I met a man today who had never heard “No More Monkeys Jumping On the Bed.”
He was a doctor. My healthcare offers a free home visit once a year, so I figured, what the heck. Let’s try this thing. This doctor got out of the car, a handsome guy about 40, happy to meet outside because my son and I are already playing out by the picnic table, and it’s inexplicably 60 degrees outside, even though it’s halfway through November.
John came climbing up into my lap because there was a stranger sitting at our picnic table. So I held him and told him to say hi, and then told him, “This is the doctor. He’s the one who tells the monkeys to stop jumping on the bed.” I thought I was terribly clever.
The doctor looked at me quizzically and said, “How does everyone know this song? My wife has been playing this nonstop for our daughter, and she keeps saying everyone knows it!”
“You’ve never heard this?” I asked. I was sitting there trying to figure out how his wife was “playing” the song, since I’ve never heard the “No More Monkeys” actually recorded or sung. I’ve only heard it screamed at the tops of lungs my whole life, while actually jumping on beds.
“I’ve never heard it, I swear!” he said.
And I just blurted out, “Are you—American?” Because I couldn’t think of any American human being who hasn’t chanted about these monkeys at some point in his life. And then I suddenly wondered if that was ruder than I thought, because he had a foreign last name, and looked like he might be Middle Eastern or something. But he didn’t have an accent… so he must have been in the States long enough to have heard at least one monkey chant, right?
He laughed, and apparently didn’t take offense. “I’ve always been a career guy, up until we had our daughter. So I never learned these kids’ songs.”
“Right, but like, did you not hear this growing up? Were you never a child?” At this point, I was pushing the rude barrier.
“Well, I’m 41, so I’m quite a bit older than you. I probably just don’t know these new songs,” he said. I held my tongue. This song is old. I’m pretty sure age has nothing to do with it. So I just laughed it off and let him have it. But seriously—how do you go through 41 years of life without monkeys jumping on the bed? ♦