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Friday July 05, 2002, 13:21

"Do you like your banana, monkey boy? Want some lettuce, monkey boy?!"

They chased me down Oxford Street, picking fruit out of their bags and hurling it at my head. Fortunately, they were drunk, and most of the fruit landed harmlessly in the hands of the homeless men sleeping under the awnings of the long-abandoned department stores.

I turned my head around, careful to avoid trampling the little old English lady who was puttering along in a far-too-large Sunday hat (on a Wednesday, no less, which leads me to believe that she was not so much an English lady but an old American biddy on vacation and wanting to "do like the natives" but, missing a Sunday stay-over, decided to do the next best thing and parade her fat ass down the sidewalk at three in the afternoon on a Wednesday) and the gaggle of high school girls, fresh from their trip to Macdonalds on their collective way to Starbucks. I know that I, for one, attempt to limit my blatant chain-consumerism to a bare minimum, simply out of respect for myself and the people that have to watch me, but as I watched their Levi's pants and H&M jackets waddle their lard-filled stomachs out of the fast food joint I realized that the last thing on their (collective) mind was whether or not they were pumping too much money into the corporate machine that drives today's society.

I deftly maneuvered my way around a Big Mac wrapper and dodged a milkshake in an outstretched hand that had been gesturing wildly about the latest hooha at the you know what (or rather, they might have known what but I, with my head full of fruit and still being pursued by what were ostensibly football hooligans without jerseys, really could not begin to care a what about whomever it had been) only to get pelted in the back of the head with another strawberry.

Where were they getting all of this fruit?!

I was quickly running out of breath, and with the shoes I was wearing being more suited for looking at than running in, my ankles seemed about ready to give in to whatever abuse they were to receive, if only to keep from having to carry me around any longer. A final last-ditch effort found me lunging at the doors to the nearest pharmacy only to have my path blocked by a German tourist in a large backpack, noshing on a schnitzel. What? I mean, come on, who eats their hometown food while on vacation in another country? My tail being grabbed and I was pulled down to the pavement and roughly force-fed lettuce as a young woman wearing bad pants rode past on a scooter, laughing at me.

This is the last time I go out dressed up in a monkey suit, I'll tell you that much.

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