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R. L. Copple's Blog

Monkey Madness

I’ve not kept up this blog as originally planned, due to an increase in working in my wife’s house cleaning business and probably over extending myself. Seems any time I plan to do extra writing, the work load increases giving me less time for writing. Good for paying the bills. Bad for getting much writing done. I’ll keep working on it. Stay tuned.

Until then, I’m treating you to a special story. Back in 2007, I participated in a contest at Ray Gun Revival Magazine (no longer in operation). It had to be under 500 words and deal with “space monkeys.” I entered the following story, and ended up winning 3rd place. It also appeared in a special edition of the Ray Gun Radio podcast which is still available.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the story!


I told headquarters their idea proved they had developed a case of monkey madness. Never give a monkey a man’s job. But did they listen? No. They trained and installed monkeys through the whole fleet. And now I’m sitting up in bed, a monkey holding a ray gun to my head.

“We’re taking over the ship,” the leader signed to me. “You’ve been holding out on us, and we want our due.” He bared his teeth. “Are you going to hand it over willingly, or shall we take it by force, Captain?”

I signed back, “How about a third option? You would get a lot further if you simply did your jobs.”

Hoots and howls arose among the group of monkeys filling my quarters. The leader stayed focused on me and smiled one of those cheesy monkey grins I’d seen on old TV shows. “We put up with those jobs so we could take over. Stupid humans didn’t see this coming.” He raised his head upward in a victory howl.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. You pulled one over on us.” Actually I hadn’t been totally blind to the possibility. “I’ll need to give the order.”

He swung his limp hand at the com panel. “Remember, we have a ray gun trained on you. One false word . . .”

I paged the kitchen. “Release the bananas.”

“Aye, Sir,” crackled back over the com.

“Truth be told, I have a few in my quarters.” I pointed at a locked storage door.

He nodded and jumped up and down. I opened the door and passed the bananas out. Hoots and monkey calls rang through the room. Soon they crammed the well preserved yellow delicacies into their mouths. Smacking noise vibrated through the room. Ten seconds ticked by before they all dropped dead in quick succession.

Food remains one of the most powerful weapons. In this case, the poisoned banana.

A call rang through the com. “Engineering, Sir. The monkeys are all dead, but we have a problem.”


“The navigation controls have been set to fly us into the nearest star.”

“Unset it then.” I felt impatient despite myself.

“Can’t. The master controls are in a room so small, only a monkey could access them. We would have to tear through the anti-matter bulkheads to override and change course.”

I pounded my fist on the desk. Blasted monkeys! I told headquarters the idea reeked. Especially monkeys designing ships, much less operating them. They’ve made monkeys of us all.

About R. L. Copple
R. L. Copple enjoys a good cup of coffee and a fun story. These two realities and inspiration from the likes of Lester Del Ray, J. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, among others, caused him to write his own science fiction and fantasy stories to increase the fun in the world and to share his fresh perspective.
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2 Responses to Monkey Madness

  1. Vanessa Leah Stevenson says:

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
    This is with regard to your blog: ‘Building Covers for Createspace’…

    After three solid days and nights of trying everything to convert my Inkscape-created cover into a pdf for Amazon without compromising the integrity of the file or losing half the images, or my sanity – with Inkscape crashing on me at least thirty times and with me having to uninstall and reinstall it and then spend hours and hours Googling for alternative options, etc. etc. etc. – I finally came across your incredible blog. It has been my saving grace.
    I followed your step-by-step instructions, installed the 2 programs you recommended, and: Voila! Thank you thank you thank you.
    Amazon/Createspace has just approved my cover and interior for ‘A Hopeaholic’s Hallelujah’, and now, after years of hard work, I can make it available. All thanks to you.
    I am about to make a donation to your blog. It’s not much, but I’m making it with all my heart. I cannot tell you just how much you are appreciated. I will remain forever grateful.
    Best wishes.

  2. R. L. Copple says:

    Thank you for the donation. Glad the article helped you. Good luck with the book.

    For readers, the article being referenced is at

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