help the monkeys

Last night, as LBC and I filed towards our seats to see David Sedaris at Symphony Hall, a woman at a table in the lobby asked LBC, “would you like to learn more about our program?” The table was littered with pictures of monkeys, and they had a TV showing monkeys in a news report. Since we were in the mood for comedy, LBC and I brushed them off as a joke; an improv troupe, perhaps, or crazed zoological activists. It wasn’t until later, when Sedaris finished his readings and mentioned that the evening was a fundraiser for an organization called Helping Hands, that we realized they were dead serious; Helping Hands are monkeys who are trained to assist quadrepeligics in their homes. Even Sedaris, who had just spent 90 minutes pontificating on how good he is at being an asshole, seemed overwhelmed by this charity. “Just think how cool it is to give to a charity that trains monkeys to shine shoes,” he said while standing next to Ayla, a 16-year-old monkey. “Shoes that will never get scuffed.”

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