It's a Long Story...

Okay, so maybe not a suuuuper long story but it aint short and I love detail! I felt like today was a "share a funny story" kind of  throw back Thursday and I have a doozy for ya. I served a mission for my church back in 2002 and was called to the beautiful land of Siberia. Miss it every. single. day. Mostly the people I met there that still have half of my heart {sigh}. Anyway...ONTO the story!!!! We had just gotten a new senior couple to our lovely city of Omsk. They were from Fresno, California, retired, and just as darling as darling could be. Well, their son and his family decided to visit them out there and our little district (of about 6 missionaries) decided to take them out for a day and show them the city. We arranged for all of us to take a large boat ride on a river that encircled Omsk. It was such a hot summer season and our mission president's wife had told all of the sister missionaries that we could forgo wearing nylons for the rest of the hot months. It was heavenly to not feel so hot and sticky (TMI but I'm painting a picture here!). 
Well, something I had noticed, in the mother land, was that sooooo many pictures of young children (you know, like the ones our mothers used to get of us at a Sears portrait studio?) had them sitting with a monkey, or a camel, or some other strange yet interesting, exotic animal. I was baffled, I was stunned, I was intrigued, IIIIIIII wanted a picture with an animal!!!! Most missionaries would even talk about getting a coveted monkey picture. It blinded us, consumed us, we had to HAVE one! LOL I had already been out on my mission for a year and a few months so time was running short (I promise it wasn't the only thing I thought about, we were pretty busy lol). All of a sudden, on this fated day, I looked over to see a man, with a box, and a camera and.....GASP.....a MONKEY!!!!! I couldn't contain myself, I was so excited! I was going to be taking home a somewhat awkward picture of me and a monkey! Be still my little heart lol. I am, however with a large group of people and needing to be understanding.......so I blurt out,"A MONKEY!!!! Can I pleeeaaase go get a picture with it???" At this point I'm sure I'm doing some version of the potty dance. Once the other missionaries explained to the family the weird obsession, they laughed and consented. My heart was beating so fast. Not only because I was going to realize a dream, albeit not long lived, but because I remembered at that moment how not good I am with animals. They actually kind of freak me out, yes all of them. 

*Let's pause ever so quickly to my OOTD. I'm not wearing nylons and I have on the most bouncy, elastic, light weight skirt on due to the heat. Okay, continue...*

As I approach the man and ask if I can have a picture with this cute animal (which I had only seen from behind), said animal whips around as if he knows I am talking about him GAH!!!!! It has a snout thing on it's face, his arms are long and whispy, not cute and cuddly and his EYES, his eyes have a menacing look about them. I should have turned back, any normal person would have but I was blinded BLINDED I tell you! Had to have the picture!!!! It comes closer in slightly skiddish movements as if it is preparing to pounce but surely this trained animal wouldn't....... 
When animals attaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!! It LEAPS at my ankles...suspecting to find a banana? My wallet? FLESH??? I scream and do a ninja hop thing (it was really skilled looking) but this monkey is not backing down. It grabs the bottom of my skirt to climb up and gauge my eyes out, naturally. Let's all remember the skirt I was wearing. You know the fabric. So he grabs the bottom and starts scurrying up to EAT me but as he scrambled he's not getting ANYwhere! He is like one of those cartoons where they are running exceptionally fast whilst staying in ONE place. My SKIRT however is moving like you wouldn't believe....in a very WRONG direction!!!! I am surrounded by people, Russians, Americans, fellow missionaries, this poor senior couple and their family IN MY UNDERWEAR. I am screaming, the man that owns the monkey is barking at it (in monkey language? It didn't sound Russian), the Elders (boy missionaries) aren't sure WHAT to do, the son, his wife and father turn out of politeness, the senior wife is trying to cover me saying,"Oh sweetie, oh sweetie." and that's when the slow motion began. I am standing there, in all of my glory while people scramble around me (still in slow motion). The monkey's fur flying everywhere creating a soft blurry haze. The owner is knocking into passersby with all of his equipment as he's calling the monkey's name. Elder's mouths open slowly in shock not knowing what to do. 
Shoot me now.
Back to fast motion. The monkey is contained but it still is twitching his hands toward me as if he hasn't fulfilled his wrath. The owner is nodding his apologies, the family has turned back around and the elders mouths are closed, but their minds are full. I'm still, very still. How do you reCOVER from something like that??? I start rocking back and forth on my heels, sheepishly smiling and offer a nervous chuckle. It feels like an eternity passes before one sweet elder offers to hold the monkey while I stand for my picture. Yes, after ALL of that I still want my picture. The elder hold it, I hold my skirt and the photographer tells us to hold each other....insert missionary rules here that keep us from complying. As Elder VanZyverden is trying to explain this, as the monkey is still watching me, as I'm holding my skirt, the picture is snapped. It's a memory never forgotten and captured on film. And he still made me pay 5 rubles for it.


Zach and Codi said...

Ha ha!! I love this! Good times! I was lucky, my monkey has a muzzle on it's face, but it still made a menacing sound so the look on my face is one of me telling myself over and over in my head "No sudden movements, no sudden movements...."
Creepy monkey pictures.... check!

jethrojones said...

Epic! I have never heard that story, but it is amazing!