About bizarre mascots

What, you might ask, is a TurkeyMonkey? For a long time, I believed that it was my own creation — a hybrid of my favorite two sobriquets. Throughout college and the years following I routinely greeted my friends as either “turkeys” or “monkeys,” meaning they’d been acting dopey or wacky, respectively. One evening, while watching the Cincinnati Bearcats in a college basketball game, I declared that there’s no way a bearcat is a real animal. My inebriated friend wasn’t sure, but offered about a half dozen equally confounding school nicknames: The University of California-Santa Cruz has the Banana Slug, he said; CUNY Brooklyn’s mascot is the New York Bridges; and, of course, there was our alma mater — the University of Pennsylvania, the Fighting Quakers. (Okay, okay, technically, it’s just the Quakers. But if you’re living in West Philly you damn sure better know how to put up them dukes.) Brainstorming ensued, and the options seemed endless. SnakeRats … ElephantDogs … TurtleSwine. And so it was that, over a late-night snack of pizza and blue cheese dipping sauce, that we came up with the ultimate mascot. Ahem, the one and only, TURKEYMONKEY!

It was more than a little dispiriting to learn that the term “turkeymonkey” had already been coined. As it turns out, Turkey Monkey was a character in “The Adventures of The Smart Patrol,” a 1995 computer game based on the nerdy punk band Devo. Your mission in the game is to chase down the Turkey Monkey–a truly disgusting piece of animation that’s half Butterball turkey, half chimpanzee. turkeymonkey.gifThe game’s website has a brief bio: “Turkey Monkey is the hideous looking re-combinant DNA accident hatched at LFU. It has the head of a monkey and the body of a featherless turkey and navigates like a giant hummingbird on caffeine.”

Though this is not what I envisioned with the name turkeymonkey, I feel compelled to share the ugly truth with you. If you care to read more about the video game, there’s an Atlantic Monthly story about it here. But rest assured, there will be no re-combinant DNA accidents or dweeby techno music on this website.

About Ted Mann


ted.jpg
At the moment, I live and work in Westchester, NY. But not exactly that idealized suburban afterlife that Monica and Chandler graduated to after Friends. No, my Westchester involves a beat-up co-op apartment in Hartsdale–more Money Pit than Growing Pains–sandwiched between the absurdly wealthy villages of Scarsdale and Valhalla. By day I’m a Senior Editor at InTown, a group of publications (InTown, Rockland, Putnam, and Scarsdale Magazines). By night I become an inventor of bizarre mechanical cat toys, a mediocre cook, and a part-time treasure hunter. My wife, Ana, is a newly minted doctor, a pediatrician at the Westchester Medical Center’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Boy, that was mouthful. And boy, is that a wild lookin’ hospital!
Children's Hospital