When we first booked the villa surrounded by a baboon-infested moat in the middle of a baboon-infested forest, the locals warned us we might have a baboon problem.
But the show must go on, and even though the show was cut four days short by some of the most gruesome baboon maulings the island has ever seen, we will not be issuing refunds for our tropical humor writing retreat.
As humor writers, we face unprecedented danger each day when we sit down in front of a blank screen and blinking cursor, somehow still optimistic that in just 30-minutes we will have filled the page with words so blindingly funny and brilliant they will secure us a job with basic healthcare. Is that really so different from facing the frothing maw of a 6-foot baboon affectionately nicknamed by locals “Human Spine Cruncher?”
We understand how hard it can be to write without having a deadline, which is why we thought the constant presence of a 150-pound baboon with the face of Lorne Michaels and the body of a baboon might provide the gentle push you need to increase your daily word count. And you know what? For the first few days, it did wonders.
Cathy was churning out tweets about her digestive issues, Blake was writing parody slam poetry about her gushing period, Brandon was writing a humorous think-piece on mass incarceration, and Justine was writing a book of short stories also about her digestive issues.
When we got here, daily reports of baboon maulings had subsided into every other day reports of baboon maulings. We figured we would be totally fine so long as we kept a safe distance from the baboons, coated ourselves in chamomile essential oil, and wrote some funny shit about how much we hate our kids.
We were just as shocked as everyone else when baboons raided our villa and tore Samantha limb from limb.
So, ask not how we can reimburse you for this unspeakable trauma, but instead ask how you can turn this trauma into an opportunity to make people laugh. Maybe you can get a literary agent out of this, or a “Perspectives” column in the Washington Post. We can all agree there’s a nice ring to “How watching my writing partner bleed out while ravenous baboons feasted on her internal organs was the best thing that ever happened to my career.”
For this reason, and also because we already spent all the profits on an exclusive strain of psychedelics that help you unlock your highest potential and also make you go viral, please stop asking for your $3500 back.
If you want to blame someone, blame Cathy. She’s the one who left the sliding door on the third-floor balcony unlocked, which is how we think the pack of baboons got into the jacuzzi tub.
Maybe we shouldn’t have sacrificed Daniel to the alpha baboon as a peace offering so they would let us go back to open mic night. But on the other hand, the baboon may not have scratched out Daniel’s eyes if his punchlines had been a little sharper.
We understand there’s nothing easy about being a humor writer. You have to constantly dodge questions from relatives asking why you haven’t just “emailed Colbert for a job yet,” and you get paid sixty-three cents every seven weeks by Medium to entertain whoever the hell pays per month for a subscription to Medium. And now you’ve seen your fellow writers mauled by baboons. All in all, not your worst year.
That being said, we are very sorry the retreat had to end like this. But also not sorry enough to follow you back on Twitter. We also can’t guarantee that Samantha is making God laugh in heaven, because honestly her jokes needed some work.
Maybe you can get TikTok famous off this. We don’t care what you do, as long as you turn this experience into art and stop sending us threatening emails/DM’s/pictures of baboons with blood dripping from their mouths.
Can’t wait to see everyone next year in Kathmandu! We hear the venomous bullfrog infestation is mostly under control.