Scout Spelunkers Support Monkey Merits
For the first time since its inception in 1912, The Girl Scouts of the USA is allowing non-American, non-human primates to become members.
Chlorocebus sabaeus, also known as the green monkey, is the first species to act upon this opportunity. Five monkeys Tuesday recited the Girl Scout Promise on a makeshift stage in front of Mituk Cave in Sierra Leone.
Girl Scout Troop # BL4 of Fort Detrick, Maryland this month traveled to coastal West Africa to earn their Caving patch - a merit badge for spelunking (speh-LUNK-ing). However, after encountering an expedition of Americans working for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the girls followed their “(A)LWAYS (B)E (C)LOSING” training and quickly made other plans. They recognized a hot spot when they saw one - for making money that is.
The troop has raised over $6700 so far selling Girl Scout Cookies to the guano-ridden researchers and any other animal, for that matter, who lives on the lip of Mt. Mituk and has at least $5.00 on their person.
The Special Pathogens Unit of the CDC is investigating Mituk Cave as the possible source of the Ebola virus. The latest strain of the deadly filovirus has claimed the lives of almost 2000 Africans so far. CDC Team leader Dr. Lenny Loynes said he has narrowed down the culprit - the Ebola host - to either one of the green monkeys that live in the cave or one of the Girl Scouts selling cookies in front of the cave.
"Even though we have no refrigeration here, I still like the Thin Mints best," said Dr. Loynes, “and now that I know the Peanut Butter Patties are giving me heartburn - not Ebola - I may pick up another box or two.”
Ebola can cause hemorrhagic fever in primates. Symptoms include severe headache, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney failure, bleeding out of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, rectum and urethra. The fatality rate in Ebola outbreaks is 50% - 90% of those who are infected.
Caving, on the other hand, is an exciting, hands-on way to learn about speleology (spee-lee-AHluh- gee), the study of caves.
Girl Scouts Troop Leader Charles B. Manson, 61, and Girl Scouts National Council President Hydrangea Lipwiggle, 46, said they had planned to return home last week, but the good cookie money and the fact that they are all quarantined has put them into a holding pattern until further notified.
"The girls are tired and needed help selling cookies,” said Lipwiggle, explaining why they let the monkeys into the Scouts. “So we got with headquarters, found a loophole and took the monkeys into our troop. The rumors are false that we have lost our marbles, and no, we are not simply being coerced or intimidated by the monkeys, even though it’s true that even the weakest, smallest monkey can rip your face clean off your skull without ever having to leave the tree. My girls are learning a lot from them. Could come in handy someday. About caving, that is.”
Several scouts who attended the ceremony expressed disappointment that four of the new monkey members did not technically follow the rules and failed to correctly recite the Girl Scout Promise. Also, one of the monkeys misbehaved badly while menacing onlookers.
"Yeah, they weren't doing it right," said scout Toby Tyler, 12. "They were loud. Just screeching 'KAR-KAR-KAR-KAR!' And the big one, we call her Penelope, tore off her sash, stepped out of her skirt, took a poopie in her beret and threw it at us. Penelope walked over to Maddie and just stared at her. Maddie's the only girl in our troop who already earned her Gold Award. It was weird. She’s got fangs. Penelope, that is. And big eyes. Red. Scary. Maddie was crying pretty hard when she ran off into the woods. Chuck and Mr. Lipwiggle later found her in a tree. She was screeching ‘KAR-KAR-KAR-KAR!’ Maddie, that is.
The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) refutes this entire fabricated story and does not find it funny. They expressed concerns for this reporter’s health and suggested sleep. But this reporter has heartburn. He hopes it's heartburn, that is.