TRAVEL GUIDE FROM THE UNDERBELLY------7
I was gliding the jet streams.
I flew like the whistling wind
in a winding tunnel.
I barreled down a serpentine funnel
hugging the caldera walls.
Flapping cheeks screamed for reprieve.
I hip-hugged a slalom in hairpins.
I looped the hoop’s and struggled
to stay on the road.
I shot through a forest strobe-show
doing a rightious ram dance,
aiming for the tree tops.
The roof exploded in wailing,
Pandemonius riots in heaven!
The fauna struck back with a invitation
to a hanging on low slung vines.
Face-slappin distractions seduced with
symmetric bulbous flower petals.
They lashed out in yellows and blues
and reds and violets.
Their intent was to muck up my strained
and harried attention.
At these speeds, even beauty
can send a cyclist to their early grave.
A momentous event was brewing in the trees.
A bugle charged the moment, loud and proud.
Troops were on the march.
With lightning speed they burst the perimeters.
The trees swayed violently
from inverted earth quakes.
A blood curdling cry slashed the heavens.
A battalion of Siamang monkey’s was on the march.
Approximately one meter of raw primate,
hurtling themselves from branch to branch,
with up to twenty meters a throw.
I was not alone.
The Siamang is the largest
of the Gibbon family of monkey.
They live in the forests of southeastern Asia,
with large clusters in the Malay Peninsula
While traveling the tree tops,
they spread seed material through defecation,
dropping their load in distances over 300 meters.
They play a pivital role in forest regeneration.
I slammed on my brakes.
A trail of slick black rubber
smeared out behind me.
Screaming banshees saturated the air
Their surreal war cry's bent the horizon.
As any one knows,
our furry friends are a curious lot.
They rapidly descended from the tree’s
to check on the intruder, me.
Over 50 of these hairy beasts
were scurrying about.
They were wild and excited.
Each one nudged the other and pointed to me.
I’m of the belief that,
when in Rome do as the Romans.
I dismounted and ducked to a low squat.
I began to emulate these ancient creatures.
I aped their exaggerated mannerisms.
I swung my arms in broad circles.
I hopped around with manic gesticulations.
I bellowed forth like a mad monkey.
It certainly made them pause.
They’d seen humans before, but never like this.
I really stumped them.
Like children they froze
and stared at me with starry eyes.
They pondered the situation in rapt attention.
I took the initiative
by rummaging through my pack.
I pulled out a ripe
and luscious bunch of bananas.
I waved it around to confuse them further.
The poor dumb beasts were speechless.
I broke off a long fat, Sumatran banana.
I peeled it back.
I looked at it like it was a last, lost wonder.
I revealed the luscious meat inside.
With ape-like swaying motions (which I’d
learned during my yearly school trips
when I was a child),
I devoured the swollen yellow fruit.
With both hands I devastated the banana.
Bits and pieces slobbered out,
sliding down my fruity slimy chin.
All the while I grunted a monkey grunt,
pulling a bestial expression onto my face.
Why, it reminded me
of the local fish fry back home.
Country folk own the barbecue (or it’s equivalent),
while we on the coast have our fish fry’s.
The similarity I noticed,
was the pursuit in shoving
as much food in your mouth,
in the shortest amount of time.
The real animal in man comes out and no,
it’s not pretty.
Beards bristling with rancid waste
and odd bit’s of debris,
groping for more, and more, and still more.
I try to be a good guest
so as not to wear out my welcome,
so I did what any traveler would do;
I broke off a chunk of my sweet yummy’s
and threw it to the monkey on my right.
He snatched it from the air.
It disapeared in his slobbering mouth.
Manners be dammed!
I threw another, and then another, and so on.
I had the routine down.
I was winning friends all along the front.
Monkey’s are like humans though;
too much love focused on one monkey,
is gonna make one or more in the group envious.
In this case it was just one,
but he was a big one.
He was the boss and he was hopping mad.
I mean he was hopping and screeching,
and looking most threatening.
He all but pointed to me and said to his flock,
“Look at this impostor, I’m still the boss here
and I will be the one throwing candy! ”.
He stood up to his full height.
He swayed on his thick little
muscle bound bandy legs.
He bared his soiled, lethal looking teeth.
He shot me a venomous look.
He began to swing his arms wildly,
stomping up and down.
He moved in my direction while shaking his tough, funny little padded ass.
He looked like an epileptic on crack.
Now I want you all to know
that the Siamang monkey
has a sound amplifying throat sac.
When they really let loose (like in this case),
they blow up their throat bags
like a big basketball (equal to
the size of their heads).
They look absurd, but they produce
a sound which is most impressive.
I was impressed, but I was’nt to be outdone.
I didn’t have nasty little monkey teeth,
but in every other respect
I was a match for this miscreant.
I hunched down low and spread my arms.
I looked like a cross
between a gorilla and a mad man.
I began to prance and dance around,
opening up with an operatic baritone,
then slipping into a gospel soprano.
I confused the hell out of the poor beast.
Before he could gather his wits though,
I launched into a dramatic pirouette
like I had seen in the ballet, “The Swan Lake”.
Before his mind could grasp the unfathomable,
I switched to a poor rendition of Madame Butterfly (in the original Chinese of course).
By this time he’d backed up,
looking like he’d seen god.
I knew it was time to go for the juggler vein.
I hunkered down and grunted
violently in deep staccato bursts.
I crossed my eye’s,
shaking my head from side to side.
My frothy spittle sprayed in a broad semi circle.
I scrunched up my nose
amd bared my teeth menacingly.
I leveled him with furiously fiery, focused look.
I allowed my righteous indignation to build.
I swayed from side to side
till I released a malevolent crescendo,
taking the form of a sudden short charge.
He leaped back!
He was catatonic as I swung a bright
and shiny flashlight (which hung
from my belt), in short choppy strokes.
I will give him his due though.
I will also say
that he was a most worthy opponent.
The game was unfortunately,
out of his league and over his head (literally
by a good half a meter).
He scampered back to his clan,
only to smack his mate and bite his neighbor
while sulkily accepting my dominant position.
Now that I had shown the little imp who was boss,
I reassembled myself (with the dignity
of a great primate of course), and squatted
in warrior fashion, senselessly driveling.
I began to munch on my yellow bounty.
I did show though, true magnanimity.
I threw the rest of my banana's to the Siamang's.
I made sure the first several pieces
landed at the feet of my worthy opponent.
With the situation brought
to a harmonious conclusion,
I mounted my steaming chariot
and resumed my dooms-day ride
down the caldera walls.
With my best impression of Tarzan,
I let loose a roiling jungle yodel
and let gravity take me on down home.
I was ready for a refreshing swim in the lake.