Braiding the Monkey

On Monday, a bunch of us piled into our office manager’s van for the fifteen mile drive from our office to the main division office where the Halloween party was. Climbing into the passenger seat behind the office manager’s, I noticed that she has a stuffed monkey attached to the headrest on her seat. It’s one of those long toy plush monkeys with really long arms, legs, and tail, which you can stretch, tie into knots, and so on. When I sat, I saw that the monkey’s two rear legs and tail had all been braided.

“Hey, R–“, I told the office manager, “someone braided your monkey.”

“Yeah,” she replied. “My daughter likes to braid the monkey.”

“Well,” I said, impressed. “That’s not something you hear every day.”

At that moment, J1 was just climbing into the van. “Huh, Richard? What don’t you hear every day?”

I quoted R–: “‘My daughter likes to braid the monkey.'”

“Braiding the monkey.” He nodded gravely. “No, that isn’t something you hear every day.”

The subject was dropped, then, for about five minutes. When we hit the highway, J1 repeated, “Braiding the monkey. Hmmm.”

“It sounds like a euphemism,” I said. “I can imagine it: Yeah, Bob, I had a real hard night braiding the monkey last night.”

After that, things pretty much just got worse, as we kept imagining other ways to use the phrase. When, during the awards ceremony part of the program, I received my own, J1 congratulated me. I replied smugly, “Yeah, there’s a lot of hard time braiding the monkey represented here.”

We made a pact, then, J1 and I, that we would find ways to incorporate that phrase into as much casual conversation as possible. I personally would like to see it become part of the standard American slang lexicon: “Braiding the monkey”.

So, my friends, I challenge you: find ways to use the phrase, “Braiding the monkey” or “Braid the monkey” in casual conversation. You get more points if everyone pretends that they know what the phrase means and don’t call you out on it.

When we hear it in Congressional speeches, we’ll know that we’ve really braided that monkey.

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