Don’t be a Zoo Monkey, or 4 ways to approach any purchasing decision

I was on the phone with a friend the other night. She needs a new couch because if you walk by it, the recliners might accidentally pop out. The thing is possessed. This wasn’t a big problem until her baby started crawling, and now she’s terrified that the couch will pop open and knock the child flying. I fully support her, in that I am in favor of not letting the furniture play soccer with the children.

I can come up with 4 ways to handle this problem. Here I introduce my framework for problem solving:

Macaca_fascicularis_in_Tarutao_National_Marine_Park zoo monkey
Don’t be a zoo monkey

1. Zoo Monkey solution. You are a zoo monkey if you pay retail prices, use debt to support your lifestyle, and solve problems by buying things and paying people. (Zoo Monkeys don’t come here often, but if you want to think outside the zoo enclosure, please hang out!) A Zoo Monkey solves this problem by buying a new couch for $1,000-10,000.



Jielbeaumadier_macaque_de_tonkean_strasbourg_2009 perimeter monkey
Perimeter monkeys is getting suspicious

2. Perimeter solution. You are a perimeter monkey if you used to be a zoo monkey, but have noticed the cage. You might buy the $1,000-10,000 couch for 30% off retail, with a coupon or at a store clearance sale. You might even use your credit card to get 1-2% cash back, but it’s a toss up if you will pay the card off in full this month. You might also consider buying used high end furniture.


A Wikimedia Commons Picture Feral solution. (Feral animals are not tame, but they depend on human presence to provide elements of their environment like food or shelter.) Repair the couch. Flip it over and adjust the mechanism, or remove the springs that make the couch kick, or get some baling wire and wire the thing shut. You might also get a free couch on the side of the road or by the furniture showroom dumpster. Caveman solution. Burn the couch. Who needs a couch? Keep the cushions and sit on the floor. Grug happy on cushions with no bugs.




When you have a problem to solve or a need to fill, I invite you to go feral. We are feral here. We like couches, indoor plumbing, and the kind mail carrier who delivers the things I buy online. We’ve been cavemen in the past, and we’ve spent time in the zoo. We’ve concluded that being FERAL is being FREE.