“Shrub Monkey” – definition – an elderly man who observes young girls from nearby bushes, hedges or shrubbery.
So there you have it – a shrub monkey is a Peeping Tom/pervert king of character. However if you Google “Shrubmonkey” you will find a website. A word of warning – don’t do it if you are easily shocked or offended. Apparently the website is followed by kids on Twitter.
This website was recommended to me by my son who knows I fancy myself as a writer and for this reason I started thinking about my Father and the first time I heard him swear. Harold was basically “a bloody nice chap” who would do anything for anybody. He was quite easy-going for most of the time but when he flew off the handle you knew about it.
I can’t ever remember him wearing shorts or jeans but there again his generation weren’t into that sort of thing. He was born in 1917 and fought in WWII and one of my regrets in life is that I didn’t get any war stories from him and that information is now irretrievable. Ho hum – all you with parents – talk to them!
Most of my formative years were spent on what was basically a small-holding in a quiet little West Yorkshire village. The house was huge and very tumble-down when we moved in. Anyway I digress. We had several outbuildings one of which was a huge barn which must have been worth a fortune but this was in the days before barn conversions.
This barn had a hayloft which was sort of a mezzanine floor. There were wooden stairs (no handrail) and the hayloft itself was about five yards by five yards with no barrier to stop you going over the edge. This area was all rotten floorboards and holes, wood worm – the lot.
One dark evening, Harold say to me – “Come on”. I jumped up and followed him. He strode manfully to the barn in where all our fifty or so hens were roosting. It was the habit of half a dozen or so of these chickens to roost on the hayloft so our task was to encourage them not to do so.
We switched on the 200 Watt non-energy-saving light bulb which lit the place up just fine. We gingerly crept up the rickety stairs to discover these six guilty creatures sleeping snugly in the hay. The hay which was covering holes in places like a jungle lion-trap.
So now Dad and I had to walk to the far wall and shepherd these tinkers off the end of the loft. About ten foot down but a chicken can sort of fly – certainly downhill anyway.
So with much clucking, squawking, shouting, dust and feathers everywhere, five out of the six little devils had gone over-the-top. The sixth one however had a side step and body swerve like a rugby international wing man. She just did not want to join her colleagues on the ground floor. Obviously it was much more nimble than the two fellas chasing it – weighing a couple of pounds rather than eight or twelve stone.
Eventually – and I do mean eventually – Attilla the Hen (tribute to Mr Scargill there) decided to give in and take the plunge only to fly straight into the light fitting turning the barn into total darkness.
“YOU BIG, BLINDING BASTARD!” exclaimed Dad. Now this was one of those life-changing moments – the first time I’d heard him swear which I thought was so hilarious but I daren’t laugh – out loud anyway. Don’t ask me how we got down from the hayloft – I can’t remember.