“Hi my name is Marcello.
This is my monkey Chester, Chester O’Chimp to be precise.
He scared the shit out of me until I was about five, when I finally realized Chester wasn’t real. After that I hated it because it was Irish and I was the only Italian kid in a mostly Irish neighborhood who got teased and called guinea all the time. I’d take my anger out on poor old Chester.
When you pull its string, its mouth moves. He says about a dozen different things with an Irish brogue like ‘I’m Chester O’Chimp, diddly doodly diddly dum’ or ‘I’ll be a monkeys uncle, Oh I am’ or ‘Let’s go to the zoo and see the wild children’.
I’ve had him since I was 1 years old. It was given to me by my aunt, or some guy named Mr Anderson–I’m not sure. He’d been AWOL since I had moved out at 19 but has recently re-emerged.
I consider him one of my most prized possessions, I’ve always said that if there was a fire in the house, Chester would be the first thing I grabbed.
I think it just reminds me of my childhood and my bedroom and growing up in Boston.”