"Where's the Pharaoh? It's harvest time and the glorious descendent of Horus is supposed to be ritually mounting his chosen bride and mother of all Egypt right before the fair."

"I think he's still hungover, you know he took what happened at the temple personally and has been shut up in his chambers with the beer."

"Boy, do I know he took it personally, I got forty-five lashes myself and I was against the idea from the start. Oy, the welts still sting."

"How did this all happen, anyhow?"

"Well, you know that yesterday the priests at Karnak were having that festival in honor of Sekhmet, right?"

"Yes, I know. Those priests, always throwing festivals. Just an excuse to get drunk, if you ask me."

"Well, anyway, as part of their annual tribute, the rulers of Nubia sent up some exotic and unusual animals with the usual gold, jewels, fragrances and slave girls."

"mmm, Nubian slave girls..."

"Anyway, reports of some of the more unusual religious practices of the Assyrians have been flooding the court for sometime now, and well the Pharaoh's been wanting to do something flashy, he's a God, you know and he just hates to be outdone"

"Oh yes, I know how that is."

"So, anyway.. it's his responsibility to host the Festival Brunch and Orgy and a few weeks ago, he got the idea to use some of the exotic animals as help staff."

"Oh dear, animals and orgies seldom mix -- unless you're from Babylon"

"As I was saying, he was training this group of monkeys to be the waiters and --"

"Monkeys?!"

"Yes, Monkeys. At first, everything was fine. The monkeys were absolutely adorable with their eyes all kohled and arms braceleted and perfumed, and the Maitre D' Gibbon had the cutest little headdress. And of course, monkeys are every bit as capable a wait staff as those barbarous Phoenicians and so much less likely to eat their own children --"

"So, what went wrong?"

"Well, the people at Karnak are notoriously bad tippers. I mean, real cheapskates. You're lucky if you can get them to leave a hardworking Temple Prostitute a few sheaves of grain, much less expect them to leave a gratuity for a good waiter."

"Oh, did the monkeys take offense at this?"

"Did they ever! It was only a few moments after the first Obelisk Engineer got up to leave that the chaos ensued. There were screeches and feral screams and flying feces everywhere, and then the monkeys started hurling things. Panic quickly took over and everyone fled to pick up their chariots."

"Sounds like a real mess."

"It was, but I tell you, I think everything would have worked out fine if the Pharaoh hadn't insisted that lions work as valets."

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