A "Be Yourself" Story
When I was about 8 or 10 years old, my Mom needed to bring in more income and jobs were scarce in our small town. Mom always had an entrepreneurial streak, it runs in the family. She apprenticed for a dog groomer and my Dad built her a cool tall table and the best clippers. She started her own grooming business in the garage. I remember hair everywhere! We had a poodle of our own, Mr. French, and you'll hear of him in other posts I'm sure. He was a good practice dog in that he didn't bite like that monkey. That's another story.
Anyway, my parents weren't major pet people but they liked our dog and somehow that formed the basis for the plan to buy a pet store and make a profit. We didn't have the internet back then or they probably would have googled it and learned how seldom animals are profitable investments. I think my parents envisioned a quaint shop, something like this:
They bought a store that was already up and running in town. I'm not sure how successful it was, but even though I was young, I remember petstoreacolypse. Things didn't go great from the beginning.
My Mom especially did not like snakes, rats, mice, monkeys or birds except parakeets and finches. The store came with a lovely selection of cute puppies and kittens (it wasn't considered that evil in the 70's) and a wide variety of snakes, rodents, one very loud monkey and a couple of large birds that shit constantly. To my recollection, it was something like this:
Perhaps the reality was more like your typical 1970's strip mall shop with a selection of reasonably healthy but messy critters. One of my earliest memories is my immediate fondness for the snakes, rats, mice, and two talking birds. I didn't much like the monkey any more than my mother did, mainly because it bit like a mofo and it threw poop at the glass front of it's pen. I don't recall having serious OCD back then, perhaps even the opposite, but it's possible that the amount of monkey shit I was exposed to caused a brain infection that resulted in madness. (Probably not, but who really knows?) After this, I keep only one kind of monkey personally and I have about 10 or 12 of them. Here is one of mine and if you want to buy one like it, it would be AWESOME if you get it here and help me pay for pet food.
Even though I didn't care for the real monkey, I was quite pleased at coming to the shop after school during Grand Opening week and seeing the other furry and scaly things. My Mom promptly put up a sign on the front of the shop that said "FREE SNAKES AND RATS DURING GRAND OPENING!"
There were surprisingly few takers. In a strange coincidence, though, my Mother explained to me on day 8 that a burglar had sneaked into the shop and stolen all the reptiles and rodents except for the little green turtles. It was baffling. I am over 50 now and my mother lives down the street. I still don't dare ask her what really happened to her animal nemeses. What I am pretty sure of is that the combination of snake/rat burglar and monkey poop trauma helped my mental illness along. Today it is a well documented phenomenon called SRBMONKPOO Traumatic Disorder. (Avoid disorder by keeping these monkeys only. Note for full disclosure - the links in this blog posts are affiliate links to help with our giveaways and costs. We appreciate any sales on those!)
Then came the hairspray fire. I'll cover that next time!
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