09 March 2008

Four Wise Monkeys

Chun See's blog entry commenting about Peter H L Lim's recent article titled Mistress? Me? No, I'm Ms reminded me of a story.

You may have heard of the maxim of the 3 wise monkeys but have you heard of the 4 wise monkeys?

As you may know, the 3 wise monkeys together signify the proverbial principle to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil". So what is the 4th monkey not supposed to do?

A friend recently told me the answer. As he is a respectable man, he made me promise not to name him. (In other words, in keeping with the spirit of the proverb, I am supposed to speak no evil of him. Haha.)

Anyway, this was what he said:

While chatting with a male colleague one day, he asked me if I've heard of the 4 wise monkeys. I said, "No, I've only heard of 3."

He proceeded to show me (using actions):

See no evil

Hear no evil

Speak no evil

(Disclaimer: The photos here are for illustration purpose only. My friend is certainly no chimpanzee and I am quite sure he does not even work with them, whether literally or figuratively.)

Before showing the action for the 4th monkey, he looked around to make sure that no lady colleagues were around:

Do no evil

(Disclaimer again: Photo is for illustration purpose only - my friend and his colleague were fully-clothed then. And I didn't pose for this photo - I don't have such a chiseled body, but how I wish I had. I used this photo merely because I couldn't find one in which the chimpanzee is modest enough to cover his crotch. Also, I don't mean that only men should do no evil - women too - but if I have used a woman's photo instead, I will have to cover more than just the crotch.)

Actually, the 3 wise monkeys as well as the 4th monkey are mentioned in this Wikipedia link. So my friend's colleague is not really the originator of this story. (That, I hope, is not speaking evil of him. And I trust that you didn't see anything evil from this blog entry either.) So relax, my friend - your reputation is still intact.

May I add that this story holds a special meaning for me as I was born in the Year of the Monkey. Honestly, I cannot claim to have lived by all four "monkey don'ts" but I am not telling which one(s) I ran afoul of.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your blog and the reminder about "Do no evil" from the Fourth Wise Monkey.
By the way, there may be folks who are not sure of the difference between a monkey and an ape
(or between moth and butterfly, frog and toad, dragon-fly and damsel-fly).

The difference between a monkey and an ape is that the monkey has a tail while an ape does not.
That's why the famous book by Desmond Morris about animal behaviour (and its relevance to human behaviour) is known as "The Naked Ape" and not "The Naked Monkey". Ha! ha!

tan wee kiat

Victor said...

Wee Kiat - Thanks for your comments.

So human beings are apes as we all have no tails. As Dr Mel Gill the renowned psychologist once said about our genes on his local radio talkshow, "We are 99% gorilla and 1% human".

Lam Chun See said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lam Chun See said...

Dr Mel Gil doesn't know what he is talking about. Do you know that bananas and humans share more than 60% similarity of genes and with rats it's more than 90%? Does that mean he is 60% bananas?

Even evolutionists say we should not put too much importance into these numbers.

Victor said...

Chun See - Yes, I am quite sure Dr Mel Gill said that in jest and not because he didn't know what he was talking about.

Lise Samson said...

I saw in Frannxis' blog that you had a problem with "if ! support Empty Paras". I do have the same problem and delete them manually. How have you succeeded in getting rid of it ?

Victor said...

Hi Lise, I didn't have a problem with "if ! support Empty Paras" on my own blog. That was what I saw on Frannxis' blog then. Somehow, it went away. I don't know what Frannxis did.

Lise Samson said...

Thank you very much Victor. I will e-mail to Frannxis.