22nd International Conference of Sock Monkeys

The following is a brief report on the 22nd International Conference of Sock Monkeys, which was held April 23, 2001 at the plush Essex Hotel in downtown New York City, New York.

The report was prepared by one of the growing staff of burningclown amanuenses; we wanted to have an insider report by an actual Sock Monkey, but calls to the central offices of the Colloquium of State Leagues of Sock Monkey Philanthropy went unanswered.

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9:00 - 9:45Registration
10:00 - 11:00Keynote
11:15 - 1:00Breakout Session I
1:00 - 2:30Lunch
2:45 - 4:45Breakout Session II
5:00 - 5:30Snack
6:30 - 7:30Dinner & "Celebrity Roast"
8:00 - ?Trip to see The Lion King

Report by Peter "Im-Ho-Tep" Przybyszewski, burningclown amanuensis

6:15PM EST Essex Hotel, New York City, New York

It's clear to this reporter that the 22nd annual Sock Monkey "summit" has been nothing less than an unmitigated disaster.

It's 6:15pm, somewhere between the late afternoon snack (which went uneaten) and the dinner (which promises to suffer a similar fate). Perhaps it's the food itself — I don't know. I have never dined with a Sock Monkey, so I can't say what might be their preferred bill of fare.

Essex Head Chef Michel Sarraute was slightly distraught, but unsurprised: "It is always upsetting to see good food wasted," he said with a wry smile "but I can't say that I put my all into the preparations for this event. They are only Sock Monkeys, you know. I could have put pure culinary gold before them and they just would not have moved."

And indeed, the participants in this year's convention have displayed an almost palpable lassitude all day long. I never saw one of them register. Active participation in the break-out sessions was lackluster, to say the least — especially when you consider the theme of this year's conference: "Self-Determination." If this is the way the Sock Monkey "best and brightest" behave at high-visibility functions, it is perhaps safe to say that there could be problems having another one next year.

Local residents agree that the problem is an endemic one. "I don't know why I expected more from them this year," a tenant of a nearby condo said, "but I did. When I think about it, though, I've never seen them do anything but sort of lay around."

Another resident of the same building agreed that this year's event was a disappointment, but added "I'd really hate to see the event not come back for another round. Where else are you going to see so many Sock Monkeys?"

And in all fairness, the Sock Monkey convention has favored New York City for a total of 16 of its 22 annual conventions, which adds up to a lot of hotel rooms. But at the end of the day Chef Sarraute might say his "culinary gold" had turned to Fool's Gold* if he were to allow himself to be roped into working this particular event, again. "It just is not worth it," he says again and again, white hat in hand. "You cannot tempt a Sock Monkey. If you try to force feed a Sock Monkey, no matter how fine the food is, you will only wind up with a filthy sock that still looks something like a dirty monkey."

*Fool's Gold is also known as pyrite, and has a chemical composition FeS2, and the crystal structure Isometric-Diploidal.