Saturday, June 13, 2020

Monkeying Around


“The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind.” – General Joseph Stilwell

Feed the Monkey by Two Brass Monkeys

Fresh off the heels of the most recent non-box brass puzzle (Felix Ure’s Hip-Flask) we’ve got another (NBBP) gem to occupy the long summer days. Well, the dynamic duo behind Two Brass Monkeys are at it again, climbing even higher it seems, and we are certainly getting an interesting view. Their latest offering has generated a decent amount of buzz, mostly thanks to the creative packaging they invented for this clever and very tricky packing puzzle. Ali Morris and Steve Nicholls have produced yet another fantastic diversion, this time in the shape of a rectangular cuboid, with a black oxidized aluminum body (blasted, acid etched, polyester powder coated) handsomely capped in brass on each end (fondly referred to as the head and bum). The puzzle fits neatly in the hand and has a very solid weight to it. The object is to pack sixteen brass rods inside flush; the catch is that the final rod is twice as long and won’t go all the way in once the other pieces are in place. No matter how hard you try. Lets just say this is one fussy monkey.

Go on, feed the monkey

This is one provocative puzzle. Granted, it looks handsome and is made with extremely high quality, as we have come to expect from this highly rated company. Like many of the variations for the puzzle theme that Ali and Steve came up with and discarded, I cycled through a number of choices before ending up with “highly rated company”. In the end they settled on a monkey, whose perpetual pucker will forever be filled with brass bananas. That’s allottalliteration. A few further details deserve mention here. These puzzles come wrapped up in a large silicone zip up banana. Which you can use for other things once you own it. Steve Nicholls has a long list of ideas he will be happy to share on this subject, feel free to reach out to him. But be careful, because Steve also has a large database of puzzle collector preferences now on the subject of what gender monkey they preferred to stuff bananas into, and why. So if you might be in that database, you might not want to provoke him. Personally I think Steve and Ali are fantastic people, kind, generous, good looking and brilliant.

Chow Chika Bow Wow

I’m toasting this amazing anthropoid with an absolutely delicious cocktail that has a fantastic name. What’s in a name? If you know, you know. Of course there had to be bananas in it, because I don’t monkey around with the drinks. It’s important to use a good banana liqueur, or homemade, because bad banana liqueur is just bad. This is a great tropical summer drink, full of zesty citrus, sweet almond syrup and spicy ginger all wrapped around a nicely aged rum. You wouldn’t be bananas for loving it.  Cheers!

You'll go bananas over this one

Chow Chika Bow Wow, Wu Chow, Austin

1 oz aged rum
½ oz banana liqueur
½ oz falernum
1 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz fresh ginger juice
½ oz demerara simple syrup (1:1)

Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a favorite glass. Grapefruit wedge garnish unless you feel like monkeying around.

An appealing pair

For more about the Two Brass Monkeys:

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