Why spidermonkeywrites?

If I put myself in my readers’ shoes, one of the questions I would ask about this blog is how the name came about. Why spidermonkeywrites? I’ve been writing this blog for over 6 months now and still haven’t explained myself. That’s terribly remiss of me. Please accept my apologies and an explanation. For that, we need to go way back to the beginning…

After university I started temping for lack of other job opportunities. My first two month assignment in customer service was ending and I was offered a new job. As a visit bookings officer in a prison. At first I was a little bit dubious about the work they were asking me to do. I mean, there would be prisoners walking about! Would I have to walk past the cells? Squeamishness was quickly put aside, I really needed the money and couldn’t afford to say no to the new assignment.

Working at the prison was actually quite an elucidating experience. It gave me a unique insight into our prison system and the catastrophic cycle of offending – with punishment rather than rehabilitation to look forward to – which people can spend their whole lives in. But less of that, more of spidermonkeys.

At the prison I worked with a colleague who knew the ways of the prison like the inside of his sleeve and had amassed pet theories from observing all the people around him. One day he let me in on one of them; he had come to the conclusion that all people look like a particular animal. For everyone he had ever met, he could identify their familiar. But for some reason I had him stumped. He said he would require some time to think. Then one day, as my time in the prison was drawing to an end, he exclaimed that he’d finally got it. I was already beginning to think of all the animals I like for their looks but also their qualities like tigers, alpacas, hummingbirds…. when he proclaimed proudly that I was a spidermonkey.


I wasn’t sure whether to be intrigued or insulted at first. Why couldn’t I be a tiger instead? I had to google what spidermonkeys looked like. I could only half see the resemblance but now I embrace the ridiculousness of it. My boyfriend was sceptical at first but has become a full convert. When asked why of all animals he decided upon a spidermonkey as my familiar, it was my unconscious and unintentionally funny facial expressions and the fact that my face can’t disguise any of the thoughts passing through my brain. A poker face I am not.

When I was naming this blog, I had a list of at least 20 ideas. None of them struck me as much as options using ‘spidermonkey’. A silly theory it may have been, but I’ve come to identify myself with the humble spidermonkey and I thought it was quite fitting that I call my blog after the animal I am said to resemble. The blog is just a written documentation of all those thoughts running through my head and showing on my face, sometimes with hilarious and/or unfortunate consequences. So there you have it. A spidermonkey (me) writes. I do hope my colleague’s theory is proved true in 1000 years’ time. Everyone should have a familiar.

How did you come up with your blog name? Has someone ever told you that you look like a particular animal? If you could resemble an animal, what would you be?


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