to Lucius' ascension into the spirit realm, he is no
longer at liberty to answer questions from his guests. It is our hope that
the following collection of Lucius' wisdom will aid you in your time of need until
such time as he returns to our dimension (for we must
believe that he will return). You may, however, send your
well wishes to Luciusmonkey@hotmail.com
Stumpy writes: Dear Lucius, I am continually amazed
by the stories of your life and travels. You are a true inspiration to
fellow simian sock creatures. My question is that in this election year
have you considered running for office? Someone as knowledgeable and
insightful as yourself would surely be an asset to our great country in this
time of world turmoil. Perhaps a campaign for the Presidency? You
would have my vote and I'm certain a number of like thinking monkeys as
Lucius' staff answers: I know that Lucius would
thank you whole-heartedly for your support and kind words if he were so
able. Unfortunately, he has recently ascended into the spirit realm, and,
frankly, we don't know when he will return - although we must have faith
that he will return.
As a result, any political ambitions
that Lucius may harbor must be set aside for a future time. I will,
however, commend to you another sock monkey candidate currently running for
office, the aptly named, Sock
Monkey. Unfortunately, this will be the last
question that we are able to answer until Lucius returns safely to
Sock Monkey writes: "I have a new problem, my family has added a member named Sebastian. A
Chihuahua-terrier mix that one day decided I was his prey. As you can see from the enclosed
photo my leg, overalls, and a few other
spots did not fair so well. What is your advice for a monkey living in such
Lucius answers: Please first allow me to extend my most profound sympathies.
Dog attacks are quite nightmarish. I still have nightmares regarding my
experiences with the ghostly kitsune in Japan (while not dogs, they are canids).
In any event, my most urgent advice is to relocate to higher elevations. Our
long limbs and prehensile tails allow our species to adapt quite nicely to life
among the tree-tops (or bookcases and coat racks). By avoiding the ground
dwelling canine, you will avoid any further injury. Dogs are notoriously
difficult to reason with and they are capable of shocking ferocity. Thus, I
cannot counsel you to engage Sebastian in discourse. Next you must find a
helpful hand to re-stuff your affected limb and suture your wounds. Amazingly, a
sock monkey can lose up to 90% of his or her stuffing and still recuperate, so,
do not fear for your immediate survival. Again I am truly sorry for the
senseless violence that has befallen you. Hopefully, in time, you and Sebastian
will reach some sort of peace. In the meanwhile, stay off the floor!
PJ writes: "I LOVE Sock Monkeys and would like to get a my first tattoo.
Where might I Sock Monkey Tattoo Patterns?"
Lucius answers: That is a difficult question for me to answer as most of the
tattoo artists with which I am well acquainted reside in New Zealand, Borneo and
Japan and do not work from flash. I would suggest that you either bring your
sock monkey (or a jauntily posed photograph thereof) to the artist of your
choice or sketch out a stylized sock monkey design that you find meaningful and
present it to that same worthy. Armed with either of these items, a competent
artist will be able to design the tattoo and effect its permanence upon you. I
wish you luck in your endeavor. Through thoughtful meditation, I am fully
confident that you will compose a worthy design.
Neil asks: "Hi Lucius, I have a large piece of black obsidian I have had
over 50 years, approximately 14" long, 10" wide, 10" tall, it's quite heavy. It
came originally from Obsidian Mountain in Yellowstone National Park. Yes, I know
that nothing is allowed to be removed from the park and would not remove
anything now but as a youngster the rules were either not the same or I didn't
know any better or didn't care. I am interested in making 4 antler handled
knifes for my grandsons or if it is too difficult I would like to have them made
by a professional such as your self. I would much prefer to make them myself as
they would be keep sakes from Grandpa. Any assistance would be greatly
Lucius answers: That is quite an impressive obsidian specimen! The knapping
of obsidian is an ancient and noble art that I am quite sure you will be able to
learn with proper instruction and practise. I feel that knives, made by your own
hands, would be an incredibly thoughtful and moving gift for your grandchildren.
And while I appreciate the compliment, I am unfortunately not a master
flint-knapper. I have knapped out of necessity on two occasions, but I am only
proficient enough to make emergency tools and lack the artistry you would
require. However, I would direct you to the following on-line resources where
you may find knapping artisans, advise and articles, tools and raw materials,
and instructional books and films: www.flintknappers.com,
www.flintknappingtools.com and www.flintknapping.com. These sources should aid
you well whether you decide to knap the blades yourself or engage an expert to
Essentially and simplistically, there are two main steps to
knapping obsidian, flint or chert which are percussion and pressure flaking.
Percussion consists of striking the subject rock with a billet or stone
utilizing controlled blows to create a thin rough “blank.” Pressure flaking is
more time-consuming and involves the pushing of a cylindrical pressure flaker,
made of antler or copper, against the blank’s edges to gently remove small thin
flakes, thus, shaping and sharpening the blade.
Obsidian is very consistent, but brittle, so great care
must be taken while working with this material. Moreover, obsidian shards are
incredibly sharp, roughly 500 times sharper than surgical steel scalpels. In
fact, specialized obsidian blades are still used today to perform certain
delicate ocular surgeries. Therefore, gloves and saftey glasses are
necessary when embarking on such an endeavour. Finally, I note that your
particular specimen is quite massive and will need to be cut into much thinner
strips. To effect this, a wet saw should be utilised as excessive heat may
seriously damage or crack obsidian. You should also utilise an organic
cartridge respirator while cutting to protect your lungs. If you lack the
necessary equipment, you could possibly rent a saw or contact a competent
lapidary to perform the dissection for you.
El asks: "Would it be the same if I used a more extravagant sock material,
such as a striped sock or any other various design? I have never really seen
Sock Monkeys with such elaborate and vivid coloring and design, besides the
standard Sock Monkey and the Paul Frank Sock Monkey sock print Sock Monkey. I am
interested in experimenting with Sock Monkey patterns and designs. So I wonder:
would it be the same?"
Lucius answers: Dearest El, it would be the same, yet it would be different.
For truth, much the way the striped tiger is often perceived as the epitome of
its breed rather than, say, its melanistic brethren, the red heel sock monkey
dominates the public's perception of that breed. Nonetheless, endless variations
can and do exist across the sock monkey strata. While I appreciate the tradition
and history of the red heel, I also enjoy the enormous spectrum of patterns and
colors which adorn sock monkeys, for as a clan, sock monkeys revere uniqueness
in all its forms. Therefore, I highly recommend experimenting with any type of
sock that you desire.
Likewise, I would suggest experimenting with and altering any sock monkey patterns available
to you. I have met an astounding array of sock monkeys (not to mention other sock creatures)
who possess uncommon attributes. These unusual attributes range from the mild, such as
pom-poms, white faces and long tales, to the fantastic such as multi-arms, multi-heads,
and extreme size. Unlike humans, we sock monkeys do not perceive physical differences as
deformities or aberrations, but as avenues towards diversity. For inspiration, I would
guide you to my good friends at Fluff TV or Sappy Moose Tree, where red heels are certainly in the
Mrmacc62 asks: "Your instructions don't say how to attach the arms to the
answers: Please accept my deepest apologies! You are quite correct, I was remiss in that area. In talking with many sock monkey makers, I have encountered two main theories of arm attachment, although other methods exist and one should feel free to experiment. The
first method, known as the hinge method, is to simply sew the arm shut at the top where it was stuffed (hereinafter referred to as the "Arm Hole") and stitch the top of the arm flat against the body so that the arm lays against the body but may be maneuvered vertically up and down like a hinge. The
second method, and the method which was utilized in my creation, is to take the arm after it has been stuffed, place it perpendicular to the body and sew the arm to the body following the circumference of the Arm Hole. With this method, the Arm Hole is not sewn shut prior to attaching it to the body. This method, also tends to make a sock monkey look more muscular as the arms stick straight out from the shoulders. I
would also recommend for your review, instructions for creating the long tailed sock monkey at Ktoon's Sock Monkey Instruction Page. You will notice
that the tail is almost twice as long as the tail depicted in the classic
Rockford instructions. Although I am a short tailed monkey, I must admit that
the longer tail is quite attractive and functional!
Cocoa asks: "is a tattoo worth the sock? I might get one on the base
of my tail. And if I should, what should I get?"
Lucius answers: Dear Cocoa, I believe that sock monkeys are perfectly
suited for expressing themselves through body modification such as tattoos.
Embroidery thread, puffy paint, even the humble black magic marker may spice up
any monkey’s sock, not to mention that a sock monkey's entire body is eminently
pierceable. My personal tastes run towards mono and duo-chromatic geometric
motifs such as one might find in Islamic art or in tribal designs such as those
of the Maori. My cousin Ignatius is currently mulling over modifying his own
socks. He has recently been discussing having eye implants installed in order to
brighten up his visage.
Rachel asks: "My two sock monkeys and I love your website Lucius!
You’re their idol, they want to grow up just like you! I have made clothes for
my sock monkeys, Cheesy Poker and Mr. Sockeybottom, but they are rags compared
to your elaborate wardrobe. Did you make your own clothes or buy them? Where can
I get some clothes?"
Lucius answers: Dear Rachel, I am truly happy that you and your sock monkeys
enjoy my website. It is the appreciation received from friends such as
yourselves that provide me with the fortitude to continue my endeavors. I am
enamored with your sock monkeys' monikers, they exude a certain air of frivolity
and uniqueness that I find quite uplifting. I am sure that your sock monkeys
appreciate your wardrobe creations immensely, and I am equally sure that you are
being too modest comparing them to rags. All of my clothes have been made for
me. However, through my friends at the Red Heel Monkey Shelter Message Board, I am aware of several outlets for sock
simian habiliments. I have been told that certain sized bear clothes from
build-a-bear or other such clothiers often are appropriate. I also know that
Jombi, who may be found on the Message Board, makes quite wonderful sock monkey
garments, and I believe she is amenable to selling said raiments. Lastly, my new
friend Ceru at Sock Monkey Fun creates and sells wonderful apparel. I
hope that you find this information helpful, for nothing is quite as stirring in
the heart or mind as a well dressed sock monkey.
Grace asks: "Do my sock monkeys have feelings? How can I
tell how they feel?"
Lucius answers: Most assuredly your sock monkeys have
feelings. Perhaps the easiest way to discern how they are feeling is to
open a dialog with them. Alternatively, if your sock monkeys tend to keep
their own counsel, I find that it is our eyes which tend to be our most
expressive feature. Gaze into your sock monkeys’ eyes and you will see
deeply into their psyches.
Sarah asks: "I received an
autographed picture from you, and it said 'your assistance in
Bhutan was immensurable. . . .' I don't recall helping you in
Bhutan, or even being there for that matter. Please refresh my
Lucius answers: Dear Sarah, I am terribly
sorry to hear that you have not fully recovered from your
amnesia. However, given the ordeal that you have survived, I
cannot say that I am surprised. Indeed, you recently accompanied
me on an archeological expedition in Bhutan to recover a certain
artifact of great power and ethnographic significance. Not
surprisingly, we were not the only party interested in the item
and when we arrived at its fabled location we were set upon by a
insane sorceress of some renown. You bravely held off the
sorceress with your knapsack long enough for me to snatch the
artifact and stealthily subdue your attacker. However, before the
witch was dispatched, she struck at you with a mind-numbing
assault which left you semi-vegetative. When last I left you, in
the capable hands of the staff at Singapore General Hospital, you
had regained consciousness and were well on your way to recovery.
I am extremely glad that you have recovered so well, and perhaps
it is for the better that you do not recall this particular
experience. Nonetheless, you will always have my gratitude.
Danny asks: "I'm in need of your
help, Lucius. I've looked everywhere for polished black obsidian
bowls. I saw on your site where you mention that you scry with
one. May I ask where you obtained yours?"
Lucius answers: Danny, thank you for the
inquiry. I received my obsidian bowl as a gift several decades
ago in Venice during their Carnival. I happened upon an Italian
mystic in need of my assistance. After rendering what aid I could
to rectify his troubles, he presented me with the bowl as a token
of appreciation. Unfortunately, that does not help you on your
acquisitional quest, and a quick search on the web has been
fruitless for me. If you are unable to find such a bowl, I might
suggest that you try a darkly glazed pottery bowl as an
alternative. In a pinch, any water tight container painted black
on the interior would also suffice for scrying.
Tanya asks: "I am trying to find out
why monkeys wear fezzes. Any ideas?"
Lucius answers: Your question is quite
insightful. Monkey fezzes are designed to enhance brain waves and
elevate thought processes, similar in concept to the failed
pyramid hats created by humans. A monkey with a fez is a
formidable force, not to be underestimated. However, because such
power may be wielded for good or ill, it is wise to be cautious
around such bedecked simians. Fezzes also keep our heads warm.
Lauren S. asks: "I was just admiring
your photos on the website. Have you ever considered modeling?
With your long limbs, ectomorphic frame and insouciance - I think
you are a natural. I was also wondering if you were a student of
Pilates? I can see from the photos, that you are quite limber.
Anyway, you look smashing in the photos. Keep up whatever it is
that you are doing. You are an inspiration to me and all that is
Lucius answers: Lauren, thank you for your
compliments, if I could blush, I certainly would! I have never
engaged in fashion modeling, although such a seemingly glamorous
lifestyle does have its appeal! However, I did model for several
of the sculptures inside the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee,
including the great Athena. While the sculptor did take some
artistic license with my visage, I believe he succeeded in
capturing my true essence. Although, I do not know if I would
qualify as an official student, I did indeed know Joe Pilates. I
first met him in Hamburg, Germany. I was very impressed with his
Contrology and as we traded training secrets, I quickly developed
a respect for his methods (which I like to think was
reciprocated). Later, I visited Joe and his wife Clara several
times in New York City where he taught me the six principles of
feline power and grace which have served me well through the
Liz x asks: "I have a sock monkey but
he seems quite depressed at the moment. I take him out everywhere
I go, so I don't think it's because he's bored. I think he would
like a female companion but am not sure where to find him one.
Because as he is my first sock monkey I am unsure of how to
handle this delicate matter."
Lucius answers: I have noticed that there
seems to be many more male sock monkeys than female sock monkeys
and I am unsure of what has caused this phenomenon. However, all
is not lost, female compatriots may be found! I would suggest
that you search Ebay to adopt a
friend. Usually you must pay an adoption fee which varies by
auction, but the fee is well worth finding just the right special
friend. Alternatively, a simple internet search will bring you
many sites where brand new sock monkey friends may be found. I
know that some people are afraid that they will be stigmatized by
such internet match-making, but I believe that modern necessity
is eroding this perceived stigma.
Sock Monkey asks:
"How do you keep yourself clean? My family gave me a bath
and hung me up to dry!" "Speaking of which recalls the
day I was at the movies and a little boy came up to me and
pointed and said 'Dirty Monkey!' and ran away. Unfortunately this
is a true story and was quite embarrassing as you can
Lucius answers: How embarrassing indeed! I
agree, it can be quite difficult keeping oneself clean. When
possible, I prefer a light spot cleaning with either a damp wash
cloth, or if required, with a spray upholstery or spot cleaner.
However, once in a while, one requires a full hand wash, scrub
down, and blow dry. A full cleaning can be a jot hard on the
poly-fil, but sometimes it is the only option. I suspect a
machine wash and dry is possible, and perhaps even therapeutic,
but I myself have never tried it. Perhaps other sock monkeys
reading this would care to email me with their own hygiene
regimen, which I would then be happy to post here!
Andrea asks: "Where did you find that
stylish jacket you are wearing on your homepage? My sock monkeys
are jealous. P.S. it's really easy to make sweaters for a sock
monkey, just use argyle or wool socks."
Lucius answers: Thank you for your
compliments! My smoking jacket was made from a donated silk tie
which, while being a wonderful pattern, was far too narrow for
today’s fashionable gents. Unfortunately, my tailor designed
it on the fly, so I have no pattern to share with you. However,
thank you also for your wonderful sweater idea. I hope many
chilly sock monkeys will benefit from that tip!
Laura asks: "I would like to make a
fez for my dearest friend and sock monkey, Luther. He is a very
undemanding monkey, so I know he will never ask for one. But I
found him gazing longingly at the picture of the fez posted with
the directions for making a sock monkey. Unfortunately, I have
been unable to find instructions for making one. . . . Luther is
currently on the Oregon coast visiting family and I would love to
surprise him when he returns home. Can you help me locate a
Lucius answers: Indeed I can, Laura. I
discussed the matter with my hatter and he has agreed to release
his fez pattern. It is unthinkable that sock monkeys might be
suffering without a proper fez. His pattern and instructions can
now be found here. I hope the
pattern and instructions meet your satisfaction.
Phaedra asks: "What
tarot deck are you using in the picture on your web site.
Also, what do you use to scry with?"
Lucius answers: In the
picture I am using a Waite-Smith variant called the Golden Rider.
It is essentially the imagery created by Pamela Coleman
Smith and Arthur Edward Waite in 1910 but has been repainted in
earthy oil paints by Francois Tapernoux. I have gilded the cards'
edges myself and have added some of the detail from the original
Waite-Smith deck which was lost in the repainting. For
scrying, I generally use a polished obsidian bowl filled with
water. I find that it is eminently portable and quite
Jacob asks: "I just inherited some
land and was told that I have fee simple subject to an executory
interest. What does this mean?"
Lucius answers: A fee simple subject to an
executory interest is an estate in real property that, upon the
happening of a stated event, is automatically divested in favor
of a third person other than the grantor. For example:
Logan conveys land to Arianna, provided, however that if the
premises shall ever cease to be used as a bookstore, title shall
pass to Cordelia.
Jessica asks: "How many whiskers does
a cat have?"
Lucius answers: The average cat has
twenty-four whiskers arranged in four rows on each side. The
upper two rows on each side can move independently from the
bottom two rows. Cats use their whiskers for navigating close
Mathew asks: "In order
for a knife to be called a 'kris', does the blade have to be
Lucius answers: In short, no.
A kris, or keris, is an important variety of knife that developed
in Indonesia. Many keris do have waves, or luks, in their blades,
but this is not a defining feature of a keris. There are many
different styles of keris, and it is very difficult to assign
features that would define a keris. Nonetheless, a keris blade
may be described as being double edged and asymmetrical at the
base. Here is an example of
a straight bladed Javanese keris from my personal collection.
However, that being said, if a knife were described as having a
kris-like blade, it is most probable that it would sport a wavy
Pelorius asks: "I was
wondering if you are going to continue in search of your father?
I think he is out there somewhere. Maybe closer than you
Lucius answers: I will indeed
continue to look for my father. Even as we speak my genealogy
software is working overtime. I have also recently completed a
significant study of some of the more powerful magickal scrying
arts with two of the finest mystic scholars of our times. As many
of you know, assembling my family tree is of the utmost
importance to me.
Bob asks: "Where
oh where did your cousin Septimus get his fez? It is
fetching!" "Also, Septimus' mother's name, Busisiwe,
looks like it may have some origin in Bantu/Swahili? Perhaps you
have family that travelled east from Morocco and settled? I wish
you much luck in your search."
Lucius answers: Septimus' fez
was made for him as a gift by Ralph Waldo Emerson's great, great,
great, great grandson after Septimus recovered a valuable family
heirloom for him. The "S" on the fez is, of course,
Septimus' initial and the curved dagger above the letter
represents a Moroccan koumiya, a national symbol of Morocco.
According to Septimus, Busisiwe is actually Swazi for "we
are blessed" and that she was indeed born in Swaziland.
Septimus and I are currently searching for more links with our
family in Swaziland.