hope that the cuddling monkeys might exist somewhere. Twin cuddling monkeys were finally found in a small gift shop in Bristol by an uncle on a business trip, and duly entrusted to the postal service.

Finally, the big day arrived. The little girl made a beeline for the gift her exhausted looking parents had tenderly wrapped in glittering purple paper with a matching bow. She gleefully tore the paper to shreds to reveal the slightly shimmering soft brown fur of the most exquisite pair of cuddling monkeys that had ever graced the earth. She loved them with her whole heart immediately, her green eyes drinking in every detail of their beautiful little faces. “I’ll call them Twigley and Bigley!” she proclaimed. Everyone looked confused, but chose not to question the name choices. The rest of the day passed in peaceful happiness, as all birthdays should.

The next day, the little girl realised that the one thing better than a pair of monkeys sewn together was two separate monkeys. She fetched the scissors from her mother’s sewing kit and performed a quick and effective twinectomy.

The moral of this tale is that I’ve always been a bit of an arse, really.
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