MONKEY NUMBERS

I have just discovered “Monkey Numbers.” I already knew about “Monkey Points.” Eddie Murphy gets credit for coming up with that term. Monkey Points refers to what the Hollywood movie industry calls the “net profits” on a film. Producers will offer potential investors or “name” actors chunks of the “net profits” on the movie they’re trying to make. They might, for example, offer a Robert De Niro “twenty percent (or points) of the “net profits,” hoping that De Niro will imagine sugarplum visions of glorious “net profits” and agree to do the film.

But the bizarre truth is that apparently films NEVER show a net profit. Net profits don’t really exist. Even blockbusters never show a “net profit.”  It’s all in the accounting, and I would guess that at least in the last 50 years a day has not passed without some litigation over Monkey Points occurring somewhere.

(The photo? Same house as previous post, light painting. Quote found in Santa Barbara, California, on a poster. Click on the photos for a better view.)

Monkey Numbers are similar to Monkey Points. Google calls its Monkey Numbers “results,” with the lower case. Bing goes upper case and Yahoo goes with lower. I’m a Googler. For brevity I’ll stick to Google Monkey Numbers. This is about how Nights of Naked Mannequins  got the Monkey Number treatment.

But wait. This isn’t a venting, a ranting or raging. No, this is bemusement. After all, nobody cajoled me into this. I sought it out. Took part willingly. Google and the pr news releasing simply did their jobs. And did them well, I might add. For me it was an experiment. I had no illusions, and I don’t believe I was deluded.

I was simply surprised when the numbers started showing up. Then I realized that they were really Monkey Numbers, and I was amused.

On the morning before my press release went out, I Googled “Nights of Naked Mannequins,” with the quotes so it would show those words only when they appeared in that particular order.

According to Google, there were 249 “results.” That seemed about right in a pseudo algorithmic way. It actually didn’t look bad until the part of me that knows that there must be mega-trillions of things on the Internet spoke up. Ok, there’s probably more. Lots more.

In the Internet food chain I was less than plankton – not even a single plankti, I would guess. Hence the pr release: Internet presence. I needed a bigger boat to swim with minnows. Forget the sharks. That’s what I was after. And I started to get it. Within one day I was up to 469! My god! I’m ashamed to admit it now, but I was tickled by that. Guess what? Early the next day I was up to 574! The clueless giggling continued as the numbers rose throughout the day. At 10:00 p.m. I was sitting at a heady 1,210. Jesus. My naïve hope had been to reach 1,000 lower case “results.” One grand! That seemed a powerful and meaningful number when I started, even though I would still be a marginalized plankti.

The next day started slowly. Expectations had started to hover above the entire procedure and they are impatient bastards, as we all know. I awoke to 1,360 “results,” which left me feeling ok, but not giddy. And it hardly changed the rest of the day. I figured that was it. Acceptance. Ok, I was almost a plankti.

Then the next morning they started to play with me. Monkey Numbers are very playful. Numerical dolphins, if you will. Each time they explode out of the water and appear to reach a new height, you have to gasp. I gasped: 2,350! Friends again! That night it was up to 2,910. I slept soundly.

Well, honestly. How long was it going to take? You see, I started to get a little suspicious. I started to wonder, just what the hell were these lower case results? Was there MEANING in any of it? The next two days were the weekend, and the numbers went up and down. Up I could take. Down (already?) was a bit harsh. Saturday I finished off at 3,901, but they dropped back on Sunday to 3,370. I blamed the Super Bowl and didn’t bother to check that night.

Monday morning was a shock. Truly a shock. 4,130! We were going up again. By the end of the day it was 5,160.  But now it was a roller coaster. Tuesday morning back down to 4,310. Then it  dropped during the day (shit!),  down to 3,870. Ok, I thought, we’re reached a hovering area, a range. I was all right with that. Wednesday morning was nice, up to 4,816. See, I told myself, you’re hovering. Not bad. Then, I checked it in the afternoon. I couldn’t believe it: 8,810. And it’s been there all day. In weaker circumstances, I might have panicked, fearing a huge drop soon.

But no. After some research and thinking, I believe that I’ve got their number – their Monkey Number – figured out.

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