The great thing about talk radio is you never know who's going to call in and share a yarn. Their anecdotes tell of hilarious things, while some others are tragic and sad.

One of the sunrise callers phoned in and said she had two short stories to tell, one about a nice Greek gentleman she worked for in a local restaurant, and a tale about a local monkey they dressed up with a hat and silver cup who'd go around with his owner and nicely beg for money – and quite a bit, as you'll hear.

"As a diner owner, I thought you'd like the story of my first job in a restaurant, as a salad girl. No offense to the owner, he was a good-natured person but he had a bad problem with gambling at the dog races," she said.

"The staff knew he lost all his money on nights when he'd come in destitute and broke, 'ask to borrow a smoke' from the dishwasher. Then he'd stand inside the kitchen, looking out into the busy dining room, and he'd bet a dollar with the waitresses about what kind of salad dressing each customer would order," she said.

The caller and I simultaneously erupted in laughter. This caller was a wordsmith, not a word-slinger.

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"Getting back to that monkey story: you were telling earlier, I'm almost positive the caged monkey you guys were talking about was my uncle's monkey," she said. "We lived on a farm in Acushnet in those days. My uncle owned a malicious monkey who was very unfriendly. I was about three years old and every time I needed to go to the outhouse, I had to pass by this obnoxious animal. The minute he saw me, he'd grab the cage and shake it hard, and jump down, pick up a piece of excrement and try to throw it at me!"

The story didn't end there.

"My aunt persuaded him to trade in the unpleasant one for a nicer monkey," she said. "Eureka, he went to an auction and spotted a large music box operated by a crank. He polished it up, and attached a leather strap so he could hang around his shoulders and play the music while strolling downtown or at the parks with the cutest little Capuchin monkey, dressed in a bellboy's uniform with an adorable Karsai top hat and shiny silver cup for donations. Together, they were a dream team for years, until both passed away within two weeks of each other."

From time to time, callers will phone in and perk up the morning with a captivating memory. Storytelling is an ancient art. Its power is timeless because good stories will always enchant the audience.

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