by Mashous G
June, three years ago, I made a trip down to Orlando, Florida. It was a fast "whirlwind" trip to deliver a dog and I decided to take my oldest girl with me and a foster son I was keeping at the time, my oldest girl being almost 10 years old, a female Hymadryas Baboon that we have had since she was four months old. She was riding in her car seat in the middle of the seat next to me driving (a very large duly Chevrolet 6.5 litter diesel truck, extended cab). We pulled into a service station off of I-95 just outside of Jacksonville, FL to gas up and then I pulled around to the side for us to go to the restrooms. It was very hot, the mosquitoes were very bad so I left the truck running, the Baboon "Celie" still strapped in her car seat and the foster son in the truck. I thought I had heard someone banging on the restroom door and I was trying to get my pants up and get out the door and as I went out the door, I noticed that my truck was not parked quite where I had left it, the engine was still running, My girl Celie was still strapped in her car seat BUT....my foster son was running around the station parking lot waving his arms frantically and I noticed that the truck was parked UP on the side of a small car next to where I had parked the truck and the small car was demolished. I went inside of the store to find out who the owner was and as I entered I heard him explain to the Police......."yes, you heard me correctly, a monkey was driving"!!! By now, blue lights, sirens, State Police Cars, County Police Cars, City Police Cars, Ambulance, News Media, i.e., radio and two TV Stations were are screeching into the station parking lot and I've just backed my truck off the small car and placed it over in the proper parking space. Some tourists in a very large motor home (who were parked at the gas pump filling up) were talking to the Police that the monkey had the gear shift in reverse, backed it across the station lot and across a two lane off-ramp of I-95 until it hit the curb on the other side, it stopped, she pulled the gear shift down in first gear and came back across the two lanes of the off-ramp, across the station service lot, missing all the gasoline pumps and one very large 40' motor home, several other cars, people and the service station itself and almost put it back into the proper space but got too close to the small car owned by the night clerk of the service station. By now I am pulling out all my papers to the State Police, insurance card, drivers license, etc. and there is a City Cop standing next to the Highway Patrol looks at me and ask if the "Monkey has a drivers license?" and then the dispatcher comes over the air on his shoulder radio, where everyone can hear and says......"was there any alcohol involved and the City Cop says, "yes, too many banana dacquaris!" Everyone is practically rolling on the ground as they are gathering closer to the vehicles......the highway patrol officer had no humor whatsoever and I've got sweat pouring off me by now because the ONLY trip I've ever taken with her WITHOUT an updated PERMIT to take her into the State of Florida.....I'm terrified he is going to ask to see her papers but he writes it up, exchanges insurance information, gives me a ticket for "reckless driving" (the foster son has jumped out of the car because he was afraid, so Celie was on her own!) However, I got the ticket, cost me 4 points and they jacked my insurance up double for three very long years. The insurance people absolutely found no humor either but the insurance adjuster that took the story and information and turned it in.....WON an all expense trip for 5 days to Hawaii!
Talk about an ending to a story and I forgot to tell the part that after everyone had gathered around the "accident", the City Cop, a very young "wet behind the ears type" looks inside of the truck smarting off she better have her seat belt on and of course, Celie let out one of her blood curdling screams and everyone ran for their lives and I really think that was when the Highway Patrol Officer, around 60 years old, lost all his dignity and became very sour. I told him after the scream that you know....hey look on the bright side because it could have been a whole lot worse, she could have hit the side of that big 40' motor home, the people running around the outside of the station, a gasoline pump, it could have been a horrible scene but she tried to put the car back and the moral to this story is......"Monkey See......Monkey Do!" AND, never leave nor travel with your monkey without the proper papers because you never known what will happen. It did make the evening news in Jacksonville, FL and the surrounding area, radio and television. This is a very true story . Celie is now going on 13 years old, smart beyond anyone's comprehension and is still traveling with us, but in a built-in cage in our own large motor home and we never leave the state without her papers because folks, they will take your monkey from you IF you do not have the proper papers for traveling across the State lines.