Exit133 is about Tacoma
Monkeyshines 2013 - Year of the Snake
UPDATE: In case you missed it, Monkeyshines are out all over Tacoma. If you would like to show off your find, we’d love to post a picture here. You can email your images to email@example.com, and we’ll post it in the comments. If you’ve already commented, let us know who you are, and we can match the image with your comment. Happy hunting, everyone.
Once again, the time is approaching to be surprised. Monkeyshines is about serendipity and discovery. It’s about wonder and a child-like search for treasure.
Chinese New Year in Tacoma is a very special time. Ever since the Year of the Monkey, a secretive team gathers around this time of year to create hundreds of hand blown glass balls and then carefully hide them all over the city.
With the transition from the Year of the Dragon to the Year of the Snake set to occur in less than a week, we wondered if once again the Monkeys would come out and bring their gifts to our city. We know of at least a few people who are getting twitchy and can’t stop looking into hedges and behind rocks as they walk through town. Then, a few days ago, we received a request to meet from someone we only know as “The Naughty Monkey.” The message arrived via an infrequently checked ICQ account and asked that we rendezvous in a dark alley of Tacoma’s North Slope.
We didn’t know what to expect. Would the Naught Monkey pass a Zip drive of images to tease Tacoma? Would the official (although not official) word be that there would be no Monkeyshines this year? Would she even make it to our meeting, as it wasn’t necessarily sanctioned by Ms. Monkey herself?
Every year the lovely people of Tacoma try to glean any hint of when Monkeyshines will arrive. Will it be on Chinese New Year or some other day? We knew that there would be no answer to the question of when. Yet, the particular vagueness in the non-answer seems to suggest that the correct answer is actually a range. Several days of Monkeyshines? No answer.
The Monkeys have been busy this year. When pressed for numbers, there weren’t any answers – only that the Monkeys have been busy and the city should expect good things. However, should you find yourself lucky enough to stumble upon more than one, just remember that the first rule of Monkeyshines is:
Take only one.
The second rule of Monkeyshines is:
Take only one.
As we spoke in hushed voices, our naughty friend began to reminisce about previous years. In particular, of the mysterious Marble Man who left marbles behind in the parks where Monkeyshines were hidden. A question was raised: what if more Monkeyshine hunters gave something back? Take a penny, leave a penny. Could we propagate the sense of surprise and wonder beyond the mere number of “official” glass prizes? So we ask you: what can you leave behind to further the sense of wonder?
And always, no matter how pretty they are, take only one. If you want to understand hate and vitriol on the internet, post a basket of Monkeyshines to Facebook or Exit133 after your “successful hunt.” If, on the other hand, you want to make joy and wonder possible for your fellow Tacomans, take only one trophy from your hunt.
Chinese New Year is February 10 this year. Good luck to all our Monkeyshine hunting friends!
Post your stories and, once someone finds that first Monkeyshines, we want to hear about it. Post your images online or send them to us at tips (at) exit133.com and we’ll put it in your comment.
If you want to know what you’re looking for, check out:
Monkeyshines 2012 – The Year of the Dragon – and be sure to view the comments.
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