Today I was faced with a difficult decision. I have been working on a freelance writing assignment, and the piece is for a teenage audience (14-15 years old). A question was raised about my use of the expression "monkey pee" and whether, perhaps, this might be too juvenile for the intended audience.
My knee-jerk reaction was "NO!" and I still sort of believe it. However, after investigating that reaction I realized it came out of me so quickly because I actually think monkey pee isn't even too juvenile for me. I would love to see the words "monkey pee" in 40 foot letters in the middle of Times Square. I'd visit more often. It could even help boost our economy. And if people think monkey pee is too juvenile for a 14 year-old - someone whose every waking hour is a new scatalogical mystery, thanks in large part to puberty and in small part to the films of Adam Sandler - then what does that say about me? A grown man who loves monkey pee. I guess I realized that in defending monkey pee, I was really defending my own socially retarded sense of humor.
I had allies in the monkey pee debate, to be sure. But ultimately I agreed that it could (not should) be excised. I think it came down to this: did I want to go down in history as the writer who martyred himself over monkey pee? Not really. Three years ago, I would have said "yes." Today, instead of fighting, I got a haircut and bought a blazer. Tomorrow I'm going to buy a belt and get married. Over the weekend I'm going to go bald and die of a cardiac arrest while tanning my swollen, Speedo-clad body on a chaise lounge in St. Martin. I will become a single-serving pogrom.