Quips, tips and parting shots
Most people don’t want to hear about other people’s vaca- tions. When they ask how your trip went, they’re just being
polite. They really don’t want to know
about the fabulous sunsets, turquoise
waters and relaxing massages that you
experienced without them. Perfection,
when it happens to someone else, is
This is why my friends can’t wait
to hear about my vacations. Like the
time we were almost eaten by natives in
After my last vacation, I was barely
off the plane when friends were already
clamoring for a report.
“So, how was Costa Rica?”
“Great! Bob got attacked by a
monkey,” I replied.
It’s not like we could see it coming.
According to the Law of Attraction,
you attract what you think about. Not
that I’ve ever thought, specifically,
about a monkey jumping my husband
from behind. Not consciously, anyway.
It’s just that I’m always thinking about
the next signature story—something
to which the audience can relate. (You
know the drill.) And who can’t relate to
a monkey accosting a loved one?
As we strolled through the rain
forest, minding our own business and
listening to the hum of killer mosqui-toes and the death shrieks of exotic
mammals being crushed by boa
constrictors, a screeching monkey came
out of the blue. Technically, it came out
of a tree, but work with me here.
I should mention that it wasn’t a cute
Curious George-type monkey. Oh, no.
This was an alpha male, granddaddy-of-the-jungle monkey. (I’m pretty sure I
saw fangs.) We’re not sure what set him
off, but it’s very clear to me now that
one should not walk through the rain
forest with a banana in his pocket.
The “Cujo” monkey pounced on my
husband’s back, while I stood watch-
ing—frozen, helpless and speechless.
Once I realized that Bob was all right,
it was difficult for me to keep a straight
face. He got up off the ground, mus-
tered whatever dignity a man can after
he’s been sucker-punched by a primate,
and calmly asked, “This is going to land
in one of your speeches, isn’t it?”
Well, yeah, and in an article, too. I’ll
change a few things, of course, because
it will have to relate to life balance,
improvisation and heath care. Hmm,
maybe I’ll rethink health care.
“Boy, I bet you’re glad to
have that monkey off your
back,” I quipped.
Bob dabbed the blood
off his shirt and replied,
“You’ve waited your entire
life to have the oppor-
tunity to say that line,
Really, how often do
these situations present
themselves? You have
the line, you just need
By now, a crowd
had gathered. “Don’t
worry. He’s fine,”
I said, as I reached
for my camera to
n rv t it t h t
that I would later incorporate into a
Humor, health care and life balance expert Molly Cox is committed to helping people see the humor in everyday life to help them put things into
perspective and be more productive. She is
the co-author of the book, Improvise This!
How to Think on Your Feet so You Don’t
Fall on Your Face (Hyperion). Her latest
film, Note to Self: An Aspiring Film for
Caregivers, is currently in production. Visit