Saturday, July 11, 2009

Those Brave Young Monkeys and Other Beasts

On the front page of The New York Times this morning is a picture of two monkeys--Rhesus monkeys, to be precise (it may make a difference)--two monkeys sitting side by side, the one on the left looking rather dapper, head held high, with even a hint, as it seems to me, of superiority in its demeanor, and the other, the one on the right, looking rather more slouchy and scuffed around the edges, gazing with a lazy sort of suspicion at its own pot belly, wondering perhaps where it came from, or whether this was actually a suitcase or himself.

And the headline reads: Dieting Monkeys Offer Hope for Living Longer.

Well, that's just what humankind needs, right? Hope. And now thanks to these monkeys we have it.

The thing that always amazes me is the altruism of these animals--consummate philanthropists each and every one of them--the monkey, the mouse, the rat.

I bring you, therefore, good news this morning, tidings of great joy. As long as these Rhesus monkeys keep on dieting, we will all keep on living longer!

Mind you, this is in the New York Times, and on the front page at that. It was not found in Ripley's Believe it or Not, nor on the news page of, not on Facebook, not in the Sunday comics section. We should therefore honor the source and apply proper credence to the utmost extent.

I have heard other pieces of news lately, stories which are likely true as far as they go, but lacking in general benefit for mankind. The woman who was hit by lightening in her own kitchen, for instance. Such attention seeking measures are not only frivolous, but dangerous, and therefore ill-advised. Also they render a bad example for the little ones--for, you see, the woman's 9 year old son was watching as his mother performed this particular magic. She may as well have told the boy that it was okay for him to watch the Three Stooges too.

And then there was the boy who was struck by the meteorite. Again, an imprudent, inadvisable pastime, and quite without redeemable proceeds.

If we are going to make news, we had better do so in the name of the betterment of our fellow men. Just as these monkeys did. More even than most people, those of us who have MS should be thankful morning and night to the brave and selfless animals who suffer without complaint (for they surely do not know any better) so that we humans may thrive and live, and gain the honor ultimately of injecting ourselves with the same drugs (though in non-lethal doses) that have been proven out for us through experimentation, torment, pain, seizure, death, and every other sort of conniption imaginable by these otherwise innocent and unsuspecting critters.

Food for the stomach, and the stomach for food. Diet on, monkeys! (And try the Weight Watchers Lasagna--my wife says it's deeelicious!).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

speaking of lab rats...

Brian C. Healy, et al. Smoking and Disease Progression in Multiple Sclerosis. Arch Neurol. 2009;66(7):858-864.