A bunch of old monks were staring at Johnny the monkey boy. They were not doing anything else - not moving around, or talking about the weather, the state of affairs in the Clooney Monastery or maybe even pains in their joints. They just stared at the monkey boy and stared and stared.
Johnny fidgeted on his feet. He grabbed nervously onto his walker. He looked this way and that, then looked back at the old monks. They were still staring at him. The Holy Halls and the Venerable Ones were sure making the monkey boy feel uncomfortable and nervous.
"Angels visit you," an extremely old monk said after a long long while in a raspy old voice. "That is very odd, Monk E." Then he fell silent and he and all the old men just stared at Johnny some more. The monkey boy wondered if maybe that was all they wanted to say. He wondered if he should just go. He looked over at the door and wished he was maybe walking through it. Away from these old and staring monks. Maybe down to get some breakfast.
As the monkey boy thought of the tasty food down in the cafeteria, he realized that his stomach was grumbling. He also realized that he needed to pee very very badly.
Then a different very old monk who was breathing with the aid of a respirator said, "You have ascended, Monk E. We never thought you would. But life is full of surprises. It is a surprise. You have ascended. You ascended today."
"Oh," Johnny the monkey boy said.
"You are holier than we thought. It is a surprise," the very old monk said in his gasping old whisper voice.
Then the old old monk who had first spoken to Johnny said, "Yes, Monk E: you have ascended. And in recognition of that fact, you will no longer be called Monk E." The very old man smiled for a second in a big, big smile that pulled all of the wrinkles on his worn face in a weird way. Then the very old man frowned and all the wrinkles settled again. "From this point on you will be called Monk K. Say hello to Monk K, my brethren."
"Hello, Monk K!" all of the very old monks said all at the same time.
Johnny the monkey boy was confused as can be.
The very old monk who had been the second very old monk to speak to Johnny - the old, old monk who was breathing with the aid of a respirator - noticed that the poor monkey boy was confused. He said, "I notice that you are confused. Perhaps because of the drugs. The drugs in the food. So you don't think about escape. Or fondling your young and needy willaker. So let me explain. And remind you of the Monastic Hierarchy."
The old monk told Johnny that a monk's life is solely focused on the act of becoming holier. And that when a monk becomes more holy than ever before, the elder monks recognize the feats of that holier monk by giving him a different name. The very old monk then explained that young monks, or monks who are slow to take to the holy path are named with letters early on in the alphabet. Like Monk A. Or Monk B. Or Monk C. And so on. But holy monks who have walked down that path of true monastic holiness are named with letters further on in the alphabet.
In response to all these revelations, Johnny the monkey boy said, "Oh."
Then the monkey boy learned that a monk had never been visited by an angel before. Not ever. The Venerable Ones thought that this was a big deal.
Then the monkey boy learned that the overseer and sponsor of the monastery - George Clooney - also thought that this was a big deal. George Clooney was so impressed that he told the Venerable Ones that he was going to come for a visit. The important actor was going to take some time off of filming his next movie to come and talk with the holy monkey boy.
"You are a holy, holy monk, Monk K," said the very old monk who had been the first to speak to Johnny. "You are an inspiration to us all." Then all the very old monks bowed in the direction of the monkey boy.
"Wow," Johnny thought as he watched all the old old monks bow at him. He didn't realize that he had that much holiness in him at all. All he knew for sure he had in him was a lot of pee. He knew this because his bladder hurt, and boy did he ever have to use the bathroom soon.
Then, to the monkey boy's great surprise the very old monks all got up to their feet and began to sing.
- Being a monk requires diligence,
You need to be holy
- And you need some common sense
- Be like a cricket player with
a well-honed defense
- Cuz that Satan wants to yank you down
Then all the old monks formed a long, long line like chorus girls. They kicked out their old pale legs out from under their robes to the beat as they finished the song.
- Yes, that Satan wants to get you down
- He'll make you want to touch your Willaker
- But we shout out, "No way, Satan!"
- Yes, we're holy, you and me
- You and me, we're holy as can be!
When the old monks were finished with their merry song, they sat down and stared silently at the monkey boy some more.
Johnny stared back at them with big, big eyes. The monk's happy song had startled him. The monkey boy's stomach gurgled. He stared some more. The old monks stared too. Everyone stared. But only Johnny's stomach gurgled.
After a while the very old monk who had first spoken to the monkey boy said, "In honour of your newfound holiness, we have prepared for you a new room. You old room was austere to the point where its spartan qualities helped you in your trek down your monastic holy path. But now that you are so holy, you may as well be comfortable. We hope, Monk K, that your new room honours and pleases you - much in the manner that your presence is an honour and a pleasure to the Clooney Monastery."
"Ok!" Johnny said. He was happy to think about being out of his old gloomy and wet room.
"Your personal effects have been moved to your new room. We will summon one of your lessers to take you to your new room now. And we will speak to you again soon, Monk K. Farewell, holy one!"
Then all of the old monks in the room cried out in unison, "Farewell, holy one!"
"Um. Bye!" Johnny the monkey boy said.
One of the old monks gestured to Johnny that he should go to the door. So the monkey boy walked to the door and left the Venerable Ones in their hall.
Monk B was waiting for the monkey boy outside. "Did I really hear the Venerable Ones singing?" Monk B asked the monkey boy.
"Yes," Johnny replied.
"Wow," said Monk B. He looked impressed.
Then Monk B started leading Johnny through the tiled and breezy hallways of the upper monastery. Soon they were at an elevator door. Monk B pushed a button. "So," Monk B said as they waited for the elevator doors to open, "You ascended, didn't you?"
"Yes," the monkey boy replied.
"Wow! Congratulations!" Monk B said. Then he said, just as the elevator bell dinged to tell them that the elevator was there, "I sure hope I ascend some day." He walked into the elevator. Then the monkey boy followed him in.
As the elevator went up and up and up, Monk B said, "I probably won't ever ascend though." He looked seriously at Johnny. "I had a piano fall on my head as a young child. And I try real hard to be all holy but I don't think my damaged head is that good for all that holy stuff." Then he grinned at the monkey boy as the elevator bell dinged to tell them that they had arrived. He said, "I sure can play cricket though!"
Then Monk B took Johnny to his nice new room. Then Monk B said "bye!" and left.
As the monkey boy looked around his opulent new room, it occurred to him that he should have told the Venerable Ones that he was not a monk. It also occurred to him that if he didn't pee soon, he would make an embarrassing mess in his fine new room.
Johnny soon found the bathroom off to a corner of his new room.
As he peed, he said "Ahhhhhhh. That was a close one."
Then, when he was done, Johnny the monkey boy thought to himself, "I sure am hungry."
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