Hello to this gathered congregation of Hot Dog there is an importants to our conversation today,I don’t want to blindside you to much so if you can take a moment to calibrate your emotions towards the somber. Maybe remember how you felt when you sat down to watch a funny episode of Family Ties but it was the one where Tom Hanks has a drinking problem, that might be how we at least have to start out today, but perhaps? Not end there.
So I know we all turn to our morning HotDog e-mail for a little lightness and a giggle to leaven the heaviness that will surely arrive during the rest of the day, but right now I wanna acknowledge that there were times when this hasn’t been so much the case for a certain group of people, specifically days:
In case you don’t understand yet the commonamality in those is that they all feature depictions and descriptions of: m*nkeys. And then almost every Appreciation Day ever those are a nice INTENT but sometimes the actual IMPACT is not so nice for those of us who, honestly? Would rather confront the dick rip than the great ape because of our ongoing experience of the condition diagnosticianally labeled as: Pithecophobia: aka Fear of the Deadly, Horrific Ape and his Carelessly Destructive Simian Brothers.
Now I admit it we are a small community, there is not a wikipedia page for us or even a wiki-why only a old article I’m not even sure if its serious. And our letter-writing campaign has not yet resulted in DSM enclusion but as you can see from the comments on this non-pedia wiki page: we EXIST dammit! I appreciate how in those comments people tell how they’re condition developed, e.g. through a Scooby-Doo episode or the story of Travis the Chimp. For me personally it was a cumulation of I saw that Clint Eastwood horror movie at a tender age:
That and the unsettlin implications of Trading Places:
Plus then what really sealed the deal was the arrival to my hometown of Tumwater, WA of what I have to believe was a unlicensed circus outfit where I got separated from my gramma in one of the side tents:
And I will not share more details about that at this time.
Excuse me for a minute I’m gonna need just a minute here.
Ok, I’m ok again. So what you must understand about Pithecrophabia is that many of us are able to lead normal and healthy lives and it is only certain situations where there is problematic avoidins. I myself have held some jobs and travelled to neighboring counties and even have a robust monopolous love life but then here comes 1900hotdog and yes, it is a source of great succor and joy to me, but what about all these m*nkeys that keep showing up in the blog posts!?
SOMEtimes there’s a kind of warning in the title or that its Upsetting Day, but other days they just kind of jump out at you with no warning (Lydia I want you to know I am not blaming you that I had to take a Health and Personal day on mind-ray-orangutan day, you couldn’t’ve known not what you did) and don’t even get me started on what happened in the discord after the Congo podcast..
So my having to turn away from certain HotDog contents this was a loss to me, and I wanted to increase my cog native flexibility to fully participate in this community and maybe even one day make it to the end of the Lawnmower Man article without needing LaRene there to read it allowed and substitute all ‘chimps’ for ‘sloths’ which retain a bit of the monkey aura but are too slow to be frightenin and not enough man in the eyes.
So I remembered what the school counselor told us when Trayton wouldn’t use the bathroom by himself any more after he got a rodent fear from watching that one part of Lady and the Tramp, about a “Exposure High Archy” and showed us a good example of one if your afraid of throwing up and what I learned most was:
A] Start Where You Are (for e.g. the full-size gummy rat we bought for Trayton was Too Much Too Soon) and:
b] A Small Step It’s Still a Step (also e.g. Trayton walking past the PetSmart mice first with “Eyes-Closed-and-Listening-to-C418-on-Headphones” and then progressing to: “Just Eyes-Closed” might not seem like much, however that is a Exposure “Win”) but most importantly:
3) Warm-Patience and Self-Compassion, which honestly LaRene and I do feel those for Trayton and was pretty proud when he started to do number ones by himself again and I know he’ll get back to toilet sitting too so I decided to give the same help to this other little guy (me). And some might say that sounds pretty soft or unmanly and to them I’d say well do you wanna do what SHOULD work, or what DOES work? And you know what? I have some ways to go still but it IS working pretty good and so I thought I’d share what I did here in case any of you have the m*nkey thing or maybe want to adapt it for Sudden Snakes or baby hands or night-time gas pumping or whatever.
(NOTE: Sissyneck’s qualifications as a exposure coach is unverificationed at this time, any treatments should only be undertook with the Super Vision of a local therapist or chiraproctor or a older cousin that maybe did some time in the Peace Core).
So the way I chose to confront my distress was through the viewing of the 1986 film Link (link) for reasons that will clear up as we go. We’ll view a few images from the film at each level of subjection distress and then take a break, look at a calmin picture (also from the film) and breath deeply before we move on. And hey: nobody is expecting you to make it all the way through right away, if you happen to share my afflecktion, please go at a pace that is tolerable for your comfort and organ constitution.
For our purposes you don’t need to know about the plot other than its sort of like The Birds except in the 80s and in Britain and with m*nkeys. The guy who is General Zod is a professor who actually likes them.
And ethically studies them.
And then Ali from Karate Kid shows up and says she wants to help with his research.
And now you can maybe see why I chose this movie because of if your like me 80s Elisabeth Shue is such a kinda avatar of nostalgic innocents and cute and calm such that it sorta takes away some of the terror power of the simian beasts and this will be an important helpmeet for us.
Anyway at first Zod tells her no but then he remembers he needs someone to cook and clean at his big English house so he says yes and when she gets there right away we’re at step 1:
Ok as you can see we’re starting slow that’s the tityoular Link and even though he is veiled in shadow you might be able to see that he is doing the scary thing of wearing people clothes which is our first level of exposure.
And here we turn it up a bit with him fully-lit showing Elisabeth her quarters, observe he has recquired bow-tie agility even if it’s clip-on that’s too much:
And finally our last last step at this level is Link in sorta like morning-after-a-bachelor-party-went-wrong clothes.
It is the bunched-up sleeves I think that are almost as bad as the blood I don’t like the implimpcation that monkeys understand rolling sleeves because now they might also get casual vs formal roles and the inceassant eye-contact of course is not good. Also you might be noticing that even though the actor is a orangeutan they painted him black and gave him fake ears to make him portray a chimpanzee which: there might be a way to make a ethical joke about that but I have been trying without success and have had to accept that it is above my current skill level.
Ok so a important part of doing this work is keeping our promises to ourselves so even though this is only just a Level 1 Upsetting at this point we are still going to take a break to do some diaphragmentic breathing and look at a calmin image before we move on:
Ok how we feeling folks? If you are ready let’s place a warm hand on are courageous hearts and continue our journey of growth.
Our next level of exposure has to do with the removal of one of our protections from ape assault and dismemberment: we have fire and they don’t and maybe they know that and maybe they don’t like it. But Link challenges our safeness by having kinda a uncle hairline and also with him being a ex-circus monkey guess what they taught him:
O. K. Its getting a little shuddersome let’s do a deep breath in, hold it, deep breath out and:
That is just so irresponsible imagine what could happen if you let a naughty ape keep playing with matches in a old house with gas fixtures.
Exactly he has burnt it all and you can see how unbothered he is by the hellish destruction he has rot even though I bet there’s probably fine tapestries and exotic teas and such in there. It is ed xactly the unableness of the monkey to understand finer consequence that hurts to the heart of me. I imagine our emotional temperature is also getting up there, let’s bring it down, repeat after me: “I am in a ape-free environment right now and especially there aren’t any with the knowledge or matches to burn me up.” And let your eyes rest up on:
Now: I want you to be prepared we are moving up another level, so far the violence has just been implimpied and the destruction has been of property only but to meet our goal we must be exposured to images of a more direct and graphic nature:
Yes I was intentianal about easing us into this one; the death is of I think a plague-dog and it is in the service of protecting our Elisabeth (and the sort of Hitchcock cinematography here helps a little bit I think) but it is still time for us to confront our next level of:
Yes as Professor Zod explains earlier in the movie when Elisabeth wants to use positive enforcements on the m*nkeys: Link has the strength of 10 men you fool if you show a softness with him he will rend your neck from your head and that is very clear later in the movie when Link punishes a english man (or “Bloke”) for threatening one of his simian brethren and sort of seems surprised at his own strength (content warning: there are multiple non-human primates in this clip):
And then with this knowledge he pretty quick attempts apeslaughter on Elisabeth herself (comfort note: she is quick and strong and smart and survives this attempt):
Also I’m pretty sure that’s a british stunt woman (or “stuntbird”) at the end there, to my eye the hair is not as lustrous and lively as we know Elisabeth’s is. Well again at this point I invite you to check in with yourselves and determine if today is a day for continuing up this step-ladder of discomfort or if it is time for a Dr. Pepper break or even to call it a day and come back when we’re ready, let’s both me and you exercise a trust in you and me here.
Ok we welcome our brave decision to continue, whenever that may be that it happened and here we go:
Ok wow I realize I probably should’of let you know that was a double murder one, we learn that Link has killed Zod and then he just ENDS that lad. I apologize and I hope I can earn back your confidence over time it is through the process of rupture and repair that we strengthen our muscles AND relationships of trust. But gratefully that is the end of our Step 3 exposures and we can now take a well-deserved calming imagery break:
Ok folks you may have noticed we are at our ultimate level of m*nkey-fear exposure practice, I am feeling pretty good about preceding but that is my experience for me and it is up to you to decide if and how and when and how you’d like to scroll down to continue.
In your own time:
Oh no. I expect you can now maybe guess what is our final boss in this campaign against our own human frailty:
Hot Dog Children I invite you to do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself if you choose to preceed at this juncture, truly we are at a point where even the non-pithecophobic might quayle and do that nuh-uh swipe on their phone like when you see the wrong parts of reddit too early in the morning. Perhaps prepare a favorite tea or light your best yankee candle or put on some Enya before you keep going.
Shhhhh oh honey oh sweetie there there I know this one hurts I am right there with you with tears in my eyes, but if my internet presence isn’t enough and you want to keep going I invite you at this point to go get a trusted friend or family member who’s hand you can squeeze or who’s nails you can bite for support. There is just one more I promise but I had to split it into three gifs Patreon is not really set up as a therapy tool.
If You Believe You are Ready, than I Believe You Too:
OKAY ok breath out just breathe it out we saw it together we both saw those eyes and why did they have to flick downword and that slightest of unnatural smiles and no orangeutang is that good of a actor we know what Link was for real thinking and it should never be a cross-species thought which is: “Nice.”
But just breath it out push the air out, here is our oasis:
Well. We have returned from the dark cold of Outer Space of emotional fear, that is behind us now and we have both our feet and maybe even our bottoms firmly planted in the warm sand of Here and Safe and Now. Take a look around you and take in the sights and the sounds and smells and think of the connection you are having with the other brave Hot Dog readers who are here with us either now or in their own chosen future time and you know what? I’m proud of you.
And maybe you can guess who else is too:
In the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.