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02/01 Direct Link
Well, I decided to de-evolve. It started after I came home from an especially stressful day at work. The bus dropped me off at my apartment and pushed through the snow, leaving me with a face full of exhaust.

Maybe there was something in those fumes, because when I got home I started walking around on my knuckles. The thing is, the discomfort of walking in this position prevents a person from thinking about things like celebrity gossip and body image.

Almost instantly, I felt a wave of relief. Had my upright posture been contributing to all my problems?

02/02 Direct Link
So, there I was, sitting on my floor trying to forget the quadratic formula when I remembered that Julia was supposed to come over for dinner that night.

Julia is beautiful.

If I had been writing for these past few months, I would have written nothing but 100-word odes to the female form, including detailed topographical descriptions of the relevant peaks and valleys. Julia is an inspiration.

Somehow, though, I hadn't thought about how my de-evolution would impact our relationship. How would she deal with my new inability to tell time or my fear of the ringing telephone?

02/03 Direct Link
She walked in around seven o'clock and found me crouched on the ground, happily banging two shoes together.

She slowly lowered herself to the floor to get a better look at my face.

"Hey," she said, "what are you doing? I thought you were going to make dinner tonight."

I raised my head and smiled, offering her a shoe.

"No... um, thanks. Are you OK? What's going on?"

With the agility of a gibbon, I stood up, threw her over my shoulder, and took her to the bedroom, where I made wild monkey love to her.

"Oh my," said Julia.

02/04 Direct Link
I suppose the office called a few times, but by the third day I had thrown the phone into the hallway and established a new schedule of eating and napping. What did I need with a job?

By then my de-evolution was complete, and I spent my days in a wordless, timeless, thoughtless present. Without the neuroses and anxieties that come with higher brain functions, I was truly happy.

It seemed like a perfect existence. Julia brought me fruit and we stared into each other's eyes and at night I fell asleep in her arms, enchanted by her singing.

02/05 Direct Link
***

After a few days without seeing her, Julia walked in with a bag of tangerines.

"Hey," she said, "I just wanted to check on you and bring you these."

She gestured out the window towards a guy waiting in the courtyard.

"My friend and I are going to the museum, so... I'll come back afterwards and we'll..."

Before she could finish I had scampered down the stairs to defend my territory from this weak-chested, chinless intruder. Screaming, I leapt onto him and started to batter his head with my fists.

He cried out for help, and Julia rushed downstairs.

02/06 Direct Link
"Stop!" she shouted, and I did, instantly. Her friend rolled onto his side, slightly dazed but not hurt.

"Get it off... bwaaa... get it off me..." he moaned.

Julia helped him up and the two of them headed for the door. She shot a furious look over her shoulder as they left.

Chastened and ashamed, I climbed the stairs to my apartment to wait for her. From my couch I looked out the window, watching the sun move through the sky.

Long after it had gone down, I heard the familiar clip-clip of her heels as she came upstairs.

02/07 Direct Link
"What is wrong with you? Are you jealous of Adam? Don't you think I might want to talk to someone about how my boyfriend has gone nuts, huh?

"Listen, I'm trying really hard to be supportive while you go through this... crisis, or whatever it is... I don't mind bringing you food, I didn't even mind paying your rent last month, because..."

I stared.

As an ape, I knew how to quiet a chattering mate, but how would I have done it as a human? I couldn't remember.

Julia rejected my attempts to comb her hair and walked out, crying.

02/08 Direct Link
Things started to go downhill from there.

I watched the days go by and rarely left my apartment except to look for food. After a while I realized I still had some food in my kitchen cabinets, and didn't go out at all.

One day my landlord came into my apartment. Apparently unfazed by the sight of one of his tenants rolled up in a ball on the floor, weeping and living in filth, he told me I would have to pay the rent in the next five days or be evicted.

Slowly, I looked up at him and nodded.

02/09 Direct Link
What if Julia had decided to stay with me? We could have moved to the jungle.

We could have lived in a treehouse, and maybe had a weird little family, and she could have taught the children the alphabet while I picked fruit and chased the jaguars away. At night we could all bang rocks together and dance until we felt like going to sleep.

Julia deserves more than a treehouse full of apes, though.

Even at my lowest point I never resented her for the decision she made, but the pain of being separated from her made me howl.

02/10 Direct Link
I knew the end had come when I hit on the idea to sell tickets for people to see "The Apartment Ape."

First, the idea was doomed to fail since I doubted anyone would really pay a guy fifteen dollars to follow him up to his apartment and watch him take a nap.

Second, the fact that I was willing to prostitute myself to make a buck from my fellow creatures meant that I had become a human again in spite of myself. It was time to clean the apartment and take stock of what I had lost.

THE END

02/11 Direct Link
Guys, I did not really de-evolve; that was just a story I wrote. So, you know... don't call Animal Control on me or anything.

I wrote a story in ten hundred-word chapters because sometimes writing a month's worth of cheap jokes gets old and boring, and I wanted to try to string my cheap jokes together with some kind of a narrative. We have to keep trying new things, right?

We are born to toil.

...

Now I don't know what to write about, so tomorrow I may begin the sequel, Apartment Ape II: Apartment Ape Goes to College.

02/12 Direct Link
First he grew up with some weird and formative experiences and colorful family members. Then his creative powers really started to grow, and he met the love of his life. Then he became famous and married the L.O.H.L. but his marriage fell apart because he was drinking too much so she left him, but then he did his GREATEST thing and she came back, or maybe she died, and then he was miserable and drank some more.

There you go. That's every biopic ever. You don't have to watch them now. I just saved you hundreds of hours. You're welcome.

02/13 Direct Link
I am sorry, yesterday's entry was incomplete and poorly written. Maybe instead we should try the...

BIOPIC CHECKLIST
(check all that apply)

He/she...
* Overcame social/economic barriers
* Challenged conventional wisdom
* Achieved artistic breakthrough

In spite of:
* Drug / alcohol / sex addiction
* Crippling self-doubt
* Violent upbringing on the mean streets
* Disfiguring chocolate factory accident
* Mean and abusive spouse

With the help of:
* Imaginary / real talking animals
* The patronage of the Countess
* Kind and supportive spouse


Since we are young, let's try to live more unique lives, ok? Our biographers will thank us later for giving them less predictable source material.

02/14 Direct Link
In the spirit of what we discussed yesterday, I will tell you that February Sundays are mostly for coffee and laundry and good documentaries. But not for us.

Today I was feeling sick, so I spent most of the day on my couch reading and watching Willy Wonka for the thirtieth time. I made an unbelievably spicy curry and ate the whole thing, which made me even more sick, and after that ate some chocolate, which made me really much more sick.

But I really lived! I lived deep and found the coconut milk at the heart of life's curry.

02/15 Direct Link
You can see what kinds of things I write when I am deliriously sick. The owners of this site should sell a breathalyser / thermometer that plugs into a USB port and prevents us from submitting entries when we are drunk or feverish.

***

An alert 100wordsian discovered the hard way that my old e-mail address has been broken for the past few months. I have a new one now, so if you ever wrote to criticize my abuse of commas you might have to re-send your message.

***

Tomorrow we might have a guest entry from former Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

02/16 Direct Link
"Do not disturb yourself by thinking of the whole of your life. Do not let your thoughts at once embrace all the various troubles that you may expect to befall you: but on every occasion ask yourself, What is there in this that is intolerable and past bearing? For you will be ashamed to confess. In the next place remember that neither the future nor the past pains you, but only the present. But this is reduced to a very little, if you only circumscribe it and chide your mind, if it is unable to hold out against even this."
02/17 Direct Link
Christine asked me did I want to have a baby, and I said no.

When she asked why, I said that I had just seen a commercial in which a baby put on a suit and hat and crawled out the door to his job as a banker.

What's your point, she said, and I said do you really want our son out there buying and selling toxic assets before he's learned how to walk? And don't tell me about this new era of regulation, Christine, our government is dysfunctional.

Stop changing the subject, she said, and I am pregnant.

02/18 Direct Link
I decided our baby's name should be Mega Man II, the implication being that I am the original Mega Man. It was an awesome idea, but Christine said absolutely not.

So, fine, I said, his name shall be Solid Snake, and Christine vetoed that idea with one of her looks and I started to think maybe she didn't want to name our baby after a video game character at all.

Christine said it might be a girl, you know, and I hadn't thought of that, so I said we can name her Princess Zelda, and Christine said how about Elizabeth.

02/19 Direct Link
So, after what seemed like a long time, Elizabeth came into our world. After hearing she would immediately become the apple of my eye, I was disappointed at her resemblance to a screaming prune. At that time I was too exhausted to question the wisdom of conventional offspring/fruit metaphor, and just hoped that if we fed her enough she would start to look like a normal baby before long.

Elizabeth stared and smiled at us, as if she trusted us to know what we were doing. I was terrified.

Christine, I said, we don't know what we are doing.

02/20 Direct Link
It turns out fatherhood is not as fun as it seems to be in movies. In movies the baby is always bouncing around solving mysteries and inventing time travel, but Elizabeth mostly spent her days sleeping, eating, and eliminating what we fed her in one way or another. I helped out when my schedule allowed.

Our co-workers gave us some baby toys which Elizabeth ignored, so I kept them in our room. They were pretty cool, actually.

Hey Christine, check it out, I said. The brontosaurus is doin' the Hello Kitty. Christine, you've gotta check this out, ha ha.

02/21 Direct Link
Christine asked me to stay home from work and watch Elizabeth on the third day because she had to run some errands and pick up the emergency baby ear medicine.

I was starting to adore Elizabeth, but she was taking up more of my time than I had planned.

That's fine, I said, but please don't get back too late. Some bros are coming over to take me out to McGeary's to celebrate our baby.

Christine said wow, that isn't going to happen, and I said this isn't shaping up to be a very good deal for me at all.

02/22 Direct Link
While Christine was out running errands I noticed a new book on the coffee table. It was Meet Dr. Baby: A Guide for New Parents.

The book's gimmick was that it was supposedly written by an actual baby who had somehow obtained his medical degree. I guessed that the person who wrote the book used this device to cover up the fact that he knew nothing at all about babies. Flipping through the chapters, I noticed that Dr. Baby had a knack for giving vague and questionable advice, such as:

You should feed me the foods that babies like best!

02/23 Direct Link
I took the fact that Christine had bought Meet Dr. Baby as a sign that she was as terrified as I was. So... neither of us knew what we were doing, and for Elizabeth's sake we didn't want learn by trial and error.

I skimmed through the book, partly to see whether Dr. Baby had anything to say about a new father and his bros enjoying some relaxation at McGeary's.

I was still reading when Christine got home. I jumped up and hugged her, hard.

To avoid starting a fight, I kept my doubts about Dr. Baby's credentials to myself.

02/24 Direct Link
Christine has some co-workers who also have a baby. They seemed to know what they were doing, so she invited them over.

Doug, the father, is an asshole who grinds up pears to make his own baby food because the stuff in jars isn't pure enough.

We're using blocks to teach Kaitlayn the basics of form and structure, he said. I wanted to punch him.

Just for laughs, I said we show Elizabeth funny cat videos from the Internet to instill a love of animals. Doug and his wife hadn't heard this tip before, and they wrote it down.

02/25 Direct Link
I'm going to have to step in and shut this down.

In this case my brain came up to me and said, "Hey man, start writing a story about a baby. Don't worry about ideas -- you just get it started and I'll catch up with you later."

Yeah, and then it never showed up.

You know, they can't all be winners.

What do I know about babies, anyway? If I had one I would hand it a spoon and a jar of marshmallow fluff and declare myself World's Greatest Dad.

Sigh...

It's a good thing this is a short month.

02/26 Direct Link
ADVENTURES IN WORD COUNT
(for prissy types)

fast-moving train
Two words or three?

Last I checked, Word considered this two words, but everything else considers it three. "Fast-moving" is a compound adjective so you can make an argument either way, but since the official 100Words counter considers it two, I do too.

BUT, look at words like like e-mail or re-send... those are one word each and the counter will consider them two, so type them without the hyphen first, then put it in after you reach 100. Do the same thing with periods in acronyms like U.S.A.

02/27 Direct Link
ADVENTURES IN WORD COUNT

Punctuation problems, continued:

$1.25 (counted as two words)
me@example.com (three words!)


her softpale skin
Three words or four?

Some folk claim that only William Faulkner can do this, but I say he can't pull it off either. The difference is, when William Faulkner does it people name a writing award after him, and when you or I do it, people accuse us of finding a cheap way to cram in another adjective.

Please note: I am not the word count police, I'm just lame enough to think about things like this and I thought I'd share.
02/28 Direct Link
Also lame: I need to tie up loose ends. Sorry.

EPILOGUE

Elizabeth sat on the floor, pressing down the pedal with both hands. The car gained speed.

Elizabeth Samus Dumpling, slow this car down, I shouted. I heard her laugh and gurgle as we approached the rising bascule bridge, with Mancuso and his goons right behind us.

After we landed on the other side, I heard Mancuso's car splash into the river and explode.

Congratulations sir, said Chief O'Grady. Your baby solved the mystery of the missing diamonds and brought Mancuso to justice.

(I should never have abandoned this story)