I did call up Mrs. Needleman, just as we discussed. I said, “Would you like to go on a date?” No ambiguity, no vague plans she could misinterpret. So I don’t think you could make the claim that I’m avoiding intimacy this time.
I admit I forgot what you advised about going out somewhere and I realize now that staying home was an error in judgment. But I thought, What could be more romantic than cooking her dinner?
And really, George was just trying to help. He saw the candles and, you know, to a little monkey that means there’s a fire that needs putting out. But it wasn’t when he poured the Donnhoff Reisling on the table and all over the food that Mrs. Needleman got so angry. It was afterwards, when George pulled the garden hose through the window and sprayed water at her conical hair because he thought it was another mess that needed cleaning up. Then he pointed at her and laughed as her updo collapsed. She was livid. I understand that.
Self-sabotage? Certainly not. That kind of thing could happen to anyone who lives with a monkey.
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OK, this time we went out of the house, so really, I’m making an effort here. I took Mrs. Needleman on a European-inspired champagne brunch cruise along the Hudson. What more could I have done, I ask you?
We were just passing Battery Park and had selected a bottle of Gewürztraminer to go with the lobster bisque when suddenly there was a commotion on the outdoor deck.
“Monkey overboard!” someone was shouting.
Well, of course it was George! But you know, I did specifically tell him to stay out of trouble. He promised that he’d be good, but it is easy for little monkeys to forget.
After they pulled George aboard I dried him and let him wear my yellow hat to cheer him up and before I knew it, he was playing the grand piano and juggling chocolate truffles. All the passengers were watching him and applauding. He was the belle of the ball—it was adorable. I think about an hour passed before I noticed that Mrs. Needleman wasn’t there. We found her at the Liberty Bar, already on her fourth gin rickey. It was pretty embarrassing, to tell you the truth. We had to send her home in a taxi after we docked.
No, I can’t leave him at home. That’s exactly what Papa used to do to me. Why, I could never do that to George. Continue Reading