The two men—arms overflowing with bananas—made their way to the fourth room. Mr. Jones, through years of experience, put on an incredible balancing act by unlocking the door without dropping a single banana. Steve was thoroughly impressed by this display of unexpected dexterity from the old man. But he did find it strange how Mr. Jones’ key ring looked to contain way more keys than the number of rooms the building contained.
With a swift kick, the apartment door swung wide open. Without realizing it, Steve’s arms went as limp as cooked spaghetti noodles and he dropped all of the bananas. He was mesmerized by the sight of the apartment; the whole room looked just like a Saturday morning cartoon.
“The hell you doin’, boy? Pick up them nanners and come on.”
Steve didn’t hear a single word Mr. Jones said. He was too enthralled by the amazing colors. They were so bright it was almost hard to look at. Some parts of the room looked like they were colored by pastels and could be wiped off. Yet other parts appeared to be remarkable watercolors that popped under the lights of the room. Everything had a unique smoothness to it indicating that nothing had ever been touched by human hands. And this thought gave Steve the urge to reach out and feel what something made of cartoon would be like. But just as he extended his arm to touch a cartoon table, Mr. Jones suddenly grabbed his wrist.
“Trust me, boy. You don’t want to go and be getting that all over yourself,” Mr. Jones said.
“I’m sorry. I just couldn’t help it. This place is awesome! I love cartoons. I think I could actually live here,” Steve said, lamenting saying the last part out loud.
“I’ll switch you if you want.” The voice came from a candy apple red couch in the middle of the room. Sitting on the couch and drinking a beer was a highly detailed cartoon monkey watching TV. The monkey didn’t seem to care that either of them were in the apartment.
“Did that monkey just talk.” Steve asked.
“Hey, Mr. Bananas. Come here. I want you to meet the new guy,” Mr. Jones said, ignoring Steve’s question.
Mr. Bananas stood about four feet tall but was always hunched over. His fur was mostly black with a few splashes of grey which showed his age. His stomach also protruded out a little farther than it probably should have. Steve figured this was most likely due to the constant consumption of alcohol.
With a careful step, Mr. Bananas leapt off the couch and grabbed a cartoon vine hanging from the ceiling. He swung with a slow and out of control motion over to the two men. His balance was off and it was clear to Steve that this was the drunkest monkey he’d ever seen.
“What up?” Mr. Bananas said, nodding off as he spoke.
“Hey, what up? So, you’re like a real life cartoon? That has to be cool,” Steve said nonchalantly. But on the inside he was screaming with joy. This was the greatest thing he’d ever encountered in his life.
“I guess I’m as real a cartoon can be. As for being cool,” Mr. Bananas pauses for a moment, considering what Steve said, “I’m able to drink this here beer. So yeah, I guess it is cool.” Burp! “Excuse me.”
“Did that monkey just talk.”
“Hey, curious George, you better pick up your bananas before they get all dirty.” Mr. Jones knew this would drive Mr. Bananas crazy.