This is was part of a real conversation I had the other day.

“Do you know what this drug was tested on?”

“Yeah – they gave it to monkeys who had learned to self-administer cocaine to see how they’d react.”

Now for me, I had this picture in my mind of monkeys sitting around a table doing lines of cocaine, screaming – some being mellow – but just the general thought of it all – that monkeys were being used in this way, did not appear cruel. Cruelty is never the first image that comes to mind for me. It’s always somewhat cartoon like and has round edges. It’s why I can’t watch movies that are too harsh – that’s not the world I’m trying to escape into – it’s the one I am escaping from. Funny though because when I read my own writing, it’s harsh in away that has some darkness to it. More comedy is needed. More monkeys who self administer cocaine are needed.

I would have loved to watch that go down. Many times I’ve seen user testing of products on the other end of a one way glass and it was fascinating to me – Watching how people reacted mostly to things that I did. It was honest and pure – things you cannot get in most places. Honesty comes with monkeys who self administer cocaine behind one way glass. Welcome to the world of advertising that you just don’t see on shows like Mad Men. Good times no doubt. I wonder if that could be the villain I’m looking for in the new book – a company that does user testing. Studies how people act. That could be the Behind the Curtain pull I’m looking for. Yes – that might just be it. It works with the whole set up now. Ah – that’s a bit of a breakthrough I think – Yes. Finally- something to be happy about in this stretch of the book. Must be the weather. The weather and the Monkeys. The weather, monkeys and Ramen. Those three things are surly a winning combination and the key to writing something good.

If anyone asks, that’s what I will tell them as the truth. I can hear bottle caps being twisted off and tossed onto the concrete below. Then there is nothing. However, because of the series of events that have led up to this moment, I might just have my villain. Wish I could just stay home and write about him all day, but then again, had I not been in that office listening to the conversation, I wouldn’t have found them.


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