The Story of Steve and Swift

Don’t Read Alone

This story was written in the voice and style of Keith Morrison/Dateline. Read as such.

Temple Terrace, Florida–home of discarded couches and hookah lounges–and to a rather unusual cat, Steve Bennett. Steve was not a pure bred cat. Somewhere in his blood line, there was some dog in him. He seldom arched his back in arrogance, angry that his house rules had not been followed. Instead, he greeted his family–even strangers–at the door with a meow and a rub against any calf that would let him in range. Steve was needy. Steve was looking for friends. On the outside, he seemed perfectly friendly. But a friendly cat is an oxymoron. Things are not always what they seem. Steve was harboring a loneliness that seemed innocent enough. Until it wasn’t. Steve’s search for love led him to the brink of desperation.

In simpler times, August 2014 to be exact, Steve was in the prime of his life. He was at the top of his game. His owners, the Bennetts, had come to accept that he, in fact, owned them. They played along and everything went exactly as it should. Steve had a good life there on Main Street. But one thing had been withheld from him.
One friend.
A beta fish, set high on a table top and protected by a $12 plastic topped container, swam in circles that Steve was not allowed to enter. The fish was named Swift. Ironic, because in the end, speed could not save him.

Steve knew that cats and fish were not friends. He knew, because he knew things. It was against house rules set by the humans. But all Steve wanted was companionship. So when the family left the house, for non-cat activities, Steve would hop up to the table and commune with Swift. Swift did not know as many things as Steve knew. That’s how it is for fish and cats. But Swift, for all he didn’t know, knew that Steve was not his friend. Steve was to be feared. For awhile, Swift managed to circle his bowl at just the perfect speed and trajectory to make Steve a tad sleepy. During this honeymoon period, they appeared to be friends. Steve would sit bowlside, peacefully thinking about ways to further cement this relationship. He tried everything. Long gazes under the glow of the moonbeams spilling through the blinds. Reading the news to Swift. Pucker faces.

It was, at best, an unrequited friendship. Swift was cold to Steve. He didn’t like the news. He was creeped out by the moonlight. He blew his bubbles the other direction. He turned his fins on Steve. For a few weeks, Steve focused his affections on the children in the house. On his litter box. On his warm spot between the window and the blinds where he watched discarded couches go by.

In December 2014, everything changed.

Steve’s family went out of town. They had plans to frolic in the snows of Indiana. No one invited Steve. He was given enough food to get by, a clean litter box, and a neighbor to watch him on occasion. He searched his soul and found his circumstances to be unacceptable.

It was time.

Steve was taking control.

What happened in the next few days is anybody’s guess. There were only two witnesses and one of them was no longer witnessing. Steve’s family came home to a blood bath. Swift had been murdered and left to die in several pieces on the wood floors, far from the comfort of his tap water–the only home he’d ever known. Steve was off behind the laundry basket doing his thing. He wasn’t talking.

The family wanted to believe that this was somehow a grisly accident. That Steve had nothing to do with it. But a few days following Swift’s funeral, Steve’s human mama, Pippy, came around the corner to find Steve with his paw actually in the bowl that was once home to the family fish. It was as red-handed a moment as they were going to get.

Steve could see the devastation in their eyes. He knew he’d been found out, because Steve knows things. The family pulled together and together took the baby steps forward through the stages of grief, each stage lasting less than a minute. Steve slunk around with his tail down for a day or two, waiting to see if the humane society would be called in. He hung onto a strand of hope that they would get him another fish. Neither happened and life continued after Swift’s violent demise the same as it had before.

Steve wondered about that a little. Humans are funny folks. But in the end, he realized again that it was his house, his rules. And according to his rules, fish was always on the menu.

Circle of life.

Four fish with no lives and one fish with four lives

It’s 8:35 p.m. and it feels like midnight. That is neither here nor there. Unless here is my mouth and there is a Diet Mountain Dew.


The Snapps have a rather checkered past with pets, but more specifically pet-store-quality goldfish. Unfortunately for Andrew, Brady came out of the womb sneezing. He is allergic to everything not found in a womb. So having a fluffy pet was always out of the question. And because we are super great parents and wanted our children to grow up well-rounded and compassionate, we bought them fish. If you can’t have a dog, get a fish. Obviously. But what’s better than 1 fish in a bowl? TWO FISH IN A BOWL. Nothing was too good for our firstborn, so we brought home 2 Walmart goldfish that cost us a total of $12 if you add in the bowl and the food.

Within 7 hours, the first fish was dead and the other one was circling him with a life insurance policy. We hadn’t even named them yet. The next day, the other fish was dead. I know there’s a tenuous life expectancy with Walmart goldfish, but losing 2 fish within 24 hours seemed extreme even to me. Andrew was distraught, so that next day after naptime, we went back to Walmart to talk fish with the guy. He suggested that perhaps two cheap fish sharing one unfiltered bowl of tap water was not the best idea. He thought we should try our hands at keeping one alive first. We agreed. By then, Andrew had named the first two fish Dennis. Both of them.

We bought another. Andrew named him Dennis.

Dennis died, but not quite so quickly.

I wasn’t sure Andrew could continue tolerating this pattern of fish death, so I snuck back to Walmart while he was at preschool and bought one that looked just like it. He’s didn’t notice. I named him Dennis. Because.

Dennis died. Again.

This time, time #4, Andrew was home. There was no opportunity to skulk around, privately flush, memorialize, and secretly replace the dead fish. So I sat him down and we discussed our options. Maybe this time he wouldn’t want to replace Dennis the 4th. Maybe he would be ready to move on.

“So, Buddy,” I said, patting his knee, “What do you want to do?”

“Get another fish,” he said resolutely.

“Oh, really?” This was not what I wanted to hear. “When?” I asked.

“Today.” He smiled. That big goofy smile with a dimple for dessert. I dropped my head in defeat.

“Ok, but we’re not naming this one Dennis.”

We went back to the store and got a new fish. With this one, we went with a different look. We went splashy white with a flare of orange on the tail. The others had all been orange.

I threw out so many creative names. Andrew shot them all down and dubbed him Flipper.

At least it wasn’t Dennis.

Flipper was from heartier stock. Flipper lived. And lived. And lived. For 5 years. I wish I had a birth certificate for Flipper, so I could prove that he was the oldest goldfish ever in the history of the world. But I can’t prove anything so I’ve let go of that being my path to being independently wealthy.

At the five year mark, Flipper began to swim a little slower. He spent more and more time inside his castle and less and less time darting around it. And then one afternoon, 5 months later, he turned over and gave it up. I was reaching for the net to fish him out when he flipped back over and swam away. He was alive. For now.

A week later, he died again. And lived again. Four times he false alarmed us.

But no fish lasts forever. And here is my journal entry from that final, FINAL day:


No joke. 5 1/2 years later, our fish is finally done. He fought a great fight. We discovered his demise while I was trying to order pizza tonight. Imagine that little scene. First we couldn’t find the fish. Then we located him under his castle (no idea how he managed that). And following our locating of him, the tears began to flow from Andrew and Lucy. Brady does not care one whit. He has a bit of his father in him. Jenna walked away like nothing had happened. And Andrew and Lucy are planning the funeral, which will take place this evening. 

Following a poignant service and a 12-nerf-gun salute, we will flush him to join his brothers, Dennis 1,2,3, and 4. 

Rest in peace, little walmart goldfish. Rest in peace.


There are other fish stories, perhaps for other days. Because who doesn’t love a good fish story?

Laying Track

At some point over the weekend, I said to myself, “I’ve got to get back on track.” Maybe it was the open sleeve of Trefoils in my hand that I was double fisting into my mouth. Maybe it was the complete lack of energy I had for anything I needed to be doing. But that voice in my head said, “Get back on track.” And then another voice corrected that first voice.

“You can’t get back on track if you were never on track in the first place.”

You have to lay track to be on the track.
The bad news is, I never laid the track. The good news is that I usually realize this in February and quit until the following year. This year, in February, I’m just going to lay some track and go on my merry way.

I was talking about it later with Todd. Brady, Lucy, and Jenna were all in room participating in the conversation. I was talking to Todd about my goals and why I believe I’ve failed at them for, oh, a decade. Within the last 2 years, he got healthy and has stayed healthy. I didn’t jump on his track while he was laying it. I just watched from the banks with a trail of Smarties wrappers at my feet and cheered him on. Good job, babe. Way to go.


During our conversation yesterday, he started talking about the voice in his own head and how he used it to meet his goals.

“You know what I’m talking about, don’t you, Brady?” He asked at one point. In ways, they are the same person. Brady laughed and said,

“I know what you’re talking about.”

Todd’s inner voice helps him meet goals.
Brady’s makes internal snarky remarks. About everything.
Mine waits for the other people to leave the house and tells me to go grab the box of Trefoils.

Lucy raised her eyebrows at all of this and said,

“I don’t have voices in my head.”

She probably doesn’t.

At any rate, I talked a big game about Discipline being the word of the year and then didn’t have enough of it to make the actual plan. I emphasized controlled and habitual and then didn’t control a thing or form a single habit.

It’s amazing how much sugar I’ve had since I dropped sugar.

I have been writing more. I set a Monday-Friday goal and have met that consistently with a few misses when sickness or holidays jammed their thumbs in my business.

So now what? What’s my plan? How do I lay the track?

For one thing, I have to have accountability. Real accountability. Having some person in cyberspace to text about my diet doesn’t work. Telling the kids to keep me accountable hasn’t worked yet. Because they are all out of the house for 7 hours every day. Girl, I can do some damage in that 7 hours. Dropping sugar doesn’t work if I don’t replace it with something better.

The habitual part has suffered greatly, so yesterday I started laying the track.

  • Track 1– Make a meal plan for the week, complete with ingredients and shopping list. I made the entire week’s meal plan yesterday. There are probably people reading this who can’t believe a week’s meal plan would be a challenge for someone. It is for me. It’s the BIGGEST problem. I don’t think that way. I hate grocery stores. But planning on Sunday for the next two weeks is what is needed. So I’m holding myself to it. So far, so good.
  • Track 2 – Drop Diet Mountain Dew. It makes me want sweets and it keeps me from drinking water. I’m using my new Adidas water bottle to encourage the better habit. I’m likely to be quite grumpy for awhile. Maybe my posts will take on an angry tone. Or be about starvation.
  • Track 3 – Buy a bike. I love biking more than any other exercise.
  • Track 4 – Get a personal trainer. The only one I can really afford is unemployed, doesn’t have a resume, and is only 11. I don’t know if she’s any good. I’m her first client. But she’s already got a notebook she’s writing in about me and she made me promise to walk or run with her today, after 3 p.m. Not before. After. I kinda think I’ll like her. She’s perky.
  • Track 5 – Supplies. The fridge is full of yogurt, fruit, and healthier options. The girl scout cookies are hidden in Andrew’s room. He’s very pleased with this new turn of events.
  • Track 6 – Mindfulness. No more fistfuls of anything when I’m not really hungry. Log everything. Make it count.
  • Track 7 – Daily Lists. I love lists. At worst, they give me a false sense of accomplishment. At best, they help produce actual accomplishment.
  • Track 8 – Do the first things first. That includes the hateables. Don’t sit down and spend 90 minutes writing if dinner isn’t planned or prepped and it still looks like a bomb went off from breakfast. Make the daily deposits on exercise, housework, goals, and laundry. Then write. Smarties are not a reward. Diet Mountain Dew is still off the table.
  • Track 9 – Accept agony. This one is Todd’s. For ten years, I’ve been trying to find the easy way to do this. Somehow if I tweak enough things, I will make it fun. Easy. It’s going to be hard for at least a little bit. I accept this. I hope.
  • Track 10 – Lay new tracks as you see them. Readjust when necessary. Never quit.

Well, that’s 10 tracks. That ought to propel my train about 20 feet forward and get me safely to March 10.

The good news is now I have track laid. The bad news is I have a caffeine headache bigger than my to do list.

My trainer, with her unicorn.

The Chair that Wasn’t

Clearly I don’t have a problem embarrassing myself. I’ve spent a long lifetime becoming familiar, even comfortable, with a vibe of humiliation. I’ve worn my Dork like a badge of honor.

But I like to control how it goes down.

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The Styrofoam Cooler

It all started with five pats of butter; my awareness that we were not like everybody else.
I liked toast. I had simple tastes. But I wasn’t a robot. I liked butter on my toast. My mother would help me make the toast when I was younger, beginning with the toaster that burned our kitchen down. When the toast was done and sitting expectantly on a plate, Mom would reach for the butter from the fridge. With an actual butter knife, she placed five pats of butter on that dry piece of bread. One pat in each corner and a tiny one in the middle. I don’t know when it dawned on me to question this ritual. But one random day as I was watching those five tiny butter blobs melt into only a 6th of my toast, I wished for more. I wished for a slather. I wished my toast could take a bath in that butter. Jump into the deep end. Put it on like a down jacket.

I think I even asked about it. The answer was no. We are five-pat-butter-people. We don’t slather. That stick of butter would take us all the way to high school graduation.

Other clues in the puzzle came in the form of 4 inches of bath water. We filled our tubs with 4 inches. Not an inch more. When you sat your naked self down in the water, you displaced 2 or 3 more, giving the illusion of maybe 7 inches of warm water. I think I was a married adult before I realized that some people fill the tub UP with hot water. All the way up to that second little drain that I didn’t know existed. I thought that thing was cosmetic until I was 25.

Then there was the cardboard box sled. We all know how that went. I mean.
Disposable silverware that wasn’t ever disposed of. Always washed, stored in a gallon size ziplock, and reused.
Styrofoam ice chests with pimento cheese sandwiches and rest area picnics on long road trips.
Putting $2 worth of gas in our tank, only to drive a few miles down the road to fill up where the gas was cheaper.
Guess Jeans? Please. Jordache? If you don’t get six pats of butter, you aren’t getting Jordache.

My parents were frugal. And I get it. They were children of the depression. Well, not exactly. Maybe a little. According to my mom, my dad wasn’t raised that way. We can’t even trace his back to anything.

I grew up on a nice street in Tallahassee, FL. There were two doctors and a lawyer within a child’s stone throw of my own yard. It was a nice street. I’m told it was a stretch when we bought it, but a stretch my parents gladly made without regret. What we suffered in mortgage payments, we saved on butter blobs and air conditioning. In the summertime, daytime temperatures were in the 90s, depending on whatever front was passing through. At night, it was a humid 78. We ran our AC. In the daytime. We did not run our AC at night. Almost never. Most summer nights, after darkness settled in hues of navy and gray, my mom would walk through our bedrooms and open the windows. I would watch that process like the buttering of the toast and sigh in my soul as the window unstuck itself with a groan and opened to the stale night air under duress. There was never a discussion about this. We didn’t pay the electric bills. We didn’t make electric bill decisions. But two or three times a summer, on rare occasions of extreme heat, Mom would walk through again and lower the window. And my eyes would brighten as I heard the AC kick on for the night. This was going to be a sleep to remember. I was going to get to wear clothes. And use sheets. I don’t know if there was a set of parameters or a temperature chart in place that prompted those few closed-window nights. I just knew it made me happy. And cool.

The week of Christmas, 2008, the Snapp in me collided with the White in them on a joint vacation to Gatlinburg. I knew what I was getting into with that trip. It’s not like I didn’t know. And yet, somehow I didn’t know. Somehow I entered surprising new territory. Or saw the same old territory with fresh eyes. That old white Styrofoam ice chest was a key player in the trip that week. When it wasn’t squeaking, it was somehow dictating our meals, our leftovers, or our next 30 minutes. Don’t ask me how an ice chest can have that kind of power. I don’t have a real answer to that question. Except that my mother gave it that power.

After 6 days of crowds, events, activities, and mishaps that I could write entire chapters about, that week came down to an early morning mad dash to pack up and go home. Besides packing our own bags and having them sitting by the front door, we each had a couple of community tasks to get the house ready to leave. Oddly enough, Todd and I were assigned Cooler Duty. And no one was supervising our methods or our progress. The whole thing was laced with irony. I crouched down in the tiny dim-lit kitchen and looked up at my mother, who delivered the instructions without fanfare or room for interpretation. She opened the refrigerator and waved her arm over the contents.

“This is the stuff we are taking home,” she said. “Make it fit.”

She walked away before my eyes took their fullest shape of shock. She didn’t see me questioning. She also didn’t see Todd and I look at each other. There was a manifesto in that one glance. But she didn’t read it, so we got to work. For about 36 seconds, we tried to make some Tetris magic and find creative ways to stuff that refrigerator into that cooler. We were still thinking about this when I heard my mom call out from the hall bathroom, “Make sure you get the hot dogs.” I looked at Todd again. Oh, the hot dogs. I had a mostly empty jug of milk in my left hand and a gallon sized baggie of browning iceberg lettuce in my right. I could have killed a homeless man with what I held in my hands that moment. The hot dogs were still sitting in a bag on a refrigerator shelf.

Nothing was fitting.
My mom had gotten caught up in another task.
The trash can was  a duck waddle away. Todd and I had the same thought at the same moment. I grabbed the trash can and before either of us could say “leftover hot dogs” we were chucking food into the trash with wild abandon. We had to be careful and place the food we were trashing under dirty paper towels or discarded paper plates. We had to be covert. No one could know. If our methods were discovered before we were firmly down the mountain, we’d lose our jobs and those hot dogs would be buckled into an air conditioned bucket seat of somebody’s van.

When it was all over, there was enough spare room inside that cooler to host a small dinner party. I think we even got praised for that. It really was our finest hour.

But 12 hours later, we pulled into our driveway with my parents in tow. And because we had some things in the cooler, too, that cooler came out of the back of the van with the rest of our luggage. My dad plopped it onto our kitchen counter and my mom opened it up for the first time since Todd’s and my little heist that morning. My mom put the lid aside and peered into the contents of the cooler. Her eyes darkened with confusion. Then she began moving things around. Finally, she looked over at me.

“So, where are the hot dogs?”

I made a little face that brought out all the bones in my neck and replied,

“Um, did you check under the butter?”


a day is as it is lived

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
So they say.
I’ve seen some babies that I had to wonder about. We’ve all seen me from the 3rd grade on. Sometimes beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And sometimes beauty just is. Or isn’t.

But the eye of the beholder is awfully important.

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Fridays are for Foto Fiascos

My mother, bless her heart, was a terrible photographer. The worst. I could prove this in front of a jury in a court of law. I have albums full of evidence. On Fridays, for at least a few weeks, I’ll be posting the worst of the worst from Mom’s albums.

Our first Foto Fiasco comes straight from a 1980 album page. It is a typical scene. There are many just like it. It is my brother and I posing atop someone’s final resting place. We didn’t do this by choice. We were directed. Sit there. Back to back. Smile. Look alive.

So irreverent.

In this particular photo, the real star of the show is Mom’s index finger. Our heads are not there. The words on the gravestone/monument are not legible. This is a picture of stone and knee caps.

In 1980, nothing was digital, obviously. You took pictures blindly on a tiny little point and shoot loaded with 110 film. Then, when your roll was complete, you dropped the film off to Eckerd Drugs and went back a couple of days later. Most people, upon seeing the picture of finger and knee caps, would have found the nearest trash can and tossed it in before walking out of the store. Not my mom. She put it in a prominent place in the album and proudly displayed it for 37 years.

Happy Friday.

True Love

This is the day Hallmark lives for. I used to live for Hallmark until Todd ruined it for me. Now I find myself rewriting bad dialogue in my head when the movies are playing out in front of me. Don’t get me wrong. I still watch. Just not as often or as freely. Now instead of watching with pure, unadulterated joy, it’s like sitting through a movie next to a person with bad gas. It taints the experience, for sure.

My first Valentine’s Day with Todd was altered by the death of my beloved grandmother in Tallahassee. We had plans to go up together the very weekend she died. We were in college in Tampa. She was in the hospital in Tallahassee. She was supposed to recover. They said she would recover. But she had a vain streak and didn’t want people seeing her not looking her best. She didn’t like the idea of me bringing Todd to meet her in the hospital. I was going to anyway. And so she died. By the Transitive Property in math (If a=b and b=c then a=c), I killed my grandmother.

Not really.
I hope.
But she did go out on her own terms. And she died 3 days before we could see her not looking her best.

So instead of us driving up for Todd to meet my very sweet grandmother, I climbed into the backseat of a Lincoln Towncar with my mom’s parents and drove to Tallahassee for the funeral. I was sad. I was terribly unprepared to let her go, because she was always my favorite. She was my beach grandmother. The grandmother that scolded my parents for cutting my long curls into an afro and for making me bail boats in lightning storms. The grandmother who thought bushy eyebrows were the bomb and was probably the reason I didn’t realize mine needed work until the year 2000. The grandmother who needed help crossing the creek in her “clamdiggers” as she slowly made her way down the beach to see her best friend, Aunt Catherine. The grandmother with the short, fat Christmas trees and the same old ornaments–some of them made of cardboard. The grandmother with a jar of full sized candy bars in her kitchen and cold glass-bottled cokes in her fridge. The grandmother whose snores were the stuff of nightmares, but who taught me to sleep through anything.

The grandmother who loved unconditionally and who always had time.

I think about her often. I even found her wallet and social security card in a box in my attic recently. I think about how much she would have loved her great-grandchildren. She would have reveled in the liveliness that trails behind her legacy. She would have adored that the second cousins know each other and get together when we can.

She would have loved my girls. I grew up always wanting a sister. Doesn’t every girl want a sister? I didn’t get that growing up, but I got the second best thing to it. I got to bring sisters into the world and watch them walk the occasionally dark path together, neither one willing to let the other stumble. Even though Lucy often says to me in exasperation, “Jenna is just the WORST person ever,” and at the time she truly means that. And even though Jenna has almost always done something the moment before that earns her that title, even then the love is undeniable. Two weeks ago, on the way home from school, Jenna looked at me and said, “I was thinking about Lucy today and I thought, I love her. I love her.” Right then and there, I got the sister I never had.

They fight. They give each other the stink eye. They each complain about the other. But they love. And I know that long after I’m gone, they’ll have each other. Not just on Hallmark days, but every day.

As much as I’d like life to play out like it does in Hallmark productions, it isn’t magical moments and bad dialogue. It isn’t throwing confetti when life is easy. Life is learning to love the sister who has injured you or the friend who just threw you under the bus or the spouse who doesn’t care anymore (general terms, people. Not my story). Love is action. And anyone can offer it, no matter the circumstance.

Maybe your Valentine’s Day included a death in the family and isn’t the holiday you envisioned. Maybe you don’t have a partner or a sister or a best friend. There’s always hope. There’s always someone who needs something. And in case you need a little extra help, Paul left a very simple, very bright formula to light the dark spaces of our lives.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

Even when someone is just the worst person ever.
Even then. Maybe especially then.
Happy Valentine’s Day.

Monkey See, Monkey Sue

The other night when three of us were so sick, I googled “drunk monkey” and then “monkey taking Nyquil.” One of those two searches brought up the image that I used in my post. It wasn’t my best work. Nyquil was masking the symptoms of death that had crept into my bloodstream and were slowly taking me over.

The next day, Todd texted me.

“Are you aware of the story behind that photo you used?” he asked.

Oh no. I was not aware. At the time I posted it, I wasn’t aware of virtually anything. But I was intrigued, so I did a little research.

The monkey in the photo was named Naruto by PETA. The photo was taken in Indonesia with equipment owned by nature photographer, David Slater. He had spent quite a bit of time following this family of monkeys around, but had been unsuccessful in taking photos up close of their faces. Every time he got close, they blinked. Or balked. The pictures were bad. So he taught them how to press the buttons themselves and then left his equipment in the jungle within their range.

It wasn’t long before curiosity took hold and–you know how monkeys are–they started pushing buttons. Soon he had a few selfies on his hands. Most of them were blurry or useless. A few of them were amazing. And he published them. Because it was his idea. His Equipment. His setup.

He sold the main photo and made a little petty cash. Then he published a few of them in a book he put out.

And then PETA came along and got mad. Because, in the name of Mary Todd Lincoln, NO ONE GOT THE MONKEY’S permission to print the photo. And the monkey received no extra bananas for her million dollar smile.

Where’s the justice in that?

Well, PETA will tell you. There was no justice in that. So they gave the monkey a name and named themselves Naruto’s “Next friend.” That meant that they could act on behalf of the monkey in his legal matters. And they filed a lawsuit against David Slater, the photographer, who couldn’t even afford the plane ticket to fly back to the states and represent himself. The case became known as the “Monkey Selfie Case,” or more officially, Naruto vs. Slater. Ridiculous.

Eventually, the court threw out the case and declared that animals could not hold copyright ownership. PETA appealed and in September of 2017, both PETA and Slater agreed to a settlement. Slater agreed to donate a portion of future revenues to the preservation of the endangered species, which, by the way, he was pretty much already doing. Ludicrous.

“In April 2018, the appeals court affirmed that animals can not legally hold copyrights and expressed concern that PETA’s motivations had been to promote their own interests rather than to protect the legal rights of animals.”

Utter insanity.

I find it a little funny that the photographer asserts that the male monkey of the lawsuit, Naruto, is not even the monkey in the contested photo. The photogenic monkey was an older female named nothing by nobody and she doesn’t have a lawyer. She’s off in the lush green trees of Indonesia enjoying the spoils of the American legal system.

And that’s what I get for googling drunk monkey.

PIC BY A WILD MONKEY / DAVID SLATER / CATERS NEWS – (PICTURED: One of the photos that the monkey took with Davids camera. 2 of 2: This photo was rotated and cropped by the photographer) – These are the chimp-ly marvellous images captured by a cheeky monkey after turning the tables on a photographer who left his camera unmanned. The inquisitive scamp playfully went to investigate the equipment before becoming fascinated with his own reflection in the lens. And it wasnt long before the crested black macaque hijacked the camera and started snapping away sending award-winning photographer David Slater bananas. David, from Coleford, Gloucestershire, was on a trip to a small national park north of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi when he met the incredibly friendly bunch. SEE CATERS COPY.

Where there’s smoke

I’ve heard the saying plenty of times over the years: Where there’s smoke there’s fire. If that’s a true statement, then it also stands to reason that where there’s a smoke alarm blaring, there is smoke.

These are proverbs generally referring to the fact that there is usually some truth to every rumor.

Perhaps it was the metaphor that threw me off.

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