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Spanking the Monkey 3

It was early on that July 3rd when Sock Monkey and his guardians rose from their slumber to begin the next leg of their journey. Sock Monkey was pouting because he had been in trouble the night before and had been sent to bed without his supper. But the freedom of the road and the beautiful Oklahoma countryside soon drew him back into a good mood. For hours they drove until finally crossing that border into Missouri and eventually stopping at a roadside stand called “Ozarkland” which they found amusing since they were on their way to Lake Ozark.

Sock Monkey insisted on stopping at Ozarkland and his guardians relented to his incessant requests. How were they to know that Sock Monkey was going to pick up a girlfriend (Priscilla) and a bad habit - both of which followed him to his destination at Lake Ozark. Sock Monkey spent that afternoon before Independence Day in the room with both of his bad habits while his guardians explored the resort.

But when they returned to the room, they found that Priscilla was gone - along with Sock Monkey’s Lucky Strikes and all of his cash. His guardians found him binging on bananas and Jack Daniels, crushed by the betrayal of his betrothed. He was despondent and nothing they said could coax him from his funk.

Sock Monkey went off on an all-out drinking spree at the Shady Gator. First, he partied with the bartenders (everybody loves Sock Monkey!) and spun the wheel so that he could take shot after shot which he shared with some college kids that he met. All of this was done before he tried to pick-up some young ladies in the hope they might assuage the agonizing loss of his beloved Prisicilla. But they were hip to Sock Monkey’s ways and rebuffed his advances, even if they were happy to feed him more alcohol.

After the girls turned him down, he figured his luck might change with the boys, so he hung out with a couple of guys he met along the way and they were happy to give him the attention that (in his own estimation) he so richly deserved. But even these “gentlemen” grew weary of Sock Monkey’s antics and it was not long before he found himself alone, smoking cigarette after cigarette and nursing large drink after drink.

As is often the case when a monkey imbibes too much, our hero soon became despondent feeling lost and alone and his thoughts returned to Priscilla at which point he tried to feed himself to the alligator he saw in the bar. (Silly monkey, a stuffed alligator cannot do anything!)

Finally, management decided it was best for Monkey to take his leave, but before they would let him go, they made sure that he acted responsibly and took the breathalyzer test.

Back at the hotel, he promptly passed out and did not awaken until the next morning where he was faced with the choice of whether to buffet or not to buffet.

That Independence Day, Monkey’s guardians knew that they had to get Monkey under control. So, they took Monkey to a turkey farm (Monkey loves turkey (especially with dressing!)) He relaxed in the hay and explored Jr. Boy’s boyhood farm finally coming across Jr. Boy’s childhood dollhouse. Monkey could not resist playing King Kong.

Feeling a little better now, and being the patriot that he is, Sock Monkey was determined to celebrate his nation’s founding. Along with his guardians and Jr. Boy, they went to the best place in the Ozark’s - The Fuzzy Bunny - where he made new and exciting friends, celebrated the Fourth and enjoyed a boat ride on the lake. The next two days were magical for Monkey and he considered what life might be like as a permanent resident of this part of the country.

On July 6th, when his time at Lake Ozark had come to an end, Sock Monkey had a pedicure before he and his guardians departed the Show Me State and moved on to his destination in the Hoosier State. But before they arrived in Indianapolis, it was important to get a little history in. So he visited the Vandalia State House in Illinois where his favorite president of all time (Abraham Lincoln) had begun his political career.

In Indianapolis, to heal Sock Monkey’s broken heart, hs guardians upgraded him to the Presidential Suite at the hotel and the little imp was beside himself as he played on the spiral staircase that led to the second level of their suite.

While in the Railroad City, they had dinner at Harry & Izzy’s where Monkey had the spiciest meatballs he had ever eaten his life. But they were oh so good! It was a short stop in Indianapolis. That next morning, they were once again off to their real destination - those three tiny burgs on the Michigan coast along Lake Huron: Tawas, Au Sable and Oscoda.

After a short stop for lunch in Marshall, Michigan along with a tour of its historic downtown area, they arrived in their destination later that afternoon on July 7. It had been so long since Sock Monkey had seen the area, but it remained as beautiful as he remembered and he spent that afternoon relaxing by the Lake before grabbing a bite to eat then collapsing in his bed that night for some well-deserved sleep.

The next morning, he and his companions explored the area in search of childhood memories.

It was not difficult to find the childhood homes, but they were all amazed at how different (yet the same) everything seemed to be. Sock Monkey waxed philosophically: It is true, that you can never go home again. In your absence, the changes that occur evolve from your home into something altogether different.

They spent the next three days trying to find that lost childhood, then, on the fourth day, as the sun rose over the Huron shore, they bid adieu to that lost childhood in search of new roads to continue their journey.

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