The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingThe Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey - Issue Twenty-Four
The Fear of Monkeys
Get To Know

The Yellow-tailed Wooly Monkey: photo from Christian ArtusoThe Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey is a rare primate found only in the Peruvian Andes where they live in rough terrain in the cloud forest. They are arboreal and diurnal and adult males can reach sizes of 51.3 to 53.5 cm with tails even longer than the body and can weigh as much as 11 kg. Their fur is longer and denser than other woolly monkeys which is an adaptation to its cold mountain habitat. They are deep mahogany and copper with a whitish patch on their snout extending from the chin between their eyes. Their fur gets darker towards their upper body, making their head seem almost black. Their powerful prehensile tail is capable of supporting their entire body weight and it also uses its tail to help move through the canopy. They have been known to leap 15 metres. They live in large mixed social groups of approximately 23 individuals and they have a multiple-male group social system and a polygamous mating system. For all that, they have low reproductive rates and long inter-birth intervals, which adds to their vulnerability for extinction. They express aggressive behaviors upon initial encounters such as branch shaking, showing their buttocks, and making short barking calls. Their diet is primarily frugivorous, but they also eat leaves, flowers, insects and other invertebrates. Oddly, they also engage in geophagy, or the consumption of soil. Geophagy is a rare biological behavior but the species benefits from this tendency since it allows for the intake of minerals and the detoxification of the intestinal region of parasites and other diseases. Perhaps related to the fact that they tend to suffer from an iron deficient diet, their consumption of soil allows iron that they do not get from their regular diet. Although, like most primates, the Yellow-Tailed monkey has low birth rates, their main threats are all human-related. The last estimated population count was less than 250 individuals, largely because of the loss of habitat due to slash and burn agriculture. Afraid of losing their farmland to conservation efforts of the species, a rising population of farmers say they do not hunt the monkeys but that the land is necessary for growing coffee and raising cattle. The construction of new roads, habitat loss and fragmentation from agriculture, logging and cattle ranching, and subsistence hunting, together with the monkey's naturally low population densities, slow maturation, low reproductive rate, have led to a predicted decline of at least 80% over the next three generations. They are considered one of the world's 25 most endangered primates.


The Mexican in the Bathroom (Continued from Issue Twenty-Three)


Weldon H. Sandusky



In the morning after breakfast Steve wastes no time contacting his old Air Force buddy, Greg—a man of about equal rank as himself though with the one essential qualification for what he’s about to set out to do, a law degree!  With the Air Force’s advocate office  he knows…

“Advocate Office, this is Greg.” 

“A A A A AH  so!  Steve announces, imitating their old  saying from when they were stationed in Okinawa, Japan.

“Steve!”  Greg is surprised.

“Greg, my dad is dead; I’m in Dallas…”

“Man, I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Heart attack,” explains Weldon’s son.

“Anything I can do?”  Greg is direct.

“Yea, well, there is Greg.  As much as my father drilled me (though without a law degree), I understand he has or rather had  a law suit against the County of Dallas for violating his civil rights. Ah, …constitutional due process rights.

“Right, I’m familiar with all that—mostly Federal law.”

“If you could get over here—cause I got all the documents: hospital records, physical evidence—tapes…--tonight, my father’s little  apartment—I’ll direct  you by cell phone.”

“Sure, sure. Steve.  No problem.  I’ll even pick up some dinner for us on the way. How’s  that?”

“Perfect,” nods Steve as if Greg were there.

“You’re a saint.”

“How about just an angel.”

Greg hangs up; and, Weldon’s son is secure in his success. He calls Vandenberg—Marybeth—and then his mother in San Juan  Capistrano, just  South of L.A.  Her phone is busy so Steve directs his attention to evidentiary details, at moments letting his thoughts slip into motive—Marjorie Hartnett’s, for example. His dad had suggested she was in it for antiques, as simple as that.  When Weldon’s mother had died, the power of attorney Lloyd Sandusky had gotten allowed he and his wife, Claire, to conduct a garage sale;  no doubt the Hartnetts were the first in line.  Something of his mother’s, a photo neatly tucked in a small manila envelope,  of one of his mother’s lovers—Roger Dietrich—and Steve, himself, age three, pictured by Roger’s van as though it appears Roger is his father and they’re about to embark on some kind of journey dressed in matching Mackinaw jackets; Roger sporting a pair of driving gloves. For a second, Steve tries to remember being three and can’t and places each of the documents from the box where his father had them in on the table where he and Greg can sort through them.  By the photo he starts to put his father’s key ring as if some kind of trump card but decides better and puts the keys to the house, the car, and, the recording equipment where they belong, by the phone.  He starts, aside from legal evidence, to begin to tally estate assets—paintings, song collections, but stops knowing their value is intangible and turns instead to his  dad’s ‘porn’ collection, apparently, a distraction his father found himself close to either out of a kind of sordid necessity or as something, on the other hand, kind of artistic.  Closer examination of hospital records reveals the interesting aspect of the case that the very diagnosis he is receiving—delusionary , schizophrenia, paranoia, dangerousness, threat-making—is exactly the reality he has been abstracted  from.  Like some vague, Hollywood ‘soap’ with sex and violence productive of the plot, the word conspiracy takes on special meaning not in that Steve hopes the issue has been decided; and Greg and he have a line of cases to stand on, but, that, for sure, his father was no “nut”  and that, indeed, he was misdiagnosed. There’s no mention in the record about his mother—her life, her relationships—nor is there anything about him, a child, then, of course—Steve’s cell phone beeps.


“Hey.”  Steve is almost drowsy from recollection.

“I’m on the Interstate headed for Addison, and, bongo—KFC.  The colonel’s on line one.

Steve laughs and then as a serious afterthought suggests, Original Crispy,  Coleslaw and mashed potatoes.”

“Got it,” says the lawyer.

“Oh, Greg.”


“Something to drink, your choice.”


He fixes the phone back in its cradle and begins to wait, tired of reading documents, deciding to indulge in a porn video  selection from his father’s  burgeoning collection.  Momentarily…a woman is being dragged from a canoe into a wooded area and sexually assaulted—her underclothes gently removed like so many feathers and her lips kissed as if there were some love in  the act.  Ten or fifteen minutes into the movie Steve’s cell phone beeps… “Greg?” he says.

“No.”  Recognizing the voice of his wife Marybeth, Steve quickly remotes the video for a second leaving only the  white-black dotted screen of the T.V. on , and then, as well… “Yea.”

“The children miss you and I do to. Here’s Maggie wants to say something. 

There comes a sharp, “Daddy!”  They continue in a kind of staccato communication until at last Maggie, indicating she has scratched her knee returns the phone  to Marybeth who, as well, desires the attention of the young father.  In turn, Chuck and Colby get telephone kisses and ‘see you soon’ parting words.  The phone dead now, the video history,  and he waits for Greg.  The apartment still seems to have the stamp of  his father like some kind of document or, coldly, a gravestone.  Steve returns to the table, seating himself like a naughty criminal  delusional or perhaps with the flick of a button, violent.




As the evening progresses,  Weldon’s son watches the clock on his dad’s makeshift desk until at last the footsteps of Greg coming up the stairs  become audible as well as further Japanese fake martial art sounds.  The knock and Steve opens the door like turning a page in some book.  The men are military though such that the warmth of human kindness is quickly diluted  by exaltations of possession—said property…one bucket  ORIGINAL CRISPY KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN  and  though the colonel is  absent and they are in the  quarters of a dead man  the chipper, thirtyish men  have  together a feeling, a nondescript rank in freedom like a whisper or the distant sound of a chain rattling on a flag pole.


“Sir.”  Steve smiles like a memory.

“Whatever rights your dad had died with him.  Except  wrongful death; and, I don’t  think he had a heart attack out of being declared insane twenty-five years ago.”

“How did you know,” Steve queries.


“Oh,”  Steve says.  “Big mouth,” he adds as a kind of rib, smiling half disappointedly in the news.,

“Unless, of course,…” Greg is quick to surmount the gloom,  “Your mom stood in his shoes and  claimed  somehow her civil rights  were  at stake.

“But it was my  father that got declared insane, no trial, no witnesses, hearsay evidence, a stupid ass appointed attorney-for-the-day.”

“Sounds familiar,  like some neo-Martin Luther King , except in the area of mental health.”  Greg is avidly combining Cole-slaw,  mashed potatoes and chicken in grand mouthfuls.

“It’s like my mother…”  Steve pulls a wing from the bucket, “was the victim and my father took the rap.”

“Whatever,” says Greg,  lawyer like conducting an imaginary jury with his hand. “Anybody can believe anything,” he suggest taking the photo of Steve, three, and his mother’s paramour, Roger,  from the table where Steve has placed documents and other evidentiary items.  “Your dad and you?”

“That’s not my father,”  Steve interjects.  “That was a lover. Ah, his name was Roger and my mom and dad got back together after all that.”

“Oh,” says Greg. “No wonder he went nuts.”

“Come on Greg,”  Steve insists and adding promptly like a footnote, “If in legal terms my mother has to bear the cross of this litigation then so be it. Can she appeal the dismissal of his motion that there was  a conspiracy in violation of his civil rights?”

“Either that,” says the attorney knowledgeably, "or file a new cause of action with just a new portrait of another victim of the same unjust mental health system. One, two, three,  it’s done—same ball park, new batter or pitcher, however, you want to see it.”

“Here’s,”  handing the lawyer some papers, the divorce filing and the later subpoena for child support, respectively dated  August 23, 1979 and June 28, 1983.  But look Greg!  My dad mailed a motion to dismiss the subpoena on  grounds of a conspiracy in violation of his civil rights, citing  Title 18  the United States Code §241.  His rough draft brief for the case alleges the  Federal clerks office for the Fifth Circuit told him they had lost the §241 papers.

“Someone disposed of the goodies!”

“Yea.”  Steve says.  “He got arrested months later on  entirely different facts, facts not dealing with child support at all but rather stemming from an altercation with a neighbor—Marjorie Hartnett and her mother, Mary, over where my  father’s mother lived.

“Here in Dallas?”  Greg consumes an entire wing chased with Cole-slaw and the mashed potatoes.

Right !  Here’s” Steve is excited nearly bumping the bucket with his hands “…the order of protective custody for my dad’s emergency detention alleging he threatened to kill Ms. Hartnett, threatened the life of then President  Ronald Reagan and was going to get a gun and commit suicide.”

“Why would a disinterested third party get involved in a suit your mom and your dad’s brother had going,  said CONSPIRACY?”  Greg ponders studiously the Wills of Weldon’s mother and  his aunt, Frances.  Greg suddenly produces from his coat somewhere a Sherlock Holmes looking pipe that additionally blows bubbles, the two men roaring with laughter as well as regaining interest in the fried chicken. “It’s like the chocolate got mixed up with the peanut butter, ah, the child support with  murder. Pretty daring thing to accuse someone of!”

Steve agrees, looking for evidence that’s not on the table.

“We got…” summarizes Greg, “the County of Dallas in the Country of America putting away the wrong guy, once without a hearing and a second time for possession of a candy bar!”

“Come on Greg.”  Steve is headed for his dad’s Mr. Coffee maker.

“Seriously Steve,  fundamental rights are the big thing in Civil Rights,  not so much, well, “little” but like abortion,  the right to procreation, the right to die (assisted suicide), the right to vote, the right to be equal and on and on and on:  “Is there??????” Greg triumphantly addresses both the imaginary jury and Weldon’s son with a chicken leg held high,  “… a  right to be free from getting committed to an insane asylum.”  Greg drops the Terrell State Hospital file folder on the table with a thud, just as the coffee maker springs into life.

Steve looks at Greg and Greg at the table in the room  where night birds and pool ball molecules once rode on waves that told a story about love in a  HYDROGEN  atom, and, where, too, Steve’s father drew pictures of  incongruous naked people and watched pornographic videos.  No guns, no missiles, no maps, just a theory, a theory of conspiracy.  Steve, surprisingly like Franco Lopez, tilts to  fart; Greg holding then a cup of fresh coffee, roaring with laughter.

Weldon graduated from Texas Tech University in 1968-a B.A. in English. He then got an M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree (J.D. l975) from the same school. Divorce followed as did commitment to, first, the private psychiatric hospital, Timberlawn, in Dallas, and , later, the State Mental Asylum in Terrell, Texas. Mr. Sandusky petitioned for habeas corpus claiming a conspiracy to unlawfully commit him existed in violation of his constitutional rights.
Upon release, Weldon got a job at Exxon/Mobil where he worked twenty years as a cashier-nightman. During August, 2005 he underwent open heart surgery at St. Paul’s Hospital in Dallas and have since been declared totally disabled. He has coronary heart disease.


All Content Copyright of Fear of Monkeys