Today squirrels made up to look like monkeys crossed picket lines to begin their first day as "scab" replacements for striking organ-grinder monkeys. They were greeted with boos, jeers and a shower of banana peels.
The strike is the result of a long-simmering dispute between the Association of Primate Enterprises (APE) and the Bureau of Tourism and Trade. The work stoppage is now in its second week and centers around the APE's demand for better costumes. In particular, the monkeys decry the elastic straps on the red caps they are compelled to wear.
"Its not the hats. We love the cute little hats," one picketer explained. "It's the cheaply made chin straps on the hats. They're itchy and chafe."
What is chafing the striking monkeys now is the rush of squirrels that have scurried across the picket line to don the monkey garb and take up the little cymbals.
As several squirrels arrived for their first day on the job, a chorus of monkeys berated them with the chant "It's pretty hard to hold a tambourine without opposable thumbs, isn't it?"
Faced with a belligerent troop of monkeys, one squirrel tried to defend his actions. "Hey, we've got families to feed too, you know. Nuts don't grow on trees you know."