By LARRY WOODY
With the bloated federal deficit swollen to approximately $16.7 trillion and rising (it just went up another billion while you gasped) some wonder how it could possibly happen.
How could the government run up a tab like that? Did they give our credit card to Paris Hilton?
No, but close. The Feds are spending money like drunken monkeys.
More accurately, they're spending it ON drunken monkeys.
They're spending it the tune of $3.9 million. That's how much the government is doling out to research alcohol's effects on monkeys.
The Feds consider a few million bucks just chimp change.
Of course there will be the additional cost of sending Cheetah to AA after the research ends.
They could give the tax payers a break by simply sending the researchers to a frat party or a NASCAR race instead of messing with blotto monkeys. The tab would be cheaper and the behavior about the same.
The story about the drunk-monkey research didn't make clear, what, exactly, they hoped to gain from the $3.9 million study of plastered primates. I suppose "The Drunk Monkey" would be a good name for a sports bar. Or a rock band. Or Queen Elizabeth's yacht.
It could also inspire a bad joke:
A guy walks into a bar with a monkey on his arm.
The bartender says, "Hey, you can't bring that filthy, disgusting animal in here."
The guy says, "You can't talk about my monkey like that."
The bartender says, "I'm talking to the monkey."
Or: where does a monkey go to drink?
To a monkey bar.
I don't know that we need a drunk monkey to tickle the national funny-bone. We've already got Joe Biden.
But that won't keep the Feds from buying monkeys shots of Jack Daniels -- or rounds of banana-flavored Daiquiris -- and charging it to the public's tab.
I can predict what will happen when you get a monkey loaded: he'll go ape.
Moonshine leads to monkeyshines.
If you think monkeys act up when they're sober (we've all had to steer the kiddies away from the monkey cage at zoos) imagine what they'll do when they get a few pops under their belt:
Wide-eyed kiddie: "Mommy, what's that funny monkey doing?"
Mommy (quickly spinning the kid around): "Look over there Timmy -- an ostrich!"
It's not clear what activities the soused simians will participate in, but we assume they won't be allowed to do anything really stupid, like get behind the wheel of an automobile, operate heavy machinery or buy lottery tickets.
Likewise, they won't paint their faces and wear goofy costumes to NFL games. Even a drunken monkey has SOME pride.
Perhaps one of them might opt to run for public office, and if so, I'll vote for him or her.
A drunken monkey could do a better job of managing our money than our elected officials.