Monkey Mums Review: A Chimp Off The Old Block?

June 2, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

251 mymonkeybaby2-300x210 MONKEY MUMS, Tuesday 2nd June, Channel 4, 10.00pm Alert Me

Only in America. Where else can a former Austrian bodybuilder become a Governor? What other country can cling on to an outdated gun clause in an otherwise modernized Constitution?

Yes, it is here in the United States of Strange that a new craze is developing; utilising a novel replacement for children – furry, friendly, and swimming dangerously close to our end of the gene pool. Yep you’ve guessed it: monkeys.

There are 15,000 monkeys co-habiting with humans in domestic homes across America, in this documentary Channel 4 introduces us to just three of the most mental ones.

After suffering from severe empty nest syndrome, Lori Johnson decided to fill the void left by her children, with Jessie her primate “daughter”. It’s painfully paradoxical to watch as Lori clings to Jessie’s super-short leash and explains her reasons for choosing a perma-baby: Jessie will never grow up, she won’t get married and she won’t leave.

I’m pretty sure that Lori will have a cohort of Vegan protestors ready to trash her house after footage of Jessie being “made over” with make-up. There’s an animal testing lab somewhere watching Lori and taking notes, and that thought shocks me.

Hizu and Carmen are the most sane of the bunch, choosing monkey adoption over a real baby after Hizu got a vasectomy at 22. A tumultuous paternal relationship has ensured that he is strictly anti-children, despite providing inspirational love and care to his poorly named little monkey-girl, Butters.

Mary Lynne, on the other hand, is a certified fruit loop. Anyone who calls their faux-child Silly Willy deserved to feel the equivalent pain of a lifetime of playground bullying.

If I’m honest, I can see why cuddly critters are so popular an alternative to the patter of tiny feet. People forget that with children comes nine months of sickness and swelling, followed by eighteen years of financial reliance (if not more) and then they bugger off and only visit when they want something.

On a practical level, a monkey isn’t likely to contribute a whole lot to global warming – don’t get me wrong I’m not sure of the methane levels in their farts but I doubt they are going to fumigate the planet in a Hummer.

But at the end of the day, these are just trendy pets. The relationship is the same, but you wouldn’t turn around and call your dog “son”. In their quest to fill the void in their lives left by the loss of children or in Hizu’s case, a damaging parental relationship, these individuals have blurred the line between convention and madness. I feel for them, and by all means agree that these monkeys should be taken care of – but comparing them to human children is just preposterous.

Sally McIlhone