By: Frank McClatchie

On one of my early trips to Tahiti with a group from the FRIENDS OF TAHITI club, the whole group was invited to attend a party in a private home in Tahiti. This turned out to be quite a party for all that attended , including my friend Ahuru Tutua (more about him in another story), and the Monkey which is what this story is all about.

Their were about 20 or so people at the party, not counting the monkey, with many Tahitians in attendance as well as FRIENDS OF TAHITI and of course the owner of the house and the monkey. There was much singing and dancing and drinking. The drinking part was particularly important to the monkey. You had to watch your drink quite carefully, otherwise the monkey would find a way to sneak a sip from your drink while your attention was on something else for a moment. The monkey was really very sneaky about it, pretending to be interested in something else, but really creeping up on your drink for a quick sip. Of course, after a number of successes stealing drinks, the monkey became flat-out drunk. He kept falling out of the trees that he had been hiding in, and when he tried to run on all four feet, he forgot to use his front feet, so he slid along on his face, dragging his front feet, with just his rear feet running like heck. Quite a sight for a while. He found someplace to sleep it off and did not re-appear for a while.

When he did re-appear, he had a determined look in his eye, and was looking all over the house for SOMETHING. I asked the owners of the monkey what he was looking for. It seems that the monkey knew all about the affects of drinking, and usually got one heck of a headache as a result of getting plastered. He also knew what aspirin could do for him, so he was scouring the house for a bottle of aspirin. The owners of the monkey usually hid the bottle of aspirin well because they were concerned that he would take too much if he could find the bottle.

After repeated begging by the monkey, the owners finally gave him what they considered enough aspirin. Of course the Monkey did not think that was enough, but that’s all he got, despite repeated begging. It took quite a long time for the monkey to recover, and be able to stay up in the trees without falling out of the trees.

Monkeys are not native to Tahiti, so the owners must have imported the monkey from some place else. It was a small monkey, but quite entertaining to watch, particularly the complicated process of creeping up on a potential sip of some one’s drink. The monkey had developed the process into a fine art, with as much deception as possible on the part of the monkey.

It was at this same party that Uhuru Tutua acquired his Tahitian Name. It seem that the name that he became famous for throughout all of Tahitian Islands just sort of was known to everyone in Tahiti and all of the Islands overnight. The Coconut Radio was in full operation!

That was one memorable party!!