Merry Christmas, everyone! Here, have some monkey meat.
NEW YORK (AP) — From her baptism in Liberia to Christmas years later in her adopted New York City, Mamie Manneh never lost the longing to celebrate religious rituals by eating monkey meat.
Now, the tribal customs of Manneh and other West African immigrants have become the focus of an unusual criminal case charging her with meat smuggling, and touching on issues of religious freedom, infectious diseases and wildlife preservation.
Here we have New York officials clamping down – yet again – on religious freedom. And delicious smoked monkey meat. It does add a special flavor to any occasion.
The case dates to early 2006, when federal inspectors at JFK Airport examined a shipment of 12 cardboard boxes from Guinea.
They were addressed to Manneh and, according to a flight manifest, contained African dresses and smoked fish with a value of $780.
Instead, stashed underneath the smoked fish, the inspectors found what West Africans refer to as bushmeat: “skulls, limbs and torsos of non-human primate species” plus the hoof and leg of a small antelope, according to court papers.
Sometimes you just gotta have some brains. Monkey brains. Brains… brains!
According to the agents, she initially denied ordering any bushmeat from Africa or ever eating it while in the United States.
But after she consented to a search, the agents came across a tiny, hairy arm hidden in her garage.
“Monkey,” she explained, claiming the arm was sent to her out of the blue “as a gift from God in heaven.”
This actually helps me out on an unrelated topic. There was a decapitated rabbit in my backyard not too long ago, which I thought might have been left there by a neighborhood cat or hawk. Now I know it was actually a gift from the Almighty. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I find a skull, torso or other body part lying around the house.
“The government’s taking a woman away from her children,” complained Jefferson, who’s struggling to raise the children alone. “It’s very depressing, especially with the holidays right around the corner.”
The story does mention, however, that the woman was already serving a 2-year prison sentence for trying to run over a woman who she suspected was sleeping with her husband. She’s a good egg, just a little confused. And monkey meat? Totally misunderstood.
“Where some people have turkey, we’ll have monkey meat,” Artis said. “I’ve been eating it all my life. It’s delicious.”
Baptisms, Easter, Christmas, weddings — all are occasions for eating monkey, Manneh’s supporters said in a sworn statement filed with the court.
I’m guessing the animal-rights bedwetters are going to have some trouble with this one. On one hand, you have a woman of color – a saintly immigrant, at that – being held down by the man. On the other hand, you have monkeys hacked to bits for dinner. Then on the third hand, the woman of color seems to belong to some sect of Christianity, and the only thing more evil than a Christian is a Joooooooooo, so this presents yet another problem. What to do, what to do?
The whole thing really reminds me of a song. It goes something like this…
Great big gobs of greasey grimey gopher guts,
Mutilated monkey meat…
h/t Mrs. Holmes