“Bubbles gained fame over two decades ago as Michael Jackson's simian companion. Now at age 26, Bubbles has retired to the Center for Great Apes outside Wauchula, Florida.- – CNN
Center for Great Apes, Cage 7, present day
-Hey, do you remember when that human died last year? And all the other humans freaked out?
-Yeah, that was weird. First they were crying, then they were singing songs and walking backwards really fast. Who died exactly? Was he their king?
-Kind of. Do you want to hear something strange?
-Yeah.
-You're probably not going to believe me.
-Just say it, Bubbles.
-I knew that guy.
-What are you talking about?
-We used to hang out together. We were kind of, like, best friends.
-Maybe we should get out of the sun.
-No, listen – I'm not making this up! Twenty-five years ago? The two of us were inseparable.
-Really?
-Yes!
-Whoa. You must have had a pretty nice cage.
-There was no cage. I slept in a velvet crib, encrusted with jewels. I had a chef, a doctor and three maids. I used to ride around on a tiny motorcycle, wearing a military jacket and waving a flag.
-That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. There was no cage?
-None.
-Why was he so nice to you?
-I never figured that part out.
-Did he refill your water pail more than once a day?
-I guess…okay… I still haven't done a really good job explaining the situation. My lifestyle with this man…it wasn't like a normal monkey lifestyle. I wore a tiara. I had a coat of arms.
-So…no water pail?
-I didn't need one! I drank tea with presidents and princesses. I was famous all over the world! We used to drive around in a limousine and everywhere we went, people would say: “There they go! Michael Jackson and Bubbles!-
-Wait a minute…I've heard of Michael Jackson.
-Really?
-Yeah. He was that child molester.
-Hey — he was never convicted!
-Oh come on, Bubbles. I'm a two year old monkey who was raised in an isolation box. Even I know that guy did something.
-An acquittal is an acquittal!
-Why are you defending him?
-Oh, I don't know. Maybe because he treated me with respect? Maybe because he gave me some dignity for once in my life? Maybe because he built me a private butterscotch fountain where if I pressed a button a jet of warm butterscotch shot right into my mouth for as long as I wanted and it never ran out of butterscotch?
-I'm sorry – I wasn't trying to offend you.
-Michael Jackson was a great man, okay? He was just misunderstood. You know what people called him when he started hanging out with me? Wacko Jacko! Just because he was nice to a monkey.
-Really?
-Yes! I mean… okay, there might have been some other things he did that made people call him that. But basically, yeah, it was because he was nice to a monkey.
-I guess that is unfair. But wait — there's one thing I still don't get: if your life was so amazing, how'd you end up in a place like this?
-It was a long, slow spiral. I got older, messier, harder to manage. Eventually people just gave up on me.
-That's rough.
-You know how it is with humans. When you're small and cute, they love you. They dress you up in costumes, give you treats, put you on TV. Then you get bigger, and uglier, and your face gets all weird, and they can't wait to see you behind bars.
-Humans are crazy, huh?
-Yeah. Except for Michael Jackson. He's the only one I understand.

“Bubbles gained fame over two decades ago as Michael Jackson's simian companion. Now at age 26, Bubbles has retired to the Center for Great Apes outside Wauchula, Florida.- – CNN

Center for Great Apes, Cage 7, present day

-Hey, do you remember when that human died last year? And all the other humans freaked out?

-Yeah, that was weird. First they were crying, then they were singing songs and walking backwards really fast. Who died exactly? Was he their king?

-Kind of. Do you want to hear something strange?

-Yeah.

-You're probably not going to believe me.

-Just say it, Bubbles.

-I knew that guy.

-What are you talking about?

-We used to hang out together. We were kind of, like, best friends.

-Maybe we should get out of the sun.

-No, listen – I'm not making this up! Twenty-five years ago? The two of us were inseparable.

-Really?

-Yes!

-Whoa. You must have had a pretty nice cage.

-There was no cage. I slept in a velvet crib, encrusted with jewels. I had a chef, a doctor and three maids. I used to ride around on a tiny motorcycle, wearing a military jacket and waving a flag.

-That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. There was no cage?

-None.

-Why was he so nice to you?

-I never figured that part out.

-Did he refill your water pail more than once a day?

-I guess…okay… I still haven't done a really good job explaining the situation. My lifestyle with this man…it wasn't like a normal monkey lifestyle. I wore a tiara. I had a coat of arms.

-So…no water pail?

-I didn't need one! I drank tea with presidents and princesses. I was famous all over the world! We used to drive around in a limousine and everywhere we went, people would say: “There they go! Michael Jackson and Bubbles!-

-Wait a minute…I've heard of Michael Jackson.

-Really?

-Yeah. He was that child molester.

-Hey — he was never convicted!

-Oh come on, Bubbles. I'm a two year old monkey who was raised in an isolation box. Even I know that guy did something.

-An acquittal is an acquittal!

-Why are you defending him?

-Oh, I don't know. Maybe because he treated me with respect? Maybe because he gave me some dignity for once in my life? Maybe because he built me a private butterscotch fountain where if I pressed a button a jet of warm butterscotch shot right into my mouth for as long as I wanted and it never ran out of butterscotch?

-I'm sorry – I wasn't trying to offend you.

-Michael Jackson was a great man, okay? He was just misunderstood. You know what people called him when he started hanging out with me? Wacko Jacko! Just because he was nice to a monkey.

-Really?

-Yes! I mean… okay, there might have been some other things he did that made people call him that. But basically, yeah, it was because he was nice to a monkey.

-I guess that is unfair. But wait — there's one thing I still don't get: if your life was so amazing, how'd you end up in a place like this?

-It was a long, slow spiral. I got older, messier, harder to manage. Eventually people just gave up on me.

-That's rough.

-You know how it is with humans. When you're small and cute, they love you. They dress you up in costumes, give you treats, put you on TV. Then you get bigger, and uglier, and your face gets all weird, and they can't wait to see you behind bars.

-Humans are crazy, huh?

-Yeah. Except for Michael Jackson. He's the only one I understand.

 

SIMON RICH is the author of two humor collections, Free-Range Chickens and Ant Farm, which was a finalist for the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Judd Apatow calls his first novel, Elliot Allagash, "suspenseful and hilarious" and AJ Jacobs says it's "one of the funniest books about high schoolers since The Catcher in the Rye." He lives in Brooklyn and writes for Saturday Night Live. He is 25.