They should go back to the jungle

A white -haired gibbon


Under – Age Drinking

When I was younger, too young to drink, I snuck into a bar with my friend to play pool.

In my village they didn’t often follow the law when it came to drinking age.

If you had money,you were in.

The pool table was right behind the bar, so you could hear the old regulars talking.

One guy seemed particularly angry.

“They should go back to where they came from.”

I ended up being crippled with laughter as I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

They should go back to the jungle.

Do people really have these opinions?

Is this really happening?

The guy kept talking for about 20 minutes. One thing worse than the last.

I thought I should say something.

“They should go back to living in the trees.”

I didn’t say a word to him.


Staircase Wit


The french have a term, esprit de l’escalier, meaning staircase wit.

It’s used to describe those moments when you couldn’t think of the perfect thing to say.

You only think of something witty  when  you’re on the stairs on the way out.

My esprit d’escalier didn’t come  till 20 years later.
When I think back on that day, this is what I imagined happened :

Monkey Talk

I went up to the guy at the bar.
When was the last time you shaved a monkey?
(the bar guy looks at me surprised.
You’re mistaking skin color for hair color.
A shaved monkey is white – just like you.
Perhaps you belong in the jungle.

The bright Side

In this case the best thing about an esprit de l’escalier is :
You don’t get punched in the face by a racist.

Tim Willow

Although  sometimes not speaking up is more wounding than  a punch in the face.

Are you blonkers?



30 thoughts on “They should go back to the jungle

  1. Great one Tim. Really appriciate. I have a lot of esprit de l’escalier, myself. So in recent times I started thinking of the situations where I might be in and had readymade reply but then again who wants to be punched in the face. So in my mind I have done so many thinks they can’t even imagine.
    Much love

    Liked by 2 people

    • best kept in the mind really. Learning to move on from the moment when you didn’t react as well as you thought you should. Can end up in a cycle of self blame. But that’s a serious point 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very powerful blog especially your comment (so true) that “sometimes not speaking up is more wounding than a punch in the face.” Bravo. I like your serious posts as much as your blonkers blogs.
    So hope you keep both coming.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The phrase “when was the last time you shaved a monkey” sounds like something from a Carry On film. I’m surprised he didn’t punch you in the face just for being so forward.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I just know that I’ll think of something humorous to say in 7 hours and 36 minutes. Please take a seat over there. No……I didn’t mean take a seat, I meant sit down. No……not over there, over there. Oh forget it! FAIL!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s funny the things that never leave your mind isn’t it? I was about 12 and I was at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park with my aunt. There was a South African girl speaking with absolute conviction about how black peoples brains were smaller than white peoples. I remember it vividly and I couldn’t tell you now if I was more glad she was getting heckled mercilessly or horrified that she actually believed it. I felt very helpless, too young to be listened to but old enough to be appalled. That was a huge part of why I used to picket the SA embassy with so many others a few years later though

    Liked by 2 people

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