TLC KEEPS IT HIGHBROW: ‘MY BABY MONKEY’

10.02.09 9 years ago 19 Comments

“Please kill me.”

TLC is easily the most loathsome cable channel, which is saying a lot considering VH1’s reality programming and the fact that Bravo just gave Christian Siriano and Bethenny Frankel their own shows. On Sunday night, TLC will put its spotlight on people who adopt monkeys and treat them like children with a documentary called “My Baby Monkey.” And now is the part of the blog where we learn about these people’s sorry lives:

Jesus and Carmen decided not to have children because of Jesus’ own difficult childhood. But they are devoted parents to Butters. Carmen crocheted clothes in anticipation of her daughter’s arrival, and dotes on her “baby girl,” who wears diapers sized for premature infants.

“She is gorgeous,” Jesus said in “My Monkey Baby.” “Hi, little girl. Look at those big pretty eyes,” Carmen gushed. “Yeah, those pretty eyes.”

The best part about having a monkey child? They require 24-hour attention, you have to change their diapers, and — oh yeah — they’re wild animals who will bite you, so you should probably remove their teeth. Basically, it’s like living with a demon-baby that never grows up. But they’re so cute!

“We’ve got 24-hour-a-day supervision with her,” Jesus said. “Me and Carmen have already worked our work schedules so one of us is either always here or we got the babysitter here for her.” […]

Monkids are often adopted by empty-nesters looking to relive all the fun of raising children without reliving the most turbulent years. Missouri retirees Lori and Jim Johnson adore their monkey, Jessica Marie. Lori adopted “Jessy” when she was 7 weeks old, before she and Jim were married.

Jessy is with Lori all the time. When she was a baby, she latched onto Lori’s arm 24 hours a day for six months. “Six months that I showered, went to the stores, cooked, slept, everything with her on my arm, because she wouldn’t get off,” Lori said. “You couldn’t get her off.”

It was nine months before Lori could leave the room without Jessy having a panic attack. There were other difficulties, as when Jessy started to nip at Lori and her husband, Jim. They eventually had her teeth removed…

Jessy gets dressed up in an assortment of handmade dresses, goes everywhere with Lori and Jim, sleeps in the same bed as they do and loves fast food. Her favorites are Slim Jim meat snacks and “monkey” fries.

“If I hear somebody call her a monkey, I throw a fit. She is my daughter, 100 percent,” Jim said.

Get ready to throw a fit, Jim. Because that ain’t your daughter. It’s a fckin monkey in a dress.

But wait. There’s more fun. Turns out the baby monkeys are clingy because they’re wild animals who have been torn away from their mothers.

[Angelle] Sampey learned after she bought Andy that monkey mothers are routinely darted with sedatives so the babies can be removed.

“Can you imagine taking a baby from a mother out of the hospital? And that’s what we did,” Sampey said. “He is a wild monkey. He is never going to be domesticated, and it took me seven years to realize that.”

During those seven years, Andy tore down the walls and curtains and ripped out the wiring in the special room Sampey had built for him. Sampey knew Andy was lonely and depressed. When Andy thought Sampey had come to take away the peanuts she’d given him, Andy attacked her, biting her repeatedly.

These are the things I learn from what used to be called The Learning Channel. It’s a good thing they changed the name.

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