Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Ever Happened To . . . Curious George?


Bozi Kima was abducted from the jungles of Africa in the early 1940’s, and brought to the United States by a man named Steve Durango (aka. The Man in the Yellow Hat). Durango changed Bozi’s name to George, and attempted to raise the monkey as a pet. Forced to adapt to the hazards of New York City, George’s childhood was filled with adventure. He learned to fly a kite, visited a farm, and even worked part-time as a paperboy. More often, however, his cultural disorientation and the lack of proper supervision led to trouble. One morning, in the autumn of 1941, Durango left the apartment leaving George all alone. George found a puzzle that Durango had carelessly left on his desk, opened the box, and swallowed a puzzle piece. This resulted in a visit to the emergency room to have his stomach pumped.

On another occasion, once again while left completely unsupervised, George escaped from the apartment and frolicked around Manhattan, somewhat at random. An inexplicable chain of events led to his employment with a window washing company and while climbing down the outside of a 38-story building, George plummeted to the ground and snapped his leg.

Clearly, Steve Durango didn’t have sense enough to raise a goldfish, much less a rambunctious primate, but we’ll get back to that shortly.

George simply did not possess the experience, training, or instincts to survive in the most dangerous city in the world and this, combined with Durango’s lackadaisical attitude toward parenting, left the poor monkey at the mercy of the streets.

“You know, I picked up that ‘Curious’ label early on,” recalls George. “But curiosity had nothing to do with it. I had no idea what was going on. I mean, one day I was swinging in trees and eating bananas, the next day I was dodging taxicabs. Maybe they should’ve called me ‘Confused George’ or ‘Displaced George’. ‘Scared Out of His Fucking Mind George’ probably says it best.”

By the mid-40’s, the terrified monkey had become a weird sort of New York City icon. He was a renegade monkey on the loose, and every couple months the papers would scream out a new headline:

CURIOUS GEORGE GETS HIT BY A BUS

CURIOUS GEORGE GETS STABBED IN A 42nd STREET JAZZ CLUB

CURIOUS GEORGE FALLS OFF THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

In 1949, George was taken by ambulance to Lenox Hill Hospital after getting his tail severed by the uptown D train. Thanks to the quick work of surgeon Dr. Sidney Fishman, George’s tail was reattached and steps were taken to ensure his future safety. After the subway incident, Dr. Fishman placed a call to the New York Department of Public Safety.

“We’d seen a lot of that poor little monkey,” Dr. Fishman explained to the police. “Concussions, broken bones, stab wounds, the works. Every time we treated him, we’d contact his guardian Mr. Durango, and it was always, ‘Oh, I don’t know how he got out this time,’ or ‘I’ll be down to pick him up after work.’ He didn’t seem concerned at all. It got to the point where I felt the need to report him to the authorities.”

Durango was arrested, and eventually convicted for child endangerment, cruelty to animals, and kidnapping. As he left the courthouse after sentencing, animal rights activists pelted him with banana peels and monkey shit. Durango served a 20-year sentence at Bayview Correctional Facility, where he was known simply as The Man in the Orange Jumpsuit.  He was released in 1971, and lived in Rochester, New York until passing away in 1988.

Dr. Fishman escorted George back to his native Africa in 1955, reuniting him with his brothers and sisters. George went back to using his given name of Bozi Kima and lived a peaceful and injury-free life. He found a mate, fathered seven young monkeys of his own, and died of natural causes on April 2, 1967. He was 29.

Universal Pictures purchased the rights to Bozi Kima's story, and the resulting motion picture, The Abduction of Bozi Kima is scheduled for release in 2011.  Mel Gibson has signed on to play Steve Durango, and Matt Damon will star as Bozi/George.

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28 comments:

Brndoutw8ress said...

I absolutely LOVE this "what ever happened to" stories, they crack me up and bring up lots of childhood memories! Great job. I love "scared out of his fucking mind George" that was fucking fantastic, had me spewing coffee out my nose! Thanks for the great post!

Beth said...

OMG! You are hilarious! I love this one. I have fond memories of reading the Curious George books to my boys. The Man in the Orange Jumpsuit should have been a better parent figure.

I can't wait to read this one to my boys. They are going to love it!

The Good Cook said...

I always wondered what the heck was The Man in The Yellow Hat's problem... thanks for the enlightenment.

Love, Love, Love the "whatever happened to" stories!!

Michelle H. said...

Well, it was about freaking time SOMEONE arrested Mr. Durango. A monkey in New York City? What the yellow hat too tight on his head?

Great story! Now if only someone could do something with Yogi bear and that park ranger...

Funnyrunner said...

Too bad George never got the cash cab. Problem solved.

nonamedufus said...

Thanks for filling me in. I often wondered what happened to poor old George. I had no idea the Man In The Yellow Hat was such a putz. Rochester? Is he in the witness protection program now?

Moooooog35 said...

I heard Durango was run up on Beastiality charges in New York.

I guess we know who the REAL curious one in that relationship was.

Quirkyloon said...

I'm not surprised. Not one bit.

I had to ban this show from young son. It was "inspiring" him a little too much.

And that Mr. Durango? He had NO boundaries with that monkey. I try to remember that, so I won't make the same mistake with my sons.

"Of course you can play with knives, dear. Go right ahead."

*sweet, syrupy smile*

Grumpy, M.D. said...

"Curious George Visits the Massage Parlor in Greenwich Village"

Eva Gallant said...

That is totally pricelesss!

Noelle said...

i will never be able to read a curious george book to my daughter with a straight face again. thank you for enlightening me...and the world.

Dave "Loose Cannon" Wills said...

I've endorsed this as the funniest, most original series within a funny blog for the month! Hilarious!

I too watched this back in the day and thought his owner was either senile, an imbecile, retarded or simple clueless. Like a not-funny version of Mr. Magoo.

I'm excited to see who else who other lost characters' futures you reveal.

Mike said...

Why are you not writing for the Onion?

Nooter said...

humph. i eat something off the tabletop and get yelled at and sent outside for the rest of the night as punishment. george eats something off the tabletop and they immortalize him in a book. life is so unfair....

spokenbythesexes said...

Your bananaz... LOL! Way too funny!

KC

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

The best of the lot so far. I hope you collect these and put them into a book one day before somebody else beats you to it. Great stuff!

Angelia said...

HA! Too funny! Glad it had a happy ending.

I think Mr. Durango had reality TV show issues. Surprised he didn't send George up in saucer shaped balloon.

Heh!

otin said...

There is always one line in these that makes me actually laugh out loud, for real!!!

George gets stabbed in a Soho Nightclub! HAHAHAHA!!!

This is your forte. I was trying to think of one that I would like you to do! Do you do requests? Josie and the Pussycats came to mind!

not your Uncle Skip said...

I'm still trying to get around the "early 1970s" mention.

I could swear that I remember CG being around when I was a little kid in the '40s.

Candice said...

If Mel Gibson plays Steve Durango, I'm guessing that George will have a few nick names. Sugar tits being one of them.

I can't wait to see this flick.

brainella said...

I can so see Matt Damon as the monkey.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

I am so glad I just became a follower. This is so funny. Love it.

Maggie said...

The curious george days, NOW THOSE were the good ol days! :)

I use to love the melody. haha

blurts said...

Great stuff!

I know Dr. Fishman is a surgeon, but the responses he got sound a lot like what educators hear.

Love this blog.

Janna said...

"The man in the orange jumpsuit..."
ROFL!! :)

Jenn said...

^^ Exactly what Janna said. Yeah, I can see Damon playing Bozi. lol

Judge Fudge said...

See, this why you've got more class than me. Instead of having Durango be known as "The Man In The Orange Jumpsuit," I would have had him nicknamed "The Man Who Gets Violently Gang raped In The Mess Hall."

Jules said...

My youngest daughter is OBSESSED with Curious George. She is 6, and if she ever gets married, she would choose George over the Man with the Yellow Hat any day, no question.

She will be very disappointed to hear the news. I will probably wait until after Christmas to tell her. Let her get through the holidays, you know.

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